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Chords...Yay or Nay?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Goose72, Aug 1, 2007.

  1. Goose72


    Dec 24, 2006
    NW Indiana
    hey guys, is it "weird" that i have started to enjoy playing chords on my bass? they are essentially just power chords like 2 frets apart, and i mainly play them on the a, d, and g strings, very realy with the e.

    What is your opinion on bass players using chords in their lines? Should i leave it to the guitarists? What great bass players had lines that incorporated chords.

    my inspiration for chords was learning how to play "snow" by they chili peppers and then also in "bullet in the head" by RATM
  2. saxnbass


    Mar 9, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    It can be done, but not all the time. It's nice to change things up a bit. I've noticed they sound nicer when you get higher up the fretboard.
  3. Lowpro


    Sep 25, 2006
    Birmingham, AL
    Lol sometimes I throw in a chord here or there when I think it'll sound good, and it usually does and people are like "ooh, I heard that"
  4. Thor

    Thor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    The rock master of this technique is Jack Casady. Buy the
    Jefferson Airplane CD Bless It's Pointed Little Head,
    a live recording of the band at the Fillmore East. Late 60's.

    I guarantee you that it will totally change your perspective
    on the use of double and triple stops intermingled as
    accents into the bass line. A hard driving moster groove line.

    He will absolutely BLOW YOU AWAY.

    You have the Thor 100% A+ Seal of Approval on this one.
  5. spindizzy


    Apr 12, 2004
    Considering that at least an understanding of the chordal approach to playing should be in every bass players knowledge base I think you are on to a very important subject. I agree to a point that they should be in most cases applied sparingly and only if it fits the piece. Yet I have played in several situations, particularly three piece combos, when having a strong command of bass chord theory allow me to include more chordal backing under solos to fill out the sound better.

    Like everything we do knowledge is a good thing and taste ought to mediate the use. Good luck on your learning this important aspect of our bass art.


  6. Lydia makes excellent use of chords - watch her fingers....I said, watch her FINGERS!!!

  7. I would say yay. What I want to know is how Tommy Shannon plays the chord groove on SRV's songs like The Sky is Crying & The Things That I Used to Do. Sounds like he's mirroring that rhythm guitar strum of the 5th and 6th over the root, but I can't get my pinky to stretch that far.
  8. BellBottomBlues


    Feb 21, 2007
    New York
    Endorser:Fender User:Rotosound, LaBella, Ashdown, Lindy Fralin
    how do you do bass chords?
  9. Basshappi


    Feb 12, 2007
    Well if it's "weird" then you are in alot of good company!
  10. All_¥our_Bass


    Dec 26, 2004
    Needs a poll (P.S.: don't forget the 'Carrots' option)

    I love to play chords on my bass. I do it all the time. Try playing other kinds of chords too (not just Root+5 "power chords").
  11. Qvist


    Jul 20, 2007
  12. JebSmells


    Jul 23, 2007
    Wow, very impressed, she kicks ass, not seen any one play and sing like that before on a bass, very nice indeed
  13. I'm a big fan of chords on bass, I think it developed out of always playing in three piece rock situations. The last song my band wrote has quite a bit of double and triple stops in it, we needed to fill in the void left when the guitar player went to solo/ play some higher parts, and it came out pretty good. I know from experience that its very easy to sound bad with double and triple stops, but in the right spots it can really make a song.

    I've been meaning to check out Jack Casady. I'd never heard of him before i started checking out this site,:bag: but i keep seeing his name come up so he must be pretty good :D
  14. middy


    Mar 14, 2007
    I think Lydia is often doing what a lot of jazz guitarists (and electric bass players) do, leaving out the fifth and playing the root, the seventh, and the tenth (the third an octave higher).

    e.g. D7 would be played; D on the tenth fret of the E string (root), C on the tenth fret of the D string (the minor seventh), and F# on the 11th fret of the G string (the major tenth). Make the C a C# on the 11th fret for a major 7th chord, or bring the F# down to F on the 10th fret for a minor 7th chord.
  15. elpelotero


    Jun 16, 2006
    I would definitely recommend chords. They sound great when you know how to use them wisely.

    i do it in a lot of my own songs and especially when i play by myself. they sound best on anything but the E string (and B). they also sound best higher up the neck.

    it stems from being a guitarist before i ever picked up a bass. I guess I have a bit more of an ear for it and how to apply it.
  16. yay, chords! gonna try to sneak some in under one of my guitarists solos :bassist:
  17. nastyn8c


    Feb 7, 2005
    Tampa, FL
    I do some in a song I wrote the other day, and it sounds really cool under a solo. I've been doing chords for a while now. Mostly power chords, because they're easy and always sound ok, but sometimes weird triple-stops.
  18. soong


    May 10, 2007
    Listen to some Lemmy and Motorhead for some inspiration for chords.

    Oh, and two words, School Days. School Days.
  19. ba55i5t


    May 24, 2006
    Man, chords sound awesome, they really ring out whenever they're higher up the neck. Grab your 6ers and pull off those chords, they sound awesome.
  20. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    Learn to play chords and you'll be able to start to imply them without actually playing them.....with single notes by playing the non root notes. Someone mentioned Jack Casidy as being a master of playing chords. He's also a master of implying them.

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