Chords and Strumming

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by KPerison, Mar 14, 2004.

  1. KPerison


    Nov 28, 2002
    I've heard a few bass players strum their bass using a pick and hitting some pretty sweet chords. Can anyone shed some light on this for me and how I would be able to do that? :bassist: :D
  2. Try power chords. Especially on D and G.
  3. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    Followed by head-banging. With this formula, you can be as good as Nirvana's bassist. [/sarcasm]

    But really, be more creative than power chords :p.
  4. Eyescream


    Feb 4, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    You don't have to use a pick. You could do flamenco-style strumming with your fingertips.
  5. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Just try to avoid playing anything below an A or B on your E string...tends to get really muddy while playing unless you're using fresh strings. I use mostly power chords but sometimes toss in wierd things. Double stops I find are more useful and are easier to play, and really make people go 'wha?'

  6. I was only giving a suggestion, I meant for power chords to be a good place to begin.
  7. I've been working on chord stuff. Just finger-picking, classical guitar stylee. Just getting some fundamental chord theory helps, and just thinking about what scale you're in and what frets it means you can play on the different strings. My solo bass composition pieces for my AS-level work in high school are all just based around weird chords. Just working something out which has some weird GMaj7/9 chords and stuff in it. Power-chords or pretty much any chords low down (esp. on E string!) sound tripe. I've never managed to get it to have the same crisp, clean sound as higher up. Got an octaver now though, so maybe that can change...

    Incidentally, what do peopel mean by "double stops"?


  8. I like using double stops...especially w/ D and G...

    I like to upstroke with my index and middle finger,then downstroke by "shooting" them out,it makes me look cool :)
  9. HooBass


    May 27, 2003
    My understanding is the technical definition of two notes played simultaneously is a double stop while three or more is a chord. I seem to remembering seeing on this board that this definition has previously been the source of argument, so I want to go on record as saying I mean no judgement in relaying this!!! :)
  10. Agmundr


    Apr 25, 2004
    But really, be more creative than power chords :p.[/QUOTE]

    I am curious. Would one be able to do real chord change ups when one is playing very fast? Unlikely. A guitar pro told me once one needs the minimum time of an 1/8 note to change between chords. One uses power chords when playing music that is very fast. For example, extreme forms of metal. When playing this fast one can't move their fingers out of a power chord; they can move up or down the neck and/or jump strings when the rhythm is so technical. Metalheads use power chords so they can get that really fat sound out of their chords and get the speed in their rhythm. Use real chords in slower tempo music sure. Otherwise, good luck. :-|
  11. I don't find full four string chords to sound all that good. My favorite shapes are (in E-A-D-G form) x-12-11-9 and 7-x-9-8 (both movable, with the lowest note as root) for major chords, and x-12-10-9 and 7-x-9-7 (again, movable) for minors. And power chords, of course.
  12. On second though, I revise my opinion. Four string chords can sound good. Just add the third or the fifth in. I think your success will depend a lot on whether your amp can reproduce the chord clearly.
  13. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    I personally enjoy stuff like a 1-6-10 (eg, E, Db, Ab). Mix it up -- toss in a third and a seven and take out the 6 (E, Ab, Eb, Ab), etc. I'm a huge fan of weird chord shapes, personally. Try strumming like Les Claypool does -- download a few Primus videos. It's really neat, he uses downstrokes with his fingertips/nails. Looks weird, sounds great. Not sure if they show him playing in the Too Many Puppies video, but the main line is a Gmaj double stop with a root-4, root-5b, root-5.
    Another place you'll see some nice chord shapes (the 1-6-10 thing I mentioned earlier) is in the intro to Incognito - Jacob's Ladder. Solo bass thing, full of chords/double stops and harmonics. Easy to play, gorgeous to listen to, and full of neat stuff.
  14. before i came to the bass, i had been playing guitar for a couple of years, so i have always practiced playing chords on the bass - strummed, plucked, slapped, with and without pick, power chords, any chords... i love bass harmonies because they sound so massive (particularly with distortion) and can be quite useful in combination with just one guitar + drums.

    check for instance tool or tortoise, they use bass chords frequently.
  15. Limo


    Sep 22, 2002
    Reykjavik Iceland
    Am I missing out on something? What would you guys say the difference between a power chord and a double stop would be?:confused:
  16. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Power chords are the 1st, 5th, and 8th degrees of the major scale. IIRC, they can also have a 10th in there as well. A double stop is any two-note chord.
  17. josh_m


    May 5, 2004
    Davie, Fl
    power chord is root 5th octafve (or sometimes just root 5th) where as a double stop is any two notes played at the same time, doesnt have to be root 5th. you can technically speaking have a power double stop.
  18. Nothing really. A power chord is a double stop. Depending on how liberal you want to be with the words "power chord", any double stop could be a power chord, or you could consider only root+fifth type things to be power chords.
  19. Lucky Dog

    Lucky Dog

    May 23, 2004
    Central Florida
    I'm new on the forum and haven't had a chance to browse around as much as i'd like to yet. But does anyone know where I could find some chord structures, maybe something like what lemur821 posted. I've been playing for a few years but just recently started to try to dabble in the strumming of chords. What got me interested was my buddy's playing and the bassist was strumming some chords, it gave it so much of a fuller sound, and I was intruiged.