1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)


Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by kalo, May 24, 2004.

  1. kalo


    Jul 29, 2003
    Hi all,

    Okay, here is my problem...I REALLY love bass guitar I just transfered over from electric guitar...

    Yes, I can play lead guitar extra., however, I really love bass and realize bass has a BIG ROLE in music...

    I am not one of these guitarist that think bass is easy....

    Yes, I can phsyically play bass, but the big problem that I am having is creating bass lines :bawl:

    I have started learning by triads i.e. Rt. 3rd. 5th. etc. all the way down my neck....

    I am taking lessons...My teacher and I will write a chord progression and he shows me how to play bass lines over it, however, after writing the bass lines down he tells me to go home and right another set of chord progressions and wright a bass line to it....

    I don't know what is wrong with me as I am still having trouble....I really want to excel in bass...I love it!!!

    What am I doing wrong.....I mean he has even gotten me writing punk lines however he tends to start jamming out like mark freeman of rancid...Phsycially I can play it, however, it does me no good to copy it and not know what he is doing..Somethings I can see triads to but other notes thrown in and I am not sure why...

    IF anyone can give some good advise on how to come up with good bass lines I would appreciate it...Even if someone knows of a good book that can help any HELP would be much appreciated.....Oh, I play with my FINGER and sometime use a pick depending...

    Thanks kalo!!!
  2. stephanie


    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    Hi kalo,

    You said you have been "learning by triads i.e. Rt. 3rd. 5th. etc". Is this all the theory you have been learning? What your teacher can do for you is take one of the punk lines that he plays and pick it apart, as in looking at the theory behind it: what key is it in? what chords are used? what is the chord progression? etc. etc....It would also help to learn harmonization. If your teacher is telling you to go home and write a chord progression of your own I am hoping he has given you at least a brief knowledge about said subject, as this is how chord progressions are developed.

    Let me just briefly give an example by harmonizing the C Major scale:

    C Major = C D E F G A B C

    and the harmonization would be (the numbers by each chord are in roman numerals)...

    I - Cmaj7 = C E G B
    ii - Dm7 = D F A C
    iii - Em7 = E G B D
    IV - Fmaj7 = F A C E
    V - G7 = G B D F
    viiº = Bm7b5 = B D F A

    and let's take a common chord progression:

    I-IV-V (1-4-5)

    which, in the Key of C, would be the chords Cmaj7-Fmaj7-G7.

    (I've been adding the 7th in my examples)

    Since you mentioned punk lines, let's focus on just straight 8th notes for now, to start off easy. So, we can have a measure of C, try just playing the root note for each chord in each measure:


    Sounds like something you'd hear in punk, right? It's very basic but it's a good starting point. Now with a little more study you can color those lines a bit with another note from the chord, a passing tone (a non chord tone, but is a note of the key) or a chromatic (a note outside of the key), providing you don't overdo it.

    Hope this helps a bit and didn't confuse you any. Feel free to ask more questions.

    - Stephanie

    EDIT: I'm looking back at this post and I think I feel the need to re-emphasize the point about sitting down with your teacher and having him analyze a song with you. I do this all the time with songs and it's not just helpful, but enjoyable and will open new doors to your thinking and understanding of the way things work. It may spark a new revelation in your writing when you go home and attempt your own lines. If you haven't already done so, please dont' hesitate to ask, for example, "well what is Matt Freeman doing in that song, how did he create that line?". If your teacher is just going off playing something without actually telling you what he is playing, you need to stop and ask if you want any insight into how to create your own basslines. A good teacher will be glad you ask questions. Never be afraid to ask. :)
  3. H2ODog


    Sep 30, 2003
    Roseville, CA
    Great post Stephanie, i actually printed it out for myself. I also am interested in the theory behind it and find that sometimes what i read is more complicated or not explained well enough for a begginer (like me) You made it short and simple. Thanks!
  4. stephanie


    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    You're welcome. :)

    This thread demonstrates the value of learning theory, as kalo states: "Physically I can play it, however, it does me no good to copy it and not know what he is doing".