blaxploitation bass lines

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Cybi, Sep 2, 2002.

  1. Cybi


    Aug 26, 2002
    Hello! I´m really new at playing bass so I don´t know too much about it but anyway. I´ve been wondering about bass lines like in blaxploitation style. We just started a band and would like to jam this kind of style so is there maybe some hints to get or is it just to get the funkey feeling over some scales like the blues or? I would also appreciate some clues on reggae bass and maybe chord progression. Also, when you play a chord on bass, how easily can you fit all the strong notes of the scale and not just the root keeping in mind the other members of the band? and etc. If you have the time for these probably obvious things but probably not easily explained, I would appreciate your comments very much!

    Cheers, Cybi;)
  2. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I'm assuming you're talking about the artists/music that were used as soundtrack material for films of that time?

    If so-
    Shaft(Issac Hayes) & Superfly(Curtis Mayfield) are 'classics'.

    IMO, it's about '70s R&B/Soul/Funk; that the music was used in films of that time matters not. That is, this music was already happenin' & was already on "the scene". In other words, a new "genre" of music was not manufactured solely for these movies. It made sense to use what the artists of that day were creating...their music was a reflection of the times, sometimes, it was not a pretty picture, either.

    So, if I were you, I would investigate a lotta '70s R&B & even late '60s R&B-
    James Brown("Sex Machine")
    Marvin Gaye("Inner City Blues", "What's Goin' On", etc)
    Gil Scott-Heron
    Lonnie Liston Smith
    Earth, Wind, & Fire
    Sly & The Family Stone
    The Temptations w/ producer Norman Whitfield
    Betty Davis(Miles' ex)

    As for chording-
    Head to Mike Dimin's realm of Talk Bass("Ask The Pros")...Mike is the man.
  3. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Yeah, DO IT!
    I love funk. I absolutely love it.

    You could probably get a decent collection CD with 'the hits' on it in a sale for a few quid. These are a good place to start because you can pick and choose the artists you like and buy more material. Another good resource is - if you type in an artist it will give you a biog, simelar artists, artists worked with, influenced by etc... You get a really good picture of where it all started, where it went and who took it there.

    Technically, many of these basslines are pretty difficult, then again some of the real beauties are very simple. I think the best way to learn these is to find bass songs you like and learn them by ear.
    The most important thing is 'that groove', the notes become less important once the groove is there. You can play just simple root motions in the right place and it will groove like a mutha!

    Other very typical 70's artists worth checking out are:

    Herbie Hancock HeadHunters
    Bootsy Collins (more glam funk, but damned good bass playin')
    Stevie Wonder
    The Meters
    Mass Production (more disco, but some great and simple bass lines)

    Also, some Motown hits CDs have some awesome bass lines that are a good starting point.

    One song you HAVE to hear, is sly & the family stone, family affair. Soulful beyond belief.

    Reggae - the obvious Bob Marley, babylon by bus is a superb live album... most of the wailers albums are wicked tho. I'd go for live reggae tho cause you can really hear the vibe.