Bach me up!
Need Bach up? Alright, enough with the puns, let’s get to some serious shedding. Bassists have loved playing Bach’s music on the electric for eons – be it the famous cello suite number 1 , pieces from the Welltempered Clavier or others – JS’s bass lines rock! There is something about the function of the bass in baroque music that seems to strike a chord with electric bassists – maybe it is the rhythmic function and the outlining of the harmonies in walking bass that are a bit akin to figured bass, who knows.
So, from a technique standpoint, it can be pretty daunting to attempt a JSB piece – these pieces are often composed for cello (tuned in fifths, so there is less jumping around to get to the notes!) or piano (five fingers and two hands!), so yes, they can be pretty challenging.
If reading is not quite yet your forte you might be tempted to not even try.
I hope to change this sentiment by inspiring you to give it a go!
Because: I have selected a couple of easy but sweet sounding piano pieces and arranged them for bass, included TAB, and – what’s more – made it so you can play this with a bass buddy! Twice the fun, twice the motivation, twice the learning!
These videos and transcriptions first appeared on notreble in my Talking Technique series.
The notreble posts contain the PDF with TAB in a variety of versions – pick the one that is easiest for you to read.
Give it a go – you may be surprised just how much fun that is!
Oh, and if you want more, let me know in the comments.
Also if you are into Bach resources, check out this cool site on the Cello Suites For Bass Guitar.
Bach for Two
Get the Transcription for Bach for Two (PDF)
Bach for Two in Three
Get the Transcription for Bach for Two in Three (PDF)
Enjoy! If you want to learn music theory – the first step to learning to read on the electric bass in my opinion – I recommend my Course, Music Theory for the Bass Player
13 Replies to “Bach for Two Times Two”
Do we need a 5 string bass for the Bach? I have a lefty 4 string violin bass.
It sounds cool and I enjoy watching it any way. Thanks!
Not at all is a five string needed. I don’t use the low B string for any of these pieces and the TAB is for just four string, too. Go for it with your violin bass, how cool! 🙂 Enjoy!
Never let string numbers hold you back! If some notes are on a certain string there are always ways to adapt 🙂
Put simply. Stunning!
Thank you for once again sharing your Bach experience.
Highly specialized project here. Thank you for constructing this multu-part lesson so clearly.
Really appreciate your putting these together! The March is one of the most satisfying musical projects I’ve ever undertaken; just about to start the Minuet. Great practice for reading, fingering, feel, and insight into compositional genius.
A composer pal noted that the March features a walking (marching?) bass line; how cool to learn that those existed 300 years ago. Thank you, Ari!
Love it 🙂 And yupp, Bach features a bunch of cool walking bass business, I agree!
Yeah, that’s great, but why did it take so long to get to this more advanced idea?
Could have used this a month ago. love your teaching style.
Answer: Lowest common denominator, sad.
Hi Anonymous, what is easy for some is hard for others, so while this may seem advanced to some it may be easy for another and vice versa, so I don’t agree.
Hi, I’ve been considering getting a book on Bach for bass, I want to play Bach! Thank you for these scores (and tabs). Noticed the CapCat Music Publishing on the scores, are there more Bach pieces available through CatCap? I’ll do a web search but if you have a link it would good to have, if there are more.
I’m excited to try these, I’m just learning to sight read bass, I find tabs harder.
Hi Robert, thank you for your interest. We have several book projects in the works at the moment, it will be a bit, but working on it 🙂 I think there is a Hal Lenard Bach for bass book out, I seem to have seen that. I do my own adaptations, so don’t know it. Happy to know you’d like more 🙂
I became aware of you through Scotts Bass Lessons and always look forward to you seminars. Although I’ve been playing bass for years , it’s only recently that I’ve turned my attention to JSB. What a profound revelation ! I have your book and your encouragement to overcoming obstacles is the reason I’ve persevered in my studies. Thank you for that and thank you for all you do.
Gregory, that is awesome to hear! Keep going, it is so rewarding!