Bass Lick of the Week #23

This exercise is a rock bassline that’s played with a plectrum. The blues scale is put to good use here and you should find that this line makes for a great workout for your picking technique.

In the first bar of this exercise, all of the notes are played on the A-string. As this bar features a continuous string of semiquavers, it’s important that you maintain an down-up picking motion with your picking hand - try to keep your wrist relaxed as you play this.

In the second bar, a descending A blues scale is played. The blues scale works over almost every chord and can be used in many styles of music - it’s a great choice for rock.

The third bar of the exercise is essentially the same as the first - the only difference is that the ghost notes on the fourth beat are now played on the G-string. This is because the line at the beginning of the fourth bar starts on the G-string, so it makes sense to cross strings early.

In the fourth bar, the A blues scale phrase is played again, this time an octave higher. This leads into a final lick that moves from C up to Eb. Eb is the ‘blue note’ in the A blues scale, so sounds particularly effective here.

This line was recorded on a Fender Marcus Miller Signature Jazz Bass, a bass that works really well for hard rock basslines. It was played through an EBS MultiDrive distortion pedal set as follows - Drive: 3 o’clock, Mode: STD, Volume: 10 o’clock.

To download the backing track and PDF worksheet for this exercise, please visit the Free Stuff section of the website.