Block: The Studybass Note Choice Pyramid

The Studybass Note Choice Pyramid

Bass Lesson Block

In this lesson block I will give you an understanding of how all 12 notes work in a bassline. You will learn there are 3 types of notes: Chord Tones, Scale Tones, and Chromatic Tones. Then you will learn when to apply which ones.

The lessons in this block are a huge missing link in most bass teachings. Often you are told: "just play this scale." That's only part of the story. These lessons should help you demystify why some notes work in a bassline and others don't.

Note: This is the most important lesson block on StudyBass. I urge you to study it well. Come back to it as often as it takes for it to sink in.

Intro to the Note Choice Pyramid

In this lesson I introduce you to the common heirarchy of note choices in basslines.

Rhythmic Weight

The effect of where notes are placed rhythmically is a critical aspect of creating basslines and understanding the function of chord, scale and chromatic notes.

Chord Tones in Basslines

Chord tones are the foundation of the note choice pyramid. In this bass lesson we review chord tones and their rhythmic weight and apply them.

The Fifth Approach

The fifth approach is one of the most powerful tools of the bass player helping to propel the music forward.

Scale Tones in Basslines

Once you have set the harmonic foundation with chord tones, you can apply scale tones to create more melodic basslines.

Chromatic Tones in Basslines

Chromatic notes are used sparingly in most basslines, but they can have a huge impact on driving the music forward and connecting chords.

Note Choice Heat Maps

To drive home the point of this lesson block, I've created a unique way of visualizing the three types of notes and their rhythmic placement.

Heat Map: James Jamerson

Note choice heat map analysis of James Jamerson's bassline to What's Going On?

Heat Map: Paul McCartney

Note choice heat map analysis of Paul McCartney's bassline on Something by The Beatles.

Basslines vs. Melodies

Understanding the difference between basslines, melodies, and bass solos will help keep your bass studies on track.

Block: The Studybass Note Choice Pyramid