Page 43 - bass

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Ba s s L ev e l 1
39
Ban dwa g on Mu s i c S t ud i o s
NOTES 1-5
Here is another idea to expand from just playing
the tonic note. Mostly called notes
1-5, though is quite often called
tonic -dominant.
To get the full picture on this style of bass
playing we’ll have to firstly look at chord
construction.
Chords are single notes played at the same time.
The single notes come from the scales e.g. the
major scale (the scale that has the sound of Do
Re Me Fa So La Te Do. The notes can also be
numbered 1 to 8).
The major chord is based on the major scale and
uses notes Do Me and So or notes 1 3 and 5 from
the major scale. The two other common chords
(minor and 7th) are very similar in structure to
the major chord.
The minor chord lowers note 3 one semitone (1
fret) to give us notes 1 3b and 5.
The 7th chord adds note 7b (note 7 of the major
scale lowered a semitone) to the major chord
giving us 1 3 5 and 7b.
Here are the three chords:
Major 1 3 5
Minor 1 3b 5
7th
1 3 5 7b
Notice that each chord has notes 1 and 5 in their
structure. So we use these two notes to create a
more interesting bass line. This is obviously called
1-5 bass.
Note 1 can also be called the Tonic, while note 5
can be called the Dominant. So we could also call
this approach to playing the Tonic - Dominant
bass.
Two styles of music that are highly associated
with this bass sound are country and western,
and German beer hall songs, BUT all bass players
use it! Even rock and heavy metal players.
We have played lots of our bass work so far using
only the tonic note (note 1). All you have to do is
start on the same tonic and add note 5. The
fingering patterns below show where note 5 is in
relation to note 1. These patterns can be moved
along and across the guitar allowing you to play
notes 1 - 5 for any chord.
Notes 1 and 5 form two fingering patterns on the
bass like this. A good way to look at note 5 is
that you can have a LOW NOTE 5 or a HIGH
NOTE 5 while note 1 stays in the same place.