The Beginner Bass Player’s Guide To Chord Progressions

Chord Progressions

Bass players tend not to play chords but there’s no denying they’re fun; not to mention useful to know. This video lesson takes you through the key of G major and harmonises it to get a set of seven different chords (see below the video for the diagram). Pair this lesson with the one on the seven arpeggios of C major.

G Major Harmonised In Tenths

Tenths are intervals and the root and the tenth makes up a double stop (technically not a chord but a nice and easy way to illustrate the point). Here they are with the fingering patterns.

The G Major Scale In Tenths - Bass Guitar Chords

Download the PDF: G Major Scale In 10ths

Roman Numerals (Nashville Number System)

Musicians number the chords using Roman numerals with lowercase denoting minor and uppercase for major chords:

I ii iii IV V vi vii

Take these shapes and experiment. Put them in different orders and you get chord progressions. Write a few then add some rhythm and organise your progressions into some sort of structure. You will have the beginnings of a piece of music.

Learning how melodies work over the top of the chords will give you another important element of music. This example is in the key of G major/E minor so use those scales as well as the pentatonic scales and you’ll be in business.

Now go and write your next hit!