10 April 2009

Bass Run Tricks on I-vi-IV-ii Chord Progression

This week's lesson continues our series of lessons showing you how to play bass runs over open chords. In previous lessons we saw how to create bass runs using chromatic movement or the major scale.

This week we're going to look at a progression that uses minor chords in the key of G. This progression also introduces a new bass run approach and rhythm pattern that will give your bass runs lots of forward moving feeling.

First up, let's take a look at the example. The tab below shows an eight bar progression in G that could be a song verse. The progression starts on the I, G, chord with a simple bass-strum pattern that is used on the chords throughout.


Guitar Bass Run In G
In the second bar of G you play the bass run to lead to the minor vi chord, Em in this case.

Now, the root E note can be found on the open sixth string below the root of the G chord, so we could simply walk down to it following a chromatic or major scale pattern. Instead, we use a bass run that walks up the G major scale to the B note on the fifth string. This B note is the fifth degree of the Em chord, and creates a great lead-in to the root note of the chord.

Play the notes of this run to hear how the movement sounds. Do you hear how that fifth note seems to want to move to the chord root that follows it?

The example also uses a rhythm trick so this this run creates even more movement. Instead of playing evenly spaced bass notes, we've broken the run into a pair of eighth notes and a quarter note.

This combination of using the new chord's fifth note as a target and the rhythmic variation really emphasises the chord movement and lifts the song pattern.

For the rest of the bar and the start of the next we continue the bass strum pattern, before performing a new bass run to the IV chord, C major. Here again we use the C chord's fifth note to lead into the new chord.

To do this we play the G major scale run on the sixth string to finish on the G note. This resolves to the root note of the C chord on the next beat, as we start bar five.

We play the by now familiar bass-strum pattern over the C chord before launching into a new bass run to the Am chord. We repeat our fifth note trick again, this time walking back down the G major scale to the E note on the open sixth string.

Our final bass run takes us along the G major scale to its fifth note, D, to resolve back to our I chord root. We're now back where we started, ready to continue through the progression for as long as you want.

In previous lessons you learned how to lead into the new chord's root note from a fret or two above or below it. You'll find that using the fifth note to lead to the root, like this example does, gives your bass runs a whole new sound and feel.

More bass run lessons from Not Playing Guitar for you to enjoy.


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1 comment:

Be Thou My Vision said...

Thank you for sharing this topic! I know lot of people who love to play and learn guitar playing would find this very useful! Thanks again for sharing!

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