Bass Arpeggio Basics
A brief description of a Bass Arpeggio would be that the notes in a arpeggio are the notes from a chord, but played as single notes in a uniformed manner. There are 3 note, 4 note, 5 note, 6 note and more types of arpeggios. As a Bass Player you will benefit from learning to play arpeggios. The more “Notes” you learn to play, and more importantly – how and when to play notes over chords – is pretty much the main purpose of playing the Bass Guitar. It all depends on where you want to take your playing. Let’s get started.
Note: The notes used in Arpeggio’s are based on the notes of chords. You can use a Major Chord (as shown in the examples below), Minor Chords, Suspended Chords or any other Chords you want to use. We will just use Major Chords for our examples.
Here is a diagram of a Chord and a Arpeggio:
They are basically the same except for in this example, the arpeggio is not using any open string notes. Open string notes are used, just not in this example.
Here is how you would play an Arpeggio that has the Root Note on the E-String (Shown in Tablature).
Here’s how you would play an Arpeggio with the Root Note on the A-String
Arpeggio’s can be moved up and down the Fretboard and played in different keys. See Examples of “Movable Arpeggios” Below.
Root Note on the E-String Examples
Root Note on the A-String Examples
As long as you know the names of the notes on the E and A Strings, you can move these Bass Arpeggios up and down the neck as needed. Here are a couple of Video Clips showing the Notes on the E and A Strings.
Learning Arpeggio’s from Chords will allow your skill level and knowledge of the fretboard to increase at the highest level. Take the time to learn and study the notes in these arpeggios, and play them over chord progressions to increase your improving skills.