Building riffs

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by uly_, Jul 14, 2005.

  1. uly_


    Jul 4, 2005
    Hello fellow bass players around the globe.

    I'm sorry if this thread has been up before, I'm just quite pissed to search right now.

    Thing is I've got this riff in my head all day, trying to 'hum' it, sing it, tab it down a few times, sitting with my bass trying to get it down. NOTHING works, it sounds hilarious!

    So my question to you is: How do you 'build' your basslines if you're not just following the guitar that is :) Any techniques I should know of? Or is it all about getting inspired from your favorite bands?

    Time to share some thoughts! :hyper:

  2. DaftCat


    Jul 26, 2004
    Medicine Hat
    Pissed? Are you drunk or angry? :eyebrow:

    I have a PC handy where I record riffs that come to me. I don't particularly care if I am happy with them as long as they are stored. I can always go back to them(sometimes it takes a month) and work on them. I don't depend on other instruments(in your care, you asked about guitar) but I do plan at being more proficient with drum software.

    Hope this helps,
  3. uly_


    Jul 4, 2005
    Actually I was kinda annoyed that I couldn't(and still can't) get my riff in my head down on paper/the bass.

    How exactly are you recording those riffs if I may ask? Just use a regular microphone in front of your cab?
  4. Guitar Pro is good for just chucking basslines into the computer so you can bring it up whenever you want.
  5. infamas


    Jun 13, 2005
    I think he wants to know how he can get what he thinks up in his head and can hum into a working, playable line. I think the only answer to that is ear training. Transcribe songs, sings notes when you practice, and transcribe some more.

  6. Correlli


    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand
    Thanks dude.

    Just what I've been looking for. :)
  7. Correlli


    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand
    You could do it how Mozart did it, by knowing the rules of music theory, writing it all down using standard music notation, and then playing it back to yourself.

    It's a bit "back-to-front", but if you get good at it, you'll be writing symphonies, sontas, and concerto's in no time.

    The Guitar Pro software is probably a good way of helping you do that.
  8. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    Learn the basic rules of common practice tonal theory: chord construction, voice leading, and patterns for resolution.

    Then learn some basic counterpoint.

    Then practice writing counterpoint lines to every possible melody you can think of until you get comfortable with what sounds good when and why it sounds that way.

    Then you can branch off into whatever direction feels most interesting.
  9. Listen to the types of music you wish to play to figure out what their bass lines are like.
    Are you trying to figure out riffs from scratch to write a song with, or are you trying to add a bass line to an existing guitar part?

    I record direct into my computer using the line-in and recording onto Soundforge. Works great for single track stuff.
  10. Buck Naked

    Buck Naked

    Jul 24, 2005
    Austin Texas
    yea dude i used to get pissed off too. while a pc is a great investment its pretty expensive so just get a little hand held recorder or a four track. i have found that those help a great deal