This bass tutorial contains a simple yet powerful message:
Only a few patterns are found in hundreds of different bass lines.
Learn a few and you will improve your ability to memorise and pick out these bass lines by ear.
This lesson is based around the Root - 5th - Major 6th pattern. Scroll down for the shape plus the songs that contain them.
Root 5 6 Bass Guitar Pattern
This lesson focuses on this simple shape:
Watch the video lesson above and then listen to the following songs, trying to pick out the bass lines. They all use the same notes in the pattern above!
Town Called Malice - The Jam
This song is in the key of D so you can use the exact pattern above.
(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher & Higher - Jackie Stewart
Same key, same notes!
I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch) - Four Tops
This one's in C so, move the shape down two frets (towards the head of the bass). That's called transposing, by the way, and it's easy on bass.
Wake Me Up Before You Go Go - Wham
Same key - C.
Just A Man - Faith No More
This one's also in C. Check out the nice C Major arpeggio at the end of the intro.
Once you realise that many notes you find in bass lines are the same old ones you come across, it makes learning songs and hearing music easy.
Your job is to learn as many patterns and songs as possible.
Check these lessons out:
11 Amazing Famous Bass Lines (Natural Minor)
8 Famous Bass Lines That Use The Dorian Mode
8 Incredible Bass Riffs You NEED To Know (Mixolydian)
Learn 11 Amazing MAJOR SCALE Bass Lines