How To Learn Bass Guitar Chords (And Other Things You Need To Understand)
Playing bass is one of the most coveted skills in the music world. Even if they don't stand out too much like those lead guitars, bass guitars are still pivotal to the overall quality of the mix. So, if you want to delve into the soulful world of this instrument, then you must learn to understand the different bass guitar chords.
If you have already an experienced in playing the guitar, then learning bass would not be a troublesome task for you. In fact, the chords and scales of a bass guitar are quite easy to comprehend compared to standard guitars. But why? Scales and chords of a bass don't change. Even if you are playing different musical skills, the story will be the same.
In this article, we will teach you the basics of bass guitar chords. Trust us. Your head won't get hurt on this course. So just sit back and relax. We got it all for you.
Bass Guitar Chords For Beginners
Many assume that bass guitar chords are too complicated to learn. Of course, if you are a beginner, learning any types of chords is hard. The art of chord study is never easy at first. But nobody said it is not doable. If such were the case, then artists would not have flourished in the music industry.
Bass guitar chords are as simple as a fingering pattern. It is unlike the standard guitar that involves a lot of strumming and plucking. Fingering the strings of a bass guitar will allow producing musical notes. Specifically, the sound is so smooth and enticing that you can get quickly addicted to it.
You can also do strums on bass guitars. That's a unique playing style that you want to learn, too. However, you can only see a few players who do that today. For starters, understanding the "shapes" and chord progression are essential. If you can acquire these skills, you will be able to determine the appropriate for a track or song.
Are There a Lot of Bass Chords?
Honestly, there is a broad spectrum for bass guitar chords. The chords that you can play on the bass guitar is seemingly limitless. As a result, there are a lot of people who gets daunted easily. Fortunately, you don't have to learn them all at one. Just like other instruments, learning bass is gradual. It takes time unless you are a prodigy.
Specifically, a beginner will only need to learn the basic shaping. In this way, a player can be able to identify the bass chords at a much quicker rate. By practice, moving these shapes in an up and down pattern will enable you to play any key that you want.
Bass Guitar Chords Basic
Most of the bass guitar chords can provide low-frequency and "establish" notes. If you play the simultaneously, the sound output would be unclear and muddy. However, the overall structure of chord progression (the one that makes up a song) is the standard outline for all the single-note chords of a bass guitar. That's the biggest difference of a bass to a stand guitar.
If you are using a guitar, you can play more than three notes (that composes a chord) with just a single strum. However, the bass does the opposite. Specifically, it will play all of those chord notes one by one. As a result, you can hear those unique and rich nuances of tone. It is the iconic sound flavor that only bass instruments can do.
Meanwhile, the sequencing of the notes just depends on the progression of the song. But the most basic playing pattern would be descending and ascending. We call them collectively as the "arpeggio."
If you can notice, the bass guitar chords are almost the same to scales. We all know that there are a lot of notes on a scale. But you have the freedom to choose which one to play. Usually, it is the fifth, third, and root notes. By playing these notes one by one, you will be able to form a simple bass line structure.
Order of the Notes
Before you go on with the chords, you have learned first the sequence of the notes. Any instrument would demand you to memorize the order of the notes. Otherwise, you would fail in mastering the guitars. But it doesn't mean that you have to know to read music. Such kind of technique is reserved for classical musicians, ideally.
Each note of the bass guitar (flats and sharps included) is a half-step or a single-fret away from each other. If you can understand these concepts, they will help you with the "fingering" process.
Essential Bass Guitar Chords
If you want to improve your skills on playing the bass, you must familiarize some of the basic scales and chords. At this point, a background in music will be beneficial for you. But it doesn't mean that it is necessary. Below are some of the things that you need to imbibe to yourself:
- Triads (Basic Chords) - These chords consists of the three most important notes on any scales. Specifically, they are the first, third, and fifth notes. You can identify these notes you can use for a triad by playing up to the fifth note. While playing the scales, you must skip every other note.
- Seventh Chord - A seventh chord is similar to a triad, except that it has one more note. Obviously, that is the 7. All bass players would agree that the sound of a seventh chord is very complex. Therefore, such chord is mostly used in contemporary genres.
- Scales or Modes - The mode is just a fancy term for a scale. If you know which mode you are playing, you can be able to provide an excellent bass line to any song that you will play.
- Solo Scale - Who said that bass players couldn't do solos? Of course, they can! When there is a part of a song that you have to stand out, you should play solo scales. Originally, solos came from traditional instruments. One example is a saxophone. But as we mentioned, bass players can perform individually, too!
Understanding the basic bass guitar chords is the starting line for any aspiring bass players. Aside from enhancing the speed and flexibility of your fingers, you should also equip yourself with these musical concepts.
Don't think that they are boring. Once you start practicing, you will realize that mastering the chords is a good form of leisure. Therefore, just take your time and take things easy.
Finally, we want to emphasize the importance of practice. Legends like Jimi Hendrix will not have reached the acme of the music industry if they lack practice. Sure, they have already blessed with talent. But it doesn't mean that they didn't consume many years practicing. If you are dreaming of walking on their paths, then you better start grinding today!
Do you have any techniques to quicken the learning process of reading and playing chords? Share it with us in the comment section below! If this article helped you, then we would be happy if you share this article to your social media accounts!