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Soloing on Bass Guitar: Soloing Using ‘Continuous Chord Tones’

Have you ever wondered how some bass players solo’s just seem to flow so smoothly from one note to the next? I certainly did, particularly with players such as Jeff Berlin & John Patitucci who have an effortless command of the instrument.

In the previous lesson, we looked at soloing using chord tones starting on the root and avoiding starting on the root. The next step of this process is to try what we’ll call ‘continuous chord tones’. This is where you solo through a familiar chord sequence beginning on the lowest chord tone on your bass. The example which I have provided is a blues in F so on a standard 4-string bass, the lowest note will be the root.

You then begin to play chord tone quavers until the next chord change. The last note in the 1st bar would be an Eb (the 7th of F7). As we move to the Bb7 chord we need to continue ascending the bass, moving to the next chord tone relevant to Bb7 (F – the 5th of the chord). Continue this process until you have run out of neck and then descend using the same process.

The example I have provided demonstrates a full chorus of this idea. Take your time as it’s not easy but the benefits cannot be underestimated. If you try this on several chord sequences in several keys, you’ll achieve more freedom on the bass and increase your harmonic knowledge.

soloing on bass guitar practice sheet using continuous chord tones

Download This Lesson’s Exercise Sheet Here

Visit John’s personal site for more  lessons, tips and information about bass guitar and his own bass guitar lesson site, Bass Guitar Course. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnmarleybass