Intermediate Level

Bass Lick of the Week #44

Course Duration: | Difficulty Level: 4

This exercise is played with the slap and pop technique and features some challenging strumming figures.

The line opens with a chordal part, strummed on the D and G-strings. To strum these chords, flick downwards with all of the fingers of your picking hand, allowing your fingernails to strike the strings - the sound of the nails hitting the strings is what gives strumming the hard attack that you need. After playing this downward strum, bring your hand back upward, strumming the strings again with the fingertips. It can be quite tricky to switch from strumming to slapping (for the C at the end of the phrase), so be sure to practice this line slowly. This chordal phrase is used at the end of each bar of the exercise.

In the first bar, a simple slap and pop figure based around A is played on beats one and two, then followed by the strummed figure on beats three and four. In the second bar, the low slapped bass note chanages to F, whilst the A on the G-string remains the same. This turns the chord into an F major chord.

In the third bar, the bass note changes to G, whilst the A on the G-string remains in place - this turns the chord into a Gadd9 chord. This line can be tricky to get your fingers around, so I recommend doing the following: play the strummed figure with the first finger fretting the E at the second fret of the D-string and the second finger fretting the A at the second finger of the G-string. Use the third finger to fret the C at the end of the phrase - you can follow these fingerings each time the chordal line comes around. As bar 3 arrives, you’ll need to move your second finger down to fret the G on the E-string, whilst your first finger can fret the A on the G-string. This is a difficult transition to make, so be sure to work on it slowly.

This line was recorded on a GB Guitars Rumour 4-string, which has a naturally bright tone and is set up with a low action, making it perfect for slap and pop lines such as this one.

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