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Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by slapnuts, Sep 14, 2005.

  1. slapnuts


    Aug 9, 2005
    Marietta, GA
    Can someone show me a good website or type up a list of chords or something where I can get some bass chords? I really want to integrate them, but I don't know them.
  2. el_Kabong


    Jul 11, 2005
    Sorry I can't point you directly at what you're asking for. But chords are chords, no such thing as bass chords (tho I'm guessing you were refering to fingering patterns for bass). If you get a list of chord spellings (eg 1 3 b7) from a guitar site, piano site or wherever and you know your intervals on the fretboard you can work out/make up whatever fingerings you like. If you don't know your intervals well enough to do this I'd recommend puting the time in to learn them. It will pay off in the long run, enabling you to voice chords to suit yourself. Simple things like thirds and tenths can sound great.
  3. dhadleyray

    dhadleyray Guest

    Dec 7, 2004
    Whether you are aware of it or not, you're looking for shortcuts. You're going to have to learn theory, because there is no such thing as "bass chords" exclusively, and if you learned them, would you know enough about substitutions and inversions to take full advantage? ;)
  4. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Indeed, chords are chords, you will need to learn some theory to get your head round this properly.

    But, basic chords are defined by three or four notes, root, 3rd, 5th and 7th.

    root is obviously the lowest note in the chord, the note you ALWAYS play right :) If you're playing an E minor chord, the root is E, right?

    This is where the theory comes in, an E minor chord is derived from the E minor scale:

    E F# G A B C D E

    So your E minor 7 chord consists of four notes, E G B D.

    You'll notice that playing these 4 notes together on bass sounds pretty muddy, so the best thing to do is leave out the 5th, the B (the reason for this is because the 'perfect' (i.e. not major or minor) 5th doesnt define either the minor tonality of the chord, the same goes for major chords).

    The easiest way to voice the E minor chord is:

    E, 12th fret E string
    D, 12th fret D string
    G, 12th fret G string


    Now, take the E major scale:

    E F# G# A B C# D# E

    The 3rd and the 7th are sharped, G# and D#, so play E D# and G# up at the octave and bobs you uncle

    An E7 chord is E D, G#...

    These shapes can be transferred all over the neck... hope this helps get your started. Theory WILL help with this kind of excercise! :)
  5. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Here are some chord fingering charts I've made. There are many other options for fingerings and voicings other than the ones I've listed; I've just wrote out the fingerings that are easiest for me to finger and the voicings I use most. I excluded some of the inversions if they were too difficult to finger.

    Hope this helps. Knowing how and when to use this is the hard part.

    Chord fingering charts
  6. WillBuckingham


    Mar 30, 2005
    hey cool chart Brian. I love bass chords.
  7. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    Good chart. Here's one you might want to add to the m7b5, in this case with an A root...

  8. jadesmar


    Feb 17, 2003
    Ottawa, ON
    In and Am7b5 wouldn't one want to play an assorted collection of .. say .. A, C, Eb, G?
  9. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    True... I'll cover up my mistake by pretending it's a bass tuned EADGC...

    Okay, okay, it has an E root.

  10. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002

    Not easy enough of a stretch for me, but whatever works for you!
  11. http://www.chordfind.com/4-string/

    But it's worth looking up the theory for the chord you want to play and then try finding a place to play it yourself. Leads to a couple of very challenging fingering positions though :smug:
  12. slapnuts


    Aug 9, 2005
    Marietta, GA
    That is not a bad site.
  13. bassjamn

    bassjamn Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    San Francisco
    Nice charts bryan, and 5 string too :)
  14. Can you put that breakdown on here so we can all benefit from it? I'm sure it won't make any sense to me right away but I keep trying :D

    edit: typo's :spit:
  15. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Really cool charts. I love the color coding. YOu are right about the eternal question, "How do you use the information?" Nevertheless, your charts are very helpful for beginners.
  16. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Thanks, Bop. I never found ones I was satisfied with, or had the information laid out in the easiest way to read possible (most are in a vertical format which doesn't match how you look down at your fingers when they're on the fretboard, whih is horizontal), and the large print and color coding is a big help to me because of my poor eyesight. I can't read small letters or numbers well, and when they're similarly shaped and right next to each other they are very difficult to read (which is why I'll never be able to read music with any sort of speed). But it's easy to see a bright blue dot and know that that's a 3rd ;)
  17. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    There are 2 problems with just chord charts:

    1) Often they have all the notes in closed position or as voiced for guitar. These don't always work on bass due to the range of the instrument. Many times you have to leave notes out to keep the clarity.

    2) They don't tell you how to utilize the chords, how to voice lead them, how they function within the tune, how you can substitute other chords to get a more interesting harmony

  18. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Yup- one of the reasons I got your Chordal Approach book a while back was to get an idea of which notes are best to leave out and to learn which subsitutions go where.

    But chord charts are still helpful in that they are a starting point, like learning the alphabet or learning to count. Knowing the alphabet doesn't tell you how to read or spell or when to use silent letters, but it's something you need to know before you start reading or writing sentences.