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Bass Run on I-vi-IV-ii Chord Progression

Here's a lesson that shows beginner guitarists some ideas for creating bass runs over open chords.
Bass runs are a fairly easy way for you to improve on basic chord strumming and you can try it once you know a few chords.
The lesson shows you several different bass runs over a I - vi - IV - ii chord progression in the key of G.
First up, let's take a look at the example progression.
The tab below shows an eight bar progression in G that could be a song verse.
The progression starts on the I, G, chord with a simple bass-strum pattern that is used on the chords throughout.
4/4 ||--3--3--|-3--|-0--0--|-0--| ||o-0--0--|-0--|-0--0--|-0--| ||--0--0--|-0--|-0--0--|-0--| ||--0--0--|-0--|-2--2--|-2--| ||o-2--2--|-2--0-1-2-|-2--2--|-2--| ||--3--3--3--3--|-3--3--|-0--0--|-0--0-2-3-| |-0--0--|-0-|-0--0--|-0-|| |-1--1--|-1-|-1--1--|-1--o|| |-0--0--|-0-|-2--2--|-2-|| |-2--2--|-2-|-2--2--|-2-0--|| |-3--3--|-3-|-0--0--|-0--2-3-o|| |--|--3-2-0--|--|-|| In the second bar of G you play the bass run to lead to the minor vi chord, Em in this case.
Now, the root E note can be found on the open sixth string below the root of the G chord, so we could simply walk down to it following a chromatic or major scale pattern.
Instead, we use a bass run that walks up the G major scale to the B note on the fifth string.
This B note is the fifth degree of the Em chord, and creates a great lead-in to the root note of the chord.
Play the notes of this run to hear how the movement sounds.
Do you hear how that fifth note seems to want to move to the chord root that follows it? The example also uses a rhythm trick so this run creates even more movement.
Instead of playing evenly spaced bass notes, we've broken the run into a pair of eighth notes and a quarter note.
This combination of using the new chord's fifth note as a target and the rhythmic variation really emphasises the chord movement and lifts the song pattern.
For the rest of the bar and the start of the next we continue the bass strum pattern, before performing a new bass run to the IV chord, C major.
Here again we use the C chord's fifth note to lead into the new chord.
To do this we play the G major scale run on the sixth string to finish on the G note.
This resolves to the root note of the C chord on the next beat, as we start bar five.
We play the by now familiar bass-strum pattern over the C chord before launching into a new bass run to the Am chord.
We repeat our fifth note trick again, this time walking back down the G major scale to the E note on the open sixth string.
Our final bass run takes us along the G major scale to its fifth note, D, to resolve back to our I chord root.
We're now back where we started, ready to continue through the progression for as long as you want.
In this lessons you have learned how to lead into the new chord using its fifth.
This gives strong chord movement to your bass runs.
You've also seen how to use a rhythm with different note durations to create more forward movement.
Take some simple three chord songs you know and try applying these techniques to them.

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