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! :)

Bass fills???

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by qcbassman, Oct 10, 2013.

  1. qcbassman


    Jan 12, 2013
    I am listening to and playing a lot of praise and worship music and some of the bassists who play more than just four on the floor root notes put what sounds to me like a drum fill at the ends of phrases - only on bass, not on drums. Syncopated, pentatonic or triads are what I gear mostly. So, I have searched high and low on the web for secrets to cracking this elusive ornamentation to no avail. Does anyone have any good resource for developing this technique?

    If it helps answer my question, I am pretty new to the bass, but have a music degree (saxophone). I appreciate Victor Wooten and the like, but my personal goals as a bassist are to be a solid sideman who can get around the instrument. Any direction, suggestions for material and players to listen to are so much appreciated!

    Thanks so much!
  2. check out abraham loboriel (sorry i probs spelled his name wrong) he is a killer gospel bass player, probably better than victor wooten too. (hahah that will get some flak)
  3. Finding anything on "how to play" Praise music on the Internet - beyond the few TB players here is next to impossible. I've experimented with chromatic and diatonic runs as fills, but, still fall into the four on the floor group. Eight to the bar does slip into some of our songs.

    I've been able to ask Google for videos on the songs we play and have had good luck finding fake chord and videos, but, very few suggestions on how to play Praise. Roots and a few runs like I mentioned above seem to be the accepted format. Heavy on roots, light on the runs.

    Because Praise can and will use all seven of the chords in a key I transcribe all my fake chord over to Nashville numbers, I still keep the lyrics - it's fake chord with Nashville numbers. This does make it easier to feel the need for a fill. Problem then is not stepping on the drummer or lead electric's toes, i.e. two instruments taking off on a run and not be in sync with their runs. With Country everyone expects the bass to run to the next chord so bass runs fit in Country, I'm not finding that to be the case with Praise. It's almost like less is more.

    Speaking of less is more. Some songs lend themselves to root on one and nothing more, "Breathe" for instance. I think it's whatever fits with the band, and the song, you find yourself playing.

    Perhaps others will add more.
  4. If I had a background in saxophone I'd look right there for fill ideas. Melodic ideas that move between 3rds, 7ths, etc. Avoid landing on roots. Vocal phrasing. Stuff like that.
  5. Jhengsman


    Oct 17, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    The thing about CCM and Urban Gospel is that both subgenres influence and are influenced by other contemporary music genres. In many cases those that you hear on secular albums have learned their craft in churches.

    You will take those same licks and fills learned from Jamerson, Family Man, Clarke.... and apply them in a way acceptable to your local church.
  6. aprod


    Mar 11, 2008
    I hear nothing musically that sets Praise/ Worship apart from any genre of music. No matter what your motivation, you need to learn your instrument. One would use fills as a drummer would to lead into a verse or chorus. It sounds tight when drums and bass do it together.
  7. Better? I don't know but he had all the super slap/groove/flamenco funk chops down before Wooten. I started as a gospel bass player backing up my Dad who was the minister and guitarist. He showed me to play the roots (duh!) but divide the rhythms with syncopation to give some groove (duh?) just to start out. After that he told me to throw in 5ths and 3rds based on the music sheets as ornamentation, this includes upper register chordal taps, harmonics, bending notes. Then start applying other parts of the chords as needed to "fill" your ear. But to me all the extra notes only sound good if rooted in the rhythmic syncopation of whatever song you're grooving on. First rule is hit the root on the downbeat just like 99% of music.

Share This Page