3 Important Blues Bass Guitar Fingerboard Shapes

Paolo Bass Lab PLUS Membership, blog

Hey Groove Masters,

James here. Let’s talk about 3 important blues fingerboard patterns for bass guitar.

 I put the phone down and couldn’t believe what just happened.

I’m a funny one, when I was a teenager I never really idolized the big rock ‘n’ roll names of bass like Flea or Paul McCartney.

I was fascinated by the ‘backroom boys’ (and still am!)

By backroom, I meant the session musicians that never really hit the limelight.

Paul was one of those guys.

He’d played on numerous pop records, film soundtracks, theatre shows, jingles… you name it, anything that needed bass - he was first call in the 1980s.

That’s exactly what I wanted to do.  

I was 19 years old and he had just agreed to teach me.

It’s not everyday one of your idols agrees to share 25 years worth of knowledge with you.

What I didn’t realise he was actually an extraordinary teacher too.

Right from the start he always said ‘I want to make you employable’.

He had the knack of breaking things down into small manageable chunks that always had purpose and were achievable.

Little did I know how much making that phone call would change both me as a musician and as teacher.

Breaking things down is exactly what I love doing.

It’s all too easy to get ‘fingerboard fright’, where the neck just blurs into one.

In this lesson we look at 3 simple, yet vitally important fingerboard patterns.

Here I demonstrate these ideas using blues music… but in reality you’ll find 3 shapes that work over any style of music.

In this lesson you'll discover:

  • The 3 important blues fingerboard patterns you need to know
  • How to play these in the key of E
  • How to incorporate slides to create interest and variation.

As always, keep groovin' hard.


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