In this bass guitar lesson I’m going to show you how to learn rock bass guitar in less than 10 minutes and share two fundamental approaches to creating rock bass lines.
Get The Backing Track
I highly recommend also grabbing the backing track used in this lesson called ‘Sweet Illusions’ — this will allow you to feel what it’s like to play with a top class, professional rock band.
The backing track can be found as part of the Classic Rock Jam Backing Track Album. There a 12 tracks and each track is inspired by a world famous band or rock song. Here’s the link to discover more
Step 1: Master The Chord Sequence
The first thing to do when learning a new song is to master the chord sequence so you know how it’s constructed. In the case of this track there are two sections. Think of Section A as the ‘Verse’ and Section B as the ‘Chorus.
First of all master the chords just using long 4 beat bass notes.
Step 2: Adding The Groove
There are two approaches I recommend to start adding rhythmic interest. The first is to follow the groove. The easiest place to find this is in the kick drum part. The groove in the A section is a simple 8th note rock groove playing beats 1, 2+ and 3.
The groove in the B section has a ‘pushed feel’. This means the second note is ‘pushed’ before the beat and played on beat 2+. It has a different feel to it.
Step 3: Adding The Pumping 8th Note Feel
The other way to add rhythmic interest is to do a ‘Pumping 8th Note Feel’ by playing two long 8th notes per beat. This has a huge amount of forward propulsion to it!
To make this work it’s essential to have solid alternate fingering in the plucking hand. The best way to learn this is to start off by just playing long quarter notes with just the first finger (as written in section A below) which will always fall on each strong beat. Once comfortable, try 8th notes using alternate fingering (written in section B). The first finger will always remain on the beat and the second beat will play the notes off the beat.
Step 4: Adding Variety
Once you have the two basic rock grooves down the fun really starts! The most obvious way to start developing the bass line is to add octaves in using the classic ‘ Octave L-shape’. I’ve changed the second note of each groove so it’s ‘up the octave’.
I’ve also put the introduction ‘up the octave’ too…
Lesson Wrap Up
As you can see it’s super simple to start playing rock bass guitar very quick.
The most important thing is to make sure you understand how the chord sequences work on a global level… then start applying the rhythmic ideas to it.
If you’re a beginner to intermediate bass player and I recommend checking out The 30 Day Killer Rock Bass Action Plan inside the Bass Lab PLUS membership for daily work out that will push your rock bass guitar playing onto the next stage. - Join FREE Today with a 14 day trial.
All Bass Lab PLUS courses are easy to understand and simplify complex ideas so bass players in the early phases of learning can make rapid progress and achieve results that impress their friends and family fast.
Good luck and get stuck in!