Playing cords

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by energyj, Dec 14, 2005.

  1. energyj


    Nov 20, 2005
    Hi all, I'm using Wheat's bass book with other bass books as a companion. I have mastered the 7 major scales, now I want to play chords.

    I have some questions on chords -- how do I play them?

    For example, how would I play this chord (as instructed in the Wheat's bass book)

    --0-- [Fifth, G]
    --2-- [Third, E]
    --3-- [Root, C]

    Do I make each note one at a time as if I'm playing a scale or do I play play them simutaniously like a guitarist?
  2. Sippy


    Aug 1, 2005
    OKay the numbers on the left are tabs The numbers are the frets you hit and the little ----- are the strings.. right there is a C chord.
    named after the root note C
    the Third is the E note as in the third note in the C scale (major scale) but the fifth (G note) is the fifth note you play in the major scale. If you ever want to play a Major chord you hit ROOT::THIRD::FIFTH. As in the first note of the scale (in this case C) and third note in the scale (in this case E) and the fifth note in the scale (In this case G)

    try this tho


    An open string G is not the same as the fifth fret D string.
  3. As for what do you play, it totally depends on what you're playing. If you intend to play a chord like a guitar player, you would strum or pick the notes all at once. If you're playing a walking bassline under that C triad, you would use the notes of that chord (or chord scale, or whatever your using) and play them one at a time to "outline" the chord that the guitar player is playing.
  4. Sippy


    Aug 1, 2005
    hmmm yea, but a chord on a bass guitar 9 times out of 10 sounds very muddy to me. The normal way to play a chord on the bass is the arpeggio (A chord played out by hitting each note individually)
  5. labgnat

    labgnat Banned

    Oct 29, 2005
    outta this world
    thats a c major triad. to play a chord you need to sound all notes at once, you could flamenco strum it with your finger ala stanley clarke or use thumb, middle and index finger. depending on the sound your going for. and as said before chords on bass do tend to sound muddy. so your gonna need more of a trebly sound probably. i find chords on bass sound much better in the higher register, i'd play that chord on theC on the 15th fret of the A string and E on 14th of D string and G on 12th fret G string, you may find that fingering a bit hard to do tho
  6. ras1983


    Dec 28, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    generally speaking, the fifth is NOT played in chords. if you play teh fifth and the third, it sounds incredibly muddy. usualy you play the root, third and either the 7th or 8ve (depending on what type of chords you choose to play).

    the exception is the diminished chord, where the 1st, flat 5th and the flat 7th are played.

    EDIT: upon looking at your diagram, they are the first three notes of EITHER a Cmajor or Cdominant arpeggio.
  7. i play chords all the time on my bass, i love it and it sonds way better than it does on a guitar

  8. Sippy


    Aug 1, 2005

    hmm well in my opinion I think it sounds quite muddy... but we're all entitled ;)
  9. What is the Wheats book? Where do I get it?
    If hit a serious learning curve funk and just learning scales is getting boring for me....I just have a hard time putting them to use in a musical setting with my band...

    Serious learning funk here and no teacher in sight.

  10. Sippy


    Aug 1, 2005
    what problem are you having using the scales in your basslines? Like how to use them?
  11. I have been having a hard time putting scales to use in the current music I am playing or at least trying to play, which is jazzy stuff.

    I am struggling with keeping interest with these guys unless we go back to our original, and better sounding, rock roots.

    I tried looking for new bandmates and it was a struggle. I put ads out on craigslist with little bites, so my confidence is not all that high right now anyway.

    I just need anew jumpstart and books always seemed to provide that for me. I never have tried a DVD for bass theory.

    I have the Rufus Reid cd and cannot make much sense of it or his teaching because I don't read music.
  12. whitedk57


    May 5, 2005
    Franklin, NC
    Wheat's Bass Book

    This is an OK web-site, but relies heavily on tab. May I suggest the Hal Leonard Bass Method by Ed Friedland...

    Hal Leonard Bass Method By Ed Friedland
  13. Hookus


    Oct 2, 2005
    Austin, TX
    How do you figure, I would venture to say that the fifth is more importand than the third, if you would play one or the other. The third is pretty close to the root to play just the root and third, would create a lot of dissonance.
  14. Bryan R. Tyler

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

    May 3, 2002
    The third is generally more important to sound than the fifth because it helps determine the type of chord you're playing, while the fifth usually only needs to be played when it's been altered (Maj7 b5 chords, for example). The third and the seventh help you hear if the chord is major, minor, dominant, or MajMin7. The fifth does not really aid in figuring this out.
  15. Bryan R. Tyler

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

    May 3, 2002
    Scales just let you know which notes are available in whatever key you're playing in (or chord you're playing against). Their practical application doesn't necessarily involve playing them in any particular ascending or descending order, even though they're often written that way in practice books.

    Whatever you are playing at any moment, you are playing in a scale. Knowing your scales (and chords and keys etc.) justs helps to inform you of what options are available to you.
  16. Sippy


    Aug 1, 2005
    WORD! :bassist:
  17. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"

    try this
  18. Hookus


    Oct 2, 2005
    Austin, TX
    I suppose what I am talking about with the fifth comes from the way I use chords. I don't use chords for melody type purposes, like guitar. I will let the guitar alter the third, and determine chord type, and unless the fifth is altered, like you said, I use it as a "safe note" to fill out the bottom end. It always seems to me that when you use the third on a bass chord, it sounds like the bass is trying too hard, for lack of a better way to put it. I play in all three piece bands, and use this quite a bit, but normally in the higher strings only.
  19. I play a Rick.... no mud here.... only a "burning" sound, right through the guitars like a chainsaw...