Friday, February 21, 2014

Major 7 Fingerboard Pattern Exercise - Eddie Kohen

Detroit Bass Player Eddie Kohen.
Detroit Bass Players is proud to welcome Eddie Kohen as a columnist. This is Eddie's first of (hopefully) many installments in a series of exercises to help improve your knowledge of the bass.  Thank you, Eddie!

So, until I can figure this video stuff out I thought I would try to write out some fun exercises to stay busy during this beautiful weather.  If this is familiar it can be made as challenging as you like, I will explain at the end. This is an exercise that will quickly improve your ability to recognize chord shapes wherever you are on the fingerboard. For the first part of this we will do Major 7th chords thru the circle of 4ths (all keys).

There are 3 common patterns that use 3 strings, forward (starting with 1st finger), middle (starting with middle finger), and backward (starting with pinky). You should try starting the etude with each pattern so it varies, you will pick the next pattern by finding the next closest root.

I'll get ya started with the middle pattern, as it is common. Ascend then descend:
C (2nd finger, 3rd fret A string) E (1st finger, 2nd fret D string)
G (4th finger, 5th fret D string) B (3rd finger, 4th fret G string) 

Next chord F (forward pattern):
F (1st finger, 1st fret E string) A (4th finger, 5th fret E string)
C (2nd finger, 3rd fret A string) E (1st finger, 2nd fret D string)

 Next chord Bb (forward pattern):

Next chord Eb (backward pattern):
Eb (4th finger, 6th fret A string) G (3rd finger, 5th fret D string)
Bb (1st finger, 3rd fret G string) D (4th finger, 7th fret G string)

Continue on through the circle of fourths using the described patterns:
  • Ab (middle pattern)
  • Db (middle pattern)
  • Gb (forward pattern)
  • B (forward pattern)
  • E (backward pattern)
  • A (middle pattern)
  • D (middle pattern)
  • G (forward pattern)

You can make this more challenging by ascending the first chord then descend the 2nd and so on. This is one of many permutations that can keep this interesting. Of course, we will move on to other chord types. In just one week, this will drastically improve your ability to quickly recognize chord shapes on your fingerboard. So, go on! Do It! :)

Eddie Kohen currently teaches at Motor City Guitar, Monday through Thursday. He can be reached directly at 248-880-0042.

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