Bass chord progression

Anybody got any good bass chord book recommendations!

What do you mean, “Bass Chord Book”?


What is a bass chord book? That’s what I’m asking?

A book on chords of a bass guitar to study. For example c major chord.

DC, I think Mark is one of the better bass teacher’s on the web. On his site, under the practice room, he has e-books that you can download for free, and one of them is a chord book. :slight_smile:

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I’ve never heard of a book about chords. However, bass generally doesn’t call fir chords, just chord tones (arpeggios) .
The best resource I know of to learn chord tones would be the TalkingBass Chord Tones course, which I took and highly recommend.

I bought this book recently, but haven’t started it yet, so don’t know how good it is

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@akos Judging by the title of that book, my guess is the focus is mainly on walking basslines, which generally rely upon the chord tones and progressions. I’d be interested to hear your feedback once you dig into it.

As a beginner have I missed something fundamental in my music theory here?
@Dopechicken asked if there was a book showing all the chords to be told bass doesn’t use chords just chord tones (arpeggios).
But a chord is 3 or more notes. You can either play them all at once or pick out a pattern (arpeggio). But you still need to know the structure of the chord to pick out the tones?
So a book of chords makes sense. Or have i really missed something basic here?
This for example seems to be what you might be looking for.

I’m currently working my way through this book. Which is really well structured.


Exactly why I recommended studying Chord Tones, which make up the structure of chords. The difference for bass players is, (with some exceptions) we play one tone at a time in the form of arpeggios rather than all the tones at once in the form of a chord.

I think we’re at cross purposes here Pam. A chord consists of 3 or more notes. A chord tone is simply one of those notes.
So a book of chords will tell you the structure of those chords and from that @Dopechicken can pick out the chord tones.
So, for instance, the chord of C major is made from 3 notes – C, E, G – they are called the "chord tones "

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@barney we are both saying the same thing, but in a different context. There’s no point in us arguing over vernacular. I know what chords are and I know what the chord tones within those chords are. I just didn’t know there was a book out there about it (or even a need for one).

Hey @PamPurrs I really didn’t want to come across as a jerk here in this thread. I genuinely wanted to make sure that the theory I’d been taught on guitar wasn’t different from Bass. That’s all. But I can see it’s the same stuff, just different terms. I’ve never hear of chord tones before. So sorry if it came across as abrupt.



LOL you didn’t. It’s all good, I love a lively discussion about music theory. :smiley_cat:

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So theory actually translates to any instrument. If you know guitar and chords, you could theoretically play any note that you fret in that chord on the bass. Theoretically you could even play the chord on the bass.

The catch is if you were to play the chord exactly like you did on guitar, the deeper tonal frequency of bass would give you something that sounds muddy (often, not always). When you see bassists playing chords, it will often be higher on the neck in the upper register, OR a lower note on the E string with a higher note on the G string, and will sometimes leave out a 5th or 3rd.

So the chord TONES, just add a different flavor or accent. One way to hear this would be to play a chord on the guitar and loop it. Then play the root note on the bass over it. When the same chord rings again play another note (by itself) that is in the chord. You should hear the different accent it gives to that chord.

Hope that helps, and it sounds like you have a pretty good understanding of it already :smiley:


But I don’t need to play 3 notes together for it to be a chord right?
For example

– 5–
– 3–

Is a chord? Sorry for lack of

That is typically referred to as a “power chord” or 5 chord. If it is 2 notes it is referred to as a partial chord.

Definitions vary, but generally the definition of a chord is 3 or more notes played at the same time.


Seconding the free talkingbass ebooks. I think there’s even a standalone course there on Chords for Bass if you really wanted to dive in. Then there is also this video from @JoshFossgreen which is a good starting point.

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Power chords are definitely chords :slight_smile:

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