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Bass Line Construction: Rhythm and Repeating Patterns

Let’s take a look at some of the fundamentals in bass line construction. In this lesson, we’ll improvise on some funk in the key of C.

A quick note and correction: when I say “seventh” in the video, I mean flatted seventh. You’ll see the annotation when that comes up in the video.

Here’s a break down of the notes/intervals I talk about in the lesson:

  • Root: C
  • Octave: still C, but in a higher register
  • Minor third: E♭
  • Fourth: F
  • Fifth: G
  • Flatted seventh: B♭

This is the minor pentatonic scale: C, E♭, F, G, B♭

In case you’re curious, the iPad app I’m using for the drum patterns is Funkbox.

Let me know how it goes! Share your thoughts, feedback and questions in the comments.

Thomas Risell, otherwise known as “MarloweDK”, is a bassist and music educator from Denmark. For more great bass lessons from MarloweDK, visit

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Michael Mcclain

Great video, I enjoy listening to great bass lines, and the bass wisdom that players share. Thanks.