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.

No comments:

Post a Comment