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Transcribing bass chords

Discussion in 'Ask Janek Gwizdala' started by Fretless5verfan, Jul 8, 2012.

  1. Fretless5verfan


    Jan 17, 2002
    This is really for anyone who can answer, but since it's one of Janek's performances I figured I'd ask here:bag:

    I couldn't find anything specific in the search regarding this, but does anyone have any tips or special approaches to transcribing bass chord work? I find it's MUCH harder for me to hear chords played on the bass than on any other instrument since the chords tend to sound so dense. For instance, I'm attempting to transcribe the bassline of this (FANTASTIC) tune:


    at 0:27 and 0:37 there are some what i think are chordal fills used that I cannot figure out for my life. I can hear the melody easily, but I can't parse out the notes. Can anyone help me out a bit? :help:
  2. ppal


    Sep 1, 2006
    Sacramento, CA
    First you need a high C string to do these licks like Janek does them. The first lick Janek uses is one he uses often, its played by playing the root with your middle finger, the ninth of the chord with your index finger simultaneously (or arpeggiated) then hammering up to the tenth of the chord with your pinky. So, in the first sequence he is playing/grooving in Abmin, he then moves up the E string to the minor third of the chord (Bmaj). He plays the B (root) on the E string, the ninth (Db on the G string), then hammers on the the tenth (Eb on the G string). The second chord in the sequence goes chromatically down to the Bbmin (root) on the E string, C on the G string, this time only hammer up a half step to the minor tenth (Db) on the G string. the third chord goes down chromatically again to the Amaj, play this just like the first chord. Finally the last chord is played just like the first as well just start on the D (root) on the A string and hammer to the major tenth on the C string (E ninth, to F#tenth).

    Oh, these licks are to be played with a claw three finger technique (thumb, index, and middle) played with the Right Hand.

    First sequence lick at 0:27

    Here is the chords for this sequence, just put in the right maj/min tenths hammered from the ninth of the chord.
    1. Bmaj
    2. Bb min
    3. Amaj
    4. Dmaj

    the Second lick at 0:37

    1. C#minor chord-- (from the A string 16th fret, minor 7th, minor third/tenth), these notes are all played on the 16th fret.
    2. C minor-- (just move what you played in the previous chord down a half step)
    3. Bb minor-- play the root on the (A string) and minor tenth (C string) on the 13th fret with the fifth on the 15th fret (D string)
    4. Ab minor--play the same way you did the last chord, just move down a whole step to the Ab on the (A string)

    I hope this helps,
    Happy Playing!
  3. Fretless5verfan


    Jan 17, 2002
    Wow. Someone responded! Thanks man. Now I can hear them a lot clearer. Good to know I was on the right track :bassist: