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FDP Forum / The Chop Shop / Brass in Pocket Bass Pattern



"You don't know what you don't know"
Jan 7th, 2018 02:39 PM   Edit   Profile  

Can someone break down the bass pattern for the song
"Brass in Pocket" verse the chord pattern?

Seems like the bass notes do not follow the guitar chords.

Contributing Member

Manchester, TN

12,423 Mustangs passed and counting
Jan 7th, 2018 02:57 PM   Edit   Profile  

"Seems like the bass notes do not follow the guitar chords."
Well, you're right, they don't. But I think this is pretty common, isn't it? What part of the song are you having trouble with?

Contributing Member

Curled up

in the fecal position
Jan 7th, 2018 03:17 PM   Edit   Profile  

Look here (link below).

I am not an expert in music theory, but I'm pretty sure what's happening here is called a pedal tone. The bass is maintaining the same pitch across several chord changes.

The occasional dissonance adds tension and keeps things interesting--even though the bassline is dead easy to play. Often the best approach is the simplest one.


(This message was last edited by Peegoo at 06:49 PM, Jan 7th, 2018)

Contributing Member


Jan 8th, 2018 09:56 AM   Edit   Profile  

I remember playing this off the cuff years ago with a basement jam band. I noticed during one part my chord selection was a Bm and the bass player was playing a G. Tension, but it seemed to work, and I eventually modified my chord shape to a Gmaj7.


U.S. - Virginia

Jan 8th, 2018 06:04 PM   Edit   Profile  

It could be pedaling. I always use the definiton of pedaling that includes staying on one note while chords change. However, there is an implication of the pedal tone being a non-chord tone, which is not always the case.

When the bass ends up playing non-chord tones is when traditional pedaling is concerned. Non chord tones other than the notes used to make a chord being played. So a C, E and G for C maj triad, the 2nd, 4th, 6th and 7th (D, F, A, B) are all non-chord tones. In classical music they are traditionally recognized as dissonant. Boy, I guess they never heard any jazz!

It's a neat effect to change chords while keeping a constant bass note under the chord. It creates tension by not changing. How cool is that?

Any note of the 12 tones in Western music really can be played at any time. It's just a matter of what the intent is.

Measure one, going by the recording here(which may or may not have had vari-speed applied to change tempo and pitch) is just A major, then bar two is a A sus2. Then comes a A sus4. Its just a way to break up the monotony of playing one chord. So the bass follows that.

The next phrase is the same guitar chords with the bass playing an F# which you could say implies F# minor, the relative minor of A major. This would mean the guitar chords go from A maj/A sus2/A sus4 to F# Minor/F# Minor Sus4, F# Minor flat 6 or sharp 5 which in this case is a D.

It's probably far more simple to call it A/F#

So let's go with that, realizing that it strongly pulls our ears towards the minor sound.

The turnaround is simply the 4 chord. The guitar stays there instead of moving to the 5th, which is ok, especially since the bass adds the tension of the E(which is the root of the 5 chord) More on that in the chorus section.

At the next verse, the bass goes up to play on an E which is the 5th of the A chord. But is it the A chord? The guitar sounds like it's playing the same notes as the first verse, but that is only the A and note above it which moves to imply suspensions and resolve. Since the bass is playing an E now, this could in fact be an implied E chord the entire second verse. When the guitar plays the A and C#, it's an E sus4add13. Then the guitar goes on to play an A to G#(which I assume either a B on top or the E underneath, I can't tell) which implies resolution of an E sus4. The bass note E that is pedaling along would strongly suggest this.

Without more tonal information being played, it sort of falls under ambiguity as to whether the first chord on the second verse is an A or E. I would think it more interesting if it's an A, because the choice of fifth in the bass is a little more interesting.

Interesting choice, but sometimes that's all that's behind a choice - to sound interesting.

The chorus seems like A maj to a G maj7 to a D maj... but I don't hear the guitar go to the E/V chord... the bass does... interesting. With the bass E, it brings the tension of the 2nd tone of D maj which, along with the D(4th of A) makes me want to resolve to A. So it works.

Or, by staying on the D chord, the guitar is playing an E9sus chord E, A, D, G#. Let's just go with a D/E chord though. Why not?

Things aren't always clear cut, but if you narrow your options of ambiguity down to a few things, it's easier to swallow.

Take all this with a grain of salt, as I am not a college graduate of music!

(This message was last edited by Achase4u at 11:17 PM, Jan 8th, 2018)

Contributing Member

Tried vegetarian:

miss steak.
Jan 8th, 2018 07:13 PM   Edit   Profile  


I was not informed there'd be math.



U.S. - Virginia

Jan 8th, 2018 09:19 PM   Edit   Profile  


I was not informed there'd be math.



Isn't it wonderful!

I was sitting with Mr. John Kocur, whom you know, on Saturday night. We were going over some of Bach's single line parts surmising all the changes and implications(well, John was showing me, truthfully). We probably spent a good couple hours doing this.

Yea, I am a nerd!

Contributing Member

Tried vegetarian:

miss steak.
Jan 8th, 2018 11:01 PM   Edit   Profile  

John is a sax monster--for such a mild-mannered guy.

He's called "The Smoker" for a reason.


U.S. - Virginia

Jan 9th, 2018 12:54 PM   Edit   Profile  

A killer sax-man, indeed! About as even keel as a person gets. Highly professional.

FDP Forum / The Chop Shop / Brass in Pocket Bass Pattern

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