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Fastest way to come up with basslines?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by StarAttraction, Sep 2, 2019.

  1. Chrisk-K


    Jan 20, 2010
    Maryland, USA
    Learn more about music.
  2. Dr. Love

    Dr. Love Supporting Member

    Nov 5, 2008
    Lubbock, TX
    Listen to the songs as much as you can: burn them into your brain. Then hum/sing the bass lines as you listen. If you can't sing it, you don't know it yet. (if you're not a singer, it doesn't have to sound good, just try to match the rhythm and pitch as best you can). This will also help you figure out what parts are essential and which you can simplify. Then switch to the bass and find the notes.
    Kro likes this.
  3. logdrum

    logdrum A person! Supporting Member

    It can be done or not. You may be a genius for all we know
  4. Mtheory


    Nov 2, 2009
    Are you able to use the chords that you printed out for the gig?
    If It's mostly simple rock stuff, that wouldn't be such a bad deal.
  5. Darrell G

    Darrell G Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2018
    Pacific Northwest
    I've managed to learn a few songs in the last 60 weeks. Not the same thing? :thumbsdown:

    Great (real) advice from others so far...

    You'll nail it!
  6. somebrains

    somebrains Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2017
    Watch some idiot hit your parked car in a Trader Joe's parking lot, then have to stop them when they try to drive away.

    Pound down a shot and 2 beers when you get to your buddy's house and play everything super angry.
    OogieWaWa likes this.
  7. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    The chords give you the key you need to learn the songs in and youtube gives you a song structure to follow. I guess you can still find free tab on the web as well.
  8. oldcatfish


    Jan 8, 2011
    For 60 songs, it would be a lot easier for me to make my own bass lines, as long as I had an audio example of the rhythm (the original song would do) and a chord chart (that I could refer to) telling me what key they will be playing them in, as opposed to trying to copy a note for note version. Just figure out close approximations for any fills or anything that stands out....anything that would be recognized by an average listener.
    bassista6 likes this.
  9. Chordify is one of my favorite new tools.
    AboutSweetSue likes this.
  10. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    +1, muuuuuch quicker to simply learn the songs, than to write 60 original bass lines!
    Grab a pencil and paper and start transcribin'. :)
    punchclock likes this.
  11. StingRay85


    Dec 18, 2011
    Turn off your phone and pick up your bass, that might help
    punchclock and bolophonic like this.
  12. onda'bass

    onda'bass Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2010
    Buffalo Ny
    well it's sink or swim, people can learn 60 tune in a week, and think about it, next time you might know half of the set. payin' your dues
    punchclock and Mushroo like this.
  13. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Serve the song before your ego.
    Keep it simple, use all the notes you need, but need all the notes you use.
    Most songs are written to attract attention to one thing; the lyrics, the rhythm, the harmony. Decide what is important and don't get in the way of it. There may be some songs where the bass is the most important thing. In that case, plan to shine on.
    Good music helps people learn about themselves. If you want people to learn about you, get some business cards.
  14. Dirk Diggler

    Dirk Diggler Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Anytown USA
    Root note on the 1, whatever you like on the rest.

    Rinse and repeat. :)

    Oh yeah and most important, have fun and make the songs your own.
  15. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    This is a good strategy.

    I'll add in - the process the OP seems to be dealing is related to transcribing and memorizing. For 60 songs in a short period, don't stress on memorizing. Focus on transcribing.

    Here's a process that works for me for tunes that I'm not familiar with or haven't played on bass.

    1. Listen through the tune and note the song structure (e.g., Intro, Verse, Chorus, Bridge, Outro, etc).
    2. For each part, notate the chords (or the root notes) for the progression
    3. Write these down in a way that makes sense to you. Here's how I notate it (part name, chord progression - usually three or four chords in a progression in any part - and let's say this tuneis in the key of E:

    Song Name (Key of E, Uptempo, Swing)

    - I/ E-E-E-E
    - V/ E-A-B
    - C/ E-A-B-C# (stop on C#)
    - V/ repeat
    - C/repeat
    - B/ C#-B-A-E
    - V/ repeat
    - C/repeat
    - O/B-B-B-B

    4. Repeat for each song as necessary; notate any iconic bass lines as such - learn and memorize those ones first!
    5. I then store this information using an iPad app (SetLists by Bombing Brain is my fave) as my cheat sheet and call it up during rehearsal/peformance as required. Could also do this on paper, but that looks bush league on stage.

    I also use this method for playing pedal steel. This process is not unlike the Nashville Numbers method, except for the key is absolute, not relative, and I don't have detail down to the bar or whether the notes are minor, 7th, etc. For rock music, banging out 1/8th notes on the root is often good enough (to begin with).
    OogieWaWa, jamro217 and StingRay85 like this.
  16. dr doofie

    dr doofie

    Jul 6, 2017
    That’s really all you need to do...
    I saw you mentioned YouTube, that will be your best friend; all you have to concern yourself with then is the dreaded capo the guit****** use...:D
  17. nickpc


    Jul 23, 2012
    This ^^^

    If they are popular cover songs you will find the tabs for them, or at least someone playing a bass cover on YouTube. Ultimate Guitar, Big Bass Tabs, there are plenty of sites out there. If you can't easily find 45 of the 60 songs I'd be surprised. Of the remaining 15, at least five will be simple (12 bar blues, etc) so you don't really need to do much for them. The rest you can just have fun with.
  18. Paulabass


    Sep 18, 2017
    I always have 30 songs I have to learn by the weekend. Tis the life of a sub (Not submissive silly, that's another forum!). Here's what I do (BTW, I never play the original bassline, they don't pay me enough to learn note for note)-
    1)Make a playlist of the songs and listen in your car til you're familiar with them.2) Identify the groove of each song (R&B, walking blues, straight 8's etc).3) Learn the songs sitting down with youtube. 4) Relearn the songs in the key the BL is calling (and stop listening/practicing in the original key)
    Example- This week I had to learn amy Winehouse 'Rehab'. I had never heard the song. I listened, and my brain said Smokey Robinson smooth R&B groove. I learned it very quickly in the original key on Youtube. Transposed it to Bb. In 20 minutes I had a servicable tune.
  19. Bunk McNulty

    Bunk McNulty It is not easy to do simple things correctly. Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2012
    Northampton, MA
    Having a deadline works for me. Desperation has long been my muse.:D
  20. Paulabass


    Sep 18, 2017
    I've got 4 days to learn 30 songs. Day 1 learn 3 songs, play golf. Day 2 Learn 5 songs, lunch with girlfriend, and Netflix. Day 3- Relax, I've got time tomorrow. Day 4 (gig day)- Wake up early and learn 22 songs by load in time.
    BOOG, Mushroo and Bunk McNulty like this.

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