bass guitar

Three Kinds of Bass Pedal Point to Try

When you feel that your chord progression is lacking a bit of excitement, you’re temptation might be to toss it out and go looking for “the killer chord progression.”

But that shouldn’t be your first choice, for a number of reasons. First of all, no chord progression is “killer” unless it’s partnering well with all other elements. In that respect, nothing in a song is killer on its own. That’s a crucial songwriting principle to understand.

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Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, chord progressions are often best if they’re somewhat predictable. With something strong and basic acting as a backing layer, you can then be more innovative with your melodies, lyrics, production (instrumentation), rhythms, etc.

So if you really want to do something about a tired progression, one option is to add a bass pedal point. That means holding a bass note while the chords above it are changing.

I’ve written about this before, but now I’ve created a short video that describes how bass pedal point works, and gives you three interesting options:

  1. A tonic pedal (the bass holds the tonic (key) note while the chords change above it.)
  2. A dominant pedal (the bass holds the dominant (5th) note while the chords change above it.)
  3. A miscellaneous pedal (the bass sits on a note that doesn’t exist as a root of any chord in the progression.)

Enjoy the video, and please feel free to comment/like it, and to browse the other videos on my channel.

Gary Ewer

Gary Ewer

Written by Gary Ewer. Follow Gary on Twitter

Take a look at Gary’s 10 songwriting eBooks.Essential Secrets of Songwriting Bundle

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