Chord Shapes

It is helpful to have some concept of the shapes that will be encountered repeatedly when playing the bass. Becoming familiar with these shapes will greatly speed things up, and aid in muscle memory and dexterity. Correct fingering helps as well. First, let's look at triads, the most basic chord shapes. Practice upward from root, to 3rd, to 5th, using the fingerings indicated below each chord.

 

Major triads (Roots bold and underlined)

                 1        2               4                                                                                               1                3       4                                                                                       1               2                4

Minor Triads (Roots bold and underlined)

       1               2                 4                                                                                               1       2               4                                                                                       1                 3      4

Augmented Triads

               1       2                         4                                                                                                                                                                  1       2      3

Diminished Triads

      1                 3      4                                                                                                                                                                                    1       2              4

 

Other notes that are commonly added to the triad to give the blues it's flavor are 6ths and flatted 7ths.

 

Major triads with 6ths (Roots bold and underlined)

                1       2               4                                                                                                 1               3      4                                                                                          1                 1            3(&4)

 

Dominant 7ths (Roots bold and underlined)

                1       2               4                                                                                                    1               3       4                                                                                                 1                 2              4

 

Minor 7ths (Roots bold and underlined)

1 2 4 1 2 4 1 3 4

Diminished 7ths

1 1 3 4 1 1 4 4

 

 

 Back To Learn Bass Page