I’ve been humming, or more precisely sinus-throbbing, bass notes for most of my life, going to back to when I was 10 or 11. When I say sinus-throbbing, I mean that my bass guitar is inside my head, or more precisely inside my ear drums and to a lesser extent my nasal cavity. When I “play my bass,” so to speak, I’m the only who hears it properly. The vibration is magnificent. I should’ve learned how to play bass instead of becoming a mediocre drummer.

“Almost all music is centered around chords. Chords define the harmonic structure of each song and tell you which notes will sound good and which won’t. If you study music theory, you’ll spend a lot of time learning about what the different chords are and how they lead from one to another. Guitarists and pianists play full chords, simultaneously sounding every note that makes up each chord. They are the ones who really fill out the harmonies.

“But as a bass player, your relationship with chords is a little different. You don’t play every note in a chord, but your deep, low tones ground the chord and help define its sound. Your primary job as a bass player, besides rhythmic support, is to provide the foundation for the chords. Your low notes really give a solid tonal grounding to guide listeners’ ears in following the shifts of harmony. For the most part, this means playing the roots of the chords.” — from “How to Play Along With Chords on Bass” by James Porter, posted on 6.10.18.