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I dont get it, what notes can I play to this?!

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Aaiieeee, Mar 9, 2008.

  1. Aaiieeee


    Dec 14, 2007
    Bath, England
    I downloaded the band-in-a-box software out of curiosity and it seems quite good. It plays a song and shows the root notes (Im guessing so, not that musically minded yet) of each bar.
    Heres a picture:.

    What I dont get is, what notes can I play for each bar? What are the rules? For the 'A' for example, I can play an A, and an octave.. but what else can I play? None of the other notes in the A scale (A, B, C#, D, E, F#,G#) seem to sound right. I thought that the 5th was always one that worked, but in this it doesnt. Same goes for every other note too.

    Then of course there are all the bm7 (guessing the 'm' means minor? So what does the 7 mean?) and the G#dim ones too. All I want to know is what are the rules that decide what notes I can play? (that sound right).

    The song above is just an example, I want to be able to play to anything that the software throws at me (given time at any rate!). I know there will be lots of theory involved.. but what theory?!

    Any light shedding would be apprecitated,

  2. santucci218


    Jan 26, 2007
    No Rules buddy. BUTT, i could recommend you learn your chords and see what notes really make that chord sound the way it does.
  3. jsbass


    Sep 3, 2006
    Anything within the scale for that key. Everything has a right time though, not every note in that scale will always fit.
  4. santucci218


    Jan 26, 2007
    7 means you add the 7th note of the scale to the chord. it gives a different characteristic to the chord.
  5. Bassist4Life


    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    Here's how each chord is spelled:

    A = A, C#, E
    D = D, F#, A
    Bm7 = B, D, F#, A
    E7 = E, G#, B, D
    A7 = A, C#, E, G
    D7 = D, F#, A, C
    G7 = G, B, D, F
    Am7 = A, C, E, G
    G9 = G, B, D, F, A
    G# dim = G#, B, D
    D/A = D chord with A in the bass
    B7 = B, D#, F#, A
    Em7 = E, G, B, D

    If you're playing jazz, start simple. Play the Root on beat 1. Beats 2 & 3 use chord tones. Beat 4 approach the next chord by a half-step above or below.

  6. Bassist4Life


    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    I read your original post again. You might want to slow down and really keep it simple. A blues progression is a good way to start. It's something that you can memorize and internalize. It will serve you well. Learn it in the keys of F and Bb. Those are pretty common keys for the blues. Of course, you should learn it in all keys, but those two are a good start.

    You need to learn about intervals, triads, and chord construction if you want to read chord charts. This will take some time, effort, and patience. Go slow.

    Check out:

  7. Listen to the whole song a few times, get the melody in your head. remove the Bass from the song in BIAB. Play the root notes as listed on beats 1,2,3,4 of the bar with your bass.

    Try to pick out the root note(s) in each measure

    Once I am familiar with the chord changes. I play the 1,3,5 triad of each chord an on the 4th beat of each measure play a note to the left or right of the next chord

    Very basic example chord A to chord D

    A C# E Eb D F# A etc.

    Then once i have the chords under my fingers, I will experiment with other notes, note duration and rests.

    Remember there are certain rules that you can follow, but in the end its up to you to figure out what notes work for a particular song or melody. Everyones interpretation can be very different than yours

    BIAB also had a notation feature, where you can see exactly what the bass part is doing.

    I would recommend learning some basic theory

    http://www.thelibster.com/bass/ (go to lessons)

    Good luck and start shedding.. It gets easier as you keep to it
  8. onlyclave


    Oct 28, 2005
    Don't think about it bar by bar. That ends up in a very noodly/walky bassy/not very interesting solo. Look at it in large phrases.

    Bars 1-12 are a A major: A B C# D E F# G#, but if you want to make it sounds cool don't play A a lot and don't play E and don't don't end a phrase on D.

    Bars 13-23 are basically D major, D E F# G A B C#, with a II V I back to A major at the end.

    That is the absolute simplest analysis of the chord progression. If you want to start working your way through the changes start with playing half notes on the critical tones, ie the 3rd and 7th of the chords and see how closely they relate to each other.

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