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Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by bassicrunner, Jan 1, 2002.

  1. bassicrunner


    Sep 23, 2001
    I always see these monster guys go from chords in slow times to single note fingerstyle in funkier parts. I really want to learn some major chords, but get really confused with other so called "lessons" online. Isn't there a simple finger placement position that can work in all different chords like the power chord but more interesting? Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  2. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    if all you want is a load of drawn out shapes for bass chords, have a look for Jonas Hellborg's book, 'Chord Bassics' - it's one of those slimline bass-case style books, and has loads of different chord types drawn out in every key. What you do with them after that is up to you, but if you've got some chord charts, and just wanted shapes to put to them, it's a fine resource...

  3. the major and minor triads have the same shapes in any key. so, all you have to do is learn 2 shapes. I guess this would be the bass players equivilent of a guitar players power chord.

    the triads are the basic building blocks of chords. if the chord is a simple major or minor chord (not a 2 chord or whatever) the triad shape will always be the same.

    here is the C major triad.
    you would finger the root with your middle finger and use the "one finger per fret" rule to finger the rest. if you use this shape, you can move around to any root and create a major triad.

    here is the F#minor triad.
    you would finger the minor triad by starting on your first finger. and like the major triad, you can use this shape to create any minor triad by starting on a different root.

    here is a simple arpeggio in C major.

    try figuring out the minor arpeggio by yourself :)

    these are great to help you start building interesting bass lines over chords. but, dont let these be all you play. learn some theory and learn what to do over different types of chords.
  4. yawnsie


    Apr 11, 2000
    Do you want to know the theory behind constructing chords, or how to play them on the bass? Jazzbo's lesson here will give you an awful lot of theory knowledge. If you want to know how to play them, it usually comes down to what notes you want to use to imply the chord, and how you voice them.

    For example, let's say you want to voice a G7 chord. There's no need to play all the notes of the chord (G B D F) - you could get away with three of them. Let's say that you'll probably want the root and seventh in there, so it's just a choice between the third and fifth. I would personally go for the fifth, but if you want imply major tonality you'd use the third. On a bass, playing the chords of a chord too close together can muddy up the sound, so you might want to try using inversions, or playing notes at higher octaves. Here's a way you could play that G7 chord on a four string:

    g|-16 (F)
    d|-15 (B)
    e|-15 (G)

    I hope that some of this makes sense. Good luck!

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