#1
So I'm going to this music camp in the summer, I play bass and guitar but I signed myself up as a bass player. So basically I'm pretty good at guitar, I've been playing for a solid 3 years, and a few months for bass (I'm a freshman btw). I don't know much music theory, enough to get me through though. So on guitar if someone says play an Fmaj9 for example you play that Fmaj9 like it aint no shit, but if someone says play an Fmaj9 when you're playing bass, do they mean a scale? Like bass players should know scales and stuff, right? I know my major and minor scales but thats about it. Its just the same pattern and position for all major scales, but you just start on a different note, right? Like if everyones jamming off of Cmaj7, you would stick to the basic rhythm of the drummer and play play from a Cmaj7 scale. Also, is there anything else I should know about what's expected as a bass player? I just don't wanna get there and look like a fool. Thanks, all.
#2
Quote by kidsquij

on guitar if someone says play an Fmaj9 for example you play that Fmaj9 like it aint no shit, but if someone says play an Fmaj9 when you're playing bass, do they mean a scale?

The job a bass player in that situation would be to play the bass note, which would be F.

Like bass players should know scales and stuff, right?

Yes, but in a chord progression, bass just plays the bass notes. So, if the progression is Cmaj - Fmaj - Gmaj, then the bass play C - F - G. You play C as long as the Cmaj chord is played by the rest of the band, then move onto F during Fmaj, etc.


I know my major and minor scales but thats about it. Its just the same pattern and position for all major scales, but you just start on a different note, right?

Don't worry about scales a ton right now. You'll get to that on bass later.

Also, is there anything else I should know about what's expected as a bass player? I just don't wanna get there and look like a fool. Thanks, all.

Do you play with a pick? As new as you are to bass, I would suggest using a really thick pick (2mm or greater). Obviously, practice finger-style & such, but I imagine you're more used to a pick anyway.
#3
No, I don't use picks for bass, fingerstyle I guess. I'm trying to play slap bass too, plus ladies love a guy who can fingerpick like a pro
#4
Quote by kidsquij
I don't know much music theory, enough to get me through though. So on guitar if someone says play an Fmaj9 for example you play that Fmaj9 like it aint no shit, but if someone says play an Fmaj9 when you're playing bass, do they mean a scale? Like bass players should know scales and stuff, right? I know my major and minor scales but thats about it. Its just the same pattern and position for all major scales, but you just start on a different note, right? Like if everyones jamming off of Cmaj7, you would stick to the basic rhythm of the drummer and play play from a Cmaj7 scale.


Well hammering away on the rootnotes isn't going to solve everything. It all depends on what genre you are going to play. If it's jazz then you can play a mean walking bass line, if it's punk then you probably won't see maj7 or maj9 chords and can happily hammer those root notes.

The bass is there to lay a foundation for the rest of the band and to connect certain parts of the song. Basically you can play every note there is in a chord. For instance in Fmaj9 you can play F, A, C, E and G. Though it is common for the bass to stay play basic stuff (often only the root note and the fifth in a chord) there are loads of exceptions that can show you the possibilities. Tame Impala for instance is an example of how the bass 'floats' in the music, and doesn't always accentuate the rootnote.
...marmalade is my jam.
#5
It also depends on the inversion of the chord: b meaning you should play the third instead of the root, c meaning you should play the fifth and d meaning the extra note in the chord so for a C7d you play the seventh.
Don't play the scales of the chord you're using though, as it's unlikely to work unless you use a pentatonic, jazz or blues scale. Learn some basic walks though, as walking is a useful skill on bass, and be prepared to use passing and auxiliary notes everywhere to link chords together e.g: a chord progression Em7 - C - D7 - G, you could play E, G, E, D, C, C#, D, A, D, G.
Last edited by Boreesimo at May 30, 2014,
#6
In these 2 examples the essential note is played (not necessarily the root of the chord), and then Skoll colours to fit to the context of the song (within his own style of course).

youtube.com/watch?v=VeQutARM8Yg&t=2m13s
http://tp.ultimate-guitar.com/v/ved...tab_online.html
(Select Bass and and forward to measure 67)

youtube.com/watch?v=ylbAzw14fFE&t=0m35s
http://tp.ultimate-guitar.com/v/ved...tab_online.html
(again: Select Bass and forward measure 21)

I know, the UG TAB's aren't the best but at least it kinda gives you a look what's happening.

Edit: Sorry for the "essential" word, couldn't think of a better word... still can't.
Last edited by tonibet72 at May 30, 2014,
#7
Quote by guitar_newbie
The bass is there to lay a foundation for the rest of the band and to connect certain parts of the song. Basically you can play every note there is in a chord. For instance in Fmaj9 you can play F, A, C, E and G. Though it is common for the bass to stay play basic stuff (often only the root note and the fifth in a chord) there are loads of exceptions that can show you the possibilities. Tame Impala for instance is an example of how the bass 'floats' in the music, and doesn't always accentuate the rootnote.

Yeah, but I really would NOT try to do anything like Tame Impala, if you're just starting on bass. TS said he's only been playing bass for a few months. He's needs to get the foundation of bass down before he gets fancy with it. He needs to learn to lock in, rhythm-wise, with the drummer. To do that, he should start off by just playing the bass notes (which, depending on the genre, may or may not be the root notes).
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at May 30, 2014,
#8
Quote by guitar_newbie

The bass is there to lay a foundation for the rest of the band and to connect certain parts of the song. Basically you can play every note there is in a chord. For instance in Fmaj9 you can play F, A, C, E and G. Though it is common for the bass to stay play basic stuff (often only the root note and the fifth in a chord) there are loads of exceptions that can show you the possibilities. Tame Impala for instance is an example of how the bass 'floats' in the music, and doesn't always accentuate the rootnote.


Beginning bassists play the root and the fifth constantly.

Better ones find melodic ways to play all the notes of the chord, and also to connect the chord to the next chord in interesting in compelling ways.

Good bassists to study are Paul McCartney, James Jamerson (who did most of the famous Motown stuff you've heard), and Sting. Paul McCartney is the simplest of the three (but don't be fooled: he pioneered a lot of ideas that all good rock bassists use), Jamerson the most complex (sometimes I can't come close to figuring out what he's doing). As always, you'll get the most out of it if you try to understand as much as possible about what they're doing by ear.
#9
Quote by HotspurJr
Beginning bassists play the root and the fifth constantly.

Better ones find melodic ways to play all the notes of the chord, and also to connect the chord to the next chord in interesting in compelling ways.

Good bassists to study are Paul McCartney, James Jamerson (who did most of the famous Motown stuff you've heard), and Sting. Paul McCartney is the simplest of the three (but don't be fooled: he pioneered a lot of ideas that all good rock bassists use), Jamerson the most complex (sometimes I can't come close to figuring out what he's doing). As always, you'll get the most out of it if you try to understand as much as possible about what they're doing by ear.


Kind of unrelated to the original poster, but:
Here's Jamerson on 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough' with bass and vocal tracks isolated. Very active bass line that outlines the changes so well.. really cool listen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibh-t850LFQ
#10
Quote by HotspurJr
Beginning bassists play the root and the fifth constantly.

Better ones find melodic ways to play all the notes of the chord, and also to connect the chord to the next chord in interesting in compelling ways.

Good bassists to study are Paul McCartney, James Jamerson (who did most of the famous Motown stuff you've heard), and Sting. Paul McCartney is the simplest of the three (but don't be fooled: he pioneered a lot of ideas that all good rock bassists use), Jamerson the most complex (sometimes I can't come close to figuring out what he's doing). As always, you'll get the most out of it if you try to understand as much as possible about what they're doing by ear.



+1 root and the fifth ( and the octave) is a a great way to fake your way through a bass line.
#11
This clears up a bunch, thanks. And when you all say "fifth", I'm assuming you mean the fifth note in the chord, example of a C# would be C# D# E# F# G# A# B#, so by playing the fifth you would begin with G#? Being the fifth pitch in the scale. And would the seventh be B#? and if this is true, then how do you play a ninth?
Last edited by kidsquij at May 30, 2014,
#12
Here's my input (I like to play basslines on my guitar). First it's highly suggested that you love Guitar, Bass Guitar, and Basslines in general. Second learn some good basslines in the style you play in. A couple of the easier ones overall (both aren't too fast but are very simple) would be "You Really Got Me Now" by the Kinks and the Johnny Cash version of "Hurt". Third you should learn some minor scales (at least Am, Bm, Em, and Dm as those are both common and easy) and some arpeggios. Enjoy yourself and practice a lot (a good bassist isn't lazy).

Learn which notes of the chords are your fifth and root (that way you can get your way through your parts easier). Also look at some theory and train your ears (the best tabs in my opinion are your own). These are just my opinions but hope they help. Have a nice day.
"I don't know what you're trying to suggest. There's no shame in taking what you need to hold your position!"

Super Buu (DBZ) on assimilation (it could also apply to blues guitar and guitar soloing in general).
#13
Quote by kidsquij
This clears up a bunch, thanks. And when you all say "fifth", I'm assuming you mean the fifth note in the chord, example of a C# would be C# D# E# F# G# A# B#, so by playing the fifth you would begin with G#? Being the fifth pitch in the scale. And would the seventh be B#? and if this is true, then how do you play a ninth?



Say you have a C major chord.

C = root
E = third
G = fifth
B = seventh
D = ninth
F = eleventh
A = thirteenth

When we're talking about intervals in chords, we're talking about them in relation to the root note of the chord, not necesarily the scale.

For example, say we're in C major. Our chord progression is Dm - G - C.

If we wanted just to play roots and fifths, we would play these notes for each chord:

Dm: D and A
G: G and D
C: C and G
#14
Quote by kidsquij
This clears up a bunch, thanks. And when you all say "fifth", I'm assuming you mean the fifth note in the chord, example of a C# would be C# D# E# F# G# A# B#, so by playing the fifth you would begin with G#? Being the fifth pitch in the scale.

Yes. Think of it in terms of powerchords. If you play a C#5 on guitar, there's only 2 notes: C#, G#, & (optionally) C# octave. C# is the root, G# is the 5th.

And would the seventh be B#?

Yes.

and if this is true, then how do you play a ninth?

A 9th is what we call our 2nd interval, in a chordal situation. So, say you're playing Fmaj9 on guitar. This chord contains the notes: F, A, C, E, & G. The 9th is G. G is also the 2nd interval of the F major scale. But, because it's common practice, when a chord contains a 3rd, we call G here our 9th -- regardless of where the G note is in the chord voicing.

Now...back to bass...1) Don't worry about this too much. 2) But since you want to know, if it's appropriate for the bass player to play the 9th of Fmaj9, then you would play a G note.
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at May 30, 2014,
#15
The root is the most "stable" note to play over the chord - it will always work. What I usually do is I play the root and then move up or down to the next note (chromatically, going up/down a scale, using chord tones). Know where your root, fifth and seventh are and you can play decent lines (know how to construct chords).

Pay attention to the rhythm. That's really important. As Victor Wooten said, bassist is more of a rhythm than a note player. So pay attention to the rhythm. Listen to the drum beat and try to feel the groove and accent the right notes (listen to the bass and snare - they play the accents in the drum beat).
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#16
in jazz, extended chords are typically only partially played by the guitarist. the root and fifth are often ignored so they can play more interesting or suitable voicing in context of the progression, or to keep the mix from getting overpowered, so you're responsible for holding down those integral notes that make an Fmaj7 an Fmaj7

or you can be like me and just play the chord if you have a 6 string lol
#17
Quote by kidsquij
This clears up a bunch, thanks. And when you all say "fifth", I'm assuming you mean the fifth note in the chord, example of a C# would be C# D# E# F# G# A# B#, so by playing the fifth you would begin with G#? Being the fifth pitch in the scale. And would the seventh be B#? and if this is true, then how do you play a ninth?


The ninth is the same as the second, an octave up.

7ths are confusing. Oftentimes when we refer to a 7th we mean the flattened 7th - in this case B. The bassist will usually want to know which 7th he would play if the chord was a 7th, even if it isn't, because that's a valuable connecting note.
#18
Quote by kidsquij
This clears up a bunch, thanks. And when you all say "fifth", I'm assuming you mean the fifth note in the chord, example of a C# would be C# D# E# F# G# A# B#, so by playing the fifth you would begin with G#? Being the fifth pitch in the scale. And would the seventh be B#? and if this is true, then how do you play a ninth?

When constructing chords, thinking in scales is pretty useless. It's a lot more useful to know which intervals you need to build the chord. For example a dominant 7th chord is major triad (= root, major third, perfect fifth) and minor 7th. By knowing this you can build any dominant 7th chord.

Your example was Fmaj9 and Cmaj7. Fmaj9 = F major triad + major 7th + major 9th (= 2nd), Cmaj7 = C major triad + major 7th.

Here's some information about chord names:

A triad is assumed major (for example C = C major chord) - root, major third, perfect fifth. If there's an m in the chord name, it refers to minor triad (for example Cm = C minor chord) - root, minor third, perfect fifth. Dim refers to minor third and diminished fifth and aug refers to major third and augmented fifth (though it's also known as + chord).

7th is assumed minor (for example C7 = C major triad + minor 7th; Cm7 = C minor triad + minor 7th). If there's a maj7 in the chord name, it refers to major 7th (for example Cmaj7 = C major triad + major 7th; Cmmaj7 = C minor triad + major 7th). It's the same with extensions. Other intervals are assumed major or perfect, other than the 7th, which is assumed minor. So C9 = C major triad + minor 7th + major 9th and Cmaj9 = C major triad + major 7th + major 9th.

Add9 and add11 chords lack the 7th. So Cadd9 = C major triad + major 9th and Cmadd11 = C minor triad + major 11th. In 6th chords the 6th is always major. C6 = C major triad + major 6th and Cm6 = C minor triad + major 6th. Sus2 and sus4 chords lack the third so they are neither major nor minor. Sus2 = root, major 2nd and perfect fifth and sus4 = root, perfect 4th and perfect 5th.

There are also diminished 7th (diminished triad + diminished 7th) and half-diminished 7th (diminished triad + minor 7th) chords. You usually see this kind of symbols: CØ7 means C half-diminished and C°7 means C diminished 7th chord. Half-diminished is can also be called a minor 7th flat 5 (m7b5) chord.

Slash chords are chords with a different bass note. For example C/E means a C major chord with E as the lowest note.

Now try figuring out the chord tones:

1) A7#11

2) Ebmaj7+5

3) Bb13

4) C#m11

5) G#mmaj9

6) G+ or Gaug

7) E°7

8) Bm7b5

9) Dmadd9

10) G7sus4

11) Fmaj7#11/G
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at May 31, 2014,