Bass - simple ostinato

The term 'Ostinato' refers to a simple, repeating music pattern. It can be played on any instrument. For our example in this post we've included a simple bass guitar ostinato in the key of e minor. Often the biggest issues when playing an ostinato is that the sheer repetitiveness may cause a player to lose focus and the ostinato gets sloppy. Another issue can be that despite how simple a pattern may be the fingers also get muddled. Quite often using this technique can take a surprising amount of concentration to keep the notes firm, accurate, on time and driving. With a bass guitar specifically, sometimes a player might 'get into a groove' where they have a cool bass line that they repeat for a long number of bars. 'A groove' is a type of ostinato, but somehow it's just a far more enjoyable type once a player settles in.

The example below is something along the lines of a Ray Manzarek (from The Doors) approach to this musical technique. As a bonus we've also included an audio MP3 example of this simple pattern repeating for 16 bars. Try to keep your sanity!

simple bass guitar ostinato

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