To play an alternate bass rhythm we replace the bass note on 3rd beat with the 5th note of that scale (the C major scales 5th note is G). Now we play:
- 1st beat - Bass
- 2nd beat - Strum
- 3rd beat - Alternate Bass
- 4th beat - Strum
Step 1 Know the notes of the chords scale. (In this case "C Major")
|C Major Scale||C||D||E||F||G||A||B||C|
Always Remember This: The 1st, 3rd & 5th notes of any major scale makes up that major scales major chord.
Step 2 Work out what is the 5th note of the scale. (In this case the 5th note is "G")
Step 3 Find the "5th" note ("G") around the chord you are playing. Make sure it is close to the root note (the root/1st note of the scale "C")
Step 4 Rhythm order:
- Pick the bass note (C, 5th string 3rd fret)
- Strum all strings below that (from the 4th string down)
- Pick the alternate bass note (G, 6th string 3rd fret)
- Strum the same strings you strummed in part b (4th string down)
The 1,3 & 5 represent
the order number in
the scale, not fingers.
So now you've had a play, I know what you're thinking "I just learnt all that for a silly country sounding rhythm". Don't be fooled, this rhythm style and the theory behind the alternate bass note is incorporate into a lot of popular and songs.