Constructing a groove

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Starmo, Nov 15, 2004.

  1. Starmo


    Jul 15, 2004
    Raanana, Israel
    I seem to have a little problem in that area. \:

    Say I have a chord progression and I want to play a repetitive groove to accompany other instruments.

    1. Should the groove be Chordal or more Diantonic?
    I mean, should I change the line (at least in pitch) when the chord changes, or should I play the same exact line the whole length of the song?
    2. If I chose to change it, playing the root on the 1 sounds a bit too obvious to me. What other path may I take to make the change sound more diatonic? Is there such a path, or should that be done harmonically?

    What Herbie did on Chameleon I can pretty much Understand, but that's a 2 chord song..
    what about songs more harmonically complex?
    The main problem I have is choise of notes. I would like to think I can come up with an interesting groove rhythmically, but it's mainly made of 1 and 5's.. \:

    Your help will leave me forever in your debt. :p
  2. Dynna


    Oct 23, 2004
    It sounds as though your problem is more a matter of orchestration/composition and/or arrangement. I think you need to respond to what the band is doing, and play accordingly.

    If you start playing notes underneath that are not the root, then you're changing the composition, and the rest of the band may need to know in advance and change what they're playing. You can certainly do this as an option later in the tune where a chorus figure might be needed to change up to avoid too much repetition.

    If the issue is getting from one chord to the next, then there are LOTS of ways of changing that up AND keeping a root on the one. You can play chord tones on counts ONE & THREE, and everything else can pretty nuch go wherever you like. You can play diatonically on beats 2 & 4(c A g D), or play chromatic approach notes(c F# g C#), and either way your ear likes what it hears b/c you got chord tones on 1 & 3.

    Maybe what you need to do is keep a consistent bass line throughout the first two verses and only change the fill into the chorus. And then change the feel on a 3rd verse or bridge by doing a static line. Maybe a constant 8th note C while the band plays C, F, G, Dm. And then go back into the chorus with a regular chorus line.

    Hopefully this gives you some ideas and options you haven't thought of.
  3. A bass line is just that, a line. You answered your own question when you were asking about harmony. Dynna's generally right about 1 and 3 and 2 and 4 but not all songs will have a 4 qtr note bass line, like in "The Chameleon". I don't think it must be as technical as chordal vs diatonic if you aren't playing on all 4 beats. If you just want a driving, groovy repitition, play around on your own in order to make something up with two things in mind: Focusing on the next chord and leading tones into it and the song to which you are playing the line for.
  4. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    It sounds like you might be gettnig confused over some of the terminology here, which means any answer given might not help in the way it should do.

    Chordal means simply a piece of music is made up of chords. Diatonic means that a piece of music fits strictly within a key centre. The two do not opppose each other.

    I think the answer you're looking for is that you need to understand how chords are made, that is, what notes make up what chords. This will open up a whole bunch of possiblities.

    Jazzbo's 'chord theory' article on the talkbass lessons section is well worth reading and working on :)