newbie Q: playing guitar chords as one note

Discussion in 'Music Theory [DB]' started by Andy089, Jul 4, 2012.


  1. Andy089

    Andy089

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2011
    Hello,
    I am pretty new here and to playing the instrument, so I don't really know all the terms quite well and this, together with English not being my first language, could make this question a bit hard to understand, but I hope it'll make at least SOME sense...

    I have a question about "converting" songs for guitar(s) to double bass.
    Specifically I would like to know if there is a way to play chords as a single note. e.g. the chords B, Cm, Dm - the way guitars can.
    Obviously, with the DB you would play the chords melodic or in alternating bass fashion, but what I am looking for is a way to play it in single notes to achieve the rhythm the guitar would have.

    Long story short, I'd like to play this song on the double bass, with the bass instead of the guitar:


    If I am going against any rules of the forum by posting a youtube link, I would ask a mod to please remove it.

    Thanks in Advance =)
  2. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Know the notes of each chord.
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 1999
    Location:
    Brighton, England, UK, Europe
    I would say the answer to the specific question is no.

    Of course there are ways of implying chords, using some double stops and being clever with your arrangement - but it will never be exactly the same as you would play on guitar.

    That's why we have different instruments! :p
  4. troutmask

    troutmask

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2011
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    rootthirdfifthseventhninth..Et cetera
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  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 1999
    Location:
    Brighton, England, UK, Europe
    If you look at the video linked in the OP - it's just a guy strumming some basic chords on acoustic guitar.

    I think the OP is saying - can you "strum" a Double Bass like this - to which the answer would be - no - but there are lots of better things you can do! :p
  7. mtto

    mtto Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Yes. This works great on bass. Start with root third fifth of each chord, using a similar rhythm, but playing one note at a time, as you guessed. It frequently works better to use an "open voicing," root fifth third if you are playing without guitar.

    One of the things that makes a guitar part like that work is the muted strums. Those can either be slaps or muted plucks on bass.

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