In this lesson we are going to take a look at developing a new approach to building and controlling how we perceive common bass patterns, more notably the root/fifth combination on the fingerboard. Historically, the common approach to learning intervals on the bass is to learn a simple fingering by rote and then string them together – usually jumping all over the fingerboard while doing this. With this approach, you are not playing the bass, but the bass is playing you!
Because the root/fifth intervallic combination is such a common bass pattern, our main objective is to develop an orientation to the fingerboard where we will, without a moment’s notice be able to locate a fifth above or below a particular root note within a specific position of the fingerboard. For example, if we use the first position to get started, we would play from the low E on the E-string up to the B on the 4th fret of the G-String.
Once you determine what the root note is, using one finger per fret, locate the related fifth either ascending or descending in that specific position. This seems like a simple task at an isolated level, but to absolutely internalize this knowledge you need to be able to locate the relative fifth instantly from all of the notes listed in the exercise below. As you already know, the relative fifth from any given root note can be a Perfect 5th; or a raised or lowered fifth resulting in an Augmented or Diminished 5th.
You are now ready to work through this exercise which will give you a command and mastery of the fifth in relation to any given root in the first position. Take each note that is written as the root and then simply play the relative fifth that is indicated above or below it. Make sure for this exercise to adopt a strict one finger per fret positioning on the fingerboard.
All the Bass