Music Theory For Bass Guitar – Triads

Music Theory For Bass Guitar – Triads

2017-10-26T14:36:30+00:00October 26th, 2013|Categories: Music Theory For Bass Guitar|20 Comments

This latest lesson on Music Theory for the Bass Guitar begins delving into the topic of chord construction with this video on triads (3 note chords).

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  1. Terry Ruffatto October 29, 2013 at 11:04 pm - Reply

    Ran across your video lessons on and found them to be what I’m looking for right now. Only been playing bass for a short while and have enjoyed your lessons. I was wondering if it’s possible to get (download) the backing track you used in the “Triads” video. if not, it there a way I can recreate it using an app or other software.


    • shirley January 29, 2019 at 2:08 pm - Reply

      I found your videos most helpful, is a book available also?

  2. Greg February 15, 2014 at 8:49 pm - Reply


    Thanks for all of your work with this website. I have a question about this lesson on triad arpeggios.

    I notice when you play the minor and diminished arpeggios, you play the flat 3rd on the next string up from that of the root (ex: C major, E flat on 1st fret of D-string). It seems to me that it would require less hand movement to play the flat 3rd on the same string as the root (ex: C major, E flat on 6th fret of A-string).

    I’m sure there’s a good reason why you do it this way, but it isn’t apparent to me why. Can you please help a newbie out?

    Many thanks!


    • admin February 15, 2014 at 9:01 pm - Reply

      That is true. It’s easier to play the flat third on the same string. I’ve made sure to keep the third on the next string up so there’s consistency in showing the chords and people can visually see the difference between the different thirds and fifths. The later lessons bring the different arpeggio patterns into play. The lesson called The Three Essential Arpeggio Fingerings covers all three different one octave fingerings. There’s also another bunch of patterns that help to cover the whole neck and I’ll be introducing them later.

      Hope that makes sense. Thanks for the kind words and any questions are welcome.

      • Greg February 15, 2014 at 10:03 pm - Reply

        Ah, great! Looks like I would have figured that in a subsequent lesson. I’ll keep plugging along!

        Thanks again.


  3. Ryan April 25, 2014 at 1:00 am - Reply

    Great lesson. But I have a hard time barring the octaves with my pinky finger, especially on the lower frets. Any advice on how to develop that skill?

    • admin April 26, 2014 at 1:05 pm - Reply

      Just practice. Practice them higher on the neck until they feel easier to you then move then progressively down lower, fret by fret. It takes time to build the finger strength but it will come. It can also be easier to barre across these strings with a lower action. If the strings are very high off the fretboard then that can be a problem. They are still playable but it just makes build up the strength a slower process.

  4. Anand Aurora June 7, 2014 at 4:09 pm - Reply

    Hi Mark

    Your lessons are great ! I find that the lessons are well organised,thorough and follow a logical progression I am progressing fast without wandering about.

    I was finding it very hard to bar across the strings with my seems quite weak any advice ?

    Thank you for the good work


  5. Dale Botha August 9, 2015 at 12:17 pm - Reply

    Hi Mark!

    I did music when I was quite young and nobody explained things the I needed so I could understand! Your explanations are spot on! Thank you!

    A quick question: at around 3:17 you list the 4 combinations of thirds as such major3rd major3rd, major3rd minor3rd, minor3rd major3rd and minor3rd major3rd. Is the last one meant to be minor3rd minor3rd?

    Thanks and keep it up! I plan to buy the fundamentals course soon!



  6. Katie_29 June 28, 2016 at 10:08 pm - Reply

    Ok the intervals lessons are beginning to make sense now. Listening out for the difference each interval sounds. Which is good because I’ve been going over those lessons and this one over and over. Its finally starting to sink in. Ha!

  7. Tawanda Machona July 1, 2016 at 3:43 pm - Reply

    Howsit! The lessons are quite insightful, it all makes much more sense now! Low end Lover, Harare, Zim!

  8. Kim September 4, 2016 at 3:21 am - Reply

    Well Mark all I can say is thank you so much for all your hard work,and for sharing your knowledge . It has had a profound effect on my playing. I was fighting for every note, I was almost going to give up. Now I have recently been asked to join a power trio and I am having a blast. I could not have gotten this far without you, and still have loads more to learn. Thank you for making learning easier

  9. Grant Pureveen December 11, 2016 at 8:16 pm - Reply

    Hi Mark , great lesson mate , you are a fantastic teacher ,

  10. Pete Van Epps December 22, 2016 at 4:18 am - Reply

    Mark – THANK YOU. I’ve been playing “by ear” for many years. I started with the first lesson on Music Theory and am loving it. Exactly what I have been looking for and it has really reinvigorated my playing.

  11. Nick Gartell March 7, 2017 at 6:29 am - Reply

    As of yet, I haven’t subscribed, but I definitely will simply becasue I’m really enjoying the theory and how each lesson progresses from the last. Thanks heaps Mark.

  12. Echo Quiocho March 27, 2017 at 2:42 am - Reply

    Good lesson Mark. Thank you for this!!

  13. Manuel Jr Martin August 19, 2017 at 3:33 pm - Reply

    Excellent lessons, good for me as a beginner.

  14. Karl Terrell September 30, 2018 at 11:30 pm - Reply

    Thank you for these wonderful lessons on and explanations of music theory. I’ve been away from the bass for many years, and with the encouragement of a friend have taken it up again. I had played “by ear” in my earlier days with the instrument — I knew what sounded right and what didn’t. Incorporating theory helps immensely with understanding what works, and how. I am sure this will add to my confidence as I regain muscle memory.

  15. sean Jacobs February 18, 2019 at 9:40 am - Reply

    awesome Mark, Thanks for the Love you have been given to the Bass community. These exercises have proven that you really are a giver. thanks once again.

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