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Bass Lessons — Begging Tap For Bass Vol.5 bass tabs

Last time we just touched upon the all important technique of
major thirds. Physically it's pretty straight forward, and
you should have
mastered it with few problems. This week we'll consider how
the interval is
used within simple chords. To do this I'll need to run over some
music theory — I hope it doesn't scare anyone too much.

Previously all the right hand paterns that we've considered
have been
based on the interval of a fourth (thats five frets!). This is
the easiest
interval to tap, as it's the interval between adjacent strings.
It's the
interval between the root and the fourth note of the scale, but is
harmonically more common as the interval between the fifth
and the octave:

__ O
| \ | . O
| / . O
| / O
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 O
^ ^ ^ ^
\_______/ \_______/
4th 4th

Triads (the basic three note building blocks of chords) are formed by
starting on a note of a scale, and playing every other note above
that. If
we consider the key of C Major (as it has no sharps or flats), and
on the first note (ie C) we get the notes C, E and G.

| \ | . O
| / . O
| / O
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 O
^ ^

This shows clearly how 4ths are important in basic (ie I'm generalising,

and glossing over things) harmony. Where ever we start on the
scale we
always form triads in the same way by skipping every other note:

—O— ———
—O— ——— ——— —O—
—O— ——— ——— —O— ——— —O—
__ O O
| \ | . O O O
| / . O O
| O
1 2 3 4 5 6

(Note I left the 7ths out — they work slightly differently, but
for another time!).

No matter which note you start on you'll always find a fourth
interval at
the top of the chord between the fifth and the octave.

A Major third is found between the root and the third degree of
a Major
scale, so going back to our C Major example:

__ O
| \ | . O
| / . O
| / O
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 O
^ ^
Maj 3rd

Hence we find a Major third at the bottom of all Major chords.
we have to be a bit more careful with thirds than we do with fourths,

because if we start on a different degree of the scale we get a
interval between the notes of our triads. The reasons for this
are a bit
complex, but the results can be most clearly seen by considering
a piano

| | | | | | | | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | | | | | | | |
| +++ +++ | +++ +++ +++ | |
| | | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | | |
| C | D | E | F | G | A | B | C |
| | | | | | | | |

If you start at C and count the number of semitones between it
and its
third (E) you'll find you move 4 steps. However, if you count
the number of
steps between D and its third, F (remember there are no sharps
or flats in
the key of C) you'll find there are only three steps. If you work
it out
(as I suggest that you do) you'll find that C, F and G have four
steps to
their third, while D, E and A have only three (as I said before
— ignore B,
it's a bit odd).

As you've probably guessed, 4 steps are a Major third, and hence
C, F and G
are Major chords in the key of C Major. A three semitone gap is
a Minor
third, and therefore D, E and A are minor chords. To generalise
this, in a
major key the chords I, IV and V are Major, and the chords II, III
and VI
are minor.

As a final twist before moving on to some fretboard based examples,
again at the C Major chord, but this time consider the interval
the third (E) and the Fifth (G). Count the semitones and you'll
you've got a MINOR third. If you look at a MINOR chord (D minor)
find that the interval between its third and fifth is a MAJOR
third! This
gives us a neat trick where we can use the same Major third interval
play completely different roles in two chords — say Amin (ACE)
and CMaj
(CEG) — A Minor is the RELATIVE MINOR of C Major.

If we play an E at the 12th fret we can tap its octave on the 14th
By stretching the middle finger a little further than we would
for a
fourth we can comfortably tap the third (g#) at the 13th fret.


From here we could easily move to the other major chords of this
key (A
and B — IV and V remember) by moving the bass note up a string, and
tapping fourth intervals. However, we can alternatively bring
in the
relative minor (C#) by just moving the bass note:


If we string these four chords together we get:

| E | C#m | A | B |
| | | | |

All very well I hear you say, but it's hardly rock'n'roll. Well
knows a good thing when he sees it, and he used a very simple Relative
trick on the main riff from the track "A Day at the Beach (New rays
an ancient sun)" on "Flying in a Blue Dream":

^Second Time

^Second Time

This isn't strictly accurate (I've changed the key, and simplified
somewhat), but it clearly illustrates how the Major third is
used in two
roles — as part of the G Major chord in the first section, and then
part of the relative minor E minor chord in the second section.
Notice how
the right hand is identical for both sections, but by moving
the bass note
we change the sound completely.

I hope that this all made some kind of sense to you all. I've covered
lot of information this week — don't worry if it didn't all sink in
straight away, it'll take time before you feel comfortable
with it. However,
I think you need to at least have seen this stuff to get the most
tapping. Going polyphonic gives you a lot greater choice of
notes to play,
theory gives you some sort of hints as to what might work.

If this does cause you a great deal of hassle then send me some
email, and
I'll try and clear up any gray areas. I had this stuff drummed
into me
about ten years ago so I'm not really sure how much of a challenge
will present to those of you who haven't seen it before (That
which is
obvious does not need discussing! — cool quote :—)).

Don't Panic
Tablature player for this song:
Bass Lessons - Begging Tap For Bass Vol.5 Bass Tab


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