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More Bassic Chords

Article from Making Music, September 1986

AFTER THE compilation of bass chords that you lot came up with in the July issue we are all wiser and slightly flasher bassists. Some of us also have broken wrists and a widened curse vocabulary. But the postman continues to bring your scribblings by the sackload, so here is a brief selection of yet further chords for your wretched electric bass guitars.

Michael Brennan of Preston warned us that some of his chords are "a little bit angry", but try his four-stringer and just listen to the way all those intricate little overtones go in and out of one another:

Isn't sound a wonderful thing? Now you've done that one, try whacking up the volume, then touch your fingers one by one (or all together) and reasonably heavily against the top three frets on Foldrari Balazs' example ("this is my name, I'm a Hungarian" he points out):

Mary Quinn of Coventry baffled us a bit with the rhythmic description of her chord, but the placing of the notes was clear enough, and dead pleasant too (harmonic points marked with a circle):

Hit harmonics 1, 2 and 3 together or separately, let them ring a bit, and then hit harmonic 4 and fretted note 5 together. Yummy.

While those three notes are still ringing, throw in the low open E. Lovely! Which is the same description we would apply to this harmonic chord shape that Foldrari came up with (as did David Roberts from Old Coulsdon).

Lastly, and winner of this month's set of strings, is Mick Gregory of Rotherham. You may recall his King-esque 11th and 6th chords in the July compilation; Mick's second appearance is for his two-chord approximation of 'Gymnopodie' by French tunesmith Erik Satie (1866-1925). Hit the fretted note of each chord first, adding the two harmonics as it rings; play the chords on the first beat of a slow-ish 3/4 rhythm — boom-blang, boom-blang — and Erik's your uncle.

We said 'approximation', by the way, because the Eb root in the first chord is better off with an Ab under it, too, if you can somehow manage it (remember those broken wrists from July?), while the harmonics aren't quite Satie enough in the second Bb-based chord. Doesn't matter, though, cos the chords sound great as they are, classical credibility or not.

So that's enough bass chords for the time being. What we'd like the great Making Music Bass Nation to come up with now is favouritist bass riffs. Show us how you play your favourite bass riff (it has to be reasonably well known) and we'll have yet more string set prizes for the nicest ones. Thinking caps on, pens and papers out — we know we can rely on you.

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Carlsbro Rebel Combo

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Publisher: Making Music - Track Record Publishing Ltd, Nexus Media Ltd.

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Making Music - Sep 1986

Feature by Tony Bacon

Previous article in this issue:

> Carlsbro Rebel Combo

Next article in this issue:

> 16 Things

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