1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)


Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by RandalPinkFloyd, Aug 13, 2012.

  1. RandalPinkFloyd


    Jun 3, 2012
    After scouring the web for an answer to this question, I've now wasted 2 hours of my practice time. Arpeggios. I can find plenty of videos and web sites trying to explain different Arpeggios to play but no one says "why" you learn them or "when" to use them. My Hal Leonard Bass Method books don't appear to even mention them (unless I've over looked that section in my frustration). I've wasted valuable playing time which has my blood pressure boiling. Nothing frustrates me more than instruction where all sorts of information is glossed over or passed under the assumption the student already knows it. Thats what this feels like. :mad: Help would greatly be appreciated. :help:
  2. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Arpeggios are simply the notes of a chord played one at a time rather than sounded all at once. You learn them so you know what notes are in the chords. That's because your job as bassist is to define the harmony which is the chords.

  3. ChetChetney


    Apr 25, 2012
    Oklahoma City
    Arpeggios consist of chord tones, for example i - iii- v.

    A bass player typically plays these chord tones for a given chord within a chord progression. Of course this is a simplified example, but this is basic stuff and very powerful to know.
  4. zsahadak


    Mar 4, 2012
    Dayton, Ohio
    I'd highly recommend the book The Bass Grimoire. Helped me a lot with understanding chords/intervals and as an extension arpeggios.
  5. mcglyph


    Aug 17, 2011
    You do know your entire life is a progression not a sprint right? And I'm assuming you are aware of the minute, and incredibly varied methods, ideas, processes, etc, which exist in the bass world? There are whole books dedicated to almost anything you can name. Hal Leonard is a great place to START, which is what you are doing every day, no matter where you are. So from someone who cares, relax a bit, perhaps your one book is not meant to convey everything there is to know about bass playing in one day. Arpeggios are simply put, a series of notes played in succession, usually a full three note chord played one note at a time. When you play them is when you are motivated, or need to do so. Why you play them is among other reasons, (just like playing the bass at all) to train your ear, your hands, fingers, timing, sense of time, and because they sound cool. Also, if you like they can be used to start early using your left hand as a primary mute. Or not. If you are just starting out, spend almost a 1/4 of your time playing so slow, it doesn't even feel like music. During this time concentrate on every ounce of energy you have in each finger, etc. Try your best to use fingers which are not currently employed to be relaxed and ready, or muting or a combination. Speed is not your friend, at least not when you are learning.
  6. Arpeggio Patterns: Notes of the chord played one note at a time.

    Major Scale Box. 
    G|---2---|-------|---3---|---4---| 1st string
    E|-------|---R---|-------|---2---|4th string
  7. jarrydee


    Oct 22, 2011
    play along to one of your favorite songs, and whenever the bass sits on a note for a bar,try out your arpeggio, if it is a G chord play, G-B-C sharp- and the octave G..how you play it is up to you and then switch it up, play those notes in a different order...thats all teere is to it!
  8. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    You never waste time, you have just learned something, but you do not have a use to compare it to.
    Why you learn them and how you play them will become more apparent the more you learn them and the more you play them. Consider it a leap of faith, in the same way you learned to count or learned to read. It may not be apparent now but it will as you move forward in your playing.
  9. TRob1293


    Feb 1, 2008
    Louisville, KY
    The definition of Apeggio is well set here...
    What the OP needs (as all of us learning something new) is someone to show us LIVE, an instructor that can field questions and SHOW what he/she is trying to teach.
    It seems that I have scoured TalkBass, day-in and day-out, looking for these same answers, and the one thing that shows as true: people have a real difficult time putting a full concept into writing.
  10. obimark


    Sep 1, 2011
    Arpeggios- See just about any and every bass line that is not chugging eighth root notes-

    Examples in real world- Lady Madonna, Aces High by Maiden, Most every Lynyrd Skynyd Bassline, etc...
  11. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    A G major arpeggio is G-B-D-G. No C#.
  12. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    If a player does not know them, they cannot recognise their use.
    In learning them and practicing them a student will realise they know lots of practical examples of arpeggios and triads....it's just that they did not recognise them, or if you will identify them, in what they listened to.
    I am of the opinion that if you cannot recognise or identify them, then you are not ready to play or use them. Pointing them out or giving lists of examples is not the same as the player finding them theirselves.

    For example if I say listen to Blues music, or 50s rock n roll for them in abundance, and in walking bass lines you find them with passing notes....of course you have to recognise what is a passing note and what belongs to the arpeggio....that is why they are practiced so you can recognise them when you hear them.
  13. vinny


    Apr 3, 2006
    Las Vegas, NV.
    Arpeggios - You need them. If the how & why are not yet apparent keep going, it will become clear.
  14. wrench45us


    Aug 26, 2011
    Here's what I've figured out just this week.
    After working with Todd Johnson's book 2 (scalar walking) that covers a few fingering patterns for a couple of months and coming back to his book 1 (chord tone walking) and applying the same fingering pattern to those lessons and then switching book altogther to one with no fingering suggestion.
    I've found that I can hold a one fret per finger position with 'stretches' for notes out of the home position (This is what T Johnson calls 4 + 2) if I start an arp on root from pinky finger, middle finger or index finger.
    Previously I had thought one major scale pattern would work, but I was wrong. Getting my pinky in shape to be up to this task was the biggest breakthrough I've had. Now fingering just seems to flow, where before I was always boxing myself into some awkward corner.
    And part of that breakthrough is running arp patterns up and down, starting from the same root -- that really drives the fingering lesson home -- so something like 1 3 5 3 can be played fluiidly going up or down from a root on 3 of 4 fingers. I'm gettng there -- maybe eventually all 4 fingers -- and to the next chord up if the last chord was down etc. Not a bad way to put all things together.
  15. RandalPinkFloyd


    Jun 3, 2012
    Thanks for everyone's input. There are some concepts I pick up easily, while others I really struggle with. This being one of them. Since I tend to soak things up quicker than others, I tend to go 0-angry in 2.5 seconds when I encounter a concept or problem that I don't just figure out right away. Part of my learning process that's vital is knowing "why" which is one of the biggest reasons I lost my temper on this concept.
    Another is when I see things like R-b3-b5-bb7. I know the R is for root, then 3rd, fifth, but I have yet to understand all this 7 stuff. Then again I assume it's too early to learn it and figure I can do research on it later when I have a better understanding of music theory. I put in a couple hours every day grow at reading music and trying to incorporate music theory into my lessons while increasing my playing ability. I just get frustrated when I hit a wall.
  16. João Bourgard

    João Bourgard

    Jan 21, 2010
    the scale has 8 notes including the octave... so the 7th is the 7th note... :p b7 is the seventh note but it's the flat "version" of the note
  17. WannaJazz

    WannaJazz Supporting Member

    May 7, 2010
  18. Yep. Leon Wilkerson was an underrated player IMHO. His bass lines are fun to play.

    Beat me to it. Scott has some good stuff on his website.
  19. RandalPinkFloyd


    Jun 3, 2012
    Several people sent me the link to the scottsbasslessons arpeggios section and I had found it yesterday before this thread. It didn't really help. I'm not far enough along to know what a C7 on a Dminor 7 on a 7 7 7 at 7-11 is.

Share This Page