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Essential Blues Bass lines!

Hi there,

Thanks for reading my blogs – I’ll shortly be moving over to Blogger as I can upload Videos for free. I’ll let everyone know once I start moving things over!

So in this blog we will cover some cool essential bass lines that all bassists should know. They are also extremely useful for blues guitarists as well as can be played around with on guitar in different ways.

Our first cool bass line is based around a major 6th arpeggio. An arpeggio is where you are playing notes from a chord sequentially.

Let’s take an A6 arpeggio for example. It would contain:

Rootnote =  A

Major 3rd (3) 2 tones = C#

Perfect 5th (5) 3 1/2 tones = E

Major 6th (6) 4 1/2 tones = F#

The pattern we’ll use to start with will go like this (we’ll also include the octave (8) )

A   C#  E   F#  A   F#  E  C#

1   3    5    6    8    6   5   3

To get a nice groove going play 2 swung quavers per note. I’ve transcribed a 12 bar blues pattern using the same pattern above using A6, D6 and E6 arpeggios.

BLUES BASS LINES MAJOR 6TH ARPS

Pattern no.2 is using Dominant 7th arpeggios. These would contain:

Rootnote : A

Major 3rd (3) 2 tones = C#

Perfect 5th (5) 3 1/2 tones = E

Minor 7th (b7) 5 tones = G

Using the same playing pattern as with the Major 6th’s we’d get the following in an A blues progression:

BLUES BASS LINES DOMINANT 7 ARPS

You can also mix the 2 up to produce a bass line with a root, 3rd, 5th, 6th and b7:

BLUES BASS LINES 6'S + 7'S

Practice this in every key and play along to backing tracks online. There a millions of great blues backing tracks on Youtube you can use.

Also you can randomise the pattern so instead of going 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 6, 5, 3 you can jumble them up to create different options and sounds.

Hope you’ve found this blog useful.

You can find other excellent free info via the Jsmusicschool twitter feed @jsmusicschool @harvey_jsmusic

Many thanks

ROCK ‘N’ ROLL

James

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2014 in The Blues

 

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Spice up your Blues playing Pt 1 – 6 + 2 chords

Hi there,

Want to add some variety to your blues chord progressions? Thought so :)

If you are used to just playing the traditional 1, 4, 5 chords in a 12 bar blues (usually with dominant 7,9 or 13 chords) you’re only sticking with 3 possible chords.

There are some cool chords you can add to make the traditional 12 bar sequence more interesting.

So are traditional 12 bar blues in D could be:

D7   D7   D7   D7   G7   G7   D7   D7   A7  G7  D7   A7

2 really classy chords you can add are the 6th and 2nd chords from the key. So in D major the chords would be:

D Em F#m, G, A, Bm, C#dim

Now for a really bluesy sound we’re going to make the 6th chord Dominant 7th and the 2nd chord a minor 7th.

The 6th dominant 7th chord can be seen as a secondary dominant (please refer to my blog on secondary dominants for an explanation of this)

The 2nd chord is diatonic (belongs to the key)

Here is a suggested chord progression using these chords.

In roman numerals they would go like this . I  IV  I  I    IV   IV  I  VI     IIm7  V   I   IIm7 / V

1.D7  2.G7   3.D7   4.D7    5.G7   6.G7   7.D7    8.B7    9.Em7   10.A7    11.D7    12.Em7  /  A7

(in the 12th bar you can split it between the 2 chords – this bar is often referred to as the turnaround)

Have a play around with the above then have a go in different keys. So in A the progression would be:

1.A7  2.D7   3.A7   4.A7    5.D7   6.D7  7.A7.   8.F#7    9.Bm7    10.E7    11.A7    12.Bm7 / E7

Hope you’ve found this blog useful

Thanks for reading

You can find Js Music School on twitter via @jsmusicschool @harvey_jsmusic

ROCK ‘N’ ROLL

James

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2014 in The Blues

 

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Become great at Improvisation – Pt 11 – Unison bends!

Hi there,

Thanks again for reading the blogs – if you like them please share the links to your friends!

The next chapter in this improv series talks about how to integrate Unison bends into your playing.

Unison bends are used in millions of songs to provide a different type of bend to your standard semitone, tone or 1 1/2 tone bends.

A Unison is where you play 2 notes of the exact same pitch. I.e. 5th fret of the B (2nd) string and the open E (1st) string.

A Unison bend is where you strike 2 strings, the top string is playing say an E (12th fret) and the B string you’d play a D (15th fret) and bend the B string to reach the E. The most common places on the neck where these are performed are on the G (3rd) and B (2nd) strings and B and E (1st) strings. Here are some examples:

UNISON BEND EXAMPLES

The sound it produces sounds great and can be used lots in your riff making and lead playing.

To really integrate it into your playing, practice going up and down your scales using these. For example here is the G major scale (G, A, B, C, D, E, F#) using the unison bend shape on the E and B strings.

UNISON BENDS USING G MAJOR SCALE

Here’s another example of using the notes of the A minor pentatonic (A, C, D, E, G) using unison bends:

A MINOR PENTATONIC USING UNISON BENDS

Practice this using all your scales in all the various shapes and positions.

You can find other great free info on all things guitar related via the Js Music School twitter feed @jsmusicschool @harvey_jsmusic

Many thanks for reading

ROCK ‘N’ ROLL

James

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2014 in Improvisation

 

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Become great at Improvisation Pt 10 – Note skipping

Hi there,

So the next step in your quest to be an improv god is note skipping through your scales.

Note skipping is where you play your first note of the scale, skip to the 3rd, come back to the 2nd note, skip to the 4th, come back to the 3rd and so on.

It’s a truly excellent way to learn your scales as you really have to know your shapes well to be able to do this effectively. It also allows you to further randomize your shapes, providing you with more ideas for coming up with riffs and melodies.

Here’s the 1st shape of the A minor pentatonic using this exercise. (both ascending and descending)

PENTATONIC NOTE SKIPPING

Here’s the 1st shape of the A major scale using this exercise. (both ascending and descending). This is also known as going up and down in 3rd’s

NOTE SKIPPING WITH A MAJOR SCALE

Remember you can get perform this exercise with all 5 shapes of the minor/ major pentatonic and all 7 shapes of the Major/ Natural Minor scales, plus any other scales you learn.

You can find other free excellent info on all things guitar via the Jsmusicschool twitter feed @jsmusicschool @harvey_jsmusic

Many thanks for reading

ROCK ‘N’ ROLL

James

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2014 in Improvisation

 

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Add variety in your rock playing with Augmented power chords

Hi there,

Thanks again for reading my blogs, feel free to spread these around if you know other guitarists that will benefit from these posts.

So this blog will focus on Augmented power chords and how they can really add some nice variety to your playing.

An augmented power chord is essentially an augmented 5th interval which is 4 tones in size. A standard power chord is 3 1/2 tones in size so you are stretching or ‘augmenting’ the power chord to give yourself a different sound.

Here are the 2 most common examples of an augmented power chord (on notation these would read F5(#5) )

AUGMENTED POWER CHORDS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are many examples of when you can use these but for me the simplest way to start integrating them into your playing is by replacing the 3RD and 7th chords of any major scale e.g.

C MAJOR SCALE:

C5, D5, E5, F5, G5, A5, B5

so you can also use E5 (#5) and B5 (#5)

They often work best in conjunction with with the next chord in the scale for example:

B5 (#5) to C5, E5 (#5) to F5 would sound great

Have a play around with these to see how great they are!

You can find other great free info via the JsMusicSchool twitter feed @jsmusicschool @harvey_jsmusic

Many thanks

 

ROCK ‘N’ ROLL

James

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 6, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Power chords!

Hi there,

For those who like to rock out there , power chords are great fun to learn and are used in millions of songs.

The essential shapes are below with root notes on the E and A strings. There are other shapes but these 2 are the most essential.

Power chords technically only have 2 notes , a root note + a Perfect 5th (which is 3 1/2 tones above the root) . If you were looking at some tabs these will be stated as A5, B5 etc.

Here a 2 examples of an F5 power with the root note on both the E and A strings.

F5 POWER CHORDS

When you are composing or learning songs you can choose between the 2 pitches of these chords.

To find out what power chords work best with other power chords you just simply use your usual major + minor formulas to get the notes then make them all power (5th) chords (apart from the 7th chord which is a Diminished 5th power chord)

 

TTSTTTS for the major scale – so G major would be  G5, A5, B5, C5, D5, E5, F#5 (b5)

1,2,b3,4,5,b6,b7 for the natural minor scale so G minor would be G5, A5, Bb5, C5, D5, Eb5, F5

So a power chord progression in G major could be G5, D5, E5 + C5 and one in G minor could be G5, Bb5, C5 + Eb5

Hope you’ve found this blog useful

You can find other excellent free tips via the Js Music School twitter feed @jsmusicschool @harvey_jsmusic

Many thanks

ROCK ‘N’ ROLL

James

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2014 in CAGED chord system

 

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Become great at Improvisation – Part 9 – Major/Minor scales on 1 string

Hi there,

In the next part of this Improv series we’ll look at learning to play your major/minor scales on just 1 string. This is another excellent way to fully absorb your shapes and move about the neck freely. Also to helps to fully absorb the notes on the neck.

To start with let’s get the notes of a major scale. Let’s say D major:

Using our TTSTTTS rule (tone, tone, semitone, tone, tone, tone, semitone)  Tone is 2 notes (e.g. A to B) Semitone is 1 note (e.g. A# to B) :

D, E, F#, G, A, B, C#

Although D is your key centre, it’s best to practice on all your strings from your first available note. So for example on the 6th E string you’d start from the open E then F#, G and so on.

Here’s how it would look for the 6th string.

d major scale on 1 string

So practice this for all 6 strings (the A string would go A, B, C#, D and so on) and all 12 major keys.

Do this for your minor keys as well. Your Natural Minor scale is made up of a Root note (1), Major 2nd (2), Minor 3rd (b3), Perfect 4th (4), Perfect 5th (5), Minor 6th (b6) and Minor 7th (b7).

Major 2nd = 1 tone, Minor 3rd = 1 1/2 tones, Perfect 4th = 2 1/2 tones, Perfect 5th = 3 1/2 tones, Minor 6th = 4 tones, Minor 7th = 5 tones

G minor would be G, A, Bb, C, D, Eb, F for example and your first available note would be an F on the 6th E string.

By doing all this you are essentially learning 3 things at once:

  • Further integrating your scales to provide you with runs on each string and move around the neck effectively in a particular key
  • Reinforcing your knowledge of keys
  • Reinforcing your knowledge of the notes of the guitar fretboard

So get cracking :)

Thanks for reading these blogs, hope you find them useful.

You can find other excellent free info via the Js Musicschool twitter feeds @jsmusicschool @harvey_jsmusic

Many thanks

ROCK ‘N’ ROLL

James

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2013 in Improvisation

 

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