Mini-Chords on the Bass

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Decoding The Bass Guitar

In the last video I showed you how you can use the octave pattern to add a little spice to your bass playing. A very simple trick, with a great payoff.

In this video I showed you how you can take the concepts from the first video and the second, merge them together, and come up with a chord-like pattern that sounds really rich and very melodic. Please note this isn’t an actual chord, as you’re missing the 5 note.

I use this 1-8-3 pattern quite frequently now. If I want a little extra punch, I might hit all three notes at once. If I’m looking for a very mellow sound, I’ll probably hit the root note first, then pluck the other two strings at the same time to really let that third ring through. The key is to really play around with it until you can make it your own.

In Decoding the Bass Guitar I give you the tools you need to find these types of patterns on your own. The technique is simple, but powerful… and there are many other patterns like this just waiting for you to play them.

Have you heard of my No Weasel Clauses Satisfaction Guarantee? I give you a full 60 days to try out Decoding the Bass Guitar, and if you’re not 100% satisfied, I’ll give you a full refund. So I’m taking on all the risk here – you only end up paying if you improve!

Questions or Comments? Leave one below.

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Decoding The Bass Guitar

Leave a Reply 13 comments

Robert - July 1, 2010 Reply

What is the difference between a 6-string Bass, a 5-string and a regular 4-string Bass? Is a 6-string the ideal instrument to start learning the Bass? If not, what is the best to start with? I believe the extra 2 strings on a 6-string-Bass are a “B” & a “C”. I notice that a 6-string can’t be tuned up like one does for a regular guitar. Am I right?
Please advise

I think that the Bass is not only a rhythmic but also a melodic instrument today. When I checked Laboriel’s fingering / playing, I certainly believe it. He plays chords and presents the melodic side of Bass playing.What is your opinion on my assertion?



    Jonathan Boettcher - July 1, 2010 Reply

    Hi Robert,

    Yes, you’re right on the two extra string tunings. Personally I like the 5 string… 4 seems limited, considering what you can do with the extra string. In my opinion, a 6 would be nice, but now you’re getting into some fairly high notes, for the bass, so you’re going to need to incorporate that into your playing. Perfect for someone who understands chords and is going for that more melodic sound, but probably not ideal for everyone.

    Abraham Laboriel is an amazing player; he definitely uses chords a lot in his playing, and yes, I’d tend to agree with you, that there is a lot more melodic stuff that can be done with the bass than the straight bass line many like to stick with.

    That’s kind of the direction I was going with this 1-8-3 pattern – you can really use it melodically.

Linda Sumner - July 3, 2010 Reply

Did I get on a Bass guitar list by mistake? I am only playing a regular guitar and am only getting bass guitar lessons. Are you only doing that for a while? Just wondering.

Wayne - July 5, 2010 Reply

Hey Jonothan that’s very easy thanks
God bless

Andrew - July 5, 2010 Reply

Hi Jonothan

I had a mate buy me your Decoding the Bass DVD and I just got the call to let me know it has turned up.

We are in Australia and I have really enjoyed the couple of free vids you have sent through. My head has been thinking along the lines you are explaining but you really explain it well.

Can’t wait to see the DVD, keep up the great work and when our band goes somwhere I’ll give you the credit… :o) - July 15, 2010 Reply

Hi Jonothan
I really enjoyed your decoding the bass lesson download. I can not wait for the next lesson. I am programing my bain to think numbers, keep up the good work.

stephanie - August 11, 2010 Reply

Ilove what you send nd unfortunately i can’t really play my bass at this time because i have so many things going on at once i keep tripping over myself but you are motivating me to pick it up and start palying again. … i am a drummer by profession and i just got a gig offer and i am not sre i have time for that even. oh boy what a mess.
thanx for this gift hyou give us

chetos - August 17, 2010 Reply

YOU SUCK!!!!!!! - September 4, 2010 Reply

Hi Jon,

I love the DVD – are the follow-up videos a permanent thing or do you plan additional DVD’s in the future? If so will the members who have already purchased have access?


    Jonathan Boettcher - September 6, 2010 Reply

    Hi Skip, if I do any updates to this current lesson, you’ll get those for free, for sure. However, if I release a brand new lesson, that won’t be included.. (though I’ll likely give existing members a good deal on that!). Cheers. - March 6, 2011 Reply

thanks sir for the th video it is really great i liked it alot thanks again bye - March 10, 2011 Reply

hi sir thanks for video
it really great

David Thompson - January 7, 2015 Reply

I like how full it sounds

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