Hey guys! Gaby Soule here from GuitarControl.com, today we’re going to talk about the bass guitar.
In this bass guitar lesson we’ll take a look at some of the most basic elements that are necessary to develop your technique and musical skills.
Playing the bass is not just playing a low 4 stringed guitar. In order to have a complete perspective it’s important to understand what the bass guitar really does in relation to other instruments.
In most bands the bass guitar has at least a double function. On one hand it rhythmically fits the drums, connecting it with the guitar and the rest of the instruments. At the same time it harmonically works with the guitar, keyboards, etc, in order to complete their chords, giving them a wider range by adding low inversions, and creating what we call the beat of a song.
We need to acquire some technical and musical skills to accomplish all of these things that are required from the bass guitar.
It is important to be very aware of the drums, following it and at the same time giving it a harmonic sense. That’s why it is good for any bass player to practice with drums backing tracks or even with the metronome to develop our timing and our ability to play not just notes but grooves.
On the other side of the spectrum we need to focus on the chords themselves, and their inner structure, also their triads and how to create arpeggios out of them. (Sample 1)
Playing low notes when accompanying others should also be viewed as a melodic work.
Then the context of the song will help us to figure out how the chord progressions work, and what type of ornaments the song may need or not.
It doesn’t matter if you play with your fingers or with a pick, or if you are a fan of a specific style or technique, listening to other bass players, and even other instruments, will always give us new tools to increase our vocabulary. A very good starting point in relation to this is to pick up all the same elements that work for guitar, such as scales, riffs, etc, and incorporate them in a way that they make sense in the context of the bass technique and phrasing.
Keep on playing! See you soon!
P.S I recommend you to check out some of our best bass guitar courses in DVD!