This week we’re looking at my bass duet arrangement of Blackbird you may have seen on the Talkingbass Instagram channel. We’re going to look at the chordal arrangement and I’ll take you through all the hurdles you’re likely to encounter playing a song like this.

Blackbird: Chordal Arrangement

We can split this chord progression up into three separate parts: Intro, Verse, Verse Extension and Chorus.


If any of you have already learned some chord voicing’s then you’ll recognise that this piece is made up of Major and minor triads in root position and first inversion. There is an element of voice leading and if you want to get into more of that, then I have tonnes of lessons on bass chords on this website.

We start with G Major, which is the 1 chord of our home key of G Major. Then we move up to an A minor 7 chord, followed by a minor 10th interval.  Take it really slow and pay attention to your picking hand, there’s a bit of  flamenco style to it. Pick using your thumb, index, middle and ring fingers.


The first part of the verse is the same as the intro we just covered, but then we move into a slightly more complex chord progression which highlights the melody. There’s an ascent from C Major to E minor. You move down through a C Major triad, A7 1st inversion, D suspended, B augmented 1st inversion and E minor.

You can hear that the G is played throughout almost like a drone, while the bass line descends in an almost classical style. This part is very tricky to take your time and learn it small chunks.

Verse Extension

There’s a beautiful little tag to the verse section as you move back up through some of the chords as shown below.


We start on an F Major, followed by a C major 1st inversion. Then we move on to a 1st inversion G minor chord and back up to C Major. On the second time round instead of the C Major, we go to A7 followed by D7 sus and home to G Major.

Playing Tips

You need to play this as slowly as possible and take it in small sections as you work your way through it. There’s so much going on here, so give yourself the time to digest it all. Don’t worry too much about getting your finger picking clean until you are happy with the chords. Now get practicing and don’t forget to have fun!

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