Major Chords Bass Exercise | The Game Changer


Welcome to my latest post where we explore the world of major chords with an exciting bass exercise I’ve developed, The Major Chords Bass Exercise Game Change! This exercise is tailored for intermediate bass players who are eager to broaden their improvisation skills and add colour to their playing.

What’s Inside the Exercise:

The exercise is structured to start from a different chord tone each time, the Root, Third, Fifth, and Seventh. This approach pushes you to try new methods of enriching your lines and adding colours to the chords. It’s not just about playing the notes; it’s about understanding their role and how they contribute to the overall harmony. By using this exercise, you’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of how major chords are constructed and how they can be creatively manipulated.

Practical Examples:

For instance, let’s consider a C Major chord. While focusing on C Major, also think about the related chords such as E Minor, G7 and Bmin7b5. Here’s where the real creativity kicks in:

  • Root Emphasis: Thinking of the root C, you can play around it but still emphasising the root. This idea is clear. Emphasising the root note while experimenting with surrounding tones is a fundamental strategy.
  • Emin7 over C Major: You can also think of an Emin7 chord and play it over the CMajor and complete ignoring the root. This approach is interesting as it introduces the concept of superimposing a different chord (Emin7) over the C Major chord, effectively ignoring the C root.
  • G and Diminished Scale: You can think of the 5th G and experiment with the Diminished scale. The diminished scale can offer some intriguing dissonances, it’s typically directly associated with the 5th of a major chord because we can play diminished scales over dominant chords.
  • B in Mind and Melodic Minor Scale: And with the B in mind, which is sort of a dominant chord without the root, try out the Melodic Minor scale. I was thinking of the F and used the melodic minor from that note and resolved to the Bmin7b5. This part can be slightly confusing. Consider the Bmin7b5 as a G7 and use the F Melodic Minor scale to create tension that resolves into the Bmin7b5.

Exercise Goal:

The primary goal of this exercise is to develop a more versatile approach to playing over major chords, helping you become accustomed to seeing and playing other chords without always starting from the root. By working through these exercises, you’ll open up a world of new options. It’s designed not just to enhance your technical skills but also to transform your overall approach. Sometimes a theoretical approach is not enough and you need to play it to really absorb the concept.


This Major Chords Bass Exercise is more than just an exercise, it will lead you to creative freedom. I encourage you to embrace this exercise with an open mind and experiment with the myriad of possibilities it offers. Happy playing and here’s to transforming your bass playing over major chords!

Repeat for all Major Chords and start from a different chord tone each time.

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