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Watch the Root Five Movement online guitar lesson by Andrew Ford from Motown Bass Survival Guide

Another characteristic sound of Motown bass was the use of root, fifth, octave patterns. Using those 3 notes in different combinations and different syncopations creates that unique sound you attribute to James Jamerson right away. These examples will be played over a two bar phrase that goes from Ab to F minor, one bar of each. I start with just playing roots with various rhythms and then move into the different ways you can incorporate the 5th and octave, sometimes going down to the fifth and sometimes up to the 5th. Jamerson used them in various combinations and rhythms.

These root-5th-octave patterns can change directions vertically quickly and with syncopation which gives them their character. These will give you just a few ideas of what is possible with just the root and fifth.