Previous Page: Simple Bass Line Progressions

In ‘Simple Bass Line Progressions’ we looked at the progression
I – V/3 – vi . In the key of D, that would be D – A/C# – Bm. We can extend this progression in different ways:

  • I – V/3 – vi – vi/b7 – IV – V
  • I – V/3 – vi – vi/b7 – ii – ii/b7 – V

Let’s look at these in more detail. Again, the roman numerals represent the chord (lower case for minors) and the natural number represents the note in relation to the chord being played.  Thus V/3 represents the fifth chord in a key, with its 3rd note in the bass; vi/b7 represents the sixth chord (which is minor) in the key with its flatted seven note (a whole step lower than the root note) in the bass.  Let’s chart these in different keys:

Progression 1

I V/3 vi vi/b7 IV V
D A/C# Bm Bm/A G D
G D/F# Em Em/D C D
C G/B Am Am/G F G
A E/G# F#m F#m/E D E
E B/D# C#m C#m/B A B
F C/E Dm Dm/C Bb C

Listen to this progression in C:

Chord Charts


Descending Bass Line Progression 1
*Please note, the chord chart for Em/D really represents an Em7 chord. There isn’t an easy way to get the D in the bass line and have it sound well, so I substitute this chord. The chord chart for C#m/B is technically a C#m7/B.

Progression 2

I V/3 vi vi/b7 ii ii/b7 V
D A/C# Bm Bm/A Em Em/D A
G D/F# Em Em/D Am Am/G D
C G/B Am Am/G Dm Dm/C G
A E/G# F#m F#m/E Bm Bm/A E
E B/D# C#m C#m/B F#m F#m/E B
F C/E Dm Dm/C Gm Gm/F C

Listen to this progression in G:

Chord Charts

Descending Bass Line Progression 2