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by D•..-id C. Gross.

A thorough and Instructive treatise on rock bass


improvisation. written by one of the leading
authorities on rock and bass technique. Illustrated
throughout with 'demonstration' photographs.
-
-·-�
_...--· ..
Cover photography by Gored Monkowitz
C=r d<signcd by Pta,ce Mar<hbank
Ediced by R,�mie Bal!
JnreriOJ"design. cypescming,
aod music engraving by A-R Editions, Inc.
Co)>)lriSht © 1985 by Amsco Publications,
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Pftrw,ed. i11 •lie. Unl!C!ld Sta1.c:S of A�ic. by


Vi�Ci.:raptllcs
Contents
Acknowledgments Chapter III Blues Progressions 48

Pentatonic Scales 54
Introduction 3
Patterns for Practice in Various Keys 58

Chapter I Notation for the Electric Bass 4


Chapter IV Tcchnique Exercises 63
Tablarurc 4
Exercises Away from the Instrument 63
Standard Notation 6
Exercises on the Instrument 66
Pitch 6
Rhythm 8
Rhythm Patterns 8 Chapter V Equipment 76

The Eight String Bass 76


Chapter D Chord Theory for the Electric Bass 15 The Five String Bass 82
The Fretless Bass 84
Major Chords 15
Minor Chords 21
Diminished Chords 24 Chapter VI Rock Styles 91
Hamf-diminished Chords 26
Bassists You Should Know 96
Augmented Chords 26
Pedaling the Chord 26
Modes 28
Acknowledgments
for Improvising Rock Bass
J would like to thank the following people and com­
panies for equipment and support throughout the
making of this book.
Steve Blucher and Larry DiMarzi.o at DiM.uzio
Pickups
Clint Bahr of Factor 7
Mike and Janet at D' Addario Strings
David Donen for great pictures
Kitty Gross for great home cooking
Joey and Vinnie at Fodera Guitars
Bill Merchant at the Bass Shop

Acknowledgments
To Felix Pappalardi whose initial contributions as
well as friendship will be sorely missed. And to my
wife Kitty who pushed me to continue this book.
Introduction
In my previous book "Teach Yourself Rock Bass" I
covered the basic steps to creating a good rock and
roll bass line. After its publication, I found that
some of my students asked me, "Where do I go from
here1"
"Improvising Rock Bass" is the next step. In it I
have included exercises to increase your fluency up
and down the neck of the bass as weH as an in depth
study on the creation of your own bass lines.
Good bass lines arc the basis on which chords and
melodies are built, so I have included pages of bass
lines of today's styles of music. By hearing and play­
ing these lines you will begin to uncover certain
ideas as to phrasing, choice of notes, rhythm, and
style, which will help you to create new bass lines
on your own.
So plug in and turn the page!
GOODLUCKI!
Chapter 1
Notation For The
Electric Bass
Tablature
There are two methods of writing music used in this read them. You won't get bogged down or bored
book. One is called tablature (tab for short) and the learning to read without having the fun of playing
other is standard notation. the riffs. Don't get me wrong, I think reading is an
In tablature you learn precisely which finger goes important part of any musician's development, but
on what fret of the bass whereas in standard nota­ if you can hear and finger the note, it will make
tion you are just given the note and it is up to you to playing it as weli as reading it more fun.
find the proper way to finger it. While you are learn­ The electric bass has four strings (E A D GI. The
ing to 1ead music, tablature can play an important tablature system uses four lines:
role, allowing you to play the notes even if you can't

Bar lines divide the staff into measures.

me.asures

------ bar lines�


Tablature
There are two methods of writing music used in this read them. You won't get bogged down or bored
book. One is called tablaturc (tab for short) and the learning to read without having the fun of playing
other is standard notation. the riffs. Don't get me wrong, I think reading is an
In tablature you learn precisely which finger goes important part of any musician's development, but
on what fret of the bass whereas in standard nota­ if you can hear and finger the note, it will make
tion you are just given the note and it is up to you to playing it as weli as reading it more fun.
find the proper way to finger it. While you are learn­ The electric bass has four strings (E A D GI. The
ing to read music, tablature can play an important tablature system uses four lines:
role, allowing you to play the notes even if you can't

Bar lines divide the staff into measures.

me.asures

------ bar lines�

Each of the four lines of the tablature system rep­ the A, and at the bottom, the lowest pitch would be
resents a bass string. The top string would be your G the E string.
string (the highest pitch), next would be the D, then

(Highest string) 8
(Lowest string) f
4
An O on the tablature staff indicates that you play A number on the tablature staff indicates the spe•
that particular string open or unfrcttcd. For exam­ cific string and fret position to be played. A 3 on the
ple an O on the bottom line means you play the low­ third line from the bottom (D string) indicates that
est pitched string (El open. you play the D string at the third fret which is an F.


Standard Notation Pitch
Music is written on the lines and the spaces of a Every note has a neighboring note that is higher in
five-lined system called the staff. pitch, and one that is lower. To express this musical
notation, we need to introduce the sharp I I), the flat
!�land the natural (q).
The sharp symbol preceding a note raises that
note by one half step (one fret). The flat symbol pre­
ceding a note lowers that note by one half step (one
fret). The natural sign preceding a note removes the
effect of a sharp or flat.
Now we can write a series of notes. In the first ex­
ample, all of the new notes are indicated by sharps.
The lines and spaces of the staff do not represent In the second example, all of the new notes are indi­
specific notes until a clef sign is added. Music writ· cated by fiats. As you look at both of these exam­
ten for both the electric and acoustic (uprightI bass, ples, find each note on the bass. Just follow the tab­
as well as tuba and trombone, uses the bass or F clef. lature under the standard notation.
The 1eason it is called the F clef is simple. Notice that whether notated in sharps or flats,
both series of notes sound the same. With the excep­
tion of the intervals E-F and B-C the sharp of a note
equals the flat of its alphabetical upper neighbor.
Notes with this relationship, for example A# and
B�, or C� and D�, are called enharmonic equiva­
lents.

Do you see the line between the two dots! That


line represents the F note, consequently, the F clef.
When the notes go above or below the staff, they
are written on leger lines.


i E � �

Leger lines arc just additional lines corresponding


tn the linP.• of the suff.
[: : :� :·: : : :": : : I r· : :I: : : :;: :II: : : I
I.
Notes on the E String Notes on tile A String

L________I �

[: :: :� ::� : : :: Ir�,·:::�::::::� I :�
Notes on the D String Notes on the G String

[� :� :: :-: :,: :: 1 r· : :� : �� : 1
2.
Notes on the E String Notes on the A String

§: : ·: :�
� �

Notes on the D String Notes on the G String

12: r II hr 1 11r9 1 •r I 'F I 11F I 19 F II tr I �f IT I �r-¥: 1¥: I


1
r::-;,
1
Sul

t� :,. :• :•u•: ��:"':•� :•• : : : : : :� I


: • ; : :� : :: : : I

2.

1 r· : :� ::� :�: :·: :: 1


Notes on the E String Notes on the A String

[� : � :: : I: : I: ::

I
Sul lri

I I TI

�;�;•�I;
Y
� ��
t
I

:: :: :
I:
::�
'.: l:
�'.'."

7
Rhythm Rhythm Patterns
Most of the exercises in this book are written in: or When you listen to groups such as The Police, The
common time. The symbol for this is either 4 or a C Rolling Stones, Queen or Men At Work, one of the
written on the staff right after the clef I 9' I symbol. j things that grabs you immediately ls the interaction
means that each measure of music contains four between the rhythm section (bass and drums). Rock
quarter notes, each quarter note receiving one beat. and roll is a highly rhythmic form of music, conse­
Therefore, each measure of music receives four quently it is very important for you as an aspiring
he.a.ts. bassist to be fully acquainted with the various
rhythmic patterns indigenous to rock.
To begin to gain rhythmic understanding of the

9: t 3 J J J
music, start with your own record and tape collec­
tion. Put on some of your favorite records and pay
close attention to what is being played by the bass
and drums. Once you can listen and catch the phras­
ing your playing will noticeably improve.
An eighth note receives one half of one beat. A Rhythm is based on note duration1 as such it is
sixteenth note receives one quarter of one beat. distinct from pitch values. Catching the right
When you are counting a measure which contains rhythmic phrasing is just as important as bitting the
eighth notes count 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and. right notes.
This section is for you to familiarize yourself
with various rhythms. Put aside your bass for now,

9' I J J J J LLJ_J
our emphasis is first on feeling the rhythms, then
transferring them to the bass.
Here are some examples: take a pencil and tap out
anti ?. anti 3 and 4 and these rhythms:

When you are counting a measure which contains


sixteenth notes count l e and a 2 e and a 3 e and a 4 e
2: t � 1 .I I ,I ,I � .I
and a. I 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
tap tap tap tap tap tap tap

� I recommend the use of either a metronome or a


1 e and a 2 e and a 3 e and a 4 e and a drum machine to help keep the time.
Now pick any note that comes into your head and
sing it in the following rhythm:

If the measure contains only quarter notes count


I ?.::14.
2:1 J J J I J J J J]
,;, J J J. J I
. 2 3 4 I 2 3 4
Doooo Do Do Do Do Do Do
rhythmic patterns indigenous to rock.
To begin to gain rhythmic understanding of the

9: I J J U J
music, start with your own record and tape collec­
tion, Put on some of your favorite records and Jl<IY
close attention to what is being played by the bass
and drums. Once you can listen and catch the phras­
ing your playing will noticeably improve.
An eighth note receives one half of one beat. A Rhythm is based on note duration1 as such it is
sixteenth note receives one quarter of one beat. distinct from pitch values. Catching the right
When you are counting a measure which contains rhythmic phrasing is just as important as hitting the
eighth notes count l and 2 and 3 and 4 and. right notes.
This section is for you to familiarize yourself

9:1 J 3 J J JU J J
with various rhythms. Put aside your bass for now,
our emphasis is first on feeling the rhythms, then
transferring them to the bass.
Here are some examples: take a pencil and tap out
and 2 and 3 and 4 and these rhythms:

When you are counting a measure which contains


sixteenth notes count l e and a 2 e and a 3 e and a 4 e
2: t J l J I ,I J J J
and a. I 2 3 4 l 2 3 4
tap tap tap tap tap tap tap

� I recommend the use of either a metronome or a


1 e. and a 2 e and a 3 e and a 4 e and a drum machine to help keep the time.
Now pick any note that comes into your head and
sing it in the following rhythm:

2:1 J J J I J J J J
If the measure contains only quarter notes count
123 4.

2 3 4 1 2 4
9; i J J J' J I
. 3
l"loooo no D<l Do Do Do Do

2 3 4
By doing this and the patterns that follow, you
This way of counting will make it easier for you will begin to gain a good sense of time. I find most of
to know on which beat the written note is to be the students I have worked with have more trouble
played. with rhythmic values than notes so it is a good idea
Most rock music is written in j time, which is to work hard on this aspect of your playing.
why we will be concerned primarily with! time in Remember to start slowly and increase your
this book. tempo �radualiy. Use your foot to tap 1 2 3 4 in con-

8
junction with your metronome or drum machine.
All of these exercises will be in i time. Make sure
you feel the tempo by letting your metronome run
for a while before you get started.

� § � § � i i
?. 1 4 2 3 4 2 3 4 ?. 3 4

,l ,l ,! tJ � � § � �
?. 3 4 2 3 4 2 3 4 ? 1 4


?
a3 4

2
,l ,I I J
3 4 2

3 4

2 3 4


2
a
3
J I J ii J
4 2 3 4
IJ J J
2 3 4
t ,I ,I
2
J
3 4

� � � I .! .I J § i §
4
I
2 3 4 2 3 4 2 3 4 2 3
� � � � § � � � � �
2 3 4 2 3 4 2 3 4 2 3 4


2

3 4

2
a3

4

2
i
3 4
e
2 3 4


2
a
3 4
� l i
2 3 4
§ �
2
i
3 4
§ �
2 3 4


2

3

4
§ � �
?. 3 4

7
i
3 4
Qi:
2 3 4
II

Now pick up your bass. We'll usc similar rhythm Play these next exercises slowly at first. Once
patterns and add notes to them. You'll now be play· again, use a metronome or a drum machine to keep
ing these notes instead of just tapping them or sing· your tempo correct. As you improve, increase the
ing them. Remember to tune your bass. tempo of the machine.

9
( ( )
( )
( ♦ )

)
) )

)
) )

) )
[: :: : ,I; : : : ,I : :1 : : ,I : : :: ,I : : :

r•: : : ,1 : : : :_,1 1� � : : : : :
....___,,
�C�•f :

r•: : ' �- , <c::>


1 _,1 : : :· I l � ::· ,1
.........../�
,1
....___,,,.....__,,,
: : � l ,, ,1 :
...__......._.,...___,,

When practicing, I find it best to expend no more Here are some more patterns to be sung and
than fony-five to fifty minutes on serious concen· tapped. These will concentrate on eighth note and
tration, then take a break. Four hours of continuous sixteenth note patterns which you will find very fre­
practice does not necessarily mean four hours of quently in today's music.
learning. Take your time. If you are diligent it will
pay off.

IO
t,: I ,! � a
1

4
� �
2
J .I J .i
3 and 4 and
IJ a 2
,11 .I ,I .I .I
1 anti 4 •· and a

� J J ,I
2 and
n ,I
1 c and a 4 and
l ,H
I
J J J
e and a 2 and 3 and 4 e and a

,= .H l s
1 e and • ') and 3 e anrl a 4 e and a
jj jjjj jjjjjj,ijJJ1
I e and a 2 e and a 3 e and a 4 e and a

� J
I
,1
and
,l .I .17
2 and 3 and
m
4 and I e and a 2 e and a 3 e and a 4 and

9: n .I J .I ,I J ,H J l J I .I ,H ,□ .1
I e and a 2 e and a 3 e and a 4 and l � and a 2 e and a 3 e and a 4 e and a

9: ,EJ m E5I
1 c and a 2 c and a 3 e and a 4 e and a
� i I ,EJ 3 ,B .I s
� �.l h
I e and a 2 e and a 3 e and a 4 e and a

2= J ,i J .I ii ,IJJJ,1 J .I J J .I J J J J .f.l ffi I


2 and 3 c and a 4 and I e and a 2 and 3 and 4 e and a

,= n 1 J l
I e and a 2 and
nl �
3 e and a 4 e and a
1JJ jjjj jjjj]j,i,IJil1
I e and a 2 e and a 3 e and a 4 c and a

91 J .I ,l
and 2 and
J
3 and
l ,I I ,H J
4 and I e and a 2
m �
e and a 3 e and a 4

and

� mI
5,H J
e and a 2 e and a 3 e and a 4
J J IJ
and
H
I e and a 2 e and a 3 e and a 4 e and a

2: ,F3 � � � i1.rJ 3.HJ § ffi.l Ml


1 c and a 2 c and a 3 e and a 4 e and a I e and a 2 e and a 3 e and a 4 e and a

,: j ,I .I .I J
e and a 2
J J J j J ,I I ,I j
3 e and a 4 and I and
.l
2
.I ,I j j J ,fJ
and 3 e and a 4 e and a
9I

:,: ,I ,I .I ,I 11
3 4

11
The previous sixteen bars of music contained no tricky especially at fast tempos. Here are some pat­
rests. When you add eighth note 17) or sixteenth note terns involving rests. Remember, start slowly and
li'l rests reading the music can become somewhat gradually increase your tempo.

?1 2 J .I
2
j
3
J I J ,l
4 1
.□ ., 'f1 I ,! ) ,□ rn It
2 3 and 4 and l 2 3 and 4 e and a

,. .I .I
2
J ,I ,h
and 3 e and a
j
4 and
I I r,
l
'I
e and a 2
1
and 3 and 4 e and a

.,.. 'l !J
e and a 2 and
,□ ,Fil m
3 e and a 4 e and a
1.fffl q, .DJ .Elf .H LI .I J i
I e and a 2 e and a 3 e and a 4 e and a

2: ,§ .,
and
., J, }
2 and 3
't 'I
and 4
.�
and
I ,H ,l ,En ,En
I e and a 2 e and a 3
,l
e and a 4
J
and

,= .n ,I j .I ,I j ,Fil ,I ,I I ., fi fl ., ffl ., ffl '(


e and a 2 c and a 3 e and a 4 and I e and a 2 e and a 3 c ,nrl • 4 p ,nrl a

!)
I � .D.EJ , ,f,, �1,t,I 11 .r.l ffl.En .FJ
e anrl • 2 e anrl a 3 e and o 4 e and a 1 " and a 2 e anrl • 3 e. anrl a 4 e anrl a

t,
t
,□ Cf )J rn If J � � � § jj] Jf01
,: ,I .l J
2 and
,I .n J ,I
3 e and a 4 and
I r,
l
'I
e and a 2
1
and 3 and 4 e and a

::>' ' !J ,□
e and a 2 and
,Fil m
3 e and a 4 e and a
I ,i ,i .I , , DJ ,Elf .H
I e and a 2 e and a 3
LI ,I j i
e and a 4 e and •

2: ,§ 'f
and 2
'f

and
J, }
'.\
't
and
'I
4
.� I ,H ,l
and 1
,Fil ,Fil
e ;mrl a ? e anrl ;,1 J e and a 4
,l J
and

t)t .n ,I ,I ,I ,I ],fi] ,I ,I I ., fi fl
e and a 2 c and a 3 e and a 4 and I e and a 2
'f ffl 'f

e and a 3 c and a 4 e and a


ffl '(

!)
I
9 .D.EJ lj f,, �, ,f,I i1
e and a 2 e and a 3 e and a 4 e and a
rJ a .FA ,FJ
1 e and a 2 e and a 3 e and a 4 e and a


I e and a 2
rn3 e and a
If J 1
4 and
a
and
1· , JJ l lf01
2 and 3 e and a 4 e and a

� a 4
3

12
Now pick up your bass and using various seg­
ments of these patterns, let's play some music.

_Q_

,..,......_ ------- ,...-.,_


� 2 11: g ( t s1 9
I 91 ,I 5' I @ (l 9
1
J J J ,□
1
1

G7

cJ G7

D7 C:7 G7

14
Chapter II
Chord Theory For The
Electric Bass

Major Chords
In my first book "Teach Yourself Rock Bass," I the beginning of chord structure. Let us take the C
touched upon major and minor triads. Chords are major scale;
the harmonic part of the music, and triads are just

C DE F G A B C C B A GFE DC

A major scale is a series of eight notes arranged in I recommend the use of a piano if one is available,
a pattern of whole steps and half steps (one fret and because you can see and hear the entire chord.
two frets). Major chords are constructed from these Let's take the C major scale and use its first, third,
scales. and fifth notes:
Major Chords
In my first book "Teach Yourself Rock Bass," I the beginning of chord structure. Let us take the C
touched upon major and minor triads. Chords are major scale:
the harmonic part of the music, and triads are just

C DE F G A B C C B A GFE DC

A major scale is a series of eight notes arranged in I recommend the use of a piano if one is available,
a pattern of whole steps and half steps (one fret and because you can see and hear the entire chord.
two frets). Major chords are constructed from these Let's take the C major scale and use its first, third,
scales. and fifth notes:

15
These three notes make up the C major triad, a Here is a rhythm pattern using the three notes of
chord consisting of the root {first degree of the the C major triad.
scale I, the third, and the fifth of a C major scale. Itis
written C.

....----...

To vary the sound from a three note chord to that To do this you must know what constitutes each
of a four or five note chord, other notes of the scale chord. Since we have started with the major chords
may be added. let's continue with them.
As a bass player, you function in a dual role. You Still using the C major scale, if you add the sev­
must have a good sense of time and a sense of har• enth degree of the scale to the triad you get what is
monic content. That is, with your bass line you can called the C major seventh chord. It can be written
help the listener to distinguish the tonality of the Cmaj7, CM7, or C 87.
various chords (whether they are major, minor, di­
minished or augmented).

C ma.i 7

Remember "Color My World" by Chicago? The Still using the major triad, add the seventh degree
first chord played in the song was a major seventh again but this time flat it by one half step (one fret).
arpeggio. (Arpeggio means to play all the notes in This is a dominant seventh chord; it is written C7,
the chord separately in quick succession.) and is used frequently in rock and blues.

FFf5

To vary the sound from a three note chord to that To do this you must know what constitutes each
of a four or five note chord, other notes of the scale chord. Since we have started with the major chords
may be added. let's continue with them.
As a bass player, you function in a dual role. You Still using the C major scale, if you add the sev•
must have a good sense of time and a sense of har• enth degree of the scale to the triad you get what is
monic content. That is, with your bass line you can called the C major seventh chord. It can be written
help the listener to distinguish the tonality of the Cmaj7, CM7, or C87.
various chords (whether they are major, minor, di­
minished or augmented).

C maj 7

Remember "Color My World" by Chicago? The Still using the major triad, add the seventh degree
first chord played in the song was a major seventh again but this time flat it by one half step (one fret).
arpeggio. (Arpeggio means to play all the notes in This is a dominant seventh chord; it is written C7,
the chord separately in quick succession.) and is used frequently in rock and blues.

c1

16
We can add the sixth degree of the scale to the ma­ written C6. This chord is used a great deal in pop
jor triad. This is called the C major 6th chord and is tunes and hallads.

(:6

Another chord used frequently in rock music is


the sus 4 chord which substitutes for either the 3rd
or 5th of the scale

C6 C SUS 4 C6

Thesus 4 chord has a feeling of finality when used


as a substitute for the 3rd and then followed imme­
diately by the 3rd.

CsiLs4 C

,,-.., .....-----... ...---..


Ii i a' I� I�

Another chord used frequently in rock music is


the sus 4 chord which substitutes for either the 3rd
or 5th of the scale

C6 C SUS 4 C6

Thesus 4 chord has a feeling of finality when used


as a substitute for the 3rd and then followed imme­
diately by the 3rd.

C SUS 4 C

,,--.. _............._ ,..--.._

17
Here are some patterns in several different keys slowly at first and to use a metronome or a drum
utilizing the components of the major chord. Re- machine to reap the most benefits from them.
member that these exercises should be practiced

Bb7 A �7

Amai7

...-,.

•,"• :
r : :� :: :· :: ::: :� :::· :� ::
F.6

A6 E6
(
G SUS 4 G7 G SUS 4 G7 G sus4 G7 Gsus4 G7

Am C D G SUS 4 G7 G SUS 4 G

----

-......_,-...___...

After you have gone through these basic chord ex­ Once you have these chord patterns down, if
ercises try to invent some of your own. When you someone you are playing with starts calling out
are listening to records, check out what the bass chord changes to you, it will become easier to pro•
player iis doing and see some of the similarities. vide a good solid bass line that fits those chords.

19
R6 A6 F.6 F.

....___,..,....___,, ........../

G SUS 4 G7 G SUS 4 G7 Gsus4 G7 Gsus4 G7

r• I : �: : :�
...__...
: : �: :�
..._.,. ........____.,
,I : :: :�
..._,, : : : ::
..__.....___..,,

Arn C D G SUS 4 (;7 G Sll� 4 G

<.._;

......_.
......____,.

After you have gone through these basic chord ex­ Once you have these chord patterns down, if
ercises try to invent some of y our own. When you someone you are playing with starts calling out
are listening to records, check out what the bass chord changes to you, it will become easier to pro­
player is doing and see some of the similarities. vide a good solid bass line that fits those chords.
The major scale contains three major triads
which are built on the first, fourth and fifth degrees
of the scale.
Let's ,go back to the C major scale:

IV V V IV

C (I) F (IV) G (V)


------ ....--.. ....--..

These three chords are the basis of the standard 1-


IV-V blues progression.
Minor Chords

The major scale also contains three minor triads, of the scale), a minor third (flatted a half step or one
built on the second, third and sixth degrees of the fret from the major third) and the fifth. It is written
scale. A minor triad consists of the root (first degree m, minor or occasionally-.

II III VI VI Ill II

In the C major scale, the minor triads are built on


the D (Ill, E {III) and A [VII.

Dm CTI) Em (III) Am (VI)


..--... ,........... ,..-..,

Just like major chords, 6ths and 7ths may be the third degree and the seventh degree of a major
added to minor chords. scale. The minor seventh chord can be written as
The minor 7th chord is formed by flatting ho.th Cm?, C minor 7, or C-7.

,,..,__ ,,
II III VI VI Ill II

In the C major scale, the minor triads are built on


the D (111, E {Ill) and A [VI).

----
Dm (II) Em (III) Am (VI)
..,--,. ,..-.,_

Just like major chords, 6ths and 7ths may be the third degree and the seventh degree of a major
added to minor chords. scale. The minor seventh chord can be written as
The minor 7th chord is formed by flatting bo.th Cm7, C minor 7, or C-7.

Cm7

21
The 9th Ithe second degree of the scale one octave
higher! may be added.

('m9

Here are a few patterns dealing with minor This first pattern is a two bar phrase in the style of
chords. If you have a piano, listen to the difference the B-52's "Rock Lobster." Note the ominous qual­
between a major and a minor chord by playing all ity that is created when you play a bass riff built on a
the notes at once or as an arpeggio. If all you have is minor chord.
the bass, play them all as arpeggios.

Em

f'm7 F Cm7 F

Fm
1,11
47·

Here are a few patterns dealing with minor This first pattern is a two bar phrase in the style of
chords. If you have a piano, listen to the difference the B-52's "Rock Lobster." Note the ominous qual­
between a major and a minor chord by playing all ity that is created when you play a bass riff built on a
the notes at once or as an arpeggio. If all you have is minor chord.
the bass, play them all as arpeggios.

Em

Cm7 F Cm7 F

Fm

22
)

(
Diminished Chords
Another chord form that should be discussed is the the minor (flatted) third and the diminished lflatted)
diminished c hord. This chord does not appear natu- fifth. It is written as dim or".
rally in any key. It is built with the root 11st degreel,

Cdim

r;: : ? :
The diminished seventh chord adds a diminished "7. As it consists of four equal intervals of a minor
!double flatted) seventh and is written as dim 7 or thud each, it can start on any of its four notes.

C dim 7 El1dim 7 G� dim 7 B�� dim 7

I; I� I:: : : : : : : : I; : : : '� : :

e: � : : ,: : � ,: ;
The diminished chord works well when passing
from one chord to another.

F7 B�7 F7

I� : : : : : : : : : : :
r·: : : : : :�: : : : ::: : : :: : �: : :
The diminished seventh chord adds a diminished 0
7. A1l it consists of four equal intervals of a minor
ldouble flatted) seventh and is written as dim 7 or third each, it can start on any of its four notes.

C dim 7 E�dim 7 G� dim 7 B�� dim 7

: I� I��
:

e: : : :
The diminished chord works well when passing
from one chord to another.

F7 Rb7 F7

I: : : I: : I� : : : : : : : : : : :

B�7 • ao ?

[' : 1: I: I� : �� 1: : r :� : : I: : : � � :
24
1:· � ';: ; ,: : : ,: ,: ,: : ,: : ,: : : ,: ; � : :
C7 B�7 F7 Dm7 Gm7 C7

*In this pattern the Bo7 is passing between the


B� 7 UV7) and the F7 1171- By using the diminished
chord instead of two bars of m 7 you have changed
the color of the tune.

Notice how using the diminished chord adds a with the two Bb 7 chords (measures S and 61 then
tension that would be missing if played with two play the previous one again.
straight B� 7 chords, Play and listen to this pattern

l'
F7 B� 7 F7

►: : � ; : : � .: .: � : : � ) .: : 6: : � � :

1:•
B�7 F7

► : ,: I� ,: : :� ,: ,: : : � � : : : : : � : :
chord instead of two bars oi m 7 y-ou have changed
the color of the tune.

Notice how using the diminished chord adds a with the two Bb 7 chords {measures S and 61 then
tension that would be missing if played with two play the previous one again.
straight Bb 7 chords. Play and listen to this pattern

F7 B� 7 F7

�';: : � � ; : :I: I: � : � : : I: : ; : : :

R�7 F7

C' : ,: ,: ,: : ;: � ,: : : : � � : : : : � : :

r·· � : � : : : : � : : : : , :� : : : :
C7 B�7 f7 Om7 Gm7 C7

f I I: I I F L I I L I I
25
Half-diminished
Chords
The half-diminished seventh chord (written •7) is third, the diminished (flatted) fifth and the minor
found on the seventh degree of the major scale. It is (flatted) seventh. It is often referred to as the minor
built using the root (first degree), the minor (flatted) seventh flatted fifth (written mns or m7-5).

d7

Augmented Chords
The next type of chord to be discussed is the aug­ enth chord adds the minor !flatted) seventh and is
mented chord. This chord is built using the root written as + 7, aug 7 or 7 + S. It is used a lot in rock
!first degree), the major third, and the sharped fifth and pop ballads and standard tunes.
U 5). It is written as + or aug. The augmented sev-

c+ c7+5

.........._

no_ .J -'�-- _ ..a.L - ,r,L __ ..J


cl1

Augmented Chords
The next type of chord to be discussed is the aug­ enth chord adds the minor !flatted) seventh and is
mented chord. This chord is built using the root written as + 7, aug 7 or 7 + 5. It is used a lot in rock
!first degree), the major third, and the sharped fifth and pop ballads and standard tunes.
U 5). It is written as + or aug. The augmented sev-

C+ C7+5

..----...

Pedaling the Chord


This next pattern can be played in two different Pedaling is done primarily to keep a steady bot·
ways. The bass can make the changes that the guitar tom while the chordal instruments are playing dif­
or piano is making or can stay on the root or tonic ferent changes.
note. This is called pedaling the chord.

26
E: : :·:.· : : :.· : !':.· : : �- :; ::
C C+ C6 C+ C C+ Co C7

1:. : :

F Ft F6 Ft ('

r-: :: : : : :: : : ::: : : ::: : : :


C Ct C6 Ct C Ct- CG C7

r· :: : : ::: : ,: : : :;_
F Ft F6 Ft-

.t J_ :: : : : :

As you can see, pedaling can be even more dra- progression. Of course, this does not work all of the
matic than playing the different notes of the chord time and should be used at your own discretion.
Modes
Modes may be thought of as scales built on different Going from E to Eis called the Phrygian mode,
degrees of the major scale. also with a minor sound.
Take the C major scale:

r: : ; : J : I: ,. : :
If you took this particular scale which has no
sharps or flats in the key signature and went from C
to C, D to D, E to E, F to F, G to G, A to A and B to B, From F to F is the Lydian mode which has a major
you would have the basic idea of how the modes op­ quality to its sound.

l': : � � �:,< ,:
erate.
The modes were utilized by the ancient Greeks
and are still called by their original Greek names.
From C to C (which we know as the C major scale)
is called the Ionian mode.

[: :::::::::
J: :

From G to G is called the Mixolyd.ian mode. It too


Starting on D and going one octave up to the next has a major sound and is probably the most fre­
D with no sharps or flats is called the Dorian mode. quently used mode because it can be used with the
This particular mode has a minor quality to its rwelve bar blues.
sound.
r: : : : : ; I: ,: � :

If you took this particular scale which has no


16 ( 19

sh arps or flats in the key signature and went from C


to C, D to D, E to E, F to F, G to G, A to A and B to B, From F to F is the Lydian mode which has a major
you would have the basic idea of how the modes op­ 11uality to its sound.
erate.

l': : � � �:,< ,:]: :


The modes were utilized by the ancient Greeks
and are still called by their original Greek names.

[: :::::::::
From C to C (which we know as the C major scale)
is called the Ionian mode.

From G to G is called the Mixolydian mode. It too


Starting on D and going one octave up to the next has a major sound and is probably the most fre­
D with no sharps or flats is called the Dorian mode. quently used mode because it can be used with the

r: : ;:::::: :
This particular mode has a minor quality to its twelve bar blues.
sound.

28
A to A is called the Aeolian mode. This mode has B to B is called the Locrian mode. It is the one
a minor quality to it and is sometimes called the mode th"t worh with the h:1lf-diminishe.d �hord.
natural minor scale.

1:::: :::�:::: 1::: : :;: : I� :; :

These modes are very helpful in figuring out the Before we go into detail of their uses, here are all
different patterns to play over any number of chord the modes in all of the keys.
changes.

Key of G Major
G Ionian

A Dorian
These modes are very helpful in figuring out the Before we go into detail of their uses, here are all
different patterns to play over any number of chord the modes in all of the keys.
changes.

Key of G Major
G Ionian

A Dorian

B Phmtian

29
C Lydian

D Mixolydian

E Aeolian

Flt Locrian
E Aeolian

Flt Locrian

Key of D Major
D Ionian

30
E Dorian

FM Phrygian

G Lvdian

A Mixolydian
;;

9 1
� l 5
I ,1 ) 1 11 sl I !s
5
7
1 1
9 l
f CJ 1•

G Lydian

A Mixolydian

R Aenlian

ill
C- Locrian

Key of A Major
A Ionian

R nnrian

CM Phrygian
R Dnrian

CM Phrygian

D Lydian

32
E Mixolydian

F- Aeolian

G� Locrian

Key of E Major
E Ionian
G• Locrian

Key of E Major
E Ionian

FM Dorian

33
G- Phrygian

A Lydian

B Mixolydian

cf Aeolian
B Mixolydian

C� Aeolian

D� Locrian

34
Key of B Major
B Ionian

d Dorian

DI! Phrygian

E Lydian
'-'11 '--''-'11�11

oll Phrygian

E Lydian

F� Mixolydian

35
G- Aeolian

A# Locrian

Key ofFM Major


Ffl Ionian

Gd Dorian
r '"R ; ; ; ; ; ; H1
,Iii •' J I f 1" /' 1' O" 1" •

Key ofF" Major


F# Ionian

cM Dorian

A� Phrn.ian

.%
B Lydian

Cij Mixolydian

D� Aeolian

1J Locrian
Ii 2 ,J_11I al 91 8 9 11 I ;a ,a 11 ia ,s ,s ,s
1" I I I I ! 1ID 1

I)� Aeolian

d Locrian

Key of F Major I
F 10111::111

:n
G Dorian

A Phrygian

B11 Lydian

C Mixolydian
.,

� : ; ; ; : : :, :l ;,, : /3 1'0 1'


2
I"Ed-
I

B11 Lydian

C Mixolydian

D Aeolian

38
E Locrian

Key of Bb Major
Bb Ionian

E-
C Dorian

D Phrygian
0
0
<..,
F Mixolydian

G Aeolian

A Locrian

Key of H Major
E� Ionian
,.,
·c "
'c:
..
C
·c
0
u
... .2 0
0
..J
<C
-�
"'
.A
u.l "-

0
G Phrygian

A�Lydian

ab Mixolydian

C Aeolian
f\�Lyman

B� Mixolydian

C Aeolian

D Locrian

41
Key of A� Major
Ab lnni:111

B� Dorian

C Phrv�ian

D� Lydian
B� Dorian

C Phry�ian

D� Lydian

E� Mixolydian

42
I J a □ □ r r r r I r c c ru e 1
F Aeolian

l'i �1v
ii ' ,I ) ) ,I sl ) al Bj I j,a Is s 1'0 t;,,l i'a
I

G Locrian

Key of .G>b Major


nb Ionian


Eb Dorian

t c r E E:[Cf1 ff t � ui
� t· ,,I ,) ,) ,) ,•9 (8 (' rI ,•s fG ,,s i'
s
Cl 28
1
Key of Ob Major
nb Ionian

1 fff f gJi
E� Dorian

r c rr c cC f
2· I I · I ,,I ,a (a 1,-. r

� ,, ,9 u
I
1S 16 18
I I I fS 01
8 1
28

F Phrygian

43
GI, Lydian

Kharms-Vrun
0VccK11tlil AsblK - Princeton Russian

Al, Mixolydian

al, Aeolian

C Locrian
Ai, Mixolydian

Bl, Aeolian

C Locrian

Key of G� Major
GI, Ionian

44
tJUF
f
Ai, Dorian

u J □ □ccfE1 er
la 2 I I I •1 I e 9 11 le
I I I
0" 1•a
69
6
• 6 ;, 6 B ,• 1
I

Bl, Phrygian

Ci, Lydinn

ol, Mixolydian


In•1,•�• : :
;
: : � : fl t
: ; ; : ·' ,,I .., d
: : "1" ,:.: :
:. ,.. :

Ci, Lydian

ol, Mixolydian

Eb i\..,nti:in

45
F Locrian

Now that you have all the modes in front of you Here is an example of a possible situation. You
the question arises, "What do I do with them?" are rehearsing with your band and the guitar player
To answer this particular question is easy. Modes comes in with a brand-new song and starts showing
can be applied to any chord progression and with the chord changes to all the musicians. You want to
them you can create a bass line almost instantly. come up with a good line but do not know where to
The modes that are primarily used in rock music start; enter the modes.
are: Ionian lmajor), Dorian (minor), Mixolydian Supjpose the chord changes go like this:
!dominant), and occasionally Locrian for its dimin·
ished quality.

- - -- - - - �-
C'.7 Om7 C'.7 Dm7

� � � � � � � � � / ; ; )f

cl Dm7 Em7 F7 c,7

, ., I' ///;1""1/,'/,' f_____L...


L.=L r
Ir ,, »,, II
>r

The first thing that should come to your mind is dominant 7th chord its scale corresponds to the
which modes apply to these chords. The chord notes in the C Mixolydian mode. C Mixolydian has
scales as these modes can be called are as follows: one flat.
The C7 scale would be Mixolydian because as a
Now that you have all the modes in front of you Here is an example of a possible situation. You
the question arises, "What do I do with them?" are rehearsing with your band and the guitar player
To a.nswer this p,micular question is e.tsy. Modes comes in with a brand-new song and starts showing
can be applied to any chord progression and with the chord changes to all the musicians. You want to
them you can create a bass line almost instantly. come up with a good line but do not know where to
The modes that are primarily used in rock music start; enter the modes.
are: Ionian lmajor), Dorian (minor!, Mixolydian Suppose the chord changes go like this:
!dominant), and occasionally Locrian for its dimin·
ished quality.

C'.7 Om7 ('_1 Om7

� / ,+ ,, / �
7 / ji ✓ � � � r
I r r
I »
I,#

cl Dm7 Em7 F7 c,7

/#JI ####l#P#I" rrr


,
,, I I rrr»
r ,, > ,, , II
,,

The first thing that should come to your mind is dominant 7th chord its sc.ilc corresponds to the
which modes apply to these chords. The chord notes in the C Mixolydian mode. C Mixolydian has
scales as these modes can be called are as follows: one flat.
The C7 scale would be Mixolydian because as a

46
The Dm7 scale would be Dorian. A minor chord
in rock music usually takes the Dorian mode. D Do­
rian has no sharps or flats.

The Em7 would also be Dorian for the same rea­


son. E Dorian has two sharps.

The F7 scale would be Mixolydian for the same


reason that the C7 is Mixolydian. F Mixolydian has
two flats.

The G7 scale also is Mixolydian. G Mixolydian


has no sharps or flats.


J □ J □cecrirrcrJJJ
The E-m7 would also be Dorian for the same rea­
son. E Dorian has two sharps.

The F7 scale would be Mixolydian for the same


reason that the C7 is Mixolydian. F Mixolydian has
two flats.

The G7 scale also is Mixolydian. G Mixolydian


has no sharps or flats.

These chord scales are basically what I call the !em is that you can't cram all of the notes into each
"available notes" scales, meaning that for each of measure. With experience you will find out which
the chords given these notes will all flt. The prob· notes work best.

47
Chapter Ill
Blues Progressions
Blues patterns are the basis of many of the chord used in a slow blues or one that is uptempo like a
progressions used in rock and roll. shuffle. Let's take a blues progression in the key of
One of the most popular blues progressions is the G:
1-IV-V pattern !see Chapter II, page 20). It can be

1:·•::: ::: : :� :;: � :: ::: : :: ::: : :


Slow blues
G7

C7 C7

[ : : : I: I: : � : : : I: : : : : : � : � : : : � :

rF
� � @

it1 •
1
� ., , IJ 'I pi F F I J , G r J I J ., � r J =II
,. "' '
,. One of the most popular blues progressions is the G:

[·::: :;: : :� :;: :: ::: : :: ::: :


1-IV-V pattern (see Chapter II, page 20). It can be

Slow blues
G7

� :

l'. ! :
� m

I� I: : � : : : I: : : : : � � : � : : : : :

r· : ::�
� � @

:
I: : : : : I: : � : : : : : � :: : � :

48
The pattern you have just played is one way of in·
tetpteting a slow blues. Let's slightly alter that pat­
tern, still retaining a leisurely tempo, still keeping
it in the same key, and see what we come up with:

1:·:: :• �: : : : : : : : :: : : : I: : :
Slow blues
G7

: :

r•
C7 G7

I :: : ,: ,: : :: : ,: ,: : : :: � : :. : : � :

n7 C7 G7

[ :: : ,: : : �: : : ,: : :: :: � :: � I: ; :
Another way to play a slow blues is to use straight The blues gives lots of room for soloing, so it is
quarter notes, This way you arc keeping a steady your job when you are not taking a solo to give as
pulse with the rhythm of the four quarters and the much support as possible to the rest of the musi­
chords will be defined by a solid harmonic line, cians in the band.

I:'.:: : � :
G7 (C7) G7

I: : � : : I� : : � : : : : : : � :

l' l � : : � : : :: : : : :
C7 G7

I � ; ,: ,: : : :

r•
D7 C7 r,7

I : : : I. : : ,: : I� : : : : ,: : : ,: : : ::
1 111: ·' 'ii J ( Ie 1 2
1 1 1· I �I
5 ,I 0
1
1· I 1· i2
51 2
1

l'I : : ,: ,> : : : �; � : : : : : :: ,: : : :
C7 G7

[I : : :
D7 C7 G7

I� : : ,: � ,: �� : : ,: : : ,: : : ::

These three patterns typify the way a bassist role the bass has in keeping a firm foundation and
should approach a slow twelve bar blues progres­ never wavering in tempo. Likewise, a simple bass
sion. At the end of this chapter will be more pat· pattern doesn't conflict with anything the other
terns in different keys so you can familiarize your­ musicians are playing, and is worth its weight in
self with playing in other keys. gold.
Two things to remember are: keep steady time Let's continue with some uptempo blues patterns.
and keep it simple. I can never stress enough the

50
r·::: ::::: ::::: :::::::::
G7

r·• :,::: ::::: :::,:::::::


c7 G7

uauuI .nuc:rEJI flfilggl tlc::tg.lall


D7 C7 c;7

19'I
Ii H&t[liLf I H[.ttt(t I fi 0Slt__il e:l[l J1Jq II 2

What you have just played is called the shuffle. It The shuffle can be played in a variety of tempos,
is one of the most popular grooves in blues playing. so pick up your bass and with your metronome or
The Allman Brothers' "Turn Your Lights Down drum machine play the next pattern at a few differ­
Low," Eric Clapton's "Further on Down the Road," ent tempos. Remembe1, the shuffle should really
John Mayall's "The Stumble," ,md Rockpile's swing with a nice relaxed groove. Don't rush it.
"Knife and Fork," are all examples of a shuffle
groove.
r· :::·:::::,:·:::·:,:·::::
C7

•r· : ::::·:: ::,::::: :,�·:,:·:,�::


G7 . n1

C7 G7 D7

.nr· IC' .ruI [ i•r Ir"✓ 1r' II F'


1
Another progression used in playing the blues is
the I-VI-11-V. This progression is built on the first,
sixth, second and fifth degrees of the major scale.

G major scale

I II V VJ VI V II I

G7

r· : :: ,:: =� ::: :,� ,:: :: ::


C'.7

G7 Em7 Am7 D7 G7 C7 G7 D7
-
I
i t
I

3
1
II

5
j 2
1
9
1
V VI

!
6
2

1
l
4
(?fls
VI

((!
V

6 9
1
2
1
II

5
1
I

j
3
I

G7 Fm7 Am7 D7 G7 C7 G7 07
•d •·

53
Pentatonic Scales
There is a scale that is sometimes used for blues
playing called the pentatonic scale. It is a five note
scale that consists of the primary tones needed for a
blues lin-e.

Pentatonic scale in C

[::;;:::
We have talked about modes built on major
scales. Here are the pentatonic modes starting on
each note of the C pentatonic scale,

1:·: : : � ::,. :
D F

c:::::
I'' 1 d u JJ r
A

12• I JJ JJ r
(';

I
1:·: : � : : : :
We h.ave talked about modes built on major
scales. Here are the pentatonic modes starting on
each note of the C pentatonic scale,

1:·: : � : ��. :
D

1:·::::::r:
G

54
This exercise uses the pentatonic scales you have
learned so far. Practice it until it becomes second­
nature to you.

Here are all twelve of the pentatonic scales.


Memorize them, take each scale tone and practice
all the modes.

G pentatonic

4---,,

D pentatonic

............
[� ::: :: :: I�::::: :: ::: :
Here are all twelve of the pentatonic scales.
Memorize them, take each scale tone and practice
all the modes.

G pentatonic

,=::;

D pentatonic

...---.._

A pentatonic

.,..--....

55
E pentatonic

,,--..

B pentatonic

------..

Fl pentatonic

Gb pentatonic
------

Fl pentatonic

G� pentatonic

ol, pentatonic

,,-..._

56
A� pentatonic

E� pentatonic

,,---.._

B� pentatonic

,,---.._

F pentatonic
E� pentatonic

,....---.._

B� pentatonic

,.....-...,.

F pentatonic

57
Patterns for Practice in
Various Keys

Key of G
G7

r
C7 G7

I : I: ; I� : : I: : I� : : : : I: : : : : ; :

07 C7 G7

[I : I: I: I. : : I: I: : : : : : I: : :� I: : : :

Key of F
Ii t II ·' 21 51 12 I 31 .1 51 1= I 91 ill 51 1" I 13 1= 51 21 I

C7 G7

" � I: : I� : � I: : I� : : : : I: : : : : ; :

D7 C7 G7

b'. : ,: ,: I: : : ,: ,: � : : : : ,: : :� ,: : : :
B �7

tmrrcr1 JJErcrr1J
F7

c7 8�7 F7

1:·:: : : : : :� ; '; : : � : : � : � ·� : : :
KeyofC
C7

� a

[ : ; :: : -� :�:: : :�: : :
� � �� :
Key ore
C7

I:'::. : : : : : : ; '; :: : : : : : : : ·: : : :

: : ; :; : ·: -� :: : : :: ,: : :
� C7

[ � � :

F7 C7 G7
C7

[ � : � : : : : -� ij� : : : : : :� : : : �
F I t F + 1 l t i

59
=
Key of A

r·· :: ::::: ::::: ::::


A7

D7

A7 E7

D7 A7
....
<
.
Key cf E
E7

A7
r•►
@

I
Track19
Defense lanQuaQe Institute- DU - French SOLT M ...
Key of BP

!:::: : ::::: : : :::::


Bl,7

• : ::: : : : :: : : : : :

�:· ·
1 : : :::;:; : ::::: � : :::::: : ::::'.:
f? El,7 Bp7
·chapter IV
Technique Exercises
Exercises A way from
the Instrument
At this point i t would seem logical to talk about traveling takes up so much time that I have <level•
your bass technique: how you execute the various oped and borrowed from classical exercise books
patterns in this book and in playing situations. various hand exercises. If you do these exercises be·
I find when you arc away from your instrument, fore you practice or go to a gig your hands will re·
there arc various exercises you can do witli your main loose.
fingers not only to strengthen them, but to lnoscn Starting with the right hand stretch your fingers
them up at the same time. v\lhen I go out on a tour, out and count to ten.

Next stretch your fingers out in a closed position


:ind r:ottnt to ten.
Exercises A way from
the Instrument
At this point it would seem logical to talk about traveling takes up so much time that I have <level·
your bass technique: how you execute the various oped and borrowed from classical exercise books
patterns in this book and in playing situations. various hand exercises. If you do these exercises be·
I find when you arc away from your instrument, fore you practice or go to a gig your hands will re·
there arc various exercises you can do with your main loose.
fingers not only to strengthen them, but to lnoscn Starting with the right hand stretch your fingers
them up at the same time. When I go out on a tour, n11t �nd count to ten.

Next stretch your fingers out in a closed position


and count to ten.

63
In a closed position bend your first finger at the
knuckle joint keeping the rest of the finger straight
out and count to ten.

Then do the same with the other three fingers.

The next step is, in a closed position, bend the


middle two fingers at the knuckle joint for a count
of ten, keeping the fingers straight.
@
Traccia 21
ltali::tinn - RRAl'Jhcr.t ASSF A?

Then do the same with the other three fingers.

'\

The next step is, in a closed position, bend the


middle two fingers at the knuckle joint for a count
of ten, keeping the fingers straight.

64
Next the outer two fingers are bent at the knuckle
joint whHe countin� to ten.

@
Traccia 21
ltali::tinn - RRAl'Jhcr.t ASSF A?

Next arc the first and third fingers, and finally the
second and fourth fingers.

After this process is completed with the right


hand it should be done with the left hand. Repeat
this three times with both hands, taking ten min­
utes early in the day and ten minutes at night. It re­
ally helps to loosen up the fingers but don't overdo
the stretching movements and hurt your fingers.
Remember to concentrate on the motion of each ex·
ercise and to count to ten in each movement.
Next arc the first and third fingers, and finally the
second and fourth fingers.

After this process is completed with the right


hand it should be done with the left hand. Repeat
this three times with both hands, taking ten min­
utes early in the day and ten minutes at night. It re­
ally helps to loosen up the fingers but don't overdo
the stretching movements and hurt your fingers.
Remember to concentrate on the motion of each ex·
ercise and to count to ten in each movement.

65
Exercises on the
Instrument
These exercises arc good only if used in conjunction
with some practical "on bass" technique exercises.
I have devised a system of finger exercises that
have worked very well for me over years of playing.
They are easy to learn and can be done anytime as
long as you concentrate on what you arc doing.
I have split them into two groups. Exercises to
strengthen the right hand and those to strengthen
the left hand.
To gain speed and dexterity on the bass, these ex­
ercises do the trick.
Let's start with the left hand. Because the fingers
of the left hand play on the neck, there arc two
things to be aware of. One is intonation, or placing
the finger right in front of the fret.

The other is to be sure only one finger is on the fret. sition. Every four measures should be played with­
If you can play with this in mind, positioning your out the hand changing positions. Start at a moderate
hand anywhere on the neck will be easy. tempo and gradually build up. These exercises arc
The first two exercises will help you to play in po- good for overall stamina on the bass.

Ex. I
1vu,5 a;:, )'V'-1 \,.,UJl\,.,'-Ul.l.d.l.'- U11. V\11.l.'-ll )''-''-' CII\,., """"6·
I have split them into two groups. Exercises to
strengthen the right hand and those to strengthen
the left hand.
To gain speed and dexterity on the bass, these ex­
ercises do the trick.
Let's start with the left hand. Because the fingers
of the left hand play on the neck, there are two
things to be aware of. One is intonation, or placing
the finger right in front of the fret.

The other is to be sure only one finger is on the fret. sition. Every four measures should be played with­
If you can play with this in mind, positioning your out the hand changing positions. Starr at a moderate
hand anywhere on the neck will be easy. tempo and gradually build up. These exercises are
The :first two exercises will help you to play in po- good for overall stamina on the bass.

F.x I

66
@ Leksjon 12B Bli M ed, Da Vel!
. (Disc 3)
Norsk- Nv I Norqe

I:' :II: � : � : : ff: : : :-� ff� � � � � : »: ff: � � : � �� :

67
@ Leksjon 12B Bli M ed, Da Vel!
. (Disc 3)
Norsk- Nv I Norqe

Ex. 2

r !: � 11: ·i : : : ff� : �: b: �: � � : : •: : I,: � I: I: : ; : I,: :


@ Leksjon 12B Bli M ed, Da Vel!
. (Disc 3)
Norsk- Nv I Norqe

r I� : I: I� : : :I� : �: b: �: : : : : b� : I•: � '! ►: � ; : "} :

68
InJ J J J J J J 3
@
Leksjon 12B Bli Med, Da Vel!
Norsk - Nv I N orQe (Disc 3)

�· :::::::::::: ���:� I �I sl 1
5
1
2 sl )J s1

The next exercise has you moving over all four faster than you should be. Don't be discouraged; a
strings, one after another. Try concentrating on consistent practice regimen will be more helpful
good tone with no fret noise. If doing these exercises than trying too hard and getting little done.
r ; ; ; ; ; ; : :: : : : ,: ,: ; ,: : ,: � I: ,: : : : :

The next exercise has you moving over all four faster than you should be. Don't be discouraged; a
strings, one after another. Try concentrating on consistent practice regimen will be more helpful
good tone with no fret noise. If doing these exercises than trying too hard and getting little done.
causes any discomfort, it means you are playing

Ex. 3

- .. I I I i � M---••

tI I J 11
• "C i · t I I I C I I I I I 1 ''r
I
rI IJ .I I I I I I I I I I4 I I I I _I I I I

69
-
- t
I-

..___
ti "
: - -
....

-
-
....
' �
-
._,,ti.
- ,_....
- -
....... "
�... -
I-

I-
-

-
al -

,_

t-

�ia""
� t,�

' ....
'-;

� r,

J
- -
,-
,-
,-

,-


,-
..
'
'
,-


a/ I "
• �

-


1--

• ,__�
�,
� ,,
..bl
-

-- �
�-� "--- .,
. I .,.. • I t!
�IL L_ l -
" =1
I ·1 I I I I I 7 rI I I I I l
I I I 7 I I I 1 I I I _7 .I I I l I I I I _I I I 7

r'•Jnr�n ,:
u - -1

i ----;
This exercise should be taken up as far as possible
on the neck and then down it as well. The pattern is
instantly recognizable.

E,x, 4
[�nt�n;,:
This exercise should be taken up as far as possible
on the neck and then down it as well. The pattern is
instantly recognizable.

Ex. 4

71
1111
11
.t

� ' •
J ' j

• ..i

Ji:. ' wJ

◄ '
(I
• .i.11

11111
_..t:,;

11111

ii.Ill
.A'

ii.Ill
'
x
UJ
� .... r-

Jr
,1 1 ... �
� is"
11111
� _, �
- - -
till - - -

•Ill
- - J

r-
'--

t-
...6
,-

-
....

c- c-

olll t- ,-

1,... r- ,.__

.u ... J
r-

....
._,
-
r-

-
,i.ll r. - -
-
-

- -
Ill �,-.. -
-
- 1, r--

p,-.. -•I r-

� r-

.... t-

1,.... c-
r-

� t- olI
.......

- - -
-�

- � ,-.. III ....

-�
I
��
'° �� ..
wx �� �
r .__ p t; I>
• t.

- ..
b
t h

�.
I

..
_..,. �
� p b
... �

._ b � b
L..- oil � L.�

..__ p - 1 b
... 11
..
L..

..__ p L..
b
h
- ..
al L..
""
; .___ b b

.. al t: ....-
L ,
..__ h
b
t.

;
' b I I'
h r,
f;
' b -, b

..
........, --,
r; - b I.._ b
� t! "

' b I._ b
I;" ......., t! � .i
� '

•N. .[
ChapterV
Equipment
The Eight String Bass
Technology has increased the efficiency of manu­ find that it comes in handy when I am playing with a
facturing electric guitars, basses, synthesizers and fluid soloist. I can keep a steady bass line and be­
effects pedals. It is this technology which has cause of the double strings, there is no loss of full­
brought us the eight string bass. ness when he is soloing and stops his rhythmic ac­
The eight string bass is now being used by artists companiment.
like Nick Lowe, Cheap Trick, the Who, Todd Rund­ If you own one or are thinking of buying one, this
gren, B.iJl Laswell, and others. It is set up just like a chapter will give you some insight into how to play
regular four string bass but now there are two E's, it.
two A's, two D's, and two G's, an octave apart in I have found it easier to play an eight string bass
pitch. with a pick rather than fingers because to get a good
The sound that is produced is very rich and full, attack on both strings with your fingers is harder to
making it easy to play in a three piece rock band for­ do and less accurate.
mat. I have been using one for about three years and
To tune the bass properly, the best way is to start string bass that uses two Bartolini jazz bass pickups
with the four lower strings first. This is because the and a pre-amplifier that is built into the bass. This
tension on the neck will change a little when set­ means that I can get two distinct sounds by using ei•
ting the heavy strings to pitch. Then tune the high ther pickup or both together.
strings. The same harmonic tuning method that's Once the sound has been set the next order of
used on a regular bass can be used on the eight string business is to attack the strings properly. Since I
as well. have already suggested that you use a pick, it would
After the bass is in tune try to develop a sound be good to show you an exercise to strengthen your
with your amplifier in which all the strings will res­ right hand for picking.
onate clearly. I have a custqm built Pedulla eight

Start on the E string with both downstrokes and or picking from the bottom of the two strings up­
upstrokes. This is done by picking from the top of ward IU).
the strings downward (DI

77
Now do the same with the E and A strings.

D U D U D U D U U D U D U D U D

I:' :: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :
Let's proceed with the A and D strings, the D and
G strings and a combination of nil eight strings.
Start slowly, keeping a good even tempo with your
metronome or drum machine.

D U D U D U D U U D U D U D U D

C:' : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :
D U D U D U D U U D U D U D U D

1:: :::: I: : L: : I: : I: ,: : �: �I L� :F I: : : : ::
78
@
Tr.ack 14
DP.ut�ch - NP.t7wP.rlc A1 Arh.,i

79
r1 l
+ + + + � ... --- --- @
Track 14
DAllf�C':h - NAt7WArk A1 ArhAit!l:.hur.h 1.n

I J l
@
Track 14
DAllf�C':h - NAt7WArk A1 ArhAit!l:.hur.h 1.n

79
-
-

.....
f-- ,-



-

') � p)
p
>-

._
,-

(
...
r- ��
t-
; � �

-
.... -; r-

-
i;
Once you've learned how to use a pick with the
eight string bass, practice some of the lines in this
book and see the difference in the way the patterns
sound with four and eight strings.

<:::::::____:::;.;, ------==:::,,

The eight string bass is new to rock and roll. The


key to making it work is your own imagination. It
can add a new dimension to the sound of a band. I
hope you will find it a creatively stimulating instru­
ment.
The Five String Bass
Another bass that I use and find very appealing is If you listen to some of the recordings of the great
the five string bass. This instrument has a fifth trumpet player Miles Davis that Michael Hender•
string that can be tuned as a low Bbelow the E sering son played on, you will notice that he tuned the E
or as a high C above the G string. string on his bass down to a D to get the lower note.
I find that since a great many of the new basses Of course, this technique is unnecessary when you
that are coming out today have two octave necks, it have an instrument like the five string bass.
isn't necessary to have a high C, so I string mine Here is how the open strings look with a low Bas
with the low B. your bottom string.

Adapting to reading this far below the staff is


made easier if you can find some classical cello
etudes in your local music store.
Here are a few different "Etudes" to help you get
started.

gI)�
with the low B. your bottom string.

@
2-07102-poem
0VccK11tlil AsblK - Princeton Russian

Adapting to reading this far below the staff is


made easier if you can find some classical cello
etudes in your local music store.
Here are a few different "Etudes" to help you get
started.

g
1�

Funky

-----
i
,--_

82
(
-
@
Track18 2
t!i!OI - t!i!Ol 1

Medium tempo

83
The Fretless Bass
Another bass that is beginning to expand the rock the other has lines. I call them the "cheat lines."
music world is the fretless bass. Of course by now
you have heard of Sting, Jaco Pastorius, and Marcus
Miller. But names like Pino Palladrino who plays
with Paul Young, Percy Jones with Noise R Us, and
Bill Laswell, who plays as well as produces for Her·
bie Hancock, will all be household words before
long.
These :11e a few of the musicians who ore making
the frctless bass one of the newest and freshest
sounds in rock. I have been playing one for over ten
years and can tell you that it ain't easy compared co
its fretted counterpart.
First of all there are two kinds of fretless basses.
One has no lines or markers at all;

Of course the one with the lines is easier to play


bu� it_ still take� p'.actice and a different technique.
_
o,e ttancocK, w111 a11 oe nousenoia woros ociorc
long.
These a1e a few of the musicians who ore making
the frctlcss bass one of the newest and freshest
sounds in rock. I have been playing one for over ten
years and can tell you that it ain't easy compared co
its fretted counterpart.
First of all there are two kinds of fretless basses.
One has no lines or markers at all;

Of course the one with the lines is easier to play


but it still takes practice and a different technique.
All of the standard bass styles, i.e. thumb snap and
pop, chords or double stops, can be played on the
fretless, and I find harmonics, slides and melodic
lines particularly lend themselves to this instru·
ment.
Let's stan with some basic concepts to make sure
you are in tune with yourself. Not having frets
presents the problem of being in tune. Pick up )'Our
fretless bass and piny an A on the C string.

84
,...-..._ ,.----.._ -----

Now to see if you arc in tune play the open A

I:': :
string.

,I
<:..::> <=--'
.I ,I
c::::::::::>
:

If it is not in tune slide your finger either forward


or backward to make the open A and the high A in
tune.
Now to see if you arc in tune play the open A
string.

I:': :_)=,l=,I :

1f it is not in tune slide your finger either forward


or backward to make the open A and the high A in
tune.

85
Next, using the same principle, play the open A
and this A on the D string.

Remember, if it isn't in tune, slide the finger either


up or down to reach the note. Try this A high up on
the G string.

_ft

------ ......-...__
� i''
..---..._
i,1 r I"

Now play this A high up on the D string.

.o_

------..1 ------9,..----..,!8
� r 1 � 1' 1

Now let's try the open E and a few E notes on the


bass.
Remember, if it isn't in tune, slide the finger either
up or down to reach the note. Try this A high up on
the G string.

i'' i,1 r I"


..--.._ � ,..---.__

Now play this A high up on the D string.

Now let's try the open E and a few E notes on the


h:tss.

-e- �

86
r•:
And now the open D.
-&-

n n

_,U : I
.,.---_ ,...--._,.----.,,
:I .,I .,I .,I: :,.1 I I I .,I ) ) 171

r: :
....___,.....__,, ........,I
-.::--,:- '-----·.,;
--
- ..____,,,, 1'9191919

-
Finally, the open G.

,1 ,I ,I : :@7 : :�•L9c• : i"fl/' : ::I ,, ,l ,J :


1 I

Consider these your anchors to help if you start things possible on a fretlcss bass. With time you can
going out of tune. Remember, the1 frctlcss bass takes _get a sound similar to that of an acoustic bass.
time to master, so be patient. Let's say you want togo from a D quarter note to a
Sliding from one note to another is one of the G quarter note.

We know that a quarter note can be subdivided


into two eighth notes

s
so the idea is to attack the downbeat and slide on the
r: :
Finally, the open G.

aI aI aI : :@7 : :� ,.l ,U: "fl/, : ::I


� ,._� I I 1!>1 ,.,I:
1s

Consider these your anchors to help if you start things possible on a fretlcss bass. With time you can
going out of tune. Remember, the frctlcss bass takes _get a sound similar to that of an acoustic bass.
time to master, so be patient. Let's say you want togo from a D quarter note to a
Sliding from one note to another is one of the G quarter note.

We know that a quarter note can be subdivided


into two eighth notes

s
so the idea is to attack the downbeat and slide on the
upbeat.
attack

s
down up :itt::1ck ,.--.... t.lirie
heat beet

87
This works equally well with half notes, the dif­
ference being that you have to either slide up to the
next note a little slower or hold the attacked note a
little longer.

attack

down up
beat beat
attack .,...---..... slide �

or

attack

� J I J I
down up
heat beat
:Att�ck .,--.... .,...-..... ..--....... slide ...---,.....,..

The same concept applies to whole notes.


�-
down up
beat beat
attack ____....,_ ..---.. � slide ...----.. � ---..

or
beat beat
,�
t
attack ,..,...---.._.. slide --------------
7 •�
-
� I7 I

or


.. :..
F
attack

down up
heat heat
attack _,,--._ .,---. ----- slide �

The same concept applies to whole notes.

attack

down up
h.eat_ heat
attack ----... _.-----... � slide ....---.. ..---. ..-----..

f>r

(>
e:::,,e:::::,,,......,......,,c:,,.........,c=,,
',I )( M W .: >( -' )(

down up
beat beat
attack ,-..... .- ...-... .- - - - slide .-. ..,-... ---.

88
Another technique that is great on a frctless bass Playing double stops is actually an e.isy process.
is double stops. Double stops as the name suggests Take the chords Em? and E7:
is the playing of two notes at once.

E1117 E7

The note that differentiates the Em7 from the E7 necessary to use the fifth. So, the two notes in the
is the third; Gin the Em7, GI in the E7. The other double stop are the G and the D !minor third and
notes (E, Band D) are the same in both chords. flatted seventh) in the Em.7, and the Gj and the D
What we have to do next is decide whether we jmajor third and flatted seventh) in the E7. To play
will use the B or the D, because the root E is neces­ the double stops, hit the low E and then play th�
sary. If we are going to use the third [which is also other two notes together.
necessary to differentiate the two chordsl, it isn't

E7

�:�

I.- 1------ I
I � 1� · -= l�• -l�

One thing to remember is that the same pattern ted seventh above, and to play the dominant chord
can be formed for any double stop involving a minor just raise the third one fret.
seventh chord and a dominant seventh chord. The With the fretless bass you can slide into the dou·
minor chord will have the minor third with the flat- ble stop from the frets one half step below.

Em7 l -"�o I £7 � 0\,,le , I


The note that differentiates the Em7 from the E7 necessary to use the fifth. So, the two notes in the
is the third; Gin the Em 7, GI in the E7. The other double stop are the G and the D !minor third and
notes (E, Band D) are the same in both chords. flatted seventh) in the Em 7, and the GI and the D
What we have to do next ls decide whether we jmajor third and flatted seventh) in the E7. To play
will use the B or the D, because the root E is neces­ the double stops, hit the low E and then play tht
sary. If we are going to use the third [which is also other two notes together.
necessary to differentiate the two chords), it isn't

Em7 E7

J:� !fi:q

-&-

I � 1� ·
1.---:=::----��1----------
- -l�
I
I ---------1�.....___..I-....____,I

One thing to remember is that the same pattern ted seventh above, and to play the dominant chord
can be formed for any double stop involving a minor just raise the third one fret.
seventh chord and a dominant seventh chord. The With the fretless bass you can slide into the dou­
minor chord will have the minor third with the flat- ble stop from the frets one half step below.

Em 7
� slide J: E7 �di.
__R:f.

� -&-

� slide J..-----.... J...-":,J h slide _J..-----...J..----,J


f--------------1 ..___.I ...__,I 1~ --------1 � '-1

89
Another useful double stop is the major seventh,
utilizing the root, the major third and the major sev­
enth.

Emaj7

Emaj7

• -
hJ.--J------J h slide .J......__J---,.J
-----i----1--1 I � ---1 ---1

To pl.ay the fretless bass will require a good deal of Remember, double stops and sliding can also be
practice if it is to be played well. Both practicing done on a fretted bass, so experiment with it. Play
alone and with other musicians will be most help­ through all the exercises in the book with either
ful. I find that when you work with other players it bass.
helps to compensate for any intonation problems
you might have.
Chapter VI
Rock Styles
When you listen to the radio or watch MTV you First of all, the synthesizer lines are often very re­
hear a lot of different styles of music, all coming un­ petitive (which happens to be their selling point).
der the heading rock and roll. There are heavy metal Secondly, being played by a machine (e.g. a se­
bands like Def Leppard, Quiet Riot, Judas Priest, quencer), the part may be technically correct but
AC/DC, new wave bands like R.E.M., Billy Idol, lack the human element: emotion.
Wang Chung; techno-pop bands like Eurythmics, The bassist has to compete with these machines,
Tears for Fears, Thomas Dolby, pop groups like the so it is important to figure out what is needed to cre­
Producers, Huey Lewis and the News, and of course ate a good line in place of or alongside of the synthe­
groups like the Police, Genesis, Paul McCartney. sizer part.
This chapter will deal with some of the styles, the Doubling a synthesizer part is one way of empha­
bass lines used to create these styles, and the ap­ sizing both the bass line and the synthesizer line.
proach needed to sound like these groups. Since these lines are usually very repetitive it would
A lot of the newer bands use synthesizers instead be good to play your part an octave above or below
of a bassist to get their sound. Since these lines are the synthesizer line.
created on a keyboard, they pose interesting prob­ Here is a synthesizer line:
lems for a bassist.

E D
9; 111: J111J111 I J11111111 J l lJ llJl 1
dm
JJJ J J J JJ I JJ4JJJJJ4 I J J J JJ J J J =II
D

9:

Here is the same line to be played on the bass an


octave above:
hear a lot of different styles of music, all coming.un­ petitive !which happens to be their selling point).
der the heading rock and roll. There are heavy metal Secondly, being played by a machine (e.g. a se­
bands like Def Leppard, Quiet Riot, Judas Priest, quencer), the part may be technically correct but
AC/DC, new wave bands like R.E.M., Billy Idol, lack the human element: emotion.
Wang Chung; techno-pop bands like Eurythmics, The bassist has to compete with these machines,
Tears for Fears, Thomas Dolby; pop groups like the so it is important to figure out what is needed to cre­
Producers, Huey Lewis and the News, and of course ate a good line in place of or alongside of the synthe­
groups Hke the Police, Genesis, Paul McCartney. sizer part.
This chapter will deal with some of the styles, the Doubling a synthesizer part is one way of empha­
bass lines used to create these styles, and the ap­ sizing both the bass line and the synthesizer line.
proach needed to sound like these groups. Since these lines are usually very repetitive it would
A lot of the newer bands use synthesizers instead be good to play your part an octave above or below
of a bassist to get their sound. Since these lines are the synthesizer line.
created on a keyboard, they pose interesting prob­ Here is a synthesizer line:
lems for a bassist.

E D

fJ
I

2 11: 11111JJ1 1 J11111111 J l J J JlJl 1


C-m D

9: J1 J1 J1 J J1 J1 JJ1 lI JJJ
1 1
JJ1 J,J1JJ Ji LI J1 _JLJI J�1 J, J1 J, J1 =I!II

Here is the same line to be played on the bass an


octave above:

F. I)

.9 _9 .9 _9-,9--9-9-9· :9-,� 9 �9-,9--9--,9--:9

91
C#m D

Playing the bass line an octave above the synthe­


sizer line gives them both definition and emphasis.
Another method is to play only quarter notes in­
stead of eighth notes on the bass thus giving the bot­
tom end two pulses.

E D

C-m D

Another way of approaching the tune is to play a


rhythmically different bass line. In the next exam­
ple I have used both octaves as well as changed the
rhythm in each measure, while still using the same
notes as the synthesizer part.
l'Jaymg me Dass line an octave aoove me synrne­
sizer line gives them both definition and emphasis.
Another method is to play only quarter notes in­
stead of eighth notes on the bass thus giving the bot­
tom end two pulses.

E D

c•m D

Another way of approaching the tune is to play a


rhythmic.ally different bass line. In the next exam­
ple 1 have used both octaves as well as changed the
rhythm in each measure, while still using the same
notes as the synthesizer part.

E n

92
dm D

Here are some more lines that utilize synthesizer


type parts. If you are now playing with other musi­
cians, especially a synthesizer player, have him play
these lines with you and see what you come up
with.

Rm

__, � J

Bm
=

r-:: :: ::· :· :: : : :: :· ::· :.� ::


C Gm7 C Gm7
Here are some more lines that utilize synthesizer
type parts. If you are now playing with other musi­
cians, especially a synthesizer player, have him play
these lines with you and see what you come up
with.

Bm

__,.w..__,,,.•

Bm

r-:: :- ::- :· :: � : :: :· ::· :.� ::


C Gm7 C Gm7

C C D C

93
A lot of the new music coming out today has bass Missing Persons, U2, and some of the songs by the
lines made up entirely of eighth notes. This con­ Police and Billy Idol.
stant eighth note pulse is effective only if the tempo Herc are some patterns using this form as well as
is constant throughout the piece. Some of the bands some variations.
utilizing this particular bass style are Big Country,

r:
D E A

E C, A Am

I:':: ::::::::;::::�::: :::::::::::::::::'.:


u.J

<
Cl
v
E

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0
0 -5
0
;z.
Bassists You Should
Know
Aaronson, Kenny Palladrino, Pino
Berlin, Jeff Pastorius, Jaco
Butler, Tony Rutherford, Michael
Enthwistle, John Samo,Rudy
Jackson, Anthony Seligman, Matthew
Jones, Percy Sheehan,Bill
K, John Sklar, Lee
Laswell, Bill Squire, Bill
Lee, Geddy Sting
Lee, Will Thomas, Bruce
Levin, Tony Weeks, Willie
Lowe, Nick Weymouth, Tina
Lynott, Phil Wolk, Tom "T·Bone"
Maby, Graham Wyman, Bill
McCartney, Paul
MUSIC IAUI CllllP

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by Artie Traum and Attl Funaro.


Based on the playin& styles of Eric Clapton •••
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for Improvising rock 'n' roll and other modem styles.
In standard notation and tablature.
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Everythln& you need to know to play In the styles of
Jerry Lee Lewis ... Fats Domino ... Stevie Wonder ••.
Etton John ...and other famous pianists. Includes
many of their solos. Shows how to play rock, blues and
country piano.
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,I/ d• , ,.,.,) A'-.1 ./ K •l ! I


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I'.••!f �L' ,t. .' \ ., \ .'C