Skip to content

How to Play Reggae Bass Lines (Beginner)

How to Play Reggae Bass Lines (Beginner) – > Reggae bass lines should be very “bassy”. This means they should be comprised of those lower notes on your bass. You will want to play a little bit busier with the right hand. You play fewer notes, but more of the same note – like a whole measure of the same note. When playing reggae, the spacing of your notes is very important. It’s important to not overplay. You need to create pause when needed. Reggae bass lines are not necessarily comprised of a lot of complicated patterns and note structures. However, the spacing and timing is crucial for laying the foundation of songs to get that reggae groove. The time that you don’t play (space) is very important!

A common pattern for playing reggae bass lines is to use of the root notes, and 5th notes, with a flat 3rd note. For example, if we are playing in the key of C major, you can play a C (root), G (5th), and Bb (flat 3rd) of the C major scale. The Bb is played more as a lead in to the C. The diagram below shows this pattern:

TrueFire Get Better At Bass Guitar NEW ONE
Reggae Bass Line Fretboard Diagram Notes


Below is a video by professional bassist Andy Irvine that shows you how to play a reggae bass line using the root, 5th, and flat 3rd. Notice how much he talks about spacing and the need for your bass lines to “breathe”. He explains spacing between notes as the part of the bass line that “exhales”. This enables the song to get that cool reggae feel.

This is a free video clip courtesy of TrueFire Bass Lessons. It is one of the lessons in Andy Irvine’s lesson series  “30 Beginner Bass Grooves”. To access all of the lessons in this video series click here.

30 Beginner Bass Grooves - Reggae - Andy Irvine

Below is a list of all the lessons in the “30 Beginner Bass Groves” course. Click here to gain access to all of these lessons!

  • 30 Beginner Bass Grooves – Introduction
  • Open 8th Notes – Groove 1
  • Tight 8th Notes -Groove 2
  • Broken Feel #1 – Groove 3
  • Broken Feel #2 – Groove 4
  • Broken Feel #3 – Groove 5
  • Rock Shuffle – Groove 6
  • 60’s Funk – Groove 7
  • 70’s Funk – Groove 8
  • Motown – Groove 9
  • Shotgun Groove – Groove 10
  • Rhumba Groove – Groove 11
  • 50’s Ballad – Groove 12
  • 50’s Rock & Roll – Groove 13
  • Walking Blues Shuffle – Groove 14
  • Funky Blues – Groove 15
  • Gospel Shout – Groove 16
  • 60’s Soul – Groove 17
  • Bossa Nova – Groove 18
  • Jazz Waltz – Groove 19
  • Four On The Floor – Groove 20
  • Disco Feel – Groove 21
  • Slap Bass #1 – Groove 22
  • Slap Bass #2 – Groove 23
  • Slap Bass #3 – Groove 24
  • Metal Gallop #1 – Groove 25
  • Metal Gallop #2 – Groove 26
  • The Rock Stomp – Groove 27
  • Drum & Bass – Groove 28
  • Jam Band – Groove 29
  • Reggae – Groove 30
  • Punk Rock #1 – Bonus Groove 1
  • Punk Rock #2 – Bonus Groove 2
  • Acid Rock #1 – Bonus Groove 3
  • Acid Rock #2 – Bonus Groove 4
  • Acid Rock #3 – Bonus Groove 5
  • 30 Beginner Bass Grooves – Conclusion

If you’re interested in taking online bass lessons we highly recommend TrueFire BassThey provide a 14-Day Free Trial – Click here to visit their site!

We Recommend TrueFire bass guitar lessons

Intermediate & Advanced Lessons – Main Page

How to Play Reggae Bass Lines

How to Play Reggae Bass Lines (Beginner)