Learning Merengue on a Bass Guitar

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Merengue is a Caribbean dance that is usually in a 2/4 time signature, and it serves as a walking and moving bass line. Find out how to mix in eighth notes when playing merengue on bass Discover how with help from a professional upright and electric bass player in this free video on playing merengue bass lines.

Part of the Video Series: Bass Guitar
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Video Transcript

Hi! My name is Colin Trusedell. I'm an Electric and Upright bass instructor in Miami, Florida. In this clip I'm going to show you how to play a merengue bass line on the electric bass. The merengue's form of Latin music has predominantly come from the Dominican Republic, Venezuela or Colombia and South American countries. Its a Caribbean dance usually in time signature of 2/4 and it kind of serves as a walking bass line if you will in the Latin style. Predominantly a lot of South American bands will use a tuba instead of an electric bass but also electric bass serves the role of the bottom voice. So what it sounds like is if you have like a basic core progression say, anything like a C, C7 to an F7 to a G7, basic, just basic, basic stuff and then it has a very kind of moving feeling, very, very predominantly you're pushing along the bass line so this is what something like this would sound like a merengue bass line. First of all, we're in the time signature of 2/4 so every beat there's going to be a quarter note and then you mix in eighth notes here and there, you know, respectively to give that extra bounce, the pull, the push of the merengue bass line. So if you think about it as there's three different core changes, C to G, F to C, and then G to D, you have something that sounds like this. So you have every beat there's a quarter note mixed in with interspersed eighth notes and then it gives you the overall merengue bass line that is the basic foundation of the merengue. This has been Colin Trusedell. Thank you for watching.

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