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How to Play Alternating Bass Chords

Alternating Bass Chords will give you a great more versatility in your guitar playing techniques. Find out just how to do it here.

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How to Play Alternating Bass Chords:

Next and very importantly, we will concentrate on doing alternating bass notes, and combining them with chords.

This can be a bit more challenging for you than just strumming away on guitar chords, as you will find out.

Also, you will find that this technique will make you a much more diverse musician and it will introduce you to additional music genres.

The Definition of Alternating Bass To start with, rather than playing straight chords, as you do with guitar strumming as we have discussed before, you alternate every-other beat with a bass note.

Straight Chord Strumming Example:

So for a measure that would have 4 beats per measure, just straight strumming patterns would yield four guitar chord strums - one per beat as indicated below:

Our First Example.

Beat #1 Chord Strum
Beat #2 Chord Strum
Beat #3 Chord Strum
Beat #4 Chord Strum

Straight Strumming Pattern

The diagram above illustrates how this strumming pattern appears in both standard notation and in TAB format for a typical C Major Chord.

Alternating Bass Guitar Chords:

In the next example we will change from the typical straight strumming example to the alternating bass example. For each of the four beats you would pick and strum each beat as follows:

Our Second Example.

Beat #1 Chord Strum
Beat #2 Chord Strum
Beat #3 Chord Strum
Beat #4 Chord Strum

Straight Strumming Pattern

The diagram above illustrates how this second example with an alternating bass note pattern appears in both standard notation and in TAB format for a typical C Major chord.

This same technique can be applied to the 15 Basic Guitar Chords that we saw in a previous lesson Easy Guitar Chords.

In the final illustration below, note that we have taken all of these 15 easy guitar chords and tabbed them out for you so you can see how each one appears in standard notation, TAB format and each chord diagram.

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Alternating Bass Chords