Playing Notes at the same time

When music calls for playing notes together, does that mean you pluck the strings at the same time? Or, for example, if the notes call for an open E and open A, do you play the open E and then the open A? I have not been on the forum for awhile, been enjoying playing too much. But I am forever grateful to Josh and his course. I started at 65 and now I am 71 and enjoy playing even more, now that I know a “lil bit”. Good luck and good life to all of you who like to finger dance up and down the neck of a bass.


Good to hear from you again, @cajarmj61 . . . :slight_smile:

I’m not quite sure, but based on what you wrote, I would play them together.

Hope all is well with you!



Yes, Like @Jazzbass19 said, play them at the same time. How to do this would be different depending on the song.

  • Strumming both with a pick.
  • Strumming both with a down stoke using finger nails.
  • An up stroke across both using the pad of the finger.
  • Plucking both using thumb and first finger.
  • Something else I haven’t thought of.

If you can post the music, I’m sure someone here can figure out what it’s asking for.


Playing different notes at the same time is a chord. If the tabs have the fret numbers stacked on top of each other you would play them at the same time. Same in notation if they are stacked at the same part of the line you play them at the same time.



• plucking one string normally and the other with your fretting hand
• or both with your fretting hand
• combine other techniques along with the fretting hand pluck, such as slap or pop or pick

Just adding some!


I was listening to “Mountain of Love “ by Johnny Rivers. Bought the sheet music and saw that I had a problem.


I usually skipped the part with the stacked notes because they didn’t appear that much in some of the songs that I try learning. But this song has plenty, and the Bass on “Mountain of Love” is the kind of music I want to play.

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All is well and it is good to connect with people who love music and Bass playing.


Hmmm…watching someone do a cover I don’t see/hear him playing any bass chords, looks like a variation of a 12 bar blues.

What were the tabs you saw and what do you mean when you say stacked?

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Have a similar issue with Dream on by Aerosmith and use my thumb and trigger finger to pluck the strings at the same time

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That’s an example of stacked notes where you would play them at same time .


I don’t think Dream On uses chords?

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On the final verse the 6th and 4th fret on the D and G strings are played simultaneously on the tab version I play.
Probably a quirk of that version sww


@JoshFossgreen has great video on chords. Very easy to follow as always of course Simple Chords

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