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blues bass

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by damageinc11, Mar 28, 2001.

  1. after listening to some clapton and bb king I've regained interest in the blues. I've always liked the blues but now that I play the bass I wanna learn how to play blues bass. can any one point me in the direction of some good exercises or what ever for blues bass?

    thanx in advance

  2. Lovebown


    Jan 6, 2001
    Practice the 12 bar blues . Practice simple riffs/licks such as root-minor3rd-4th (i.e. E - G - A - G - E) and easier walking lines between the chord changes. Learn major and minor pentatonic scales.

    There was a thread about this just a few days ago, browse down for further information.

  3. I agree with Lovebown, 12 Bar Blues has been the basic riff in blues music for years. After learning 12 Bar, like Lovebown said, scale memorization is the next step. With the use and implementation of scale theory you can make improvisation of all kinds sound great. The combination of 12 Bar, Improv, and different playing methods, basically makes up modern Blues Bass.
  4. i would also do some research on walking jazz basses lines. will help to bring you chromatic walks up to speed, and will give you more 12 bar progresions to learn. like the 1 6 2 5 turn around.

    have fun :D
  5. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Flat the 7th and you'll be on your way to blues bass...

    For example,take a line derived fromt he G major scale, like G-B-D-E-G-E-D-B (played in quarter notes with a swing feel). It sounds a lot bluesier (I invented a word!) when you flat what would be the seventh (F#) of the root, instead of playing the octave (G). So, you would be playing G-B-D-E-F-E-D-B instead.

    So you see, changing one note in a line can make it a lot bluesier (!).

    The above is not a rule, you don't have to flat the 7th all the time, it's just an example.
  6. MJB


    Mar 17, 2000
  7. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    The book/CD linked above, Mel Bay's Complete Blues Bass Book by Mark Hiland has been an immeasurabale help to me. Anyone just starting out in blues will find so much useful information there, that if they put in the time and work their way through the book, they will be very far along as a blues bassist.

    There is another book that will help,too, as an adjunct to the above book, but is not a substitute for it.

    "101 Blues Licks for Bass Guitar" (with CD.)

    This book has many of the most common (but simplified) one and two bar blues bass riffs, plus turnarounds, intros and endings and chord progressions for major and minor blues. Learning these simple patterns will give you an excellent basis from which to add your own personal touches. This book, however, does not have a complete history of blues and descritpion of blues styles like Hiland's book.

    Additionally, if you are interested in videos, Roscoe Beck has made two very thorough videos on blues bass. They are published by Warner Brothers.

    We are lucky today that there is really quite a bit of material available for learning to b play blues bass lines. There is quite a bit more than I mentioned, but waht I have mentioned is some of the best and most helpful.


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