Adding a Chord: Finding The Root Note

Now that we've practiced the basic RH pattern it's time to try adding a chord. This sometimes leads to a bit of a challenge, when it comes to picking the right bass note.

In the previous lesson we played our picking pattern in the key of E minor, and we had our bass note here on the low E-string, which makes sense because we know that note is an E and that's the note that named our chord. But it's not always that simple.

Grab your A minor chord for example and apply the pattern. Doesn't sound right, does it? That's because we have an E-note in the the bass, and this chord is called A minor. So it needs and A in the bass to sound “normal”.

We call the note that names the chord the “root note”. In this case it's fairly simple, because you know the open string is called A. So now our thumb is picking that instead of the low E-string.

Anders Mouridsen
Instructor Anders Mouridsen
Adding a Chord: Finding The Root Note song notation