Bass - Funking out in 3/4

Kinda funny. Picked up my bass and started slapping out a new groove. All was going great. Then I went to tab it and noticed something didn't quite work. It was only then I noticed that I had been playing in 3/4 timing. Most likely this was because of concentrating so hard on playing hand fingering, comparing the difference between popping with just one finger or popping with two that I wasn't paying attention to timing. At least I got the fingering correct - the two finger version is better. So let's take a look at this funk inspired groove then break down what's going on.

alternate timing bass funk

It's more likely this pattern is technically in 6/8 but the principal is the same. Bar two is an exact repeat of bar one. We duplicated the bar to inspire you to get into a groove with this bassline, although you could use something like this (bar 1) as an intro, part of a bridge, a turnaround, whatever.

The first four notes outline quite strongly an A Major chord. Slap an open A string (let it ring throughout if you like). Then you pop an octave A note. Next note is the major third followed by perfect 4th. That's a pretty strongly outlined A Major. Next four notes are open A, octave, perfect 4th, perfect 5th. Let's consider the open A and the octave as 1st notes. This is the pattern (1, 1, 3, 4, 1, 1, 4, 5). The hammering of the notes gives a great pulse to your playing which will make it virtually impossible for anyone listening to stand still when you get it going on.

You could experiment using alternative notes for the two notes following the root and octave, but we do suggest keeping the 3rd and 4th combination somewhere in your pattern to ensure the A Major tonality is either set or resolved.

Ok.... back to the initial point of this exercise which was the use of which fingers to pop with! You can see our preferred style outlined underneath the bass tab. You may be tempted to only use your first finger or only use your second finger. This exercise is for using both. One last thing. You can give your octave A note (7th fret, D string) a staccato style to really tighten things up. Enjoy.

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