bass runs

Let’s talk about a simple thing you can do to link two different chords together.

It’s one of the most exciting ways to do so in my opinion, and it’s the technique of using:

“Bass runs”

Loads of songs use bass runs, and they’re great fun to play.

I’ve taught quite a few songs that use these over the years.

This includes songs such as:

“Everybody Hurts” by R.E.M. In this song, there’s a really cool bass movement to link the A and Em in the chorus (as well as another at the end of each verse).

“Half the World Away” by Oasis. This one has a lovely descending bass run linking the C to Am. The C bass note is followed by a B before we drop into the A.

“Heart of Gold” by Neil Young has something similar where there is a little bass run/riff that occurs throughout the main theme (plus another bass run in the chorus).

“Stand By Me” – this has that famous bass line. When I strum the chords of G Em C D in this song, I love to add in this bass line to link the chords together.


There are countless more songs that use bass runs in exciting ways such as this.

Those are just the ones off the top of my head, which I’ve taught many times.

The super cool thing about bass runs is that they are incredibly powerful if you do NOT play in a band.

Like, for instance, if you play acoustic guitar and you do so mostly on your own.

Even if you play on your own usually, you can still keep those bass run parts even if you decide to jam with others at a later date.


Bass runs just make the music sound even more fun.

That’s because bass runs work for two great reasons:

1 – When creating your own jams, improvising, and noodling around, you can have endless fun throwing in bass runs.

2 – When learning other people’s songs, you can simply start adding in some of the little bass runs into the guitar parts (like I did with most of the above songs)

Both of the above are great fun.

…And if you only ever really want to play for yourself, that is cool too, because bass runs will give you endless fun.


Anyway, I hope that inspires you to give them a go and start using them in your playing.

A simple way to start with them is to take two chords and find an obvious path on the bass strings to link them together.

It’s important you keep a good rhythm and groove when doing so, and when you do, it’ll sound awesome.

To learn more about this technique, I cover it in a new Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy lesson for April.

In this lesson, we use two very simple chords which 99% of guitarists can play smoothly and change between with ease (meaning you don’t have to worry about the chords for this).

Then, we add in the bass runs using a simple version and an exciting trickier version.


Anyway, to check out the Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy, you can do so below…

Find out more about the Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy


Keep on driving that bass

Dan Thorpe

Guitar Domination


P.S. This post was originally taken from Dan Thorpe’s private email list. To get blog posts like this sent to you which are full of great tips to make fingerpicking, strumming, and learning guitar more enjoyable (especially if you are over 40) join Dan’s list. It’s 100% free, HERE.


April 1, 2023 Reply

Can I get these songs with tabs?

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