THE Most Important Advice For Bass Players- What Is Your Role?

The role of the bass player largely falls into a few areas: 

  1. To outline the harmony

  2. To provide the low end

  3. To support the music and the other musicians in the band

  4. To supply the rhythm alongside (primarily) the drummer

Don't forget melody as that plays a part too in terms of hooks, riffs, fills, and memorable parts.

The bass guitar is the bridge between the three main elements that make up music:

  • Rhythm

  • Melody

  • Harmony

Listen to your favourite bass lines and you'll hear these elements at play. When you start to get a handle on them and you can really hear and analyse a bass line, try to mimic what you like in your own playing.

Make sure to scroll down for the free backing track and PDF.

Vultures (Live) - John Mayer

Due to a copyright claim, unfortunately, I had to remove the clip I was going to show you. No worries, here it is below. It starts at the bit I was mentioning but you should listen to Pino Palladino's playing throughout the whole song.

Backing Track & Arpeggio PDF

Learn the arpeggios above and then download the backing track. Follow the bass drum pattern and keep things simple. Root notes (the red blobs in the diagrams) are your friend!

F# Minor Pentatonic can be used as fills as can some of the notes within the arpeggio. 

Have fun!

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  • Hi Dan, haven’t checked this out yet, very busy in this period but it looks like a terrific article and exercise too, in my opinion its exactly what we should all aim to when playing, included the “consistency” video you just posted

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