Alternating Bass Notes | Fingerstyle Guitar


Alternating bass notes can make your fingerpicking sound more interesting and fuller. I forget the question which notes should I alternate. I’m gonna give you some guidelines on how to choose the alternating notes and more importantly a way to practice it because what you wanted to do is to become just second nature so you do not think about and by the time you think about it, it’s all over. And finally I’ll give you some little more advanced tips at the end of how to choose some different alternating notes and vary it up a little bit. To start off, there’s
basically 3 sets of bass notes. We’re going to be working with. Chords that have the root note or the name of the chord on the sixth string. Chords that have the name of the note on the fifth string, we call that the root note and then the fourth string. Chords on sixth string there’s chords like G, E. You could include sixth bar notes sixth string bar notes like the F. The F note is the bass note there. They are the main root note. On the fifth string, we have the C chord and A chord and all the minors associated to A minor. Now for the 4th string, we have chord like D, D minor and D7. The best alternate bass note for the sixth string after you play the sixth string would be the fourth string so it sounds like this with the G. For fifth string chords we’re going to choose the fifth string and the fourth string so it sound like this. And for the fourth string chords, we’re going to choose the fourth string and the third string. It sounds like this. Now here’s an exercise you can practice
to get used to playing those bass notes. We’ll keep it simple. You start with just
hitting the top string as an alternate. So we hit the bass note top string and
then the alternate bass note. So I’m hitting this 6th and 4th, to do that twice
then go on to the fifth string. We’ll make a C form fourth string. I’m
using the same high E string for the alternating and then for the fourth string we’ll hit
the fourth and third strings. All together it sounds like this – that’s
64. Now to the C. to the D and then one more time I’m G and we’ll
end there. Of course you want to repeat the exercise over and over slowly at
first and build up speed. Now when you’re adding more notes making it into
something like a Travis pick, it’s gonna sound like this. Now as I mentioned in the beginning
those aren’t the only bass notes that you can use but they’re a good
foundation and you want to get comfortable with that but you can start
adding some alternates. For example with a sixth string, you can add the fifth
string so you could alternate the alternate halves of the speak. You can go 6 – 4 and then go 6 – 5 add a little variety. Another variation that I use very often
on the fifth string is I jump over to the 6th string and add the bass note.
There, listen to this – and a little faster. On the fourth string, you can jump to the
fifth string as an alternate even again alternating the alternate so I hope this
has been helpful for you. Thanks for taking this short time with me. I look
forward to seeing you in another lesson. Please let me know in the comments if
there’s something in particularly you’re struggling with that I can help with.

2 Replies to “Alternating Bass Notes | Fingerstyle Guitar”

  1. Thanks so much for the lesson. You have a real gift for teaching and seem to enjoy it very much. I always look forward to what you’ll show us next. Happy New Year to you!

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