The 2 Most Awesome Notes on Bass (for Infinite Bass Lines)

If you’re a beginner bassist, you don’t need tons of notes to improve your bass lines - you only need 2. (take it from Alex Trebek)

0:50 - Roots n’ Fifths Explained in 47 Seconds
1:57 - Fifths Are Stable
4:25 - Fifths Fit With Roots
7:13 - Fifths Won’t Clash
8:35 - Make Your Own Bass Lines
9:31 - Country Bass Formula
10:46 - Bossa Nova Bass Formula
13:19 - Soul Bass Formula
14:25 - Rock Bass Formula

If you’re doing the Beginner to Badass course, this lesson would fit at Module 10, where we’ll start diving deep into roots and fifths.

The (Brief) Science of Roots & Fifths

Here’s that handy chart you saw in the video again, illustrating why fifths hit that sweet spot for interesting but stable bass lines:

There’s so much more cool science behind why we love fifths, including the whole concept of the harmonic series, which I didn’t manage to fit into this video.

This video also marks the birth of Science Josh - hope you dug that purple bow tie as much as I do. :stuck_out_tongue:

Got any favorite bass lines that use roots and fifths? Share ‘em here!

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Science Josh is awesome!

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The best thing about playing root - 5th is you don’t have to worry about whether it’s major or minor… 5ths are generally always perfect.

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Oh yeah :slight_smile:

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Until you have a run-in with the ii chord in a minor ii-V-i progression (which is to say, all over jazz) - sneaky diminished fifths :grin::wink:

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I was going to mention diminished and augmented 5ths in my comment, but decided not to. Thus, the reason I said “Generally” always perfect :smile_cat:

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I know… I just happened to have “Autumn Leaves” lying in front of me and I always need to pay attention not to trip over those 7(b5) chords :smile:

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Root fifth still works… just has to be root + weird fifth. :stuck_out_tongue:

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I found out that I accidentally did roots & fifths all the time when I was just noodling around on my bass between module lessons, it sounded the best. I guess that’s a good sign :smiley:

At least now I know the terms and (music) science behind it !

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Great vid. Love Science Josh, he’s great. Hope to see more of him!
Sorry, not sorry for the meme. He’s very reminiscent of the Ancient Aliens guy. :smiley:

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The Natural Science bassline rendition, with the perfectly in time vocal mime, was very impressive. :clap: :clap: :+1:

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Just watched this video, and I may have had a minor epiphany, the root fifth thing is why so many songs use either the 3rd fret 5th fret or 2nd fret 4th fret combination so much?

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“two frets up” is indeed an important pattern to remember. Two up on the same string is a whole step. Two frets up on the next string is a perfect fifth. Two frets up two strings up is an octave.

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… and to add some occasional color, one string down on the same fret is also the 5th, but in the lower octave.

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That’s 5 string talkin there Pam :grin: @PamPurrs, that extra string gives you that option​:+1:
Cheers Brian

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Not necessarily. The "5th below’ applies in any key and anywhere on the fretboard whether you’re playing 4 string or 5 string. Granted that B string gives you more options, but the theory applies to 4 string as well.

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I agree, I was referring to most who play 4 strings, so the E is as low as I go🥴 @PamPurrs Pam👍
Cheers Brian

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Added to… BassBuzz YouTube Video Guide.

@JoshFossgreen Another great video, as usual.

Oh man, Science Josh! I’ve listened to Natural Science so many times. It is well loved in my small tidal pool. That song really helped get me through a tough time in my younger years.

It’s interesting how, to my ears today, the original recording sounds clunky and weak compared to more recent live recordings they’ve done. Still very inspiring, either way.

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Is playing the root and drinking a fifth the same thing?..

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