The title of today's lesson is 'Low Register Open String Riff'. That's pretty much what it is, but we're hoping that the idea will inspire other instrumentalists too. The reason why we named this lesson this way is to not exclude other instruments, like a cello or even piano rather than just write for bass guitar. So, let's get into this piece which is in the key of D Major.
Most likely the first thing which stands out in looking at the score is the large range between notes. The lower note throughout this entire example is a D note. On a bass guitar this happens to be the open D string. If you do happen to play a cello, obviously the high notes shown in the bass tab will be out due to your instrument tuning (drop every high note shown in the bass tab a full tone, but we're guessing you read traditional music score).
Ok, let's get onto those high notes. The first bar is a simple melody that starts on the 3rd note of the D Major scale. Basically the first two notes outline a D Maj no 5th chord. The second bar drops the notes a fraction deeper into the scale and keeps the rhythmic melody functioning. Bass players may find it easiest to play this using their thumb, instead of fingers, or using a pick.
Admittedly, this melody might sound like a certain song by Nirvana. That's pretty much co-incidence. The whole point of this lesson was to show how combining select notes from a scale with an open string root note can create a full, melodic sound. Secondly, this exercise was designed to get low register instruments playing up in a higher register.
So, now it's your turn. See if you can develop a simple high note melody that plays alongside an open string (or drone note, perhaps for a keyboard player). You could use this technique to create song intros or outros, breaks, riffs or other sections of a complete song like do something like this behind the entire chorus.
#bassguitar #musiccomposition #RockbadgerProductions