Bass notes for a pre chorus

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Gordonuk, Dec 3, 2013.


  1. Gordonuk

    Gordonuk

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2013
    Hi there,

    I am a newbie and want to write R&B and Pop/Rock and just wanted to know some of the common bass notes played for a pre chorus?

    I can usually successfully write both the verses and the chorus but struggle with where to take the bass line for the pre chorus to make it sound fresh and to also make it sound compatible with the preceeding verse and following chorus.

    Any tips on this would be great.

    Many thanks.
  2. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Location:
    Deep East Texas Piney Woods
    http://garyewer.wordpress.com/2013/02/19/getting-pre-chorus-chord-choices-right/

    http://www.haydockmusic.com/composing_tips/pre_chorus_song_structures.html

    I think the above should give you an idea................ of what chord progression to use. After you get the chord progression the notes for your bass line is just like any other progression. Root on one, have some room add the 5, then the correct 3 and 7.

    Almost forget - remember the chord you used is supposed to harmonize the melody being played over that chord. The active melody needs a chord with some of the same melody notes in it's makeup. If that happens you harmonize and sound good.

    So it's a balancing act between the treble and bass clef sharing at least one note per measure.
  3. Gordonuk

    Gordonuk

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2013
    Thanks MalcolmAmos,

    For your informative reply.

    It certainly gives food for thought. There does not seem to be much information online about specifically writing a pre-chorus and its accompanying bass notes. Even Gary Ewers excellent article about this does not give specific chord progressions used for pre choruses.

    I will have to keep looking for examples of actual pre chorus chord progessions and their accompanying bass notes.

    But at least your response gives me a start so thanks again for your informative response.

    Many thanks.
  4. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Location:
    Deep East Texas Piney Woods
    Later today I'll go through our gig book and find some examples.
  5. Register to disable this ad
  6. Gordonuk

    Gordonuk

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2013
    Thanks MalcomAmos,

    That would be excellent.

    Thanks again for all your help.
  7. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Location:
    Deep East Texas Piney Woods
    Here is fake chord on Your Grace is enough - and it has a pre-chorus. http://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/c/chris_tomlin/your_grace_is_enough_ver2_crd.htm

    We do the song in E and our pre-chorus is:
    2-4
    2-4-5
    6-5

    2, 4 and 6 are passing notes/chords and the 5 leads into the tonic 1 for the Chorus.

    Then we have another in Blessed Be Your Name, however, it just continues with the same progression as the verse:
    1-5-6
    1-5-6-4 and that leads into the next verse....

    1-5-6--4

    Everlasting God has just tonic 1 chord for four lines of the first verse then the pre-chorus of:
    3-4-3-4-5-6-5
    3-4-3-4-5-6-5 with the 5 leading to the second verse of;

    1-3-4
    6
    4
    1-3-4
    6
    4 and this leads to a repeat of the first verse. Why it's like this, with out the melody notes I have no idea.

    Which brings up the question, what is the difference in a pre-chorus and a bridge? Both lead you....... And why is a pre-chorus sometime called a channel - I understand a channel leads to another body of water. Interesting....
  8. Gordonuk

    Gordonuk

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2013
    Hi MalcomAmos,

    Just to be clear.

    When you write:

    2-4
    2-4-5
    6-5

    Are you referring to the chord progressions with the accompanying root bass notes in the scale of E?

    So for example:

    Chord 2 and Chord 4 of the scale of E
    Chord 2 and Chord 4 and Chord 5 of the scale of E.
    Chord 6 and Chord 5 of the scale of E.

    (Each chord played with the accompanying root bass note)

    Many thanks.
  9. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Location:
    Deep East Texas Piney Woods
    Yes. Sorry, Chords in Nashville numbers.

    1-2--3---4-5-6---7-
    E-F#-G#-A-B-C#-D# Or if the song is in G it would be:
    G-A--B---C-D-E---F#
  10. Gordonuk

    Gordonuk

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2013
    Thanks MalcolmAmos,

    This songwriting thing is quite confusing huh? lol Just when you think you are making progress you write a song and get stuck again lol

    Hopefully this will help my musical education and give me more options when completing my songs.

    So thanks again for all your help it has been invaluable.
  11. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Location:
    Deep East Texas Piney Woods
    A dirt simple way to write a song. You may pick up something from this. Offered for what it is worth:
    I have never written a pre-chorus, however, after your post I would think a two line lyric verse with passing chords ending with the V or V7 would work. Passing chords - the 2, 4, 6 (ii-IV-vi) and perhaps a m7b5 as the foundation for the melody notes. Gotta harmonize both melody and harmony lines. That seems to fall between the cracks. The treble clef melody and the bass clef harmony need to share like notes, if they do the song harmonizes.


    That begs how many shared notes? One per measure - that's why roots by themselves work - two are better and anything after that is dictated by the song. One got you harmonization.

    Good luck.
  12. Gordonuk

    Gordonuk

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2013
    Hi MalcolmAmos,

    Thanks for your excellent response once again.

    This has given me an excellent guide as a beginner in how to write a song. I knew a lot of it already but you have certainly filled in plenty of questions I had.

    I can see now how important music theory is in writing and completing songs. And i realise now its something that I must learn as it will be invaluable in helping me to perfect the craft of song composition.

    Just one question. Have you heard about modulating the verse chords from its major or minor key to its relative major or minor key? So for example if you start off by writing the verse is C Minor you then modulate down to its relative Major key of E Flat Major to write the bridge or chorus.

    I read about this in a post on another forum and apparently its something that Justin Timberlake used recently in his song "Mirrors". Moving from a minor key for its verse to its relative major key for the chorus.

    But i am unsure about what to do once you I have written the chord progression for the verses say in a major key then I move to the relative minor key for the pre chorus. Do you know anything about this? I tried directly playing the same chord progression used in the verse in its relative minor key but it did not really work as a pre-chorus which needs to build tension then allieviate tension and provide a smooth transition to the chorus usually via the V chord.

    I am guessing that you have to use some sort of chord progression in the relative minor key once you modulate to it from the major key but i am unsure about what chord progessions. Do you know much about this? And do you have any knowledge about what types of minor chord progressions would work in the relative minor key?

    I am guessing that to make the chord progression written in the relative minor key of the major key I have used for the verses that It will have to have some type of connection to the original chord progression used for the verses. But i am not sure what the connection is?

    If you have any knowledge what type of how you build a pre chorus in the relative minor key after creating a verse in a major key then i would love to hear your thoughts on this matter.

    Or if you have any other methods of modulating to the relative minor or parallel minor key after creating a verse in the major key then I would love to hear about that too.

    And once again thanks for all your help. It has been very enlightening and informative.

    Many thanks.
  13. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Location:
    Deep East Texas Piney Woods
    Yes, I've heard of what you speak, however, I have never used any of this. My Country is dirt simple Major key with root-fives and chromatic walks to the next chord. We have over 200 songs in our Country gig book and only one of them is in a minor key and that is only that Dm sounds like an Indian tom-tom. We use it for Kalagia (sp?) When Rock got fancy moving to the relative minor was in vogue. I can see the verses being in Major and the chorus being in minor if the minor is supposed to imply sadness. IMO there should be a reason to leave the "home" key. Why? Most vocalists will not want to move between two keys in one song and especially if the other key is beyond their range. And yes we both know that the minor pentatonic will work over an all dominant seven chord progression..... All kinds of ways to add color and or flavor. We just do not get into this.

    My Praise is also major key and we only modulate in one song, for some reason it is not major to minor, but from one flat key to another flat key, which I've never seen the reason or need for doing so. There are no horns or key specific instruments in our band, but, I'm just the old man on the bass so I play what is put before me.

    Yes I suspect you need to find a like chord to act as the swing chord, i,e, the 5th of the new key for example, but, I'm not going to be of much help, as the bands I play in just do not do this. In both cases we are dirt simple Country and Praise and stick to one major key per song.

    Good Luck.
  14. Gordonuk

    Gordonuk

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2013
    Hi MalcolmAmos,

    Thanks again for taking the time to respond.

    I will keep on learning about music theory from now on as this is obviously the key in writing well structured songs both melodically and harmonically.

    I am also going to look at how other songwriters compose their songs to give me an idea of what I should be doing.

    Once again thanks for all your informative responses they have been very helpful.

    Many thanks.

Share This Page