In this lesson we’ll be looking at a great way to practice your bass fills by using a simple repetitive riff and some ‘doorways’ for moving between multiple positions of an arpeggio or scale.

Adding Fills To A Groove

Today, we are going to take a simple riff that we can loop to give us somewhere to practice some cool fills. Doing this will help you with moving around the neck and applying fills in a musical yet practical way.

We want to start out easy with the fills and eventually branch out all over the neck – we need to keep track of the time and feel of the riff so we can land back on beat 1.

Pentatonic Fills

This riff is built from the E minor pentatonic scale so we can use those notes to create our fills.

E G A B D
1  3  4  5  7

The pentatonic scale is very similar to the natural minor scale except for the missing notes – 4th and 6th. These tones take a bit more thought when being played and so missing them out means you have a pallet of notes that should sound suitable in most situations.

To add a fill to this riff, we will play it three times while leaving the last bar open for interpretation. Below are two sample fills to try with the groove.

These two fills use the notes of Em7 with a few chromatic extras in there for flavour.

Moving Around The Fretboard

Learning the Em7 arpeggio in different positions will give you more options when coming up with your own bass lines. Try the following shapes under your fingers and then try using them to create a unique fill to add to the end of the riff.

The Next Step

If you want to learn more about chord tones and how to apply them in your bass playing, from riffs to fills and solos, check out the Chord Tone Essentials Course today.

Click Here To Learn EVERYTHING About Chord Tones!

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