#1
When I play guitar with my one friend who plays bass and I tell him to play a power chord, it does not sound good at all. I know that a bass is similar to a guitar but 2 octives lower. So shouldn't they sound good? Is there another way to make them sound good? This is coming from someone who plays guitar. Or is the bass just not ment to play power chords
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#2
I play bass power chords all the time and they sound fine. I'm not quite sure with what you mean by not sounding good.
#4
Playing a power chord on bass doesn't groove as well as the root note on its own. Power chords are ok but keep it in moderation.
#5
Is the bass perfectly intonated? If not they will sound horrible. I've found at lower octaves, out-of-tune-ness is more pronounced. If it isn't that, then it could be the amp his amp might not be fit for it, or his finger style. With a pick it does sound kinda bad, with index/middle plucking it sounds good.

Oddly it sounds amazing with stock humbuckers of a schecter through a hand-me-down PA system in a gym-room at my church.
#6
Don't forget me - RHCP is all power chords (minus a few fills). maybe your friends sucks j/k...what kind of bass?
#7
First, one octave difference.

Second, playing powerchords (or any chords for that matter) low on the neck is next to guaranteed to be muddy. Try, as a rule, not to use the E string, or go lower than the 7th fret, or something thereabouts.
#8
Usually bass plays the root note of whatever the guitar plays so if a guitar plays a C5 power chord a bass would play a C normally they dont play chords and im not saying you can't you can you can do whatever you want but im just saying just to try playing a C5 powerchord 3rd fret A string 5th D 5th G and the bass just a 3rd fret A string or 5th fret D or 5th fret G but only one note not the whole chord and it should sound good. Another reason maybe your in different tuning or someone isnt in tune.
#9
Its some kinda ibanez bass. And ywah he kinda sucks. He stopped play guitar and took up bass. It could also be the tune I'll check the out next time. And he uses picks not his fingers.

Like we tried to go an A5 power chord or open A string and E on the D string or 2 and it didn't sound so good.
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B52 AT100
#10
Quote by baronvonbadguy3
Usually bass plays the root note of whatever the guitar plays so if a guitar plays a C5 power chord a bass would play a C normally they dont play chords and im not saying you can't you can you can do whatever you want but im just saying just to try playing a C5 powerchord 3rd fret A string 5th D 5th G and the bass just a 3rd fret A string or 5th fret D or 5th fret G but only one note not the whole chord and it should sound good. Another reason maybe your in different tuning or someone isnt in tune.


So just have him play the root or the 5th.

Also I have him do that or if we have a band practice and we tell him to do that he says its very boreing and he wants to do something more fun. Any suggestions?
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Jackson RR24M
B52 AT100
#11
Bass usually does not play power chords, don't tell him to do that.

You can also just bar two strings on the same fret, I think. However, it may be that he just sucks at the chord formation on a bass as opposed to guitar, in which he should be playing the root notes anyway.

Edit: If he's bored, tell him to play with his fingers because IMO fingers are a lot more versatile + way easier to build speed. If he doesn't want to do that, tell him to deal with it.
Last edited by Steve08 at Aug 6, 2009,
#12
Quote by Steve08
Bass usually does not play power chords, don't tell him to do that.

You can also just bar two strings on the same fret, I think. However, it may be that he just sucks at the chord formation on a bass as opposed to guitar, in which he should be playing the root notes anyway.

Edit: If he's bored, tell him to play with his fingers because IMO fingers are a lot more versatile + way easier to build speed. If he doesn't want to do that, tell him to deal with it.



Lol ok i'll tell him. But I also mean he gets bored just playing one note at a time.
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#13
Wanna make a bass power chord sound good? Don't play the octave. Root-fifth. Or learn how to EQ.
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#14
Chord structure is the same on all instruments (so a G powerchord is G-D-G on guitar, bass, piano, etc...) If he's playing them properly but it doesn't sound good, then there's your problem: it doesn't sound good for the song. The original use for the bass was to play the root note of the chord to add more emphasis. If he thinks it's boring to just play the root note, get him to learn scales. If he can figure out the key of the song, he'll have more 'fun' soloing over the chords, but this takes LOT'S of practice.
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#15
Ok thanks alot fot the tips guys. Any other tips is cool.

Maby I jest need to find a better bass player since when ever we are writing songs he is so lost and want to play something so off that it doesnt sound good at all. And I don't think he would learn scales since he is kinda dumb....
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Last edited by King of King V at Aug 6, 2009,
#16
Well it's all about practice and dedication...if he's not into it to practice enough to get decent it's probably not his thing, which really isn't anyone's fault.
Gear I Want:
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-Fender Road Worn 50s Precision Bass

Gear I Have:
-Peavey Millennium BXP =]
SWR WorkingPro 2x10C =D
#17
I like playing "fifth - octave" and forget about the low note, I think it sounds good for when I use it (mainly rocking the heck out in outros to pop-punk songs); also, this makes me usually use the higher strings, so less muddy!
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#18
Quote by mashedpotatoes
Bass isn't really meant to play chords at all...

You are wrong, listen to more music.

TS, you could make better music by working around the chord structure and playing a countermelody, more layers of music.
#19
Quote by King of King V
Also I have him do that or if we have a band practice and we tell him to do that he says its very boreing and he wants to do something more fun. Any suggestions?

Tell him to get better, or find someone else. Seems like he still doesn't know how to think like a bass player. If following the guitar is "boring" then a bass should follow the drums.
#20
I play all sorts of chords loads! I even like to do guitar esque funk strumming sometimes

Just make sure they're higher up the neck or not on the E string. But what he can do (this is easier to do with your hands rather than a pick) is hold a chord shape, then play the root of the chord with his thumb then strum the other strings with his fingers. This works with chords that use the E, D and G strings really nicely Also works with A, D and G, but still sounds muddy on the E, A and D. This way he can play a little bit like a bass and rhythm guitar at the same time.

He really needs to learn some scales and chords (or arpeggios). Then he can play parts of those scales and chords to make up a nice bassline. Root 5th is a good start and doing fills before a chord changes is cool. If you play something like funk however you might want to make up a bassline that goes beyond that (you can still sound funky if you don't, however). Also try to make him follow the drums (while supporting the guitar). A good thing to do is synch the bass with the kick drum (he can play other notes when the kick isn't there of course but make sure when there is a kick there's a note from the bass there (you don't have to do that all the time though)). Another cool thing he can do is avoid playing notes when a snare drum hits. It can make the whole groove sound tighter (but it depends on the gernre and your personal taste).

So yeah get him to play around with different rhythms and get him learning some scales so he can make some good lines and he'll be able to have fun
Last edited by SuperMaximo93 at Aug 7, 2009,
#21
I've found that it sounds better if you only use two strings...leave the top one out of it. It's not as complex, but IMO it's a lot cleaner. I've had to do this a lot lately, as out rhythm player's gone to nashville.
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#22
I personally don't use my E string or lower when i do em. If it's the E string or thicker, it just doesnt work. A and high works like a charm. So i'd say just don't use the E string.
#24
Quote by King of King V
I know that a bass is similar to a guitar but 2 octives lower.


One more comment like that and I'm going to take my own li....

Quote by mashedpotatoes
Bass isn't really meant to play chords at all...


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Quote by baronvonbadguy3
Usually bass plays the root note of whatever the guitar plays



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Last edited by Casketcreep at Aug 7, 2009,
#25
Quote by Deliriumbassist
Double stops =/= power chords


Ok, noob question here, but I'm confused. I've heard on several occasions that double stops are either two notes played at once (a la root and fifth), or two notes played straight after the other in a staccato rhythm (like the beginning of Good Time Boys by RHCP). What is the difference?
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#27
Quote by Deliriumbassist
Double stops =/= power chords

But they are power chords aren't they? I see root-fifth everywhere for the bass part in that song.
#28
Quote by kirbyrocknroll
But they are power chords aren't they? I see root-fifth everywhere for the bass part in that song.


Well yes, in the broad sense they are power chords. On a personal note I make a distinction between the power chord (With octave) and the double stop (no octave). It's just something I've used for a long time and it's ingrained

e.g. I would call a C5 with I-V a C5 double stop, but a C5 with I-V-I as a C5 power chord.
#29
Ahh, good little mini lesson.

I always just thought a double stop was more of a tapping kinda term.

Quite a few people here who apparently dont like playing just the root and octave together. Thats generally my little cop out for chord work at the moment.
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#30
Quote by kirbyrocknroll
But they are power chords aren't they? I see root-fifth everywhere for the bass part in that song.


Power chords are double stops (well, if you don't play the octave, in which case it's a triple stop) but not all double stops are power chords. A double stop is any two notes played together.
#31
err, so yeah, I like to play "double stops" with the fifth as the low note and the octave as the high note (so an inversion of a double stop that is root-fifth? I'm not sure on the technicalities)
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#33
I find chords on bass better for slower more mellowed out riffs (The intro to "Schism" comes to minds)

If you're playing something more upbeat, have him arpeggiate the chord to the beat. It's a little more interesting to play, but it still sounds cool.
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#34
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
It sounds like you're just playing open fourths (the same fret one string up). Depending on what the harmony with it is.

Well yeah, the "root" of which I am dropping is the root of the guitar's chord, so I'm not sure, nor do I care...
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#35
If he really isn't that skilled. Try just playing the root note. Chords sound really muddy on the bass. Or go for an arpeggio, that could sound good depending on the music your playing. I wouldn't reccomend chords in general, but its your call.
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#36
Yeh, Just needs to be EQ'd better.
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