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creating good basslines.

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by frankencow150, Dec 14, 2001.

  1. frankencow150

    frankencow150 Guest

    Oct 17, 2001
    for awhile ive been making basslines,but once i play them,they just seem so plain and bland to me.there just like 4 note riffs.Do you have any advice on making good,kind of complex basslines?does anybody know of any websites that can help me?My friend is gonna get a drum set soon,so me and my guitar friend want to play with him and make up some songs.Ok,thanks!
  2. Scales, modes, triads, arppegia and the theory to know how to use them. That should help you create some pretty slick bass lines.

    Also consider starting to listen to some good jazz, alot (if not all) of which is improvised. Others here would be able to suggest what to look for in jazz. So would a search.

    Good luck, keep up the playing.

  3. Well, firstly, you could try learning some theory...?
    That'd give you some basic working knowledge of which notes would sound good and which notes wouldn't, in general.

    If you have that part down, then...do you hear bass lines in your head? If you do, have you ever tried to play them? If you don't, maybe you're just not bass-oriented like some other people... :p

    If you have either of those parts down, then...do you feel the groove inside you when you sit down & try to write a bass line?
    I've gone to the music store on several occasions and asked to try a bass. Firstly I'd start with songs I already know how to play, and then I break into random improv stuff, and I've come up with some pretty simple but effective lines, imo.

    I'm sure there are other things that could help, but I woke up about 40 minutes ago, and it's a Saturday, so my mind just isn't working too well yet. :D:p
  4. frankencow150

    frankencow150 Guest

    Oct 17, 2001
    i know basic theory...

    major and minor scales
    pentatonic scales

    ive been gettin better at what notes go well with eachother and which don't.i do get alot of grooves in my head,and i just put one onto the bass 30 minutes ago.its a nice ska line:D

    Start naming some jazz cd's because my dad has over 200 jazz cd's from about every artist.i listen to it every now and then but i want to get into it more because i've noticed that jazz is focused on bass and drums.Ok guys,list some good jazz cd's i should check if my dad has em...
  5. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    At the grievous risk of swimming upstream and against the current here, I would suggest for quicker results that if it is ska you are interested in, listen hard, long and often to ska music, paying very careful attention to the basslines you like.

    Try to figure out what the bass player is doing. If you can't do that by ear, then you'd better hit the books on theory so you have an understanding of why one ska bassline sounds good and another one seems weak or boring.

    I'm not knocking the study of jazz. That is an excellent foundation, but it does take time, attention and dedication to develop an appreciation for and understanding of improvisation. Plus you need to know what jazz style you are after-- swing, Dixieland, avant guard, bop, modern, Latin, whatever. They each have their own demands.

    That's why I say if it is ska you want to master, study ska. Study jazz, too, but concentrate on ska.
    Who is your favorite ska bassist? What makes his basslines cool? Master that first. (Just my humble opinion.)
  6. if those 4 notes in your riff sound good, there's nothing wrong with them. as i recall, the riff from "whole lotta love" has but 3 notes, and it's better than anything i'll ever write. "satisfaction" - 3 notes. don't get caught up in trying to be complicated, or trying to impress. that's not what being in a band is about.
  7. My advice: Give up on creating your own riffs. Just "sample" old Red Hot Chili Peppers Riffs and rap over them. cRaZyToWn RuLeZ
  8. hahahaha:D
    I dont really know how I write basslines, I just sit down and make something up. Then maybe I'll change a few parts, like make the rythm different or play it in a different key.
    Well, since you know some basic theory, I guess you know what notes they are on the fretboard. That's pretty important... Also, can you hear a bassline on the radio and picture what frets you should play on the bass? If you can think of a bassline in your head and then play it, or know what the notes will sound like before you play, it's easier.

    And listen to your CDs and play along with them. After some time, you start to play your own variations of the basslines and develop a style.
  9. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    I agree with what Bop City says, and also what most of the others said as well, to learn some theory. This will make you a more conscience bassist and open up your possibilities much more.
  10. frankencow150

    frankencow150 Guest

    Oct 17, 2001
    thanks everyone.good one basegetar!DHC,usually the 4 note riffs i make up dont sound too good.:rolleyes:

    I'm gonna listen to my favorite ska bassists and see what they do.I've noticed that alot of the songs that sound really good are just scales.
  11. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    FrankenCow, you are so fortunate that your dad has such an extensive CD collection of jazz. Whenever you get a chance, pull out a couple at random and give a listen. Too, ask him what his favorites are and why he likes them. You have a terrific resource available to you. I hope some day you will use it. Enjoy.
  12. frankencow150

    frankencow150 Guest

    Oct 17, 2001
    i listened to a bunch of cd's of jazz and these are the only ones i could really get into the bass...

    Miles Davis-Kind of Blue
    Brian Bomberg-You know that feeling
  13. Yeah, but seriously what everyone else is saying is your best bet. Get "edumacated" about theroy and whatnot (Not that I'd know anything about that). Also, listen to your favorite bassist and think about what you love about their style. But don't completely rip off that style, just think about what makes it great. But theroy and experimenting with new/interesting things is they key that will set you free on this challange.
  14. Hi!!!

    I think that you may be just out of the point.What do you really want?,make the music to sound better or show off? make music needs sometimes just a few ( but VERY IMPORTANT) notes,just to make feel something to the people;but to "show off"
    you need to get more in to theory ( I wrote this by your phrase: " Do you have any advise on making good,kind of complex basslines?".

    Personally, I do to listen many kinds of music,and I try to understand every thing what is going on: the rhythm section,the melody,the harmony,and -OVER ALL - the groove thing.This really has been working to me.Maybe this can be helpful to you.( I hope so)

    P.D. 200 jazz cd`s!!! you are a lucky man!!!

    P.P.D. If You can -talkin` about jazz music-search for UZEB or Alain Caron.
  15. frankencow150

    frankencow150 Guest

    Oct 17, 2001
    im lookin to make good music,showing off comes naturally:p just kidding.i mean i get tired of 4 note songs,i wanna play something that sounds exciting and challenging to play.
  16. Also, jam with a few people. Start out playing your 4 note chord progression, and just keep playing that over and over while your guitarist and drummer improvise over you. Pretty soon, you'll start to make little changes to the bassline.. Add some pickup notes, throw an octave in there, etc. Then before you know it, you'll be making a song.:)
  17. frankencow150

    frankencow150 Guest

    Oct 17, 2001
    too bad cuz my friends not gettin a drum set for a few weeks,and my guitar friend knows absolutely nothing about theory.it gets on my nerves because we play so much together but we've never made a song.I say "play G D E C" and he says "huh"?
    That happens everytime:rolleyes:
  18. mmm that sucks...
  19. Maybe this is the time to look for others!
    (just kidding!!!:D )

    If you play with some better ones,you could be better in a very short time!!
  20. frankencow150

    frankencow150 Guest

    Oct 17, 2001
    actually i do have a guitar friend thats really good.he might be lead guitar once we start our band.i hope so!

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