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Bands where the songwriting clearly started with the bassplayer sometimes.

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by BusyFingers, Dec 24, 2016.

  1. BusyFingers


    Nov 26, 2016
    As a guitarist and bass player, I've approached writing songs from both sides. Writing guitar to an already completed bassline is a unique thing, and kind of hard to do well.

    Just the same, there are some bands out there that have successfully shared songwriting duties between bass and guitar. One such band is The Minutemen. You can tell Mike Watt wrote some of those songs and the guitar was added afterward around the basslines.

    Feel free to list some other bands where the bassist was a prominent songwriter.
    GregC likes this.
  2. TrentB

    TrentB Supporting Member

    Aug 10, 2010
    Yorba Linda, Ca
    Robert Deleo, Stone Temple Pilots. He wrote most of STP's music along with his brother. He said he would write songs using some Jazz chords and then create bass lines to harmonize.
  3. fjadams


    Jun 7, 2011
    Danbury, CT
    I read an interview where Sheryl Crow said she writes the majority of her songs on the bass then adds in everything else.
  4. project_c


    May 8, 2008
    London, UK
    northbynorth likes this.
  5. A.K.


    Jan 9, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    Cream (Jack Bruce)
    Pink Floyd (Roger Waters)
    Iron Maiden (Steve Harris)
    Dio (Jimmy Bain wrote tons of their riffs)
    Thin Lizzy (Phil Lynott)
    The Beatles (Now who was their bass player again?)
    Black Sabbath (Geezer wrote some riffs)
    Ratt (Juan Croucier)
    Yes (Chris Squire)
    The Who (John Entwistle)
    Night Ranger (Jack Blades)
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2016
    zontar, Helix, Bajo Clarkko and 4 others like this.
  6. Jloch86


    Aug 1, 2016
    New Jersey
    Lightning Bolt

    BassWaffle and Novarocker like this.
  7. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    Geddy mighta come up with a riff or two for his band Rush
  8. Bassmaster55


    Dec 17, 2016
    I'm a huge fan of Robert. I've got STP's full discography. Their deeper album cuts have some really inspiring bass playing. I feel like a lot of people overlook him.
  9. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    There's this guy Gordon Sumner...
  10. BusyFingers


    Nov 26, 2016
    I had to look that one up. They're actually an excellent example of bass songwriting and what's his name really did an exceptional job of creating interesting guitar work to accompany the bass-driven songs (in case anyone else doesn't know who Gordon Sumner is, they will have to look it up for themselves, too).
    lowdownthump likes this.
  11. I'm pretty sure John Paul Jones came up with a fair amount of Led Zeppelin's catalog. Black Dog comes to mind, I think that was a JPJ riff.
  12. Also, I mentioned this in another thread, I'm pretty sure Blood and Roses by the Smithereens was written around Mike Mesearos' bass riff.
  13. RBrownBass

    RBrownBass Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2004
    Andy Summers just might be the second greatest rock guitarist in history. Dude could play with texture, stayed out of the way, served the music and seemingly had no ego.
  14. Dean N

    Dean N

    Jul 4, 2006
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Leslie and his various bands.

    ERIC31, andonbray, Aokigahara and 6 others like this.
  15. RBrownBass

    RBrownBass Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2004
    I'm thinking maybe half of Zep IV was initially imagined by JPJ.
    cronker likes this.
  16. RedVee


    Dec 24, 2014
    Greg Macainsh (Skyhooks) wrote 90+% of their recorded output.
    (And provided a bass soundtrack to my teenage years.)
    Groove Doctor likes this.
  17. SilGarzaJr

    SilGarzaJr SilGarzaJr

    Mar 28, 2012
    North Texas
    Bernard Edwards!!
    lostreality, Helix, design and 3 others like this.
  18. southpaw723


    Oct 20, 2013
    Joy division
    Bootsy Collins stuff
    moles, GregC, northbynorth and 2 others like this.
  19. Mark Knopfler ?
    fjadams and RBrownBass like this.
  20. I was surprised RHCP took so long to get mentioned!

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