Bass chords

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Mellem, Mar 21, 2002.

  1. Mellem


    Feb 1, 2002
    Greenville, MI
    Our band is playing a song in our high-school's Collage Concert this Monday and Tuesday, and for some reason, we decided to make a ton of changes to the song. One thing that the guitarist (and songwriter) thinks would be cool is if I played a few bass chords during this one part. It's only like two notes at the same time plus open A and D strings, but I just can't get the hang of it. Do you guys have any advice for playing bass chords easier?

    P.S:I am about to search for similar articles, so don't lecture me on that, please.
  2. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    Well, that depends... What are you having difficulty with - fingering the chords or right-hand technique (assuming you are right-handed) ;) ???
  3. steve 1

    steve 1 Guest

    Feb 18, 2002
    utica, ny
    and what two notes are you playing?
  4. Mellem


    Feb 1, 2002
    Greenville, MI
    First I play low G and high B. Then it goes to low A and high D, then low A and high C#. It's really fast, and the main problem I have is that I can't get my left hand in the position quick enough. I had problems with the right hand, but I decided to just play the G and E strings, and leave the A and D alone (the D doesn't mix well with that C#.)
  5. JWBass


    Jul 20, 2001
    Levittown, PA
    Stretch your finger spreads! As we all know the frets on a bass are spaced farther apart than a guitar, so the better your reach is, the easier it is to place your fingers on the fretboard to play the notes of the chord. Beyond that, it's just a matter of what sounds best. I tend to stick to 2 note chords, and compliment them with open strings for a "power chord" effect. As I play a 5 string, this works really well for B chords.
  6. If the stretch is too big in a lower position, try the cord in a higher position on a lower string where the frets are closer together.
  7. dace


    Dec 25, 2000
    sydney, australia
    how low r u hanging ur bass? if u've got it strapped around ur knees then u can forget it.

    if ur having problems with stretching ur fingers to shape the chord, then strapping ur bass higher might make it easier on ur wrists.

    what annoys me about playing chords is the fact that as a bass player i'm forced to use really fairly thick picks (i'm using a 3.0mm) and that makes strumming less fluid. might have to try it with a 1mm...
  8. The only pick I'll use on bass is an orange Dunlop 0.60mm... cuts like a knife!
  9. Mellem


    Feb 1, 2002
    Greenville, MI
    usually I scootch the bass up a little for that song and to play chords. Another problem is that I don't pick, so I have to like strum the strings.
  10. LifeSpitter

    LifeSpitter Guest

    Apr 6, 2002
    Bass Heaven
    Not using a pick is no problem at all...

    Just pluck the chord with however many fingers are needed. For the G and high B you can use thumb and middle finger or any other comfortable hand position.

    If you are going for a strumming effect just use the back of your fingers sorta like a spanish guitarist would.

    Its really easy once you get the hang of it.......Good luck
  11. Mellem


    Feb 1, 2002
    Greenville, MI
    Thanks for the help, I now play it by just plucking the two strings that I play, and it works fairly well. Kinda like "War Within a Breath" by Rage. Love that song.
  12. Exactly. That's what I do for stuff like Rush's Force Ten; I use my pointer finger on the A string, middle on D, ring on G.