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Bass Lessons — Building Chromatic Ideas bass tabs

(submitted by just3boyz)
This tab illusrates some practicle applications of chromatic notes.
Controlling notes that are "out" can be a bit scary for some,
but there are many many ways to sneak em in.
We'll use an E7 vamp as our layout.

There are two important terms i'll use to explain this concept:

—In Notes: notes that are inside of the chord/scale
—Out Notes: notes that are outside of the chord/scale

So here are the notes IN an E7 Chord (as an arpeggio):

|E7 |
|E G# B D |
|1 3 5 b7 |
G|————————————————|
D|————————————————|
A|————————2———5———|
E|0———4———————————|
|1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + |

Here it is an octave higher:

|E7 |
|E G# B D |
|1 3 5 b7 |
G|————————————7———|
D|————6———9———————|
A|7———————————————|
E|————————————————|
|1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + |

The scale that would probably be considered the most IN would be:

|E Mixolydian |
|E F# G# A |B C# D E |E F# G# A |B C# D E |
|1 2 3 4 |5 6 b7 1 |1 2 3 4 |5 6 b7 1 |
G|————————————————|————————————————|————————————————|————6———7———9———|
D|————————————————|————————0———2———|————————6———7———|9———————————————|
A|————————————0———|2———4———————————|7———9———————————|————————————————|
E|0———2———4———————|————————————————|————————————————|————————————————|
|1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + |1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + |1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + |1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + |

This scale is considered inside cuz it contains the intervals: 1,3,5,b7
which makes up the "dominant 7th chord"

(*there are other scales that contain these intervals.
= check out my chord/scale theory tabs for further explaination.*)

As for the other notes in the scale,
let's consider them as "colors"
since the chord does not specify what kind of 2,4 or 6 to use,
we have the liberty to use them.


Let's Look at the E Blues Scale:

|E Blues Scale |
|E G A Bb |B D E |E G A Bb |B D E |
|1 b3 4 b5 |5 b7 1 |1 b3 4 b5 |5 b7 1 |
G|————————————————|————————————————|————————————————|————7———9———————|
D|————————————————|————0———2———————|————————7———8———|9———————————————|
A|————————0———1———|2———————————————|7———10——————————|————————————————|
E|0———3———————————|————————————————|————————————————|————————————————|
|1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + |1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + |1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + |1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + |

Even though the Blues scale has the intervals: 1,5,b7 (which a dom.7 has)
The scale has a b3 instead of a 3.(which a dom.7 has — not b3)
This scale still works though!
How?
Simple.
What if we looked at the b3 interval as a #2?
Then, instead of it being a "Chord Tone," (Note in the Chord)
It would become a "Color!"
Mind...Blown!

This #2 (or #9) is the note the makes the famous "Hendrix Chord:"

(on Guitar)

|E7(#9)|Note |Interval |
E|——————| | |
B|8—————|G |b3 (#2) |
G|7—————|D |b7 |
D|6—————|G# |3 |
A|7—————|E |1 |
E|——————| | |

(on Bass)

|E7(#9)|Note |Interval |
G|12————|G |b3 (#2) |
D|12————|D |b7 |
A|11————|G# |3 |
E|12————|E |1 |

As for the b5 (Bb)
You can also look at it as a #4 (A#)
Which could also be considered a "Color."

Now what I want to do is add a note to the blues scale.

|E Blues Scale (add 7) |
|E G A Bb |B D D# E |E G A Bb |B D D# E |
|1 b3 4 b5 |5 b7 7 1 |1 b3 4 b5 |5 b7 7 1 |
G|————————————————|————————————————|————————————————|————7———8———9———|
D|————————————————|————0———1———2———|————————7———8———|9———————————————|
A|————————0———1———|2———————————————|7———10——————————|————————————————|
E|0———3———————————|————————————————|————————————————|————————————————|
|1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + |1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + |1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + |1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + |

So How does the major 7 work over a dominant 7 chord?
one word.
tension.
When you use it in between a b7 and the root,
it acts as a "passing tone" which goes to either note quite nicely.

So I've been getting pretty nerdy with this concept.
Let's look at some examples.
This exercise is simply a sixteenth note E7 vamp.
(in the style of Francis "Rocco" Prestia from Tower of Power)
We are going to combine the scales referenced above.
the tab will have the chord, notes and intervals above it.
here we go.

E7 Exercice)

|E7 |
|E D E |C# D D# E G# A A# B |
|1 b7 1 |6 b7 7 1 3 4 #4 5 |
G||——————————————————9—————7—7—————|6—6—7—7—8—8—9—9—————————————————|
D|o————————————————————————————————|————————————————6—6—7—7—8—8—9—9—|
A|o7—7—7—7—7—7—7—7—7———7—7—————7—7—|————————————————————————————————|
E||————————————————————————————————|————————————————————————————————|
|1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a |1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a |

|E7
|E D E |E D# D F# G G# |
|1 b7 1 |1 7 b7 2 #2 3 |
G|——————————————————9—————7—7—————|9—x—8—8—7—7—x—x—11—11—12—12—13—13—————|
D|————————————————————————————————|——————————————————————————————————x—x—|
A|7—7—7—7—7—7—7—7—7———7—7—————7—7—|——————————————————————————————————————|
E|————————————————————————————————|——————————————————————————————————————|
|1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a |1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a |

|E7 |
|E G# A Bb B |E ****** E G |
|1 3 4 5b 5 |1 ****** 1 b3 |
G|————————————————————————————————|————12//13——————x————————————————|
D|————————————————————————————————|————11//12——————x————————————————|
A|7—7—x—x—————————————————————————|—————————————————————————————————|
E|————————4—4—x—x—5—5—x—x—6—6—7—7—|0—————————————————————0—h3———////|
|1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a |1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a |

|E7 |
|E D C# D |E C# D D# |
|1 b7 6 b7 |1 6 b7 7 |
G|————————————————————————————————|——————————————————6—————7———————||
D|————14——————12——————11——————12——|————14——x———————————x—————x—————o|
A|————————————————————————————————|——————————————————————5—————6———o|
E|12—————/10—————/9——————/10——————|12——————————————————————————————||
|1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a |1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a |


The ****** is a great trick i picked up from Larry Graham.
In case you're wondering what that is:

|E7 |Notes |Intervals|
G|12//13|G //G#|b3//3 |
D|11//12|C#//D |6 //b7 |
A|——————| | |
E|0—————|E |1 |

It's important to understand the notes/intervals for one simple reason:
So you can play these concepts in any Key you want.
There's more to Bass than just playing in E.

Here is the exercise as a G7 vamp:

|G7 |
|G F G |E F F# G B C C# D |
|1 b7 1 |6 b7 7 1 3 4 #4 5 |
G||————————————————————————————————|————————————————————————————————|
D|o——————————————————5—————3—3—————|2—2—3—3—4—4—5—5—————————————————|
A|o————————————————————————————————|————————————————2—2—3—3—4—4—5—5—|
E||3—3—3—3—3—3—3—3—3———3—3—————3—3—|————————————————————————————————|
|1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a |1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a |

|G7 |
|G F G |G F# F A A# B |
|1 b7 1 |1 7 b7 2 #2 3 |
G|————————————————————————————————|————————————————————————————————|
D|——————————————————5—————3—3—————|5—x—4—4—3—3—x—x—7—7—8—8—9—9—————|
A|————————————————————————————————|————————————————————————————x—x—|
E|3—3—3—3—3—3—3—3—3———3—3—————3—3—|————————————————————————————————|
|1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a |1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a |

|G7 |
|G B C Db D |G ****** G Bb |
|1 3 4 5b 5 |1 ****** 1 b3 |
G|————————————————————————————————————|————15//16——————x————————————————|
D|————————————————————————————————————|————14//15——————x————————————————|
A|10—10—x—x———————————————————————————|———————————————————————————————//|
E|——————————7—7—x—x—8—8—x—x—9—9—10—10/|15————————————————————3—h6———————|
|1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a |1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a |

|G7 |
|G F E F |G E F F# |
|1 b7 6 b7 |1 6 b7 7 |
G|————12——————10——————9———————10——|————12——x———————————————————————||
D|————————————————————————————————|——————————————————2—————3———————o|
A|10—————/8——————/7——————/8——————/|10——————————————————x—————x—————o|
E|————————————————————————————————|——————————————————————1—————2———||
|1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a |1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a |

And just so you know:

|G7 |Notes |Intervals|
G|15//16|Bb//B |b3//3 |
D|14//15|E //F |6 //b7 |
A|——————| | |
E(3)————|G |1 |

you can also invert this idea:

|G7 |Notes |Intervals|
G|9///10|E //F |6 //b7 |
D|8///9—|Bb//B |b3//3 |
A|——————| | |
E(3)————|G |1 |

This will come in handy when you "transpose" this exercise.

*Make sure you practice this exercise to a metronome!*
*Start slow and work your way up*

I encourage you to try this exercise on all the 12 "Root Notes"
As you can see from the G7 exercise,
You have the liberity of starting on any octave you want.
On certain Roots you're going to have to make these adjustments.

I hope this tab has shown you the practicalities of Chromatic Lines.
They may seem a little scary or odd at first,
But when you get used to hearing/playing them,
They're alot of fun!

I also hope that this encourages you to come up with your own chromatic lines.
This tab just barely scratches the surface of where this can go!

Please give me constructive criticism.
and thanks!

—Connor Larkin
(just3boyz)
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