Have 2 questions that have probably already been asked. Is there a BassBuzz app or any plans for one? Second question is what is a chord progression? I hear it mentioned a lot but never get an explanation of what it is. I’ve seen a few lessons on them but the epiphany never happens.
Are you taking the course? Josh covers them in the course during music theory.
Ditto to what @howard says. Where are you in the course? You’ll get to chord progressions along the way. It’s actually a very simple concept once you learn it.
Been thru the course 3 times. Something about them just doesn’t seem to click.
A chord is a bunch of notes being played at the same time. For example playing C, E and G at the same time is a chord. Playing various chords one after the other is a chord progression.
A chord progression, explained in a way bassist would need to know, is just the sequence of notes played in a riff before it repeats. This is usually written in intervals. A very common progression is I,VI,IV,V (1645). So if the key was C Major the notes would be C,A,F,G. If you played those notes with the guitarist as he changed chords in that order (timing can vary in a progression, like how long they stay on that chord before changing to the next) you would be playing a bassline that works with what they are playing (the most basic line for sure).
So 1645 is just the 1st, 6th, 4th, and 5th notes of the C scale? For the F scale 1645 would be F, D, A#, and C?
Also would root third fifth be considered a chord progression?
Yes. Though Major and minor will vary…the 6th in c minor is actually a flat 6 relative to c major. But that is getting too technical. Play your scale, count the notes and there you have your intervals in that scale.
1,3,5 for the purposes of bass is a “chord” progression, though it is a root progression. Chords get a bit more complicated because they can be major, minor, dominant, augmented etc… however that would only matter in to bass for the notes you would pick other than the root note.
To simplify that…if a guitarist played a c major chord, C minor chord, or Cmajor 7, you could just play any C note on the bass and it would work with the chord.
Now…a distinction…1,3,5 is also a triad…if you play them consecutively…which would NOT be a chord progression…the example of how it would be a chord progression would be play The 1 at 8th notes for a 4 count. When you get to the 1 on the next 4 count, play the 3 as 8th notes for a 4 count, and then on the next 4 count play the 5 at 8th notes.
I hope that makes sense…it’s hard to put this stuff to text, and part of why I have so much respect for @JoshFossgreen in his teaching ability
Would an example help?
This is me playing a 1-6-4-5 progression in C.
C is the root (1) A is the 6th. F is the 4th. G is the 5th.
It just progresses from 1 to 6 to 4 to 5 and then back to 1 and on and on
Great example @PamPurrs! Notice she even adds fills after she starts on each part of the progression later in the song…the key being when it’s time to switch to the next part you always start at that note. This is a way to add character to your bass lines while still staying within the structure. But it also still works to just stay on the root note of each part of the progression.
To add…not every progression works…However it is a good way to write your own bass parts. Pick any scale, Pick 3 or 4 random numbers 1-7 and try playing to it…you will start to learn what works and doesn’t, and you will be making your own songs. You can pick the same progression, but change it from a major scale(Key) to a minor and listen to how it changes the sound! It’s fun stuff and excellent practice.
That was a great example. Does it always have to start with 1?
No, but starting on 1 and ending on 5 is most common
It doesn’t. In a way doing that can make it a bit trickier to know the key, but just know that whatever your 1 is is the key.
Not to add confusion, but just some information. Every major has a relative minor that has the same notes in the scale. For simplicity, C Major and A minor have the same notes. The difference is your starting point is A in A minor, while the starting point in C Major is C.
So in C Major the 6th is A. In A minor the 6th is F.
I’m so excited! I could talk this music theory stuff all day. Someone get me a beer please
Is there a specific reason ending on the fifth is common ?
That I understand. We can save those worms for later.
@Gadget are you a bit clearer on the chord progression concept now? I hope we have been helpful to you.
One more question, will it always be 4 or more notes?