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.

For more great bass lessons from Thomas "MarloweDK" Risell, visit

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  1. Excellent video, sir. You put FUN back into learning the FUNdamentals :)

  2. Lesson learned; Keep it simple. I guess we all knew that but a reminder now and than is more as welcome.

  3. awesome and educational, as always. Thankyou

  4. clear and concise teachings! may I ask what you prefer about the short scale? I love my Mustang too! I actually had a custom pickup installed as well and it sounds great , some say almost like a Rickenbacker..

    • Nice sub sound and very easy to play, you can play these “rubbery” lines. Whick pickup did you install?

    • yes , very easy to play…i’m somewhat of a guitar player….a custom wound / made by a guitar tech named Smitty in Toronto …he used mil/spec wire from California…you can see it in my FB pics…..where are you? keep up the great lessons….KJ

  5. Great, Thanx Marlowe!

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