Nice to know that you can count on Chordify if you’re a guitarist. Just look up a track, turn it on and play along. But what if you’re a bass player? Yes, we all know that the standard bass guitar has four strings instead of six. Moreover, you play a bass guitar completely different than a normal six string. But is that really the case?
Yes, that’s really true of course, but as a bass guitarist you certainly have something to gain from Chordify. More than you even think! Here are three ways you can use the chord progressions to brighten up your bass parts.
One of the most important things you can get from a chord diagram, as a bass player, is the root tone of the chord.
Playing along with the keynote is the most basic thing you can do as a bass player. If you want to make it more interesting, you can. You still don’t have to worry about the “gender” of the chord, i.e. whether a harmony is major or minor.
The fifth tone from the root is the quint. If you play the two together then you get a two-tone harmony that we also call a power chord. The fifth gives more body to the sound of the root. Suppose we stick to the G, then you see in the diagram that the fifth of this chord is a D note. So you can vary between the two.
Do you want to expand your bass even more? Of course you can. Now the story becomes a lot more technical and you have to take into account the gender of the chord. Is it a major or a minor? You can see that by counting the third tone from the root. We stick to the G chord for a moment. A chord consists in essence of a root (G), a fifth (D), and a third.
The third tone determines whether your chord is major or minor. In the case of the G, the third of the major – or the major third – is a B. If you reduce the third by playing it a semitone lower, the chord becomes a minor. The B becomes a Bb for the Gm. Give some extra emphasis in your bass part by taking the third from time to time.
Compose a bass riff
So when your band plays a G major, you can compose a bass riff that starts with the keynote G, then briefly touches on the major third B, goes back to the G, and then adds some more power to the fifth D. Chances are that these chords will follow each other when the song is written in G.
Because that is also an advantage for you as a bass guitarist. You check in which key the number is in Chordify. Then you take the chord diagrams and start puzzling with the basic tones of the chords you see in front of you. Check our category “chord of the week” for the notes in the scales of the highlighted chords. This way you can take advantage of Chordify as a bass player more than you initially thought. Happy jamming!