Bass riffs that can be used in any situation

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Frugle, Jan 6, 2006.

  1. Frugle


    Sep 4, 2005
    Atlanta GA
    does anyone have any tips on different riffs that can be used in any situation?

    like for example, If its just one of those slower paced song where your just pounding one note for a bar or to, I like to slide up to the octive, by punching the 4th, sliding to the 5th, then hitting the octive up.

    so it'd be like


    I know thats just basic.. but it can apply to any note at any time, what are some of the things you use constantly.
  2. Sippy


    Aug 1, 2005
    I don't use it... but you could always use root, 3rd, 5th.... works in 90% of the situations.
  3. Frugle


    Sep 4, 2005
    Atlanta GA
    yeah, stuff like that, but I was hoping for a little more advanced than that, I know the example I gave was simple and stupid, but I was hoping for something a little more advanced...
  4. CJK84


    Jan 22, 2004
    Maria Stein, OH
    As long as you're on the I or IV chord of a song, consider incorporating the 7th (half-step below the root of the chord).

    The 7th is a good "leading tone" that can create movement in an otherwise static bar.

    For instance, you could punch the 4th, slide to the 5th, then play the 7th before reaching the octave root.

    Also, slides can sound great in slow songs. Personally, I find them somewhat difficult to execute, but when done well, can add a lot of subtle movement and color to a song.

    You're probably aware of that already, but thought I'd add it anyway.

    Good luck.
  5. remo


    Jan 15, 2005
    I like this as a run up over a major.. here Gmaj moving to an Em.. kinda loopy feel to it..

    - - - -G- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Em

  6. 5intheface


    Dec 18, 2004
    If you're working withmusic that involves the blues scale (chances are pretty great you are) you can always easily throw in a quote based on the blues scale or minor penatonic.

    For example, we were playing Manteca in jazz band last semester. I got tired of vamping of the B flat riff or working around it, so every once in a while I would throw in "Sunshine of your love" "One Way Out" or "NIB" riffs to see if anyone caught on. NIB doesn't fit all to well though. :meh:
  7. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    +1 A good slide at the right time *really* stands out and can add a lot to a song. I don't know what it is, but a good slide on the bass can sound much better than the equivalent slide on the guitar. It may just be that the sheer length of the fretboard gives more sense of movement. Or it may just be that the bass is more authortative.
  8. thewanderer24


    Apr 29, 2002
    SJ, CA
    become friends with one-five. It works amazingly well almost anywhere when you realize that rhythm is more important than the notes in most support settings.
  9. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    This is truth. Once you have the rhythm nailed and locked with the drummer, you can get away with very minimalistic and melodically nonsensical lines, and still kick ass. At least in rock music, maybe not so much in jazz. ;)
  10. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    A perfect 4th against a major chord sounds awkward.

    And anyway, I don't think you'll ever find a riff with more than one note that works in every situation. There's plenty of versatile ones, but as for working in any conceivable situation, no.
  11. Dkerwood


    Aug 5, 2005
    I like this one:



    No, seriously, I dig the 1-5-9-8 riff. Also, anything chromatic is cool, although it won't work with all styles...
  12. Mark Wilson

    Mark Wilson Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Toronto, Ontario
    Endorsing Artist: Elixir® Strings
    "Funky Broadway- Wilson Pickett"
    Killer bassline. Jaco used it alot in his solo stuff.

  13. Redhotbassist


    Oct 19, 2002
    Stevie wonder - superstition.
  14. ToR-Tu-Ra


    Oct 15, 2005
    Mexico City

    That sound more like punk rock to me ;)

    I like the sound of sixths and ninths. One thing that comes to mind would be some like this:


    I don't know how this sounds, it just came to me. I think it makes sense theoretically... THEORETICALLY
  15. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    Yeah, and don't forget the 'instant reggae lick' you get with hitting four real even 'fives' that lead straight to the one-beat on the root. ...Uh - did I say that right? I mean 5-5-5-5-root, all on sixteenth notes, with that last root on-the-one.

    ...Probably not as advanced as you wanted, I s'pose.