On a chord, how do you know which note is the "Root Note"? Ive noticed that certain notes in that chord if plyed on bass will stand out, while others fir perfectly, so while searching over a piece of guitar tabs, how could you spot the root notes and play along with out the bass tbas?

Sorry if that made no sense or if it appears to be random rambling.
the root note is USUALLY BUT NOT ALWAYS the lowest note.

In a power chord, barre, or open chord this is always true, but half barre chords its harder to figure out.
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its the note on the lowest string of the chord...


would be on bass:

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there's an even easier way to think of this... if that's possible. Pull the letter out of the chord name and bam, there's your root note. Thus, the root of an Am chord is A, a Cmaj chord is C, A Dmaj7 Chord is D, an F# chord is F#. etc. etc. etc.

It doesn't get much easier than that.

It doesn't always sound right because 1. guitar players play mixed chords and transition between chords a lot. and 2. The rootnote just plain gets boring.
It's impossible to go wrong by playing the lowest note the guitarist is playing, because you'll be playing the root of whatever inversion or voicing he's playing. But I"d recommend learning some theory so you can be better equipped to write a bassline. You just need more tools.
Quote by derekwalden_-33
What If you dont know the chord names?

Im sorry, end me now.

it's all about developing your ear really, but I will admit learning basic theory will help you out. I always used to challenge myself to adapt and now, I can adjust to most root note changes in a pretty minimal amount of time using just my ears. it's a great skill for a bassist, as you will have to improvise basslines to get very far as a session musician so i recommend you practice until you've got it.
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isnt it the most dominate not in the chord?
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Quote by alternitivebass
isnt it the most dominate not in the chord?

Which is usually the name of it (so to speak)

I would assume a G Maj chord is dominated by G
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ya thats what i thought gor say you are doing an e power chord most of the notes would be a g such as a g on the e strings and a g octave
Quote by RevaM1ssP1ss
The 2 best colours EVER pitted against each other? No wai!

I voted lime.

Quote by SeveralSpecies
btw lime kicked ass

Member of the Bass Militia PM Nutter_101 to join
Team Lime Green!
Attention UGers: if you are a tool who thinks he should say something despite knowing nothing on the given subject, please refrain from saying anything despite your urges, because you are going to mislead someone with your stupidity.

Basically, each chord is constructed from a scale. The root of a given chord is the tonic note of that scale.

For example, we can look at C major. The notes are C D E F G A B, and the notes of the C major triad are C E G.

On the guitar or bass this could look like so, if the notes are in that order from lowest to highest.

G--0 G
D--2 E
A--3 C

However, one could invert the chord so that the C is not the lowest. THE C IS STILL THE ROOT NOTE, and the bass should still be playing C to sound right if your are following the root notes.

D--2 E
A--3 C
E--3 G

In order to pick out the root note in any given situation (if you can't use your ear), you must know what type of chord is being played, and so be familiar with the different inversions of different kinds of chords.
Last edited by Arbitror at Nov 2, 2008,
^If you invert the chord the root note is still C, but the bass note of the chord is now G. It all depends on the wanted effect. If the bass player is playing a C over that chord it might give it a stronger C tonality, but playing a G will give another interesting tonality, while not technically the root note it will still work.
I wouldn't argue chord inversions and what can be played under them with a jazz bassist, you are just asking for trouble....

In a spectral analysis theory, playing the root would be the most dominate note as it is usually repeated the most in a given chord. Adding the root below the guitar in another octave solidifies the chord.