29 October 2010

Bass Runs For Bar Chords On I-vi-IV-V Progression

This final part of the series of bass run licks for bar chord rhythm guitar shows you a lick and scale positions to play over I-vi-IV-V chord progressions. At the end of this lesson you'll also find instructions to download the printable PDF version of the whole series.

Bass Run Example

This bass run is in the key of C major and it's a little different from previous examples. It uses more single notes and only a few chord strums. This kind of playing creates more space and gives your rhythm playing a more melodic sound. Even though the chords are strummed just once per bar this is enough to firmly establish their sound.

You'll also notice some runs using sixteenth notes in the first two bars. This might seem like a lot of notes, but they are not as hard as they might first appear. Remember to play slowly at first and get the note placement right before speeding up.

Hand Placement Tips

Here are a few tips on how to place your hands and fingers to play the example. On the 4th beat of the first bar slide down your ring finger to play the note on the 6th string, 8th fret. Then slide it down again to the 7th fret. This will get you within easy reach of the Am chord.

At the end of the run on the Am chord in bar two, whip your index finger up from the 5th fret of the 6th string to the 8th fret to play the C note. Again, this will bring your hand into easy reach of the F chord that follows.

In the final two bars slide your ring finger between the 10th and 12th frets to keep your hand in position to reach all of the notes and chords. On the final beat of bar four, slide your ring finger down to play the G note at the 10th fret of the 5th string so you can follow up easily with the C chord again.

Scale Positions

The bass runs use notes from the major scale and are played using two patterns on the 5th and 6th strings, shown below.

You can easily slide up and down between these positions with the pivot around the 8th fret.


That brings the series of bass runs for bar chords to an end. If you have any questions please use the comments below to ask.

Free PDF Download

All the parts of this series are available as a PDF file so you can print them out conveniently. To download the file just click on this link.

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