Advanced Bass – More Roots, Fifths and Octaves

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 15,762
    Professional bass guitar player Scott Giambusso demonstrates Roots, Fifths and Octaves on the bass guitar.

    Scott Giambusso

    Scott, a native Washingtonian, has been performing for audiences since 1968. A self taught musician, he mainly freelances as an acoustic bassist. Scott also plays guitar, electric bass, and tuba as well as singing in the styles of Nat King Cole, Mel Torme and Jack Bruce. He has worked with The Glenn Miller Orchestra and The Modernaires; The Peter Duchin Orchestra; The Ink Spots; The Tokens; Rory (Disney Channel); Charlie Byrd; Susannah McCorkle; Keely Smith, Jamey Aebersold and Chuck Berry. In spring '07 he performed in a clinic and show with Gene Bertincini at the 4 Seasons DC. Besides playing jazz, Scott's latest project is a Cream tribute band featuring Dan Hovey and John Zidar, (formerly Root Boy Slim's rhythm section). The band is called GHz (Gigahertz} and is breaking sound barriers around town. Besides playing over 200 club dates a year, Mr. Giambusso teaches and performs as a member of the Jazz Faculty of the Montgomery College Music Department. Not only does he teach the bass, but he also coaches singers, pianists and all instrumentalists on the nature of music and operates a recording studio for student demos. Because of his versatility, knowledge of tunes and styles, and his 30+ years of gigging experience, he has the rare ability to explain music to the laymen with clarity of vision.

    Scott Giambusso: This is Scott Giambusso, your bass doctor. I would like to further my research on octaves, fifths and roots. Using the E major scale I am going to play with one finger all the notes of the E major scale, but I am going to add the fifth and the octave and it is going to be the same all the way up to the neck except for the seventh note of the scale, the five is flatted, I mean just going to be a half step lower. But all the others will be the same so we will just use our first finger to play the fifth, the B is here and the E and the exercise will basically be go play root five, octave five we will do it twice each one and now when we get to this five we will go to the two chord. The first finger is going to play all the roots and the pinky is going to play all the fifths, here is the three chord, we are exploring the major scale harmony, here comes the fourth chord and you can play a lot of music just with this, here is the five chord, it is a dominant chord, we havent got into that, but we will. Six chord is the C sharp in the key of E, the seventh chord is going to be the special one, D sharp, but flat five and the second finger plays the flat five, sounds odd, sounds like and then finally we are at E again and each note of the scale represents a chord and that involves some other notes but the fifth is always consistent on all these chords except for the seventh. We can do this in another key, lets say you go to the key of G, so you have no open strings and once again now instead of using your pinky you can use your third finger I really like to use them both, I can play a whole chord, I can actually play here is your power chord. Power chord is a merely fifth, as you play octaves, roots and fifths you get that sound if I had a lot of distortion on it would roar and I could be in Punk Band maybe or maybe not. So, the key of G, root five octave, go up to a whole step, three, to the fourth note of the scale, to the fifth note of the scale, the sixth note of the scale, the seventh with the flat five and the G. I am going to make one change on that. I am going to go to the A string. This G here on the E string is also, this G here on the A string, so I am going to make a shift and view this scale one more time and I am going to go to C here, D here, E here, F sharp here. I will tell you those numbers, but I played it too fast. There is G, now I can go down to the seventh F sharp and then end on E, but I am still just playing nothing but roots and fifths and you can, certainly in Latin music that will get you a long way, Latin and Country, roots and fifths, if you know what the chord progression is and you know how to get to those fifths, you can play a awful lot of music with that.