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Building basslines

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by anonymous111813, Mar 13, 2013.

  1. anonymous111813

    anonymous111813 Guest

    Mar 1, 2011
  2. anonymous111813

    anonymous111813 Guest

    Mar 1, 2011
    Another example how to come up with a bass line and how to spice it up a little.


    The chord progression is a fairly simple: I-IV-V minor (Em7 / Em7 / Am7 / Bm7)

    The first idea is to use just the root and octave. The root is played on the "1" and the higher octave is placed on the "2+" which adds a syncopated feel to the rhythm. The other notes are on "3+", "4" and "4+". Notice that the bass never playes along with the snare (played on "2" and "4"), which creates a laid back and relaxed groove.

    -> Em7 Am7 Hm7 Slap Bass 1.pdf

    To make things a little more interesting, I added some 16th notes but kept the basic feeling. In the first two bars I used the minor third, minor 7th and perfect 5th. In the third bar I created the sound of Am7 9 13, which is a little more colorful.

    ->Em7 Am7 Hm7 Slap Bass 2.pdf
  3. anonymous111813

    anonymous111813 Guest

    Mar 1, 2011

    Part 3 is now availiable. It features a very common and well-known chord progression:


    As with the other examples, you start of with an easy groove that gets more complex.
  4. anonymous111813

    anonymous111813 Guest

    Mar 1, 2011

    Soul and Funk are interesting styles of music, especially for a bassplayer. There are many great bass lines, most of them are based on 16th notes patterns. One particulary popular musician amongst the ranks of the Detroits music scene of the 60s and 70s is James Jamerson. His way of building basslines has influenced countless bassplayers around the world. The combination of syncopated rhythms with interesting, jazz-influenced melodies and chromatic approaches was unique.

    In this sample bassline, I have used some stuff that is characteristic for Jamersons playing. One thing is the way of chromatically approaching chords, very much like you do when playing walking bass. Jamerson started on the upright and surely was familiar with this style of playing.

    Another thing Jamerson used quite often is to approch a chord with an ascending perfect fourth. I used this in the tenth bar. A highly syncopated descencing movement leads to the major third of the Amaj7 chord, a c#. The c# leads to the root note of the next chord with an asecending perfect fourth.

    Enjoy the examples!

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