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E Major Arpeggio Exercise for 5 String Bass – Part 1

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:

  1. E Major 7
  2. F# minor 7
  3. G# minor 7
  4. A Major 7
  5. B dominant 7 (or just B7)
  6. C# minor 7
  7. D minor 7 flat 5 (Dm7b5, also known as a half-diminished 7th chord)
  8. 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.

E Major Scale Exercise for 5 String Bass - Part 1

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.

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