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6-string chord tips

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Sgroh87, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. Sgroh87


    Dec 4, 2012
    DFW, Texas
    I'm hopefully going to be getting my first six string bass in the next couple months, and I really look forward to doing chordal work on it. Does anyone have tips for tunings, techniques, and resources for this kind of thing?
  2. Look up Roy Voght for teaching material on multi string basses
    Good luck with new bass
  3. hgiles


    Nov 8, 2012
    There is a video on youtube that helped me a lot... It's not hard to figure out on an ad hoc basis. If you can picture how a chord looks on the staff when voiced at intervals of a perect 4th; then modify the fretting to make an interval of a third plus a fifth, sinc most of the time you will not have to voice the fifth.

    i.e. 1-4-b7 is what the bass will sound on three strings on the same fret
    if you want a typical 1-3-7 voicing just move the middle string fret toward the flat side...
  4. Rev J

    Rev J

    Jun 14, 2012
    Berkeley, Ca.
    First standard 6 string bass tuning (B-E-A-D-G-C) is generally to me the best way to go with that. I say this because most music for six string bass is written for this tuning so that's what most of the lesson books etc. you'll find in regards to six string bass deal with.

    And related if you are playing Jazz Chords fourths are your friend. One of the most common chord voicings is a 7-3-13 voicing. Here's how I play it on a 6. Say we're playing an F13. I'll play the Root (F) on the 13th fret of the E string. Then the 7th (Eb) on the 13th fret of the D string. The 3rd (A) at the 14th fret of the G string. And the 13th (D) on the 14th fret of the C string. If you look at the top 3 notes of that voicing you'll see that Eb to A is #4, and A to D is a Perfect 4th. There are a ton of voicings like this.

    Rev J
  5. Raymeous


    Jul 2, 2010
    San Diego
    Chording on a 6 is quite easy and I stick to stock tunings so I don’t confuse myself when switching instruments or head off to GC.

    As for tips and tricks:

    1) You only need two notes to “imply” the chord. One note for the root, letter name of the chord, and one to two more notes to give it the flavor, i.e. 7th chord voicing. You don’t have to kill yourself trying to play the full chord. This is a Joe Pass trick (jazz guitarist that was known for fast chording).

    2) If you have a good legato, you can use the hammer/pull off/slide thing with your fretting hand to play the bass line, and your “plucking” hand to tap the two or three note chord voicing.
    I’ve also used this approach to cover bass and piano duties for a friend’s coffee shop gig, where I was able to tap the important piano melodies while maintaining the bass lines with the other hand. It takes a minute to sort out, but it works quite well.

    I hope this helps and good luck with the new toy :hyper:
  6. Jonas Helborg did a nice booklet on chords for bass(chord Bassics, IIRC)- geared toward 4 strings, but easy to extrapolate.
  7. hgiles


    Nov 8, 2012

    This video should help.