1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Any advice on writing melodic bass?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by the_kev, Sep 9, 2003.

  1. the_kev


    Sep 5, 2003
    I've just gotten my head around theory and scales and stuff and I want to write some melodic basslines that i can use if i want to get graded, but i don't know where to star
    :confused: :eek: :help:
  2. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    ...at the beginning.

    Play as much as you can, and develop any parts you like.

    Listen to music for inspiration.

    Learn to play the tunes that pop into your head from time to time.

  3. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Sing a bass line. Doesn't matter if you can sing or not. You can sing it in your head, or sing an approximation of what you want to do. Singing tends to be more melodic than playing bass, so it's an appropriate method. Singing helps, especially if you do not have adequate mastery of the instrument. Once you can sing a cool bassline, transfer it to your bass. Do that enough, and you'll be singing with your bass instead of your voice.
  4. I go with Howard and Jive. Listen to the song without your bass in your hands, so you won't be distracted or tempted to play the song too early. Then sing a bassline in your head. This way, muscle memory won't get in the way of creativity (i.e. you won't come with the same lines over and over again).

    Well, this kinda works for me anyway! Good luck! :)
  5. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    You could also try working on what has gone before - transcribing bass lines that fit your description of 'melodic' and playing any melodies that come to mind (even if you begin by improvising around Twinkle Twinkle Little Star). It's called 'paying your dues'....

  6. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Want to learn to play more melodically? Play more melodies.

    Sound sophmoric, but it's true.
  7. the_kev


    Sep 5, 2003
    Any advice on what i should listen to? I think that Jaco's melodic stuff's amazing but i can't get my head around them.
  8. Rope


    May 27, 2003
    Essexville, MI
    Jaco might be jumping into the deep end. Try out some Paul McCartney first - Rubber Sould onward in the Beatle catalog is a good place to start.
  9. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    If you're not opposed to modern rock, I'd suggest Hot Water Music. Their bassist and drummer are both jazz artists, in a rock situation. I suggest songs like "Trademark" or "Our Own Way."

    I think a lot melodic playing comes from utilizing melodic intervals, as silly as it sounds. Also, thinking in core chord progressions helps well. I use a lot of major 2nd chords. Droning your root in conjunction with other notes in the respective key always works too.

    ...just a couple pointers. :)
  10. the_kev


    Sep 5, 2003
    Speaking of hot water, do you have any ideas of level 42 tunes that are worth listening to? Ive mastered dune tune but can't find any other songs like it
  11. I agree with Bass Aficionado. Paul McCartney is an incredible bass player when it comes to melodic stuff. The bass lines on Abbey Road are all great, especailly "Something." Sgt. Pepper's got some good ones too. Off that album, I'd recomend checking out "With A Little Help From My Friends." On Rubber Soul, he plays the only real bass melody or solo on any Beatles song in "Michele."