The other day in my lesson 4 Bass Runs For Bar Chords I promised I'd show some more ways to create bass runs like those. So I guess I'd better do it. In today's lesson I'll show you some more example runs created from major and minor pentatonic scales.
A I-IV-V Progression
Here is the basic eight bar progression we're starting from. Such a progression might be used as the verse of a song, for example.
I've used a very simple rhythm pattern to make it easier for you to focus on the bass runs. As you gain more confidence be sure to try out these bass runs along with a variety of more complex rhythm patterns.
Adding Bass Runs
Now let's add some bass runs to this progression, in the last beat or two before each chord change.
In the second bar a hybrid D scale is used to walk down the b7, 6 and 5 of D. The b7 comes from the minor pentatonic scale, the 6 from the major pentatonic, and the 5 is common to both (this could also be known as the D mixolydian mode).
What's interesting about these notes is that they are also the 4th, maj 3rd and 2nd of the G chord that they lead into in a nice descending line. By the way, if you find the stretch to the note on the eighth fret is too difficult you can skip it and play the 7th and 5th frets only on beat four.
At the end of the fourth bar a two-five movement from the D major scale leads back to the root note of the D.
At the end of the fifth bar the D major pentatonic is used again. The 2nd note of this scale is also the 5th note of the A chord that follows. Finally, in bar eight a bluesy sounding run based on D minor pentatonic takes us back to the starting point.
Over To You
So, now it's over to you to practice these runs. Take things at a reasonably slow tempo. Not only is it easier to play, but the bass runs will stand out best at a slower tempo. At higher speeds the bass runs become harder to play and also have less impact.
Take time too to experiment with some different runs by adding, removing or changing notes in the examples above.
In the next part of the series I'll show you how to play similar bass runs on faster songs. Remember, you will be able to get a free PDF report containing all these lessons and their examples in printer friendly format. Sign-up for free notification by email or to your RSS reader to follow along and get the report when it is available.
The next lesson in the series will be out at the end of the week. In the meantime, you can always go back and revise (or discover) part one - 4 Bass Runs For Bar Chords.