Music Theory for the Bass Player

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When you should not play the perfect fifth…

The Perfect Fifth is always safe to use, right? Yes. Except when it isn’t! Related, in case you missed it: The Fifth – Why it is the bassist’s best buddy

The Forgotten Fifth (Have it Under Your Fingers?)

Fingering a Fifth You probably know it as a “1 by 2”: one string up, two frets over, like this (the numbers are fingering options for fifths): According to my

The Fifth – Why it is Your Best Buddy…

Root – Five – Root – Five… it is a kind of signature bass line – and it works! In country, bluegrass, folk music, as well as in bossa (where

Remember How You Remembered Pi? (On Bass Mnemonics)

“May I have a large container of coffee?”  This handy mnemonic never made it to my German speaking  classroom back in high school, but it would have come in handy

Sus2, Sus4, Sus7 or just plain Sus? I’m in Suspense!

Ah, sus chords! Sus means suspended – what we are suspending here is the third of the chord, so a sus2 or sus4 chord is essentially a chord with “something

The Music Theory for the Bass Player Spelling Bee…

It all started with marveling about the note H in the German musical alphabet and me being on the phone trying to spell something akin to Oachkatzlschwoaf (which means tale

The Ultimate Shortcut to Rhythm Changes

What does “Rhythm Changes” mean? We refer to “Rhythm Changes” to a chord sequence made famous by George Gershwin’s tune “I Got Rhythm”. The A section of this tune features

A Melodic Minor Key With Three Sharps…?

Let’s talk melodic minor for a second. It is a beautiful scale. What is it? It is the natural minor scale (AKA the sixth mode of the major scale, aeolian

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