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Guitarist needs emergency bass lesson!

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by pribb1, Jul 13, 2004.

  1. pribb1


    Jul 13, 2004
    My alt rock band just lost our bassist & we are going into the studio in 2 weeks. I play guitar for the band & now I am the replacement bassist for the studio sessions.

    Any advice on constructing good bass lines?? I know I could just stick to the root notes, but I'd like to do a little better. You know, groove a bit. Thanks!

    PS. The band is like a heavier Radiohead, so I don't need any Primus or Chili Peppers training. Driving, alt rock.
  2. sputnik 5

    sputnik 5

    Jan 13, 2004
    Focus on your arpeggios and avoid the 4. Good luck!
  3. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    My best advice is listen to bass players in band that you like (Colin Greenwood is pretty good). Theres nothing wrong with root note, but remeber to work with the drummer. If you don't listen to the drums, you won't sound good.

    Also, if you write anything bordering on complicated, make sure you remeber it so you can teach it to a bassist who joins the band later on.

    Try having a drum and bass jam with the drummer. Did your last bassist not have any lines written for the current songs?

    Above all, play what fits. What fits is totally up to you.
  4. pribb1


    Jul 13, 2004
    Thanks but.. What do you mean by "avoid the 4"?
    Can you give me an example?
  5. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    moved to general instruction, you'll get more hits there.
  6. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Check out the new Incubus album. The new bassist is actually a guitarist (for the Roots) and the bass lines have a nice groove, but overall, the band has a very "driven" sound. Definitely the kind of thing you seem to be talking about.

    What he meant by "avoid the four" was avoid the 4th degree of the scale. For instance, an arpeggio is 1-3-5-8 (right? any corrections) of the major scale. So for a C major scale, it's C-E-G-C, because the C major scale is C(1)-D(2)-E(3)-F(4)-G(5)-A(6)-B(7)-C(8). The 4 would be F.
  7. Silly Guitarist, Bass is for (Insert Word Here)
  8. I'd say keep it focused on the drive. Keep it simple and rocking when its heavy, leave some room between the notes when it's calmer. During those calmer sections you can really get it to groove. By all means, experiment a little with your drummer as has been suggested. But remember what you're going for and don't overcomplicate things or oversimplify things if you see that it doesn't lend itself to the song.
  9. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Bite the bullet, delay the studio time 1-2 weeks if you can, place an ad, and get a real bass player who can come in and learn the stuff quick. You can get a much more experienced player if you're willing to pay some for the date.

    Also, why are you having to write basslines if you're two weeks away from the studio? Why don't you just learn the old bassist's lines?

    Also, the reason I made the first statement has to do with my feelings regarding guitarists turned bassists. In the long run, it's an individual thing and a guitarist can turn into a perfectly fine bassplayer, but most of the time they're simply guitarists playing on a bass. There is a huge difference between the role of the bass and the role of the guitar.