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Playing Chords

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Ace123, Aug 1, 2004.


  1. Ace123

    Ace123

    Sep 25, 2002
    Rochester, NY
    I've searched and i've experimented but i'm curious as to what the correct way to play chords is. My bass teacher said something about it not being necessary to play the fifth. So what notes should be played (for major and minor mostly) and what is the proper hand position. If possible could someone show me a fretboard allignment that shows what notes to play and which fingers to use. Or if there is already one out there or if you could direct me to another thread that would be great.

    Thanks a lot.
     
  2. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    try playing chords high up on the fretboard so its easier for everyone to hear. when u pluck it, try using 2 or 3 fingers at the same time instead of strumming them. play the root, third, fifth, and/or, seventh for most of the time.
     
  3. Matt Ides

    Matt Ides

    May 12, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    Play the chords in the upper register of the instrument will make it more clear. Playing the R, 3, 7 will determine if is it major or minor. You can leave the 5th out if you want. Also. sometimes you can double the 3 or 7 if you want to.

    Also, try playing inversions. If you are not familiar with these here is an example.

    Regular: R 3 (5) 7
    1st inversion: 3 (5) 7 R
    2nd inversion: (5) 7 R 3

    (5) use if it you want

    and any other combination you want to play. It is fun to change up the order and really listen to what chord voicing you like the best. Plus you can also incorporate open strings.

    Fingering for a Basic C Major chord. This is how I play them but you can come up with your own fingers as what suits you best.
    C(2) E(1) B(3 or 4) Also you can strum the open E also for a 4 note voicing.

    Tenth chords...For C Maj 10. Just R with the 3 one octave up

    C(1/2) on the E string B(2/4) on the d string E(2/4) on G string. This is an easy one b/c you can just use this all the way up and down the neck. I like this voicing since the R is still a low note and the 3rd and 7th ring out nicely.

    Good Luck.
     
  4. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    I love using tenths; I think it's helped make a richer sound from our little three-piece rock band (especially for parts when our guitarist is being lazy and just playing 1-5-8 chords!).

    Maybe I could get some advice, though: I've been doing it by either using a 'pincher action' with thumb and index (which doesn't have very good tone), or alternating the notes (which is ok for a more funky or disco-y sound), or attempting sort of a thumb-thump in a way that the back of my index finger catches the tenth at the same time.

    Are there more proper, established ways to do this? I'm sort of just shooting from the hip here, and should develop bad habits.

    Thanks,

    Joe
     
  5. tim99

    tim99 Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2003
    I play 10ths with my first and second fingers. I rest my thumb on a pickup or a B string, use my first finger on the E string, and my second finger on the G string. My first finger is at a 90 degree angle, and my second finger is stretched out. Then I pluck them at the same time. On my 5 string, the first finger comes to rest on the B string, and the second finger comes to rest on the D string.

    Major 10th:

    |---|-0-|
    |---|---|
    |---|---|
    |-0-|---|


    Minor 10th:

    |-0-|---|
    |---|---|
    |---|---|
    |-0-|---|


    Buy the numbers:

    Major 10th:

    |---|-3-|
    |---|---|
    |---|---|
    |-1-|---|


    Minor 10th:

    |b3-|---|
    |---|---|
    |---|---|
    |-1-|---|


    Tim99.
     
  6. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    OK - wow; thanks, Man. I'll work on it tonight. I think one of the reasons I've been frustrated with that is that I'm SO used to alternating fingers that it feels quite unnatural to pluck with both at the same time - but I tap octaves somtimes with i+m, and that feels fine (like when everybody calls me a genius while I'm butchering 'Sledgehammer')...

    What I need is MOOOOOORE practice with that double-barreled pluck!

    Hey - you guys are OK. I like it here, I've been learning valuable stuff, AND have been inspired to practice more. You all are starting to make me feel like playing bass is a pretty 'high calling'. I'm going to look into that 'Supporting Member' thing.

    Thanks,

    Joe
     
  7. tim99

    tim99 Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2003
    You are not going to find a "correct" way, because advanced players play different numbers of strings, notes, and inversions. The more advanced you get, the more choices you have. These are the basic three string major and minor chord inversions:

    |--5--|-----|-----|-----|
    |-----|-----|--3--|-----|
    |-----|-----|-----|--1--|

    |-----|--3--|-----|-----|
    |-----|-----|--1--|-----|
    |-----|-----|--5--|-----|

    |--1--|-----|-----|-----|
    |--5--|-----|-----|-----|
    |-----|-----|--3--|-----|

    |--5--|-----|-----|-----|
    |-----|-b3--|-----|-----|
    |-----|-----|-----|--1--|

    |-b3--|-----|-----|-----|
    |-----|-----|--1--|-----|
    |-----|-----|--5--|-----|

    |--1--|-----|-----|-----|
    |--5--|-----|-----|-----|
    |-----|-b3--|-----|-----|


    I think about this some because I used to play guitar, and when you are playing guitar with a bass player, the root note of a chord is not as important as the other notes. The guitar creates the structure of the chord above the bass and piano.

    But, if you are the bass player the root is the most important, then the color notes. The most important color note: If it is major, the 3rd, if minor the b3rd, if diminished, maybe the b5th is more important than the b3rd, if a dominant 7th, maybe the 7th is more important than the 3rd. The 5th is the least important in non-diminished chords because the major, minor and dominant chords all have a 5th. It does nothing to define the sound of the chord as different than another chord. So if you come accross a diminished chord, you gotta get that b5 in.

    Tim99.
     
  8. tim99

    tim99 Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2003
    The worship song "Trading My Sorrows" (Yes Lord) by Darrell Evans has this type of bass part. It is great becase it is just 10ths as the intro, then the drum, then the singers. As close as I have come to a solo...

    Tim99.
     
  9. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    thats a minor major 7th!!


    heres a minor 7th

    |-0-|---|
    |-0-|---|
    |---|---|
    |-0-|---|


    heres a dominant 7

    |---|-0-|
    |-0-|---|
    |---|---|
    |-0-|---|



    theres other ways to do the same chords. with inversions and stuff.


    ill just write down a whole entire box for you.(ill include a 5th string to show what it its like if you root is on the A instead of the E)(im only using the 1,3,5 and 7)

    |----|----|-b3-|-+3-|----|
    |----|----|-b7-|-+7-|--8-|
    |-b3-|-+3-|----|----|-5--|
    |-b7-|-+7-|-1--|----|----|
    |----|----|-5--|----|----|
     
  10. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    now you can use that box to make chords...
    (you may invert chords)

    -Major
    should include: 1,+3,5

    -Minor
    should include: 1,b3,5

    -Major 7
    should include: 1,+3,5,+7

    -Minor 7
    should include: 1,b3,5,b7

    -Minor Major 7
    should include: 1,b3,5,+7

    -Dominant 7
    should include: 1,+3,5,b7
     
  11. Matt Ides

    Matt Ides

    May 12, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN

    joe let your guitar player know that he would be great at playing double stops on the bass if 1-5-8 is his primary chord...


    :bassist:
     
  12. tim99

    tim99 Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2003
    Thanks, man. Good call. I edited that stuff out of my post because yours is great.

    Tim99.