chord voicing ..... please help

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by hossein yousefi, Nov 8, 2016.

  1. hossein yousefi

    hossein yousefi

    Apr 15, 2015
    hi , so , im from iran , and in my town (shich isnt a small one) there are no decent bassist to teach , so im really struggling with learning new stuff , so far ive been able to stand on my feets on that matter but I CANT UNDERSTAND THE CONCEPT OF CHORD VOICING ! can someone explain this to me? and maybe suggest some books or something for reading about it? thank you
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2016
  2. Creede


    May 15, 2015
    Chord voicings aren't all that important to playing bass, but are still important to know.

    Take a major chord. A simple C major triad is easiest to explain with. If you were to play it on piano, a beginner would probably play it in thirds (C E G). That's fine, but that can be painfully boring, especially if it doesn't move anywhere. Try moving the root (C) up an octave, and you have a first inversion major chord. It can help with smooth voice leading and in general has a different sound. Try moving the third (E) up an octave. Now you have a second inversion triad. Do it again and you have the original chord up an octave. There's also different and more advanced voicings. You can extend the chord in thirds and you'll get a 7th chord, 9th chord, and so on (be careful with minor 9th intervals). You can also invert those chords, but that can get kinda messy. You can play chords in open position/voicing, with the chord spanning multiple octaves. (Move the third up an octave and you'll get a beautiful sound). You can play chords built in fourths or fifths instead of thirds. You can play rootless chords (ambiguous, more room for bass player). There's more, but this is enough to research. You can spend years on this stuff. I recommend a keyboard.
    hossein yousefi and RoadRanger like this.
  3. Herbal


    Jul 10, 2016
    hossein yousefi likes this.
  4. swooch


    Jun 30, 2005
    I think inversions and voicing are important to understand when arranging songs (or simply deciding who plays what chords/notes in your band) since it can help create movement between chords.

    If you have an E D A chord progression your guitarist can play the chords like x79xxx x57xxx x47xxx (the third is here the root of the A chord cutting out the fifth) giving very little movement in the guitar, but if the bass can play 0xxx, xx0x, x0xx giving very much movement in the bass.

    Or you do the otherway around and play 022xxx, xx023x, x022xx on the guitar and x7xx, x5xx, x4xx on the bass.

    These two ways give very different sounds to the whole and it's basically a very simple chord voicing/inversion example. (See if you recognize the song btw.)

    Edit: Come to think of it this wasn't a very good example since it was mostly powerchords. But I think the point comes through anyway. You can imagine E D A as x7645x, x57775, x7765x to give 3 different voicings which gives a very small movement in the chords and as a bass player you either follow along choosing the closest note from the next chord compared to where you are at the moment - or you do the complete opposite.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2016
    hossein yousefi likes this.
  5. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jun 17, 2021

Share This Page