Today, we are going to look at the use of 3 notes sequences on the bass guitar. Now, why do we need to learn how to play sequences on the bass and particularly, why 3 notes and not any other random number like 5 or 7?
As the name suggests, 3 notes sequences basically means that you are grouping a bunch of 3 notes to be played on each string. There is a particular reason for playing in this manner as it creates an “economical” way to move from string to string with the minimal amount of effort.
As with any other lessons, it is crucial to practice your rhythm and timing with a metronome. Remember that you should always start at a lower bpm and crank up the speed on your playing only when you gain better motor skills and dexterity. If you do it the other way round, bad habits like poor fingering or technique you might unknowingly develop will not be easy to change once they set in.
With 3 note sequences, you should experiment a little and try to come up with your own original sounding licks and riffs. A good rhythmic sense can also allow you to have greater expressive powers on the notes. Try incorporating various techniques learnt and do it at a variety of speeds. You’ll be surprised at how things can sound differently even with minor tweaks.
I highly recommend that you go back to the bass techniques section if you face difficulty in playing at faster speeds. Review the specific articles on alternate and economy picking. These are the essential right hand techniques to help you gain fluidity when approaching the concept of three-notes-per-string.
Before I leave you to your own practice, check out this cool video of a Korean bassist where he combines various techniques with theoretical know-how.