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Fast power chord basslines

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Bushfire, Aug 18, 2005.

  1. Now, I see a lot of material for creating basslines for more.....moderate paced........music, with say one chord for each bar, but what would you 'vets' do when faced with this little guitar riff (which I came up with; and we use it in one of our songs.) (all eighths)
    am I stuck with roots?, i.e:

    Or is there anything else I can do?
  2. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    Depends on the genre, really. If the song is supposed to sound metal-ish, you'll have to stick to the root, which may feel boring to you, but in turn will give your band sound a lot of "fatness".
    If you're not going for a metal sound, you could do pretty much anything with this riff provided that you stay in D minor and keep things reasonably simple. Try listening to the drummer.
  3. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    Stick with roots under most fast grooves, with a fill or emelishment on the final chord of the progression. Try to make that fill push towards the first chord if you are repeating, or the first chord of the next riff if you are moving to something else.
  4. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001

    Play whatever you want. In other words, if it sounds good to you , do it. You can divide the measure, play a harmony to the chord sequence, whatever. The caveat is that your writing could suck, your band may not like and may ask you to come up with something else. OTOH, if you really feel root notes at the same tempo as whatever fit the bill, then go for it. I say experiment.

    It's cool to come here and look for idea, but be prepared for everyone to paint by the numbers-

    e.g. :
  5. Correlli


    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand
    Yes, there is an alternative.

    or                        etc
  6. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    What would I do? Jam around and throw plenty of different approaches at it to see what sticks. Once I'd got some ideas I liked, I'd probably also record one or two takes of the song in rehearsals so I could review it in the cold light of the following day.

    If you want an idea to try that breaks you away from roots, how about repeating the bassline from another part of the song? That won't always work but sometimes fits in just fine.

    For example, one of the songs I do with the teeth starts with a very simple part behind the guitarist. While he's strumming the chords, I just slide from C to D and hold that note every bar. Part way through the song, after the bridge section, the guitarist repeats exactly the same intro pattern and originally I repeated my bassline. However, one day I decided to play the bass part from the chorus against the chords for the intro and that fitted really well. Now when you hear the song, it feels less repetitive because although both the guitar and bass are returning to lines you've heard before, they're in a new juxtaposition.

    Try something like that and you might find that your song ends up sounding less like a series of discrete riffs and more like a coherent whole.

  7. Suckbird

    Suckbird Banned

    May 4, 2004
    The root of your riff would be D, following the guitarist is not playing the root.