Playing Minor Chords on the Bass

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 20,753
    Professional bass guitar player Scott Giambusso demonstrates how to Playing Minor Chords 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: I would like to talk about the minor chord. Well use A minor thats a great chord. This A minor is built from the root, the minor third, the fifth, the flat at seven. Then we can stick a nine on top, we are going to do the extension here. So, there is couple of ways to approach the minor chord. Id like to approach it where my first finger plays the root and my pinky plays the minor third. My third finger plays the fifth which is an E in this case. Now, and there my first finger can play the flatter seventh and my pinky can reach up and play the ninth. This is how it sounds and this is certainly movable. Now, that ninth, lets go back to A minor, I was moving to A minor, B flat minor, B minor. Lets go. We could start with the second finger as a major chord, of course, there is a major third, but that C for the minor third is quite a stretch, but then again your ninth appears here on the fourth fret of the G string. Root three, five, seven, nine, root flat three, five, flat seven, nine. All the notes, you have to memorize this. I can take that anywhere. I can go to C minor. I can go to E minor, and the trick is make sure you do this in a rhythm with a click when you do it and keep it steady, make each note at the same volume, but learn the notes of your minor chord. I like that I put a tune, there it is, and thats you, A minor ninth chord.