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ok, heres another question

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by bassmonkey144, Apr 13, 2003.

  1. ok, in a thread i posted earlier, i asked how you could play bass tabs from guitar chords. the answer was: play the roots, fifths, and octaves.
    ok i have no idea what that means b/c i am a newbie. heres the song, in case anybody needs to look at it:
    D G
    G D/F# A/E A
    D G
    G D/F# A/E A

    D G D/F# A/E A D G
    G D/F# A/E A
    D G D/F# A/E A D G D/F# A/E A

    D G D/F# A/E A
    D G D/F# A/E A (D)

    thanks a lot
  2. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    The simplest, shortest answer I can give you without delving deeper into scale and chord theory would be that the root of a chord is the lowest note in that chord, so in a G major chord the root is G. In a D major chord the root is D, etc.
    That is the easy part.

    You ask about octaves. The octave is that exact same note as the root but eight tones higher. In the C major scale, you have C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C. That second C is the octave.

    You asked about fifths. The fifth is the fifth tone in the scale. In the C major scale, the fifth is G.

    I don't know how familiar you are with your fretboard. If you do have a good basic understanding of how notes are laid out on your fretboard, you will see that it is easy to find the octave of a root of a chord or the fifth, just by the pattern.

    The chords shown in your song are all major chords. The ones with a slash, such as D/F# mean that the guitarist is playing a D chord, but he is using the F# part of the chord as the root. This is callled an inversion.

    What you need to do as soon as you can manage it, is learn how major and minor scales and chords are structured. You have to do at least that in order to know what notes you can play in a bass line. You need that very basic information so that you don't play "wrong" notes, such as a flat three in a major chord.

    What I've said is the most basic and elementary introduction to chords and scales. There is far more to learn, but one has to start somewhere. What I gave you are just the starting building blocks.

    Oh, back to the tab of the song. The bassist may not have played just roots, fifths and octaves for his bassline. You must listen to the song many times and try to hear if he has chosen other notes from the chords, too, such as thirds.
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Of course, a chord could be in an inversion where another note is lower than the root and fifths are not always straightforward as they could be flattened - in a half-diminished chord for example.
  4. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    I know that, but I'm just trying to give Scooby the most basic facts because he says he is a beginner. Talk of half-diminished chords, etc. and "blue notes" might scare him away.

    I know he will eventually progress to flat fifths and minor sevenths, but I wanted to start him off with the most basic material first.
  5. MauriLii


    Jan 19, 2003
    Kent, England
    This is perhaps the best place to start. Learn the fret board well. At least that way when the chord chard says Cmaj, you can be playing a C and you won't be wrong. You won't be smokin' but you won't be wrong. Smokin' comes with time and practice.
    Please note the difference between smoking and smokin'. Smoking is bad. Or at least it's written on all of the cigarette packages. Smokin', on the other hand, is good. I suppose you could be a smokin' smoker, but what's the point? Okay, I'll shut up now...