Skip to main content

Chords Archives - Page 3

Memorizing Chords and Scales
Ask Damian Erskine

Memorizing Chords and Scales

Q: I’m lucky enough to attend a college with a robust and demanding music department, and like a lot music in academia, this means I’m playing a fair amount of jazz. I’ve been a fan of the genre for a long time, but I am new to playing it and seem to have run into a problem with improvising and...

Chord Voicing on Bass
Ask Damian Erskine

Chord Voicing on Bass

Q: I know you have covered bass chords before, but what I was wondering is about the actual chords, not the progression played as arpeggios. I try playing chords my guitar buddies have shown me, and they sound awful on bass but great on guitar. What chords played on bass sound good? A: Bass players are somewhat limited with their...

Chord Construction: A Guide for Bassists
Ask Damian Erskine

Chord Construction: A Guide for Bassists

Q: I’ve been playing bass for about four years, and I’ve had difficulty with understanding chord construction on the bass. I know my scales and their modes inside and out, and I know a lot about the fretboard. My technique is good too, but I figured when I was starting out that I really didn’t need to know chords “because...

Jazz Box: A Look at the Chord and Scale Reference App for iOS
Apps

Jazz Box: A Look at the Chord and Scale Reference App for iOS

Jazz Box, in my humble opinion, has just helped to fulfill a need for a thorough, high quality harmonic study app. While not perfect and not 100% inclusive of every harmonic consideration, it goes way beyond any of the other apps I have seen in explaining scale considerations in the jazz idiom, spelling out various chords and explaining what certain...

Chord Substitutions, Tritones and Bass
Ask Damian Erskine

Chord Substitutions, Tritones and Bass

Q: When is it ok to use chord substitutions on standards? Also, can you explain tritone substitutions? A: The use of chord substitutions is fun to practice but must be used with caution on the gig. Our role as a bass player is to support the harmonic foundation for the rest of the band, as well as lock the rhythms...

Playing Chords: A Guide for Bassists
Ask Damian Erskine

Playing Chords: A Guide for Bassists

Q: I recently bought a 6-string bass and started working on playing chords. How should I voice more complex chords (e.g. Gm13) using few (3 to 4) notes, while maintaining the quality of the chord? A: It is important to note a few things when doing this. Much of this is learned by doing it wrong and having someone correct...

Bass Lesson: Expand Your Fretboard with Major Triads
Bass Lessons

Bass Lesson: Expand Your Fretboard with Major Triads

In this new lesson, we’ll break down the concepts of utilizing triads in expanding your fretboard knowledge and control. We’ll explore triad inversions, different fingerings and using triads as target notes to achieve this goal. The video starts with a demonstration of a solo over a G Major chord. I’m playing a G Major triad. A triad is of course...

Harmonizing the Major Scale: Using a Number System on Bass
Bass Lessons

Harmonizing the Major Scale: Using a Number System on Bass

This week, I’m kicking off a new lesson focusing on the foundation of music – the major scale. Read over this lesson and then be sure to check out the video for a demonstration. Western music harmony is mostly based on the 7 steps of the major scale, and the chords built on the major scale are very common to...

Playing Through Chords – Continued
Ask Damian Erskine

Playing Through Chords – Continued

Q: I’ve spent a lot of time developing exercises for myself to practice connecting chords so that I’m not treating each chord as a separate entity. My goal is to voice-lead my way through the chords as if each is a slight variation on the last. I’ve been trying to solo during chord progressions, but I find myself stuck on...

ChordBot: A Look at the Songwriting and Accompaniment Tool for iOS and Android
Apps

ChordBot: A Look at the Songwriting and Accompaniment Tool for iOS and Android

ChordBot is a wonderful, easy to use app which is equally powerful for songwriting as it is for accompaniment. The app allows you to develop and play chord progressions in a number of styles. ChordBot features 60 different chord types (including slash chords), 50+ comping styles, a song generator, as well as the ability to export your files as midi,...