Watch the Working with Ascending Bass online guitar lesson by Vicki Genfan from Acoustic Rhythm Survival Guide
The Ascending bass line refers to the bass notes of each chord in a progression moving up – usually in half or whole steps. According to the research of Richard Scott in his book, 'Chord Progressions for Songwriters', we can trace the use of this tool as far back as the late 1800's with Rag Time composer, Scott Joplin. The upward movement tends to give us an 'uplifting' feeling.
Additional songs using this technique are, "Ooh Baby Baby" by the Miracles, "Everybody wants to Rule the World" by Tears for Fears, "Autumn in New York" - Standard, "Kid Charlemagne" and "Do it Again" by Steely Dan, "Do You Believe in Magic" by the Lovin' Spoonful, and many, many more.
So - let's look at some ways we can 'freshen' up an Ascending Bass Line progression using some of our tools.