Chords with Bass Lines for More Inspired Songwriting.
A really great song example of a song that uses this rhythmic idea, is “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster The People.
I always teach that song to guitar students, combining the bass line with a chord hit on the 2nd beat, so it becomes a cool-sounding rhythm guitar part combining both the bass line and the harmony.
Now here’s a couple more examples of really cool, fun chord and bassline combinations, which will add so much power and creativity to your songwriting.
- In the first example: bar an A shape chord with your pointy finger on the 5th fret.
This is a C chord. Then play a bass line on the low E string, playing the notes C B A G on the low E string, and then continuing the descending bass line playing the notes F E D C on the A string.
I would recommend finger-picking this, but it can be played with a pick. When you play it with a pick, you would just have to be sure to mute the strings that don’t have numbers on them.
The easiest way to finger this: 1st finger bars the chord on the 5th fret, then you play C on the 8th fret with pinky, B on the 7th fret with the ring finger, A on the 5th fret with the thumb (or switch fingering here with the ring finger pressing down the A shape chord on the 5ht fret and middle finger playing the A bass note on the low E string).
Then for the bass notes on the A string: bar 1st finger on the A shape chord again, pinky plays F on the 8th fret of the A string, ring finger plays E on the 7th fret, 1st finger slides up to cover 4 strings on the 5 fret so you cover the D note on the 5th fret of the A string, then re-finger the whole chord with the pointy finger on the 3rd fret and ring finger pressing down the A chord shape on the 5th fret.
- The 2nd example uses the same principle, but here now over a I IV V progression in the key of C.
The pointy finger bars on the 5th fret for the C chord, on the 10th fret for the F chord, and on the 12th fret for the G chord.
As this example shows, you can create different bass motions and lines as you see fit. As long as your bass line consists of notes of a C major scale, you’re good.
- The 3rd example shows how to use this technique, to create cool passing note lines in the bass to connect chords.
In this example, it starts on a C chord and goes to the IV chord F from there. Then this is followed by an Am chord, which has a bass line underneath the chord walking up from A to B to C to the Dm chord.
This should get you going.
More examples will definitely be covered in another blog in the not-too-distant future.
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