Brand new to bass, need to ask some questions

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by LAW, Jun 29, 2005.

  1. LAW


    Jun 23, 2005
    I'm brand new to playing the bass, only one month of experience so far.
    I have picked up major scales quite easily and am working on the rest of them. Major arpeggios are no problem either. My question is exactly how are certain bass lines put together? My brother is a guitar player of 20 years and I am learning in order to play with him(also because Paul Mccartney is my all time hero). He has given me some chord progressions that he is turning into song and has given me the task of writing bass lines for them(he is also kind of teaching me the rudiments, so this is part of my practice scheme.) The problem is that I am having a hard time doing anything other than root notes. I know this is the basis for all bass lines(most, not all), but I would like to add some pizazz to the lines. What exactly am I missing in terms of how to go about it. Adding to root notes with approach notes is what I am thinking, but I'm not sure how to go about it.

    Any help is appreciated.
  2. Chili


    Mar 8, 2005
    Isnt this cheating then asking us how to do it lol.

    What i do is just improvise, i like to have the guitar playing for me to figure out my bass line and i can come up with something differant, kind of like Flea style, i'm sure theres alot of differant ways to do it which i am open to learning my self, but you could get a tape of what he wants u to put a bass line to mabe, and play along to it and mabe you'll find what your looking for
  3. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    I'd suggest getting together with the guitar player and improvising. From what I've gathered from this thread, you've got a great start. Whenever I write basslines to an original song, I improvise around with the guitarist or drummer based on the chord progression, and within the first couple ideas there's usually a really nice line just waiting to come out.

  4. I posted a similiar thread a while ago, I was told you can use root notes, chord notes, and scale notes.
    Have a look at the bassline construction section of this -
    It should be of some use.
  5. slybass3000

    slybass3000 Banned

    Nov 5, 2004
    Using different rhythms might help you out construting your bass lines with notes others then the root.

  6. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    You need to combine listening with your learing of scales and chords. Good basslines are just a combination of notes played in a rythymic way that sound and feel good. In most popular music there are really no set of hard and fast rules regarding what to play. Pick-out a couple of basslines you truly love that you cannot play yet, have your brother analyze the songs so you know what the chords are and can get a context in which to put the basslines. Don't worry about not being original right now, just keep devouring material along with your scales and theory, this is developing your "vocabulary". As your vocabulary increases you will be able to disect and combine these musical ideas to say what YOU want to say. This "mutation" will happen naturally and eventually you will sound like a combination of all your favourite bassists put together, because your tastes and interests are your own you should sound like you, totally original!!