If you want to learn to make your playing sound huge, you will need to learn some chords. The best place to start is with the most basic of all chords; the major chords.
Major chords are upbeat chords with large tonal properties. In essence, this means that they sound big. In this article, we will discuss some of the most basic major chords on bass guitar.
First off is E Major. E Major is one of the most commonly used chords in modern music. From acoustics to jazz, the E Major chord is favored for its powerful sound and open feel.
To play the E Major chord, start off be playing your E string open. Next, fret the second fret of you’re a string for the note B. Now fret the second note of your D string for the note E. Finally, fret the first fret of your G string for the note G#. The triad within the E Major chord consists of the notes E, G#, and B. As long as you play these notes together with E as the lowest note, you are playing an E Major chord.
Next up is the A Major chord. Just the E Major, the G Major has a chord with a powerful quality. Many musicians tend to use the G Major in acoustic pieces. To play G Major, start off by playing your E string fretted on the third fret for the note G. Next, play your A string on the second fret, for the note B.
Now, play the D string as an open note. You can play the open G string as well, but it isn’t necessary. As long as you have the basic G Major triad, consisting of the notes G, B, and D, with G as the lowest sounding note, you are playing a G Major chord.
Our third chord is the C Major chord. C Major is very different from our previous chords, as it is one of the few major chords that have a minor sounding quality. Many musicians tend to mistake the C Major chord for a minor chord. To play the C Major chord, start off by fretting the third fret of your A string to achieve the note C.
Next, fret the second fret of your D string for the note E. Finally, play your G string as an open note. This is the C Major chord. So long as you have the notes C, E, and G, with C as the lowest sounding note, you are playing a C Major chord.
If you study these major chords on bass guitar, you may see a similarity between them all. They all are built off of a triad. There is no exception. Some are only the triad, while others have octaves as well. This is because triads are the roots of all chords. If a chord doesn’t have a root, a third, and a fifth, it isn’t a chord, only a grouping of notes.
Keep this in mind, and try experimenting with creating your own bass guitar triads. Keep your intervals in mind, and have fun.
JamPlay has thousands of video lessons that are conveniently arranged in structured lesson sets. With high quality instructions from world renowned bassists, Jamplay is an unparalleled learning resource. Whatever your genre preferences, you’ll find something here to help you improve your current level of playing.