E Major Arpeggio Exercise for 5 String Bass – Part 1
This post lays out a simple arpeggio exercise for 5 string bass players. We’ll start with E on the fifth fret of the low-B string. We’re going to play each note of each 7th chord in the key of E Major. Those chords are:
- E Major 7
- F# minor 7
- G# minor 7
- A Major 7
- B dominant 7 (or just B7)
- C# minor 7
- D minor 7 flat 5 (Dm7b5, also known as a half-diminished 7th chord)
- E Major 7 (an octave higher)
Before playing the notes on your bass, take a minute to review the score and tablature (tab). Click the score to make it larger.
Notice the shift between the end of the 4th bar, and the beginning of the 5th bar. I’ve annotated this shift with a slide marking, i.e., shift down \. Here, we’re effectively moving up and starting on the E string rather than the low-B for the remaining arpeggios.
Once you’re comfortable playing all of the notes in order, I recommend putting your bass down and taking the time to study this exercise. There’s a lot of handy information packed in here. You’ll get a handle on how to build 7th chords using the appropriate 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th intervals. You’ll also develop a feel for the typical chord families – Major, minor, and dominant. And how those chords relate to the key you’re playing in.
Check out our E Major scale exercise if you want to learn more about the notes that make up these arpeggios.
If you found this arpeggio exercise for 5 string bass useful, or if you have suggestions on how to improve it, please leave a comment.