Tag Archives: chord

Bass line task

Below is the chord chart for your bass line task. Bear in mind a couple of bassline guidelines:

    • ROOT NOTES – will always work to underpin a chord sequence
    • OCTAVES – above or below the root – for variety (common in disco/funk)
    • FIFTHS – can also work effectively, i.e. if the chord is Em (E minor), the chord tones are E G B, so using E and B can work well
    • SCALLIC RUNS –¬†you can also use scallic runs leading up/down to the root note of the next chord
    • RHYTHM – always follow the inherent rhythm of your drum groove, if unsure one surefire approach is to keep the kick drum part and your bass line locked in together.

This document explains some of these ideas further with Garageband screenshots to demonstrate ideas.

Mr Bubl√© has a stylish arrangement of Van Morrison’s classic “Moondance”, he makes a great use of a typical jazz approach to the bass..

In Bob Marley’s classic “Stir It Up” there is a fine example of a bass line largely built on triads or chord tones.

Here is the notation for the main bass groove. You can see that the bass outlines the chords by playing:

  • A and C# from the A major chord (while adding a D which is the fourth degree of an A major scale so still diatonic – within the key), then
  • D, F#, A – D major chord
  • E, B, B – E major chord

Bob Stir bass

If you were using roman numerals what numbers would these chords be?