Originally Posted by Stubs74
Hi everyone this is my 1st post on here. Ive been playing guitar for a couple of years and thought i would give bass a go.Thinking i was just going to muck around and not take the bass serious ive actually found myself enjoying it as much if not more as playing the guitar.
I try and get creative now and again and record basic rythm patterns with my guitar.I would really love to add a nice simple bass track to go along with my rythm guitar playing. Where do i start? Say im playing a bar of each G - D - C with my guitar.
Hope someone can help
As you are coming over from the 6 string guitar I'm going to take you quickly into how to play your bass from some fake chord sheet music which I assume you already know how to use. We do not strum, however, play the notes of the chord one note at a time. With that in mind....... See a chord, play it's notes one note at a time to the beat of the song. Problem is some songs do not leave us enough room for all the chord notes, and then some songs give us way to much room and we are searching for things to throw into our bass lines. OK that out of the way let's get started.
1) As your progression of G-D-C has all major chords they will have a 1-3-5 chord tone (scale degrees) in their make up - which we sometime call the "spelling" of the chord. I'll leave you something on this later in the post. So the notes 1-3-5 + something will make a pretty good 4/4 time bass line. For example; R-3-5-3 or R-3-5-6, or R-3-5-7 for the maj7 chord and R-3-5-b7 for the dominant seven chord or the king of generic major bass lines R-3-5-8. Keep reading.
2) let's start with just roots. When the G chord is active sound one G note per beat. A 4/4 time signature gets four 1/4 notes per measure or 4 G notes per measure (barre). When the D chord comes active pound out 4 D notes and yep, when the C chord comes active pound out 4 C notes. As mentioned, we do not strum our bass - until much later - instead play the chord's notes one note at a time. Arpeggios will be a friend. For that matter so will the pentatonic scale - three chord tones and two safe passing notes.
3) Your progression of G - D - C is called the I - V - IV chord progression, I'm sure you already know this from your 6 string guitar days.
4) Find the I chord's root note - on your 4th string. Now from that root note..........
The ii chord's root note is always same string over two frets toward the sound hole.
The iii chord's root note is always up a string and back one fret. The b3 is on the 4th string right after the 2.
The IV chord's root note is always up a string same fret.
The V chord's root note is always up a string and over two frets.
The vi chord's root note is always up two strings and back one fret. Over the 3.
The vii chord's root note is always up strings and over one fret. The b7 is over the 4.
Now that sounds complicated, not a step for a stepper. Put it to memory. If you are a visual learner look at the pattern listed below.
Most of us at first use the Major scale box pattern which I outlined for you above. Here is what it looks like in graphic form. Place the root and the other chord tones await within the box.
Major Scale Box.
G|---2---|-------|---3---|---4---| 1st string
• Major Triad = R-3-5
• Minor Triad = R-b3-5
• Diminished Chord = R-b3-b5
• Maj7 = R-3-5-7
• Minor 7 = R-b3-5-b7
• Dominant 7 = R-3-5-b7
• ½ diminished = R-b3-b5-b7
• Full diminished = R-b3-b5-bb7
See a chord and play it's chord tones. As every key will have three major, three minor and one diminished chord it's a good idea to get your major, minor and diminished bass line chord tones into muscle memory so when you see a chord your fingers just know what will work. Now the song may only give you enough room for the root, or root five - adapt and get as many chord tones into your bass line as needed. Root on 1 and a steady groove from the other chord tones plus something to call attention to the chord change is what we do.
Root on the first beat. Need more grab a 5 on the 3rd beat. Still have room for more put something on the 2 and 4 beat. R-3-5-8 is a generic bass line for any major chord. R-b3-5-b7 is a generic bass line for all minor chords. C chord coming up, yep if you have room R-3-5-8 will fit. Dm7 chord coming up; the R-b3-5-b7 will work if you have room for all four notes before the song goes off and leaves you. Ed Friedland's book Building Walking Bass Lines will be of help with all this R-3-5 stuff. Scott Devine's video may throw some light in the tunnel. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0dr3rH7zxI
Since you are coming over from the 6 string guitar I've taken you right to how to play from fake chord sheet music as I assume you already know how to use fake chord. If not just ask.
Scales - why scales? So our fingers get to know where the notes are on the fretboard and our ears start recognizing the good notes from the bad notes. I know of no musical instrument that does not start you out running your scales.
Run you chord tones and your scales and get their patterns into muscle melody.
• Major Scale = R-2-3-4-5-6-7 Home base
• Major Pentatonic = R-2-3-5-6 Leave out the 4 & 7
• Natural Minor Scale = R-2-b3-4-5-b6-b7 Major scale with the 3, 6 & 7 flatted.
• Minor Pentatonic = R-b3-4-5-b7 Leave out the 2 & 6.
• Blues = R-b3-4-b5-5-b7 Minor pentatonic with the blue note b5 added.
• Harmonic Minor Scale = R-2-b3-4-5-b6-7 Natural minor with a natural 7.
• Melodic Minor Scale = R-2-b3-4-5-6-7 Major scale with a b3.
Let the major scale be your home base then change a few notes and you have something different. No need to memorize a zillion patterns. Let the major scale pattern be your go to pattern - then adapt/adjust from there.
Get in the shed and when these patterns are second nature come out and ask questions. Some fake chord sheet music, which I'm sure you already know how to use, your major scale box, and the how to find notes within the box and you are ready to start playing some songs - from fake chord.
Now how to hold the bass, how to tune it, how to get sound from it and all the other basic things you will need can come from the book Bass Guitar for Dummies or www.studybass.com
. Looks like studybass.com is in the process of re-making itself. Check back I'm sure the new will be well worth your time.
I've given you enough to keep you busy for six months. Copy this and put it somewhere, eat this monster one bite at a time.