How to Play Country Rock Style Grooves on the Bass Guitar - dummies

By Patrick Pfeiffer

Country rock tunes tell a story — and the story needs to be heard (just think of Garth Brooks). This means that you, as the bassist, take a back seat in country rock. In the bass groove for country rock, the root and the 5 dominate.

Here is a root-based groove for country rock. Even though it’s a simple groove, it’s one of the most popular grooves used in country music.


Listen to this country rock groove. Pay attention to how they lock in solidly with the drums, especially the bass drum. Notice how the grooves remain unobtrusive, despite added notes. You don’t want anything to distract from the melody and lyrics of the song. You can also watch this country rock groove.

This country rock groove uses the root and the 5. You can play this groove over both major and minor chords. The 3 differentiates the major from the minor, so, without the 3, the groove works over both chords.


Notice that the 5 is played below the root in the groove. The 5 also can be played above the root.

This country rock bass groove uses the mode (the root and 5, plus one other note from the mode). In most country rock songs, you have to keep the bass line simple. Start the groove with your pinkie on the root; your ring finger works, too.


This box groove uses a chromatic tone outside the mode. This bass groove is simple and locked in with the drums. Grab your 10-gallon hat and play ’til the cows come home…and make sure your left hand is in position by starting with your pinkie on the root (though, you can also use your ring finger).