Tuesday, March 8, 2016

HOW TO PLAY ROOT NOTES ON A BASS GUITAR

THE ROOT NOTE ON A BASS GUITAR







If you are new to bass guitar, your probably wondering "where do I begin?"  I have found a good starting point is found within the chords the guitar player is playing, mainly the root note of the chord.  Let's assume the guitar player is playing a simple 1,4,5 chord progression, in the key of A.  That means the chords he or she will be playing will be the  1 chord (A), the 4 chord (D), and the 5th chord (E).    So you, as a bass player just starting out want to focus on those three chords, and play the root note of each chord.  Here is a very simple example using open strings to get you started.


----A ROOT NOTE________D ROOT NOTE_____E ROOT NOTE______
g_______________________________________________________
d_____________________0___0___0___0_____________________
a____0___0___0___0______________________________________
e______________________________________0___0___0___0____


Now let's try playing the exact same combination of root notes, but in different positions on the bass fret board.

____A root note__________D root note________E root note______
g_______________________________________________________
d_______________________________________________________
a_____________________5___5___5___5____7___7___7___7____
e____5___5___5___5______________________________________


Again, we are simply playing the root note of the chord the guitar player is playing, switching root notes as he or she switches chords.  By the way, this pattern above is your basic 1,4,5 chord progression pattern, and is a movable pattern.  To play this same pattern in the key of G, the chords would be 1 chord (G), 4 chord (C), and 5 chord (D).  Here is an example of the same pattern but in the key of g;

______G root note___________C  root note______D root note_______
g_______________________________________________________
d_______________________________________________________
a_____________________3___3___3___3____5___5___5___5____
e____3___3___3___3______________________________________


The pattern is simple, play any root note on the low E string, now move down one string and play the note at the same fret, now move down two frets and play the note at that fret.  

Here is one more pattern you could use, making use of root notes.  This pattern is not movable because it uses open notes.  But this will add one more option to playing along with a guitar player as you begin your journey on the bass guitar.

_A root note__________D root note__________E root note__
g_______________________________________________________________
d_________________________________0____0______________0____0____
a_____________0____0____5____5______________7____7______________
e____5___5______________________________________________________

This is pretty simple stuff, but it will get you started so you can play along side a guitar player, and its good if you can find someone who is just starting out on guitar so the two of you can practice and learn together.  I will be adding a second lesson titled PLAYING OCTAVES ON A BASS GUITAR  soon, until then, practice, learn, and have fun with your instrument.

PLAYING A 1,4,5 CHORD PROGRESSION ON A BASS GUITAR

PLAYING TO A 1,4,5 CHORD PROGRESSION



Many songs use nothing more then a 1,4,5 chord progression, so as a bass player, you will have to know not nly what a 1,4,5 chord progression is, but how to quickly find the notes on your bass fretboard.  A 1,4,5 chord progression is simply the three chords the guitar player will be moving between.  But how do you, as a bass player, know what those chords are?

Say the guitar player says he's going to be playing a 1,4,5 chord progression in the key of A.  The three chords he will be moving around from will be the A chord, the D chord, and the E chord.  Finding the chords, in any key, is as easy as counting to 1, 4, 5.  Here is how it works.  1 = A, 2 = B, 3 = C, 4 = D, 5 = E.  So the 1,4,5 chords are 1/A, 4/D, and 5/E.
So what if he wants to play in the key of G?  G now becomes you 1 chord.  So start counting up from G.  1 = G, 2 = A, 3 = B, 4 = C, 5 = D.  So now you know how to find the chords within a 1,4,5 chord progression.

Now to find a simple pattern to apply this quickly to our bass guitar fret board.  Lucky for us, there is such a pattern, and it is movable, meaning once you learn the pattern, you can quickly move it up and down the fret board.  Here is the pattern.
Say the pattern we want is the key of A, on your low E string, the root note of the A chord is found at the 5th fret.  So there is our 1 chord.  Now for the 4 chord root note, stay on the same fret, just move down one string, there is your 4 chord root note, the D note.  Now for the 5 chord root note, simply move up two frets, that is your 5 chord root note or E note.  Here is an example of what this looks like in tab;

____A note____________D note__________E note__________
g____________________________________________________
d____________________________________________________
a____________________5___5___5___5___7___7___7___7___
e____5___5___5___5___________________________________


Now let's move the same pattern for the 1,4,5 chord progression to the key of g;

__G note______________C note___________D note___________
g______________________________________________________
d______________________________________________________
a____________________3___3___3___3____5___5___5___5____
e____3___3___3___3____________________________________


Now let's move our 1 chord down a string, in the key of D now.   Remember, the entire pattern is movable.


g______________________________________________________
d____________________5___5___5___5____7___7___7___7____
a____5___5__5___5______________________________________
e______________________________________________________

Lesson two will show how to apply octaves to these notes.

HOW TO PLAY OCTAVES ON A BASS GUITAR



PLAYING OCTAVES ON A BASS


In the first lesson I covered playing the root of the chord that the guitar player is playing.  In this lesson, we will expand our sound options by covering octaves and moving those octaves to different positions along the bass fret board.  If you have never played octaves before, I think you will find this pretty cool.
Just like in the roots lesson, we will assume the guitar player is playing a 1,4,5 chord progression in the key of A.  Here is one example of what we could play, using octaves.

___A octave notes____D octave notes______E octave notes_____
g_____________________________7___7___________9___9____
d____________7___7_____________________________________
a____________________5___5____________7___7____________
e____5___5_____________________________________________

The octave pattern should be clear.  To play an octave using this pattern, play any rot note, go down two strings, and over two frets, that is where the octave to the root note is that you just played..  Down two, over two, pretty simple, yet a move that opens up our tone options.  And this pattern is movable, so you can play the shape anywhere on the bass fret board.
Now let's look at another pattern, this one is not movable, since it uses an open note. 

___A octave notes_____D octave notes_____E octave notes___
g____________________________7___7___________________
d____________7___7___0___0___________________________
a____0___0___________________________________7___7___
e____________________________________0___0___________

Another pattern you can play around with using octaves is this example below, playing the octave on the same string, 12 frets apart.

_A octave notes__________D octave notes____E octave notes__
g_____________________________________________________________
d_______________________0___0___12___12_______________________
a____0___0___12___12__________________________________________
e__________________________________________0___0___12___12____


Playing around with these octaves, you can come up with all kinds of patterns, here is one more using faster 8th notes;

A octaves_______________D octaves________E octaves___
g____________________________________________________________
d______________________0_0_0_0_0_0_0_12______________________
a___0_0_0_0_0_0_0_12_________________________________________
e_________________________________________0_0_0_0_0_0_0_12___

In my next lesson on free bass guitar lessons I will show you how to quickly and easilyy know what notes to play with a 1,4,5 chord progression.