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On jamming with a guitar player...

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Usul, Feb 17, 2001.

  1. My buddy plays/is learning guitar ....Actually he does pretty well.

    We want to start jamming together but I need some help!
    For starters I need to be able to find the root notes of the notes/chords he plays.Any suggestions/formulas for this?
    Man oh man....it is sooooo fun/kewl/etc. to play with a guitarist!Bass and guitar go together like...hell peanut butter and jelly!!

    I am stepping up my scales/modes practice as of this post but any "shortcuts" helpfull hints would be greatly appreciated!So far the only song we mutually know is "Rock you like a Hurricane".

    Any info you guys/gals could kick down would be great!

  2. If you dont know guitar chords, get him to call the names of them as he changes.
  3. Dragonlord

    Dragonlord Rocks Around The Glocks

    Aug 30, 2000
    Greece, Europe
    Yes,and you can also tell him to show you the chords he uses,so that you can learn them and know which is the root note by yourself.
  4. Cornbread


    Jun 20, 2000
    Lawrence, Ma
    Your best bet is to use your ears.
  5. Dragonlord

    Dragonlord Rocks Around The Glocks

    Aug 30, 2000
    Greece, Europe
    You wouldn't say that if you had MY ears!
  6. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Usul, I can tell you how I do it and I know very little theory.

    If the guitarist is playing in the key of E, the bass will usually start the first bar off with an E note on the bass. E would be the root note in an E chord.

    If you aren't familiar with the circle of fifths, you should be. About 15 minutes spent figuring out how it works is time well spent. It identifies the usual chord choices for all the keys.

    Print it out and carry it to practice with you. A quick look before the song and you know what chord changes to expect.

    Gard has a good thread on the circle of fifths. I recomend it highly.
  7. Lance Jaegan

    Lance Jaegan

    Dec 23, 2000
    This is why learning a bit of jazz theory is extremely good.
  8. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Ask your guitarist to map out a simple chart of the chord changes for you. The root note of a chord is the letter named in the chord. So a C minor chord would have the root note C. An F# major chord would have the root note F#. A Bflat minor chord would have the root note B flat. An A5 chord would have the root note A. That part is easy if all you plan to play at first is root notes.

    You MUST, however, know when the chords change. I also like the idea mentioned above to have your guitarist call out the changes as he plays them. Well, you will know when he changes chords, because you will see the fingers of his left hand change position.

    As for modes...just my opinion, but I don't think you need to concern yourself with modal playing yet. You need to learn chord triads and seven chords, plus major, minor scales and pentatonic scales...both major and minor. That right there is a whole lot to chew on before you even begin to dally in modes.

    It is so much fun to jam with a guitarist. It will help you tremendously in learning to play in time with another musician. Few...if any...bassists are pure soloists, so you need to learn to play with other musicians.

    jason oldsted
  9. My guitarist and I usually pick a key to start off in and I'll work around his chord structure and see what fits right. Then I'll use triads and stuff to kind of soup it up. Then again, that's just me.
  10. When ever I do this kinda thing, the guitarist always tells me to start with something simple first, then he'll sorta sit there & watch me for a bit to see what I'm playing, then throw some chords over that. After that, I'll start adding li'l bass fills here 7 there & he'll start throwing in li'l guitar fills here & there...
    then again, there's also just sittin' down with the drummer (well, it's the same guy, really... :p)& having him set a beat for me and I'll just go with that. :D

    And personally, I think drums & bass are more like peanut butter & jelly. I think the guitar is like...I dunno, the bread. Not mandatory, but makes it nicer.
    Some times. :D
  11. Cornbread


    Jun 20, 2000
    Lawrence, Ma
    Bass and drums go together like cornbread and beans! :D
  12. Or wonton and noodles!
    Wait, you don't HAVE to have noodles with your wonton. Nevermind...

    I know, like chow mien and oil! Wait, that's not right either...

    Beef and Broccoli!

    Or...yeah, something like that. :D
  13. JWC

    JWC Banned

    Oct 4, 2000
    you may think jamming with a guitarist is great, but come back and tell us how great in about a year or so.....
  14. have the guitarist teach you a little guitar. i play guitar almost as much as bass, so i know what chord my guitarists are playing just by looking at their hands. this helps a lot.
  15. Since I started out on guitar, I know at least the BASIC chords, and can usually tell what the guitarist is playing if I don't know the song or we're just jamming, so that helps a lot.
    My biggest problem with that, however, is that sometimes I mistake an E for an A minor if I just glance over at his hands...:D:p:oops:
  16. good point. this is why it is best to have some knowledge of theory and a good feel for the piece. if you're not totally into it, mistakes will be made.
  17. While my ears aren't exactly the best, I can usually tell when I'm playing something that doesn't sound like what the guitarist is playing, in which case I'll look over at his/her left hand a little closer, just to make sure. It usually takes 1 or 2 runs through the riff until I get the feel for it down, and can start adding fills to it. :D:p
    Of course, that's assuming we're playing something original. :D If it's a song the guitarist knows and I don't, then I'll just go with roots (at least half the time it's just a bunch of power chords anyway... :rolleyes: ):D
  18. Hmmm... you could be one of the few who have ....

    :eek: PERFECT PITCH! :eek:

    Then you wouldn't ever have to worry.
    Wait, err..

    Oh I'll just stop typing I don't have anything important to say.

    Hey. what's up

    (OH WAIT WRONG WINDOW :rolleyes: I'm so glad i got rid of AOL)
  19. Your best bet would be to get him to show you how to do the open chords and remember the positions and notes and watch his hands when playing. The other types of chords he will play is power chords and all you have to do is play the note his index finger is on. By doing all of this you get the root notes and from there you can add small scale runs or what ever fits with the music. Hope this helps.
  20. sn0wblind


    Apr 20, 2000
    Ontario, Canada
    if you want root notes, just do what I do, watch what he plays and play the lowest note of the chords he's playin'......

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