⇦ Back to playing bass guitar with riffs between chords

Understanding Chords

Chords are a group of notes played together to create harmony. They are the building blocks of music and are used in almost every song. Chords are made up of three or more notes played simultaneously. The most common chords are major and minor chords. Major chords sound happy and uplifting, while minor chords sound sad and melancholic.

Reading Chord Charts

Chord charts are diagrams that show you how to play chords on the bass guitar. They consist of vertical lines that represent the strings and horizontal lines that represent the frets. The numbers on the lines indicate which fret to play on each string. For example, a C major chord is played by placing your first finger on the first fret of the B string, your second finger on the second fret of the D string, and your third finger on the third fret of the A string.

Playing Basic Chords

Once you know how to read chord charts, you can start playing basic chords on the bass guitar. The most common chords used in popular music are C, G, D, and A. To play these chords, you need to place your fingers on the correct frets and strum the strings with your thumb or a pick.

Playing Riffs Between Chords

Riffs are short musical phrases that are played between chords. They add interest and variety to a song and can make it more fun to play. To play riffs on the bass guitar, you need to use your fingers to pluck the strings instead of strumming them. Start by playing a simple riff, such as the one below, between two chords:
This riff uses the notes of the G major scale and is played between a G major chord and a C major chord. To play it, start by plucking the open A string, then play the second fret of the A string with your first finger, the third fret of the A string with your second finger, and the second fret of the A string with your first finger again. Then, pluck the open E string three times.

Creating Your Own Riffs

Once you have mastered playing riffs between chords, you can start creating your own riffs. Experiment with different notes and rhythms to create a riff that complements the chords you are playing. You can also try playing riffs in different positions on the bass guitar to create different sounds.


Playing bass guitar with riffs between chords is a fun and creative way to add interest to your playing. By learning how to read chord charts, playing basic chords, and creating your own riffs, you can become a skilled bass guitarist and make your music more exciting. Keep practicing and experimenting to develop your own unique style.

Now let's see if you've learned something...

⇦ 1. Introduction to Bass Guitar 3. Playing Riffs ⇨