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About Common Bass Patterns

Learning Patterns on Bass

Learning note patterns on bass is a natural, early step in learning to play bass. There are a handful of note patterns which are used over and over in bass playing. I think it's a good idea to start out with the simplest patterns and learn how to apply them and recognize them. This will give you a solid foundation on which you can build more complex patterns and ideas. The note patterns I'll be showing you in this lesson category are a great place to start.

Sound Patterns, Not Finger Patterns

It is very important to have the correct perspective on note patterns. You have to realize that these are sound patterns, not “finger” patterns. Though your fingers may be moving in a particular pattern or shape, it is the musical sound pattern we are learning. It's the sound of the notes which is important.

All of this amounts to one thing: you need to listen to what you are playing. In fact, you should hum along matching the pitches as you play. The more often you do this, the more quickly you will absorb and internalize each sound pattern.

So, as you study these note patterns on bass please be sure you are thinking of them and listening to them as patterns of sound. Thinking this way will really benefit your musical development.

Building Basic Bass Skills Playing with Others

Playing with others is important. The sooner you start the better. The first day you get your bass is the day you are ready to start playing with other musicians. You will learn much more quickly if you do.

One advantage of being a bassist is there are very few of us around. You’re always in demand – even if you can barely play! This makes for great learning opportunities. You should take advantage of them. You can build up a lot of skills very quickly.

The lessons in this section should help give you some basic tools you can use in any band in a lot of situations. I highly encourage you to experiment with these note patterns and create your own basslines using them. Don't be scared. No one will take your bass away from you if you play something "bad".

Now, off to the first and most common note pattern for bass - root notes.

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