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Electric Bass Lessons: Chord Progressions 1-4-5

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One of the things I love most about
music is you discover the little patterns
that actually come around again and again.
So I'm using things that I learned 30, 40
years ago, today.
And they just keep coming, coming up again
Once you learn the basics, that, that will
take you very far.
So, I'd like to give you an introduction
to chord progressions.
Now it turns out that.
Many songs, like millions of song have the
same exact chord progressions.
And that's just the way it is.
There's only, you know, so many
combinations and
a lot of songs are built around the
similar progressions.
So, I won't teach you all the progressions
here but
I do wanna share with you some of the more
common ones.
And these are ones that you'll hear all
the time.
And then, once you learn these, again,
you'll have them in your arsenal and
you can use them forever and ever and
You'll be able to create bass, great bass
lines over then in any key.
And there's a notation system, called the
numbering system.
I find that in, in Nashville they use this
a lot where they just say okay,
the song's in the key of C and we start on
the 1 and
then we're gonna go to the minor 6 to the
4 to the 5 and the 1 so
you automatically know that if you're in
the key of C.
That the 6
6, would be the A and
if it's a minor it would be A-minor and
then if they're going to the 4 chord,
that would be the F
1, 2, 3, 4.
And then the 5 chord
Would be the G and then back to the 1.
So we'll, we'll talk about a progression
that is probably one of
the most common progressions in music.
And I'm talking in Blues, and in Pop
Music, Rock Music.
And it's the 1, 4, 5.
Very common if we're in the key of E.
E, B, and the 1.
A, the 4, and B, the 5.
There's many, many tunes that use this
For instance, you may have heard the
that goes like this and starts on the 1,
4, 5.
So now if you know that one bass line,
you actually can play that progression,
the 1, 4, 5 in all the keys.
And again, that progression will come
around a lot.
And you can create different baselines.
What I've done is put together a track
with just using the 1, 4, 5 and I'm gonna
show you, I will start very simply so
you can get it in your ear what to play
over the 1, 4, 5.
[SOUND] So there is the 1,
the 4, and this is just the very
simple line, very easy.
Okay, so now that you know that
progression and you get it in your ear,
you already know 100 songs.
We'll play the same progression again.
And I'll just add a few more notes to try
to make the baseline
a little more interesting, and it goes
something like this
I might double up the baseline and add it,
make eighth notes
Which is the long note
Every now and then I'll put
a second in there.
I'll go, one to two.
Keep it, keep it interesting.
So again, the difference between that and
the first approach, was the first approach
was very simple.
Just a straight.
You've heard it a million times.
Then I double up on the line.
And every now and then, just to keep it
interesting, I'll put the 2 chord over
the, over the 5 over the 4 chord.
So, it just gives it a little more
Go back to 1, 4, 5.
And then if we wanna take it a little bit
further, and
I will add a little more emotion to the
see if we can come up with something a
little more interesting.
It's a little more movement, little more
I'll now just demonstrate the 1,
4, 5 in another key so, now that your ear
is tuned to what that sound like.
We'll try it in the key of C and I'll show
you again with the click track just
[SOUND] some of the notes that we can come
with, using the 1, 4, 5.
Here we go.
That's in the key of C.
Let's try the key of G now.
Here we go.
4 chord.
5 chord.
And so on.
>> So,
now we're having fun with what we know
already about simple progressions.
Again, the 1 4 5, if I'm in the key of E,
E being one.
A being four,
and B being five, there's just so many
ways to approach that.
For instance, you've heard that
progression, like we say so
many times and, for instance, if we
outline just our regular major triad,
I'll bet you've heard
songs that have this line.
And that again,
one of the most simple progressions, but
once you learn it, you use it for ever.
So, when I'm thinking about creating, a
bass line for
that very simple progression, something
that won't be and too busy but
won't be too boring, I'm thinking, okay, I
have the E major, so, I started with it.
And so, what you notice is that, I played
it in the low octave.
So already, just by changing octaves,
it sounded better and it, it kept it
Instead of doing the same octave twice in
a row, I just started on the low octave
and now I'll add a little bit of
movement to it and maybe add eighth notes.
Jump up the octave.
And then now all the things that we've
learned also, come into play what kind of
tone do we want those notes to have?
Do we want them to have a warm tone?
Or do we want the more percussive sound?
Now this is all just one progression,
one, four, five.
And again, that's gonna be in any key
And all I'm doing is outlining.
In each, in each note, I'm just outlining
in my, in my major scale major
one three five, triad.
you'll hear this a lot of there'll be many
opportunities to come up with your own
versions, of playing in one, four, five,
again, in the key of E
Again, what I like to do sometimes,
is change the inversion just a little bit
to keep it interesting.
So instead of going, one, four, five, I'll
do the one, two, five.
And that just gives it a little different,
little different sound than a
And so,
what I'll do now is I'll play the rhythm
track with the 1,4,5 again,
and I'll just make it almost like a solo,
more melodic,
more, movement and this, it'll sound
something like this.
So, what you'll notice is that was a lot
more active.
I had my right hand a little closer to the
bridge because I wanted the notes to speak
a little more and I was sort of sliding
around a little bit pulling, pulling and
and just using all the things in
the arsenal that we learning to basically
make music,
out of a very simple chord progression
again the 1 4 5.
So, here comes the fun part,
at this point, I'd like you to send me
your version of the 1 4 5.
As you play along with this backing track,
and before you send it to me, check out
some of the other videos and just, you
know, get out, gather your ideas, then
send me the video and I'll have a look at
it and get back to you with some feedback.
So there's the one, the four.
And this is just a very simple line.
Very easy.
So there's the one, the four, and
this is just a very simple line.
Very easy.