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Creating Bass Line Books

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by BassIsTheBest, Feb 7, 2004.

  1. BassIsTheBest


    May 17, 2002
    Hey, I was just reading this article at Guitar Noise and it says:

    "In this song, the bass follows the lead guitar, echoing the riff and reinforcing the punchy 1-2 beat. But if you listen closely, you’ll hear that the bass is not playing exactly the same riff as the lead. Both the notes and timing are different. There is an extra note inserted. Now this is where some knowledge is required, as well as some listening. The chord change is D-G, and the song is in D-major (at least in my band). The guitar riff is D-E-F, so I would start by using the E to get from the D to the G (which is using the Box). But we need an extra note. It seems likely that it is either F or F#, and since we’re in the key of D, let’s try F#. Sure enough it works. You’ll need to review some theory to figure out why the guitar plays an F and the bass transitions with an F#, but it doesn’t all fall apart. Let’s just simply say that the guitar’s F makes a G7, which is a common rock/blues chord, but the bass wants to stay in the key of the song. Also note that the bass “arrives” at the G on the 1-beat, while the guitar gets to the F a half-beat before the measure. The guitarist is using “anticipation”, and it is very common for the vocal or lead guitar to use it, while the bass generally does not."

    I am not sure why he chose to play those notes. So I'm wondering if anyone knows any books that are based on how to choose what notes to play in a song when you are just given the guitar chord (remember I'm a beginner). And what does G7 mean?

  2. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    A beginners study in basic music theory will help you begin to understand what to play when. It will also help you with almost every other aspect of your playing.

    There is a significant amount of theory discussion in various sections of this forum.

    G7 is one form of a G chord. It is the common name for a dominant or minor 7th. There are other forms of 7 chords, but we won't go there right now.

    It is common to call the tones in a scale by number. For example, using the C major scale:


    In a 7 chord, the 7th tone (in this case B) is lowered a semitone.

    This is also commonly used to discribe progressions. Some know it as the Nashville Number System. For example, the common E-A-B blues/rock progression is also called a 1-4-5.

    It's nice for Nashville (or anywhere really) because you can chart out the song by number and simply change the key to fit the singer.

    Most importantly, understanding this is part of building theory knowledge, as it is the language for discussing and understanding intervals.

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