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do you ever barre on a bass guitar?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by armand, Dec 25, 2016.

  1. armand


    Jan 12, 2015
    I have been playing for about a year or so and come from a guitar background. I can play some simple lines here and there but when I get to lines like these I get stuck.

    Can someone please help me with the fingering to play this bass line? I know it seems easy as it is just repetitive but it is hard for me because they are all descending 16th notes and I get stuck on it (especially on the last two notes B to F# jump). What fingering do you use to play the line? Do you barre the stings at all?

    thanks in advance for your help!
  2. Jloch86


    Aug 1, 2016
    New Jersey
    I think the way you're doing it is the easiest way and the exact way I would play it. There's really no way to get around it, unfortunately. I agree that fourths are the hardest intervals to execute cleanly. Just do a finger roll from the second fret on the A string to the second fret on the E string.

    If you really want an interval workout, just play a Charlie Parker sax solo on bass. Fourths galore with string skipping fifths, sixths, and sevenths.

    Awesome tone and pocket presence, btw.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2016
    vilshofen likes this.
  3. armand


    Jan 12, 2015
    sorry but I think I may have confused you, I am TRYING to play this line. I am learning from this guy. I am NOT him lol. sorry for that.

    I can't see his fingering so not sure how to make the most of your comments, please help again!

    thanks and sorry for the confusion
    el_Bajo_Verde and Skeezix like this.
  4. Jloch86


    Aug 1, 2016
    New Jersey
    OHHH ok. Well here you go. This is what I hear and how I would play it. If these aren't the correct notes, let me know. I think it's an A and then an F#, not B. This matches the F# minor chord tones that the guitar is playing (F#-A-C#)

    pinkie, index, pinkie, open string, index.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 25, 2016
  5. armand


    Jan 12, 2015
    it sounds like B toF# to me. I know the A would mark the 3rd of the F# minor chord but lines like this can mark 4ths of minor chords too.

    I checked some other tabs and most seem to agree that it is the B note and not open A
  6. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    I'll sometimes bar two strings like the B and F# so I can play the B and then the F# while rolling off (thereby muting) the B.
    petey293 likes this.
  7. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Whatever works. There is no real difference between using a barre, and rolling from a fingertip to flat of finger to play the same fret of a different string.
  8. armand


    Jan 12, 2015
    fingert to flat of finger? wouldnt that be playing down?
  9. armand


    Jan 12, 2015
    is this rolling technique fairly common? I want to learn it
  10. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    No. Think barring the F# and the B on the string above it. (Let's say the 4th fret on the D and G strings for example.) Barre and play the B, then shift from barring both strings to just fretting with your fingertip on the F# - and leave just enough of your fingerpad still in contact with the string above to mute the B. You're still on the same fret throughout.

    And yes, AFAIK this same "roll off" (or whatever it's called) technique is used on both guitar and bass all the time.
  11. IanA


    Jul 31, 2011
    Leicester UK
    Voulez vouz is a tricky little tune that requires barring on a bass
    I find it almost impossible to play the line clean
  12. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    Executing a clean barre on a bass will take a lot more practice than learning to play descending scales.
    IanA likes this.
  13. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Or flat to tip, as the case may be.
  14. Maybe I was doing it wrong, but I tried it a bit, and found it sounded like crap (way to muddy and ill defined) I figured it would not be worth the effort to get it right, as it would be of very limited use to me.
    At most, all I ever do is double stops.
  15. You seem to be playing it pretty well already, just keep practicing and you'll get better. That is an epic beard btw.
  16. PunkNerve

    PunkNerve Fender Guitar and Bass Historian

    Apr 24, 2016
    Sometimes, I get a nice sound from barreing/chording (yes, I know the former isn't a word but ssshhh).
  17. Jools4001

    Jools4001 Supporting Member

    Sounds like an open A to me as well, but if you want to play a B the easiest way (for me at least) is to play the top F# with your little finger (OK, pinky if you must call it that ;) ), then the E with your first finger. Repeat that on the A string for the C# and B and you now have a simple box shape riff. Then use your second finger to drop onto the low F#.

    I use this technique a lot on fretless when a barre is awkward.
    Will_White likes this.
  18. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    OP is not in the video - that is what he is trying to copy.
  19. HandsFree


    Dec 23, 2015
    If it were B-F# I would barre it.
    Fortunately it's much easier. The line is F#-E-C#-C#-F#.
  20. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    My least favorite technique to deal with.

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