Approaches to Metal?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Noobai, Nov 24, 2002.

  1. Noobai


    Aug 25, 2002
    Stanford, CA
    My friends and I have decided to go into a more Metal direction. Problem is, all the bassists I know do nothing but pound root 16ths. I dont want to do this round the clock.

    Is there any advice or reccomendation as to what to do to make more creative, melodic basslines for metal?

    Or am I stuck with roots?

    Also, if there are any metal bands out there that DONT root, send em over, id be happy to listen and learn :)
  2. yoshi


    Jul 12, 2002
    England, London
    if you want to be metal, and heavy, roots are pretty much the best approach.

    As for adding flavour and interest, whack in fills at the end of bars but dont over do it (check out some maiden!), or use rifs whihc are a bassline highlighted by guitar and cymbals (often used in detah metal, eg dying fetus reduced to slavery, about 40 seconds in)

    To be honest, id avoid meoldic parts that let you 'show' off, as i feel they spoil metal.
  3. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Noobai, what bands are you listening to? There's plenty of bands that I'd consider under the broad heading of 'metal' (eg. King's X, Deep Purple) where a lot of the basslines are definitely not pumping 16th notes.

    One idea that I'm sure you'll find in a lot of metal bands is the use of repeated riffs - often in unison with guitars. It can sound as heavy as you want but probably more satisfying than just pounding out a monotonous pulse of notes through each song.

    Note that the riffs are short musical phrases - I'm not talking about noodling over the chord changes but finding a solid anchor that you repeat several times.

  4. Tiwaz


    Sep 22, 2002
    Check these albums out, lots of interesting basslines here:

    Cynic : Focus
    Death : Individual Thought Patterns
    Death : Symbolic
    Spastic Ink : Ink Complete
    WatchTower : Control & Resistance
    Spiral Architect : A Sceptics Universe
    Vintersorg : Visions From The Spiral Generator
    Aghora : Aghora
    Borknagar : Empiricism (hehe , couldn't resist plugging my band here...:p )
    Dream Theater : When Dream And Day Unite
    Dream Theater : Images & Words
  5. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    There are a lot of great Metal bassists that do more than play roots. I'll list a mere few of 'em:

    Steve DiGiorgio - Death/Control Denied
    Steve Harris - Iron Maiden
    Alex Webster - Cannibal Corpse
    Eric Langlois - Cryptopsy

    etc etc

    DiGiorgio in particular has a very melodic style.

    Actually, TB member Tiwaz is a session metal bassist (has played with Emperor, Satyricon, Borknagar) and he is a GREAT player... he'd likely be better able to help than anyone here!

    EDIT: Whoops, he just did! :D Beat me to the punch!
  6. Noobai


    Aug 25, 2002
    Stanford, CA
    See, I dont consider progressive bands like DT metal.

    Metal I mean...

    Iced Earth
    Demons And Wizards
    Blind Gurdian
    In Flames


    Di???? is in Iced Earth I believe? Ill look into it But Im looking at more trash metalish metal, and if I can vary at all. But Ill look into it. Thx :D
  7. Tiwaz


    Sep 22, 2002
    Well , have you heard DT's first album (When Dream And Day Unite)? It's their most Metal release (and most progressive), though the production is not exactly top notch , it is well worth checking out.
    Steve DiGiorgio was in IE for one album , but he quit for various reasons I believe.
  8. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Boy, I'm out of touch with the world of metal ;)

    I've listened to quite a lot of Iron Maiden (but nothing since about 1990) and I've heard of (but never had a chance to listen to) Dream Theatre.


  9. Fliptrique


    Jul 22, 2002
    Szczecin, Poland
    Endorsing Artist: Mayones Guitars&Basses, Taurus Amplification
    IMHO you shouldn`t focus on listening metal bass players to be a "more that roots" metal bass player.

    Get inspirations from jazz, classical music (J.S.Bach? Anyone?:), pop or whatever and incorporate what you`ve heard, what you feel into metal music. Don`t learn from guys who learn from masters. Learn from masters.

    Oh, okay... cool metal bassists?:D

    Dig tomahawhk`s sefl titled album - grim, evil hipnotic bass lines.
    Dig Stone Sour selftitled album. Heavy as hell, yet extremely melodic and inspiring.
  10. you know who you should listen to for a unique bass approach to metal?

    Banjo Pussy Whistle

    thats right, me!

    i appologize for the shameless plug
  11. Stupidnick


    Mar 22, 2002 room...
    Steve harris....
    John Paul Jones
    Steve DiGiorgio
    John Myung
    You could check out Justin Chancelor from TOOL..
    although Paul D amour' was better In my opinion..
  12. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    I spent my commute yesterday listening to Iron Maiden (like going back to my teens) and realised what an amazing bassist Steve Harris is (in the 'metal' context). Such energy and of course his great (though deeply cheesy) songwriting.

    And of course, there's always Fieldy...

  13. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    My problem is I don't think I could keep up in a metal band. My right hand technique licks the cats ass and far as speed goes. Even just chugging along 16th notes. So that's my advice, realize that sometimes keeping that 16th note rhthym is nessicary, sometimes simplicity is best. Then when they aren't expecting it, throw in some crazy Ru-d (Ryknow) esque fill. I don't know I'm just babbling. I love it when I'm like "Well I don't know how to do this, but if I did I'd blah blah blah." I am a genius.
  14. Piezoman


    Nov 29, 2002
    Bronx, New York
    Do you like Rage? Even if you don't, you should play their songs. They play easy riffs on bass and have an awesome metal sound. Thats what I still play. I have upgraded to haevy metal but they helped me.
  15. Dirty Road Cola

    Dirty Road Cola Guest

    Sep 8, 2000
    Gainesville, FL
    listen to tiwaz. Sean malone is an awesome bass player and a nice guy to boot :) Aethiest, too. Tony Choy was Cynic's original bass player, he played on their demo (Uroboric forms).

    Opeth's bass player has some nice lines, as well..the newer one, on Blackwater park. ON previous albums it was either Mikael or their revolving bass chair, ala spinal tap ;)

    Oh, and Colossus is a bad ass track by Borknagar. :)
  16. first of all, a big **hello*** goes out to my man in Norway!!! Theres more of us than you think!!!

    Also a really cool metal sound is to use slap and pop, i think its coming back in metal thanks to Claypool and Ryknow...but Cannibal Coprse bassist Alex Webster can really Kick out the jams brothers and sisters!!!! (too much Blue Oyster Cult for me):cool:
  17. Mathias_TfG


    Apr 28, 2002
    New York
    Also, Check out "Morningrise." The bass is VERY melodic on that album. IMO, Johan actually may overdone it somewhat, but who cares, it sounded cool.

    Also check out Geezer Butler from Black Sabbath
  18. PICK


    Jan 27, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Agreed, Alex Webster is probably my favourite metal bassist. Followed closely by DiGiorgio, Langlois Kelly Conlon. No one ever mentions him, he played with Monstrosity and also played on Death's Symbolic.
  19. the thing about alex webster is he is usually doing some really cool basslines under the guitars, but the Mix is REALLY THICK and is very hard to cut through, we should get him some Edens huh?

  20. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Yeah, aside from hammer smashed face... what are some songs where you can hear the guy?