Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Bass Chords

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by funkual, Aug 23, 2005.


  1. funkual

    funkual

    Dec 21, 2004
    nottinghamshire
    Hello there I'm from England so unfortunately don't have the chance to go and watch the bass days, but i was watchin one of the dvd's and micheal was using some awesome chords, now I've searching the net for chord shapes but never seem to be able to find anything other than scales, I've been plainyg around and found a couple of my own but was wondering if ther's a book somewhere or a site with listings of chords?.

    Thankyou for your time,

    Regards.

    Alan
     
  2. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
  3. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    Hi Alan,

    funny you should mention that, as this month a column has just started in Bass Guitar Magazine all about using chords on bass... written by me!

    Check it out, it'll build into a 6 part intro to the whole world of chords on bass...

    cheers

    Steve
    www.stevelawson.net
     
  4. Bassist4Life

    Bassist4Life

    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    Hi Alan,

    Check out Mike Dimin at http://www.michaeldimin.com
    He plays amazing solo bass arrangements using a chordal approach. "Chordal Approach" is the name of his book. It can be purchased through his website.

    Joe
     
  5. Bassist4Life

    Bassist4Life

    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    Bryan,
    I really like your chord diagrams; however, there are some knuckle busters there! Do you really voice your chords with every chord tone? Through Mike Dimin's book I noticed that most of his chord voicings are R-3-7 or R-7-3. Do you drop any of the chord tones in your playing, or do you keep them all?

    Joe
     
  6. Bassist4Life

    Bassist4Life

    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    Bryan,

    Hey man, I just visited your website and downloaded an audio sample and a video sample of your playing. Wow! Great job. I am impressed with your musicianship. You play with great feel and expression.

    I listened to your "chordalsample". I believe it was a 6-string on the recording.

    I watched your "fretless" video. Nice expressive playing.

    I really enjoyed your playing and I plan to go back and check out some more of your files. Your playing makes me with that I had a broadband Internet connection.

    Joe

    PS. The R-3-7 and R-7-3 voicings work well for jazz. I wasn't suggesting that your voicings are wrong. That's just for the record. ;)
     
  7. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    Hey, thanks a lot for the kind words and for checking out my site. I'll be uploading some more material by the end of this week.

    As for the chord voicings, I most commonly skip the 5th on chords that are difficult to play all four notes on, and I also skip the chord's root on occasion if the other notes make up the chord's sound (Dim 7 for example). I placed some voicings without the 5ths on the second page, but now that you mention it, I should have listed some of the voicings using only three notes on the third page...I may go back and do that.

    EDIT: Made alterations and added chord voicings to third sheet 9-16

    It's tough on bass...some chords have an altered 3rd, 5th, and 7th, and getting your fingers across the span of a fretboard tuned in fourths to hit all of them plus the root can be a real balancing act of what notes you want to use. It usually depends on the context of the song..you can play rootless chords in a lot of places if the root is implied by the other instruments or by the previous chords for example. It's a balancing act.

    Hey Steve, what do you do in situations like this? Do you more commonly drop the root, third, or seventh in a chord with an altered fifth?
     
  8. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    A lot depends on whether there's another bass instrument playing. If there is, then I ditch the root, for sure, and play the extensions. Same goes for if someone else is playing the melody. If of of those notes are in the melody, it's not then quite so important to have it in the chord. Failing that I go with what sounds good! There's no hard and fast ruling here, and chord symbols of any kind are merely a sketch of what's going on, and are as much an indictation to the soloist about what notes are there to be played as they are for the person comping the chords. I might even play two different shapes during the duration of the chord, outlining different voices in each...

    Ultimately, your ears and taste have to take priority over some abstract theoretical proposition.

    cheers

    Steve
    www.stevelawson.net
     
  9. Michael Manring

    Michael Manring TalkBass Pro Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    I agree with Steve on this - beyond the basics there aren't a lot of hard and fast rules. I generally look for a particular sound in a chord voicing that fits the musical needs of the moment.
     
  10. Steve and Micheal,
    I am working up some solos and have posted 2 of them at Extended Range Bassist.Com. I would appreciate your listening to them and commenting on the pieces if you have time in your busy schedules. They are played on a 6-string,tuned low E to High F in fourths. Here is the URL to the site :

    Edred Mitchell Artist Page on ERB.com