25 October 2010

Bass Runs For Bar Chords On ii-V-I

Today we continue our series of guitar bass runs for bar chords over a ii-V-I progression. The progression is over a simple four bar pattern in the key of A, shown in the first figure below.

We're going to look at two examples over this progression. The first uses notes from the major scale, while the second shows a pattern based on the minor pentatonic scale. The two scale positions are shown in the diagram below.

Now you've got the progression and the scale positions, let's move on the see the first example.

Example #1 Major Scale

In this first example the chords are linked with runs based on the major scale. At the end of the first bar move your ring finger up from the note at the 7th fret to the 9th to put your hand into position for the Bm chord.

In the second and third bars, again use your ring finger for the notes on the 9th fret and 11th frets. Slide it up for the 11th fret, then back down to the 9th to get into position for the chords.

Example #2 Minor Scale

This second example shows that you can do a lot with a simple pattern. You don't have to use every note on the fretboard in every song.

The pattern repeats the same notes from the minor pentatonic scale at each chord change. Playing this gives same sound throughout the progression that gives it cohesion.


Practice these bass runs over ii-V-I progressions in different keys by moving them up or down the fretboard. Try to make up some new runs of your own too, using the scale positions shown. Experiment with the second example to find some patterns that sound good over the whole progression.

Later this week I'll be posting the final part of this series. You'll then be able to get all the parts in a print-friendly PDF format. Be sure to sign up for free to be reminded delivered by email or RSS reader.

More From This Series

Part 1 4 Bass Runs For Bar Chord Progressions
Part 2 Bass Runs For Guitar Bar Chords Part 2
Part 3 Guitar Bass Runs For Bar Chords Part 3
Part 4 Learn Guitar - Better Bar Chords Video

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