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Bass Lines With Jaime Vazquez – The Power of the 5th

Meet Jaime David Vazquez –

Greetings my friends!

This time we’re going to work with the 5. This interval is known as the Perfect 5th. It appears on chords like major, minor, suspended, etc. But take care, there are some chords like minor 7 b5, diminished, augmented, etc., where the 5 has changed.

For example:

C major chord (C-E-G)                                      Formula (1-3-5)

C minor chord (C-Eb-G)                                   Formula (1-b3-5)

C suspended chord (C-F-G)                             Formula (1-4-5)

C diminished chord (C-Eb-Gb)                       Formula (1-b3-b5)

C minor 7 b5 chord (C-Eb-Gb-Bb)                 Formula (1-b3-b5-b7)

C augmented chord (C-E-G#)                         Formula (1-3-#5)

The tonal color of the 5 is a very strong sound but the #5 is a weak tone that tends to resolve down to 5 or up to b7 and the b5 is the blue notethat tends to resolve to 5 or down to 4. Remember that a b5 is the same thing as a #4 and the #5 is a b6.

Let’s play some bass lines! (Please scroll to the bottom and click on the 3 downloads to open)

Figure 1, we have a Reggae groove in the style called Rock Steady. As you can see, the use of the 5 is a very common movement in Reggae bass.

Figure 2, is a Cha-Cha-Cha groove, notice how the 5 plays an important role in this Latin style.

Figure 3, this is the bass intro for Rush’s YYZ. Here’s an excellent example of the b5application! Enjoy!

Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year! Keep on GROOVIN’!

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