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  • Guitar Glossary


Alternating bass

A technique involving plucking two alternating bass notes. For example, one skipping regularly between A and E (fifths, thirds or roots are common). This can be used in many styles of the guitar, but is commonly associated with classical and folk - generally fingerstyle play.

Lessons for: Alternating bass

1: More Candy: Alternating Bass, New Key

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In this lesson, we'll use the alternating bass technique, and play this chord progression in the key of G. Play this along with me and the band: / G / G / C / C / / G / G / D / D / / G / G / C / C / / G / D / G / G





2: Country Candy: Alternating Bass

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In this lesson, we'll learn the technique called Alternating Bass. In the first half of a measure of 4/4 music, you'll play the standard bass note for whatever chord you are playing. In the second half of the measure, you'll play an alternate bass note. On a C chord, your alternate bass note will be G (6th string, 3rd fret). On an F chord, your alternate bass note will be C (5th string, 3rd fret). On a G chord, your alternate bass note will be D (4th string, open). On an D chord, your alternate bass note will be A (5th string, 3rd open). ...

3: The C Chord, Alternating Bass

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This is also the same exercise, and we're still alternating the bass notes. In this one you move the ring finger on the left hand, to alternate the bass notes Play the 5th string in the 3rd fret with the pick, and play the double stop with your fingers. You want your picking hand where you can pull up on the 2nd, and 3rd strings with the middle and ring finger. Then move the ring finger on the left hand, to the 6th string in the 3rd fret. Play the 6th string with the pick, and pull up on the 2nd, and 3rd string with your fingers. We are also muting the bass note...

4: The B Chord, Alternating Bass

  • Focus: Exercises
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This is also the same exercise, and we're still alternating the bass notes. In this one you move the index finger, to alternate the bass notes. Play the 5th string in the 2nd fret with the pick, and play the double stop with your fingers. You want your picking hand where you can pull up on the 3rd, and 4th strings with the middle and ring finger. Then move your index finger on your left hand, to the 6th string in the 2nd fret. Play the 6th string with the pick, and pull up on the 3rd, and 4th string with your fingers. We are also muting the bass notes with the p...

5: The A Chord, Alternating Bass

  • Focus: Exercises
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This is almost the same exerciseas the other lessons, but we are alternating the bass notes. Play the open 5th string using the pick, and play the double stop with your fingers. You want your picking hand where you can pull up on the 3rd, and 4th strings with the middle and ring finger. Then play the open 6th string with the pick, and pull up on the 3rd, and 4th string with your fingers. We are also muting the bass notes with the palm, or actually the side of the hand. This is also a root/5 exercise, the root is the 5th (A) string, and the 4th (D) string i...

6: The D Chord, Alternating Bass

  • Focus: Exercises
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This is the same exercise, and we're still alternating the bass notes. Play the open 4th string using the pick, and play the double stop with your fingers. You want your picking hand where you can pull up on the 2nd, and 3rd strings with the middle and ring finger. Then play the open 5th string with the pick, and pull up on the 2nd, and 3rd string with your fingers. We are also muting the bass notes with the palm, like in the last lesson. This is also a root/5 exercise, the root is the 4th (D) string. The 3rd (G) string in the 2nd fret is an A note, which ...

7: Bass Motion Explanation

  • Focus: Exercises
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In this lesson I explain what is meant by bass motion. In the bass motion exercises, the scale notes will be played in the lower register, on the lower strings, hence "bass motion". The higher register, the upper strings, will be used to play the repeated pedal notes.





8: E Major Scale Bass Motion

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In this lesson we will play the E major scale in the lower register, on the lower strings, hence bass motion. The higher register, the upper E string, will be used to play the repeated pedal notes.





9: E Minor Scale Bass Motion

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In this lesson we will play the E minor scale in the lower register, on the lower strings, hence bass motion. The higher register, the upper E string, will be used to play the repeated pedal notes.





10: Doubling The Bass

  • Focus: Style Tutorial
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This riff uses a different picking technique and check out how the muting happens in the left hand as oppose to the right hand. Pay attention to where in the groove the riff sits, it's following the bass line but also ads it's own feel and "pulls" the groove. The rhythmic syncopations creates a nice laid back feel. As you should with anything you practice, working with a metronome with these sort of "feel altering" riffs are crucial. Also in this example you should start hearing more how a lot of rock bands are influenced by the motown sound.

11: Bass & Melody

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Finally it's time to put it all together! It may be tricky at first, but be persistent and it will feel like second nature after a while! It's hard to keep the melody notes ringing while muting the bass notes, so try to find a good place to rest your right hand so that you only touch the three bass strings.





12: Baritone Guitar: Tic Tac Bass 3

  • Focus: Style Tutorial
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This is the standard background sound for everyone from George Jones to Buck Owens, Elvis to Johnny Cash. You can even hear this style on a few old Ray Charles tracks... this is a staple of the session sound from the late 50's through the early 60's. If you have time life's Country series from 1960-1965... Tic Tac Bass is on 1/2 of the songs. Great retro sound tools. And a necessity for film and TV "period" music. I've used this sound for several songs that have been used in prime time TV shows.

13: Baritone Guitar: Tic Tac Bass 1

  • Focus: Style Tutorial
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Used extensively in the 50's on everything from rock to blues to country and 90% of the pop records, Tic Tac bass was on EVERYTHING for a couple years. Fender released a Bass VI (bass six) 6 string Baritone. Danelectro also had one. I have since resurrected the baritone in my own line of guitars. If you are a session player in Nashville, you had better have a baritone in your arsenal...



14: Walking Bass Line: Bars 1-2

  • Focus: Style Tutorial
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Bar 1 is A13 - play the chord using your thumb for the low A - use 1, 2, 3 fingers or index, middle and ring finger to pluck the 4, 3 and 2nd strings - A13's spelling is 1 b7 3 13 The walking bass line then jumps to the C#, E and 1/2 step down to the Eb - this sets us up to be 1/2 step above the IV chord D9 Use the same thumb and fingers to play the D9 and then walk chromatically up to A from F# below. Gavin Audagnotti



15: Walking Bass Line: Bars 3-4

  • Focus: Style Tutorial
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Bar 3 we play the A13 again and walk chromatically up from the C# to Emi11 in bar 4 - The bass line jumps from E on the 7th fret 5th string down to B on the 7th fret 6th string and then 1/2 step down to Bb and jumps again to the 5th string 6th fret for the Eb again 1/2 step above D9 This move is a ii V to D9 (D9 is thought of as I)the Eb would be the b5 of V (A7) If this confuses you email me gavin@guitartricks.com and I'll send you a b5 sub explanation Gavin Audagnotti

16: Alternating The Tremolo String E & B7

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This time let's change the string we play the tremolo technique on. First, we hold an E major chord with the left hand. In previous lessons we alternated the bass notes with our thumb and played tremolo constantly and only on the high E-string. This time we will keep our thumb and the bass note on the low E-string, and we will move our tremolo technique from the high E-string, to the B-string, to the G-string, back to the B-string and repeat it! Move left hand chord to the B7, play the bass note on the A-string. Play the same tremolo pattern alternating betwe...

17: Alternating The Tremolo String E Minor & B7

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Again, we will change the string we play the tremolo technique on, but this time with our E minor chord. First, we hold an E minor chord with the left hand. In previous lessons we alternated the bass notes with our thumb and played tremolo constantly and only on the high E-string. This time we will keep our thumb and the bass note on the low E-string, and we will move our tremolo technique from the high E-string, to the B-string, to the G-string, back to the B-string and repeat it! Move left hand chord to the B7, play the bass note on the A-string. Play the s...

18: E Major Scale Bass Motion Variation 1

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In this lesson we will again play the E major scale in the lower register, on the lower strings. However, we will add the B string to the higher register. We will play the B string along with the upper E string and play repeated pedal notes on both of them.





19: E Major Scale Bass Motion Variation 2

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In this lesson we will again play the E major scale in the lower register, on the lower strings. We will also add the B string to the higher register. However, this time we will rhythmically separate the B string and the E string as repeated pedal notes. This results in a very nice triplet sounding pattern.





20: E Minor Scale Bass Motion Variation 1

  • Focus: Exercises
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In this lesson we will again play the E minor scale in the lower register, on the lower strings. However, we will add the B string to the higher register. We will play the B string along with the upper E string and play repeated pedal notes on both of them.





21: E Minor Scale Bass Motion Variation 2

  • Focus: Exercises
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In this lesson we will again play the E minor scale in the lower register, on the lower strings. We will also add the B string to the higher register. However, this time we will rhythmically separate the B string and the E string as repeated pedal notes. This results in a very nice triplet sounding pattern.





22: Thumb & Bass

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Let's begin with the thumbwork! We're going to play all 8th notes, which means two notes per beat and the thumb will be going nonstop. You build a boom chick bassline by grabbing any chord and starting on the root note. Let's take a C major chord for example. We start on the C on the 3rd fret, A string. Then we go up to E, 2nd fret D string. Since our root note is on the fifth string we will jump down to the sixth string for our third note to find the fifth, which is G on the 3rd fret. The fourth note is the same as the second note. If your root is on the low E string...

23: Walking Bass Line: 12 Bar Blues in A

  • Focus: Style Tutorial
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This is a 12 bar blues with a quick change to the IV; Bar I is A13 for one bar followed by the quick change to D9 the IV chord. This is the full 12 bar version and each lesson after this has a demonstration of 2 bars of the piece. There are ghost notes played to underpin the swing walking feel - if you just get the main format you can build on that and experiment for yourself - Gavin Audagnotti



24: Walking Bass Line: Bars 5-6

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Bar 5 is a chromatic walk up from B to D9 root note on the 5th string followed by Bar 6 where the walk up is also chromatic from F# on the 6th string back to root note of A13 Gavin Audagnotti





25: Walking Bass Line: Bars 7-8

  • Focus: Style Tutorial
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Bars 7 starts on A13 and walks up chromatically to E and then jumps to F# on the 4th string and continues Bar 8 to G# the 3rd degree of E which happens to be the next chord starting bar 9 - the V chord Gavin Audagnotti





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