Bass Lick of the Week #51

This exercise is an uptempo funk groove that is played with the plectrum. Palm muting has also been used quite extensively here.

The first bar opens with a four-note figure on the first beat. A D is played at the seventh fret of the G-string and is followed by a ghost note. These two notes are then followed by a pull-off from C# to B, still on the G-string. For beat two, you’ll need to cross back to the E-string and perform two ghost notes followed by an open E-string. For beats three and four, play two C#’s followed by a D and a ghost note, all on the A-string. Palm muting can be applied from the second beat onwards. The second bar begins in a similar way, but with the melodic figure now descending from G on the D-string. The second and third beats are the same as those from the first bar, but the final beat is slightly different: simply play a ghost note on the E-string and follow it with a low G, which can then ring for the remainder of the bar.

Bar 3 is identical to bar 1, and the final bar begins with the same figure used at the beginning of the second bar. From beat two onwards, you’ll be playing notes on the A-string.

This line sounds great if you can apply some palm muting, although I recommend leaving the opening figure of each bar unmuted. To mute the strings, rest the edge of your palm gently on the strings down by the bridge. As everyone’s hands are different, you’ll need to spend some time experimenting with the position and the amount of pressure that you apply.

This line was recorded on a Zon Sonus bass, with the neck pickup slightly favoured. If you’d like to learn more about the plectrum technique, be sure to check out Plectrum Technique for Bass Guitar, also available from Bassline Publishing.

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