hearing the bass in music

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by danqi, May 27, 2001.

  1. danqi


    May 21, 2001
    i have been playing the bass for a couple of weeks now and my favorite way to practice is to simply try to play along with my favorite songs. but it is also a very frustrating way since i have serious problems with even hearing the bass many times. and when i can make it out it is very hard for me to recognize the different notes that are being played, this gets even harder when i am playing along. i prefer rock/hardrock/metal but i also listen to many other kinds of music.
    could you tell me some songs where the bass is clearly hearable and not too difficult to play? iron maiden for example has a well produced distinctive bass but steve harris plays just too fast and too complex stuff for me to follow most of the times. it is about the same with the RHCP.

  2. Scott Cutrer

    Scott Cutrer Guest

    Aug 21, 2000
    Richmond, VA
    Welcom to the bass world, maybe try some Van Halen or ZZ Top
  3. MWJ

    MWJ Guest

    May 27, 2001
    Trophy Club, TX
    If you have been playing for two weeks, you are way over your head with RHCP. A few you might pull bass tablature on are:

    "Sunshine of Your Love"
    "White Room"
    "Tales of Brave Ulysses"
    "Iron Man"
    "Nativity in Black"
    "Whole Lotta Love"
    "You Really Got Me Now"
    "Down in a Hole"

    They are easy to play with! Good luck and happy plucking!

  4. danqi


    May 21, 2001
    cool, i got all the tabs for the songs. now i just need to get all the songs themselves.


    Apr 13, 2001
    Kent, England.
    Try some Greenday...
    Anything off the "warning" album or "dookie".
    "Longview" has a very cool sounding walking line to get you started.

    Also; Some of the bass lines on "californication" by the chilli peppers are quite easy, try "californication" "road trippin" etc.
  6. After u play bass for a while, you'll be able to pick out basslines better.
    Rock on
  7. MWJ

    MWJ Guest

    May 27, 2001
    Trophy Club, TX
    Anytime, buddy! Good luck
  8. ToolChick

    ToolChick Guest

    May 26, 2001
    Sacramento, California
    If it helps, 46&2 (off the Aenima CD by Tool) has a really clear bassline, and it was the first song i ever learned on my bass. I'm not sure what level you're at, but you might have to practice a little to get it up to the speed on the CD.
  9. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    It may not be what you want to hear, but diligent practice in theory (scales and arpreggios, harmonies), along with continuous playing, and listening to a lot of music, will really help develop this skill. It is a skill, and it must be developed, but it won't come overnight. Keep playing, and playing with a sound objective, and you'll get there. My problem is now it's hard to hear much else except the bass! :)
  10. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    Nirvana-Smells Like Teen Spirit is a really easy song where the bass is fairly noticable. It has to be easy since i taught my sister [never played bass before] how to play it in bout 10 mins. thats all
  11. Wow! I thought I was the only one with that problem....Is it selective hearing?
  12. danqi


    May 21, 2001
    thanx to all of you.
    i am gonna practice on till my experience of music is as f****d up as the ones of jazzbo and christos :).
    by the way, what exactly are harmonies?
    an arpreggio is just a chord played note by note, right?
  13. sn0wblind


    Apr 20, 2000
    Ontario, Canada

    ....Speaking of Tool( tho I'm not a huge fan) get "Schism" the bass in that is sooooooo friggin' awesome......
    and learn "Rapper's Delight" by the Sugarhill Gang........
    "Crazy Train" by the Ozzman is great!!!!!!
    King Nothing-Metallica
    My Friend Of Misery- Metallica
    The God That Failed- Metallica
    Pea-RHCP(bass solo, and f***ing hilarious!!!)
  14. Try some old Korn. The bass really comes out on a count of the style fieldy plays.
  15. I say anything by nirvana pretty much. especialy with Smells Like Teen Spirit, you can actuly hear the bass, so its better. Also, look into Sliver, it has a bass intro, and its catchy too. (I learned that riff after a month of playing, yet 2 1/2 years later, still use it as one of my "mess around" riffs.
  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I always had this from the time I first started listening to music - no matter what it was - Motown or Bach's Magnificat - I was always listening to the bass part.

    I remember first going to "Discos" and listening to the basslines all night, while my friends were standing around bored out of their minds.

    I always figured then, that this was the reason I should be a bass player and that people who heard other stuff first, took up that instrument.
  17. You mean this isn't the norm? I suppose some people are more receptive to low frequencies than others. I am the same way too, except that I can tune into any one instrument (not just bass) and shut all others off. I'm sure most of you can too, and take it for granted that everyone is that way. But you'ld be surprised at how many people cannot distinguish (nor separate) the sound of a particular instrument in a tune/song. Anyway... straying off topic so I'll stop the yadda.
  18. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Yeah - I know loads of people who just hear an aural "mush"! :rolleyes: My girlfriend always hears lyrics first and goes on to me about particular lyrics and I've just never heard them at all! I'm usually listening to sounds - mostly the bass line as I say; but otherwise it'll be things like the type of reverb or layering of sounds and production.

    When I was doing a lot of home recording - I was always listening for the production techniques used.

    But I think the first thing I noticed in music I liked was basslines and I was singing bass in the choir and loved being the bottom note in chords/harmonies - so I always thought that this was the way it worked. If you heard bass then you chose to play it. I imagined that people who played Tenor Sax for example, heard this as their "voice" or the part of the audio spectrum that they most identified with.


    Apr 13, 2001
    Kent, England.
    Bofore I started playing bass I never really noticed any particular component of the music I heard. But then, I didn't choose to take up bass guitar... I was forced! :eek:
  20. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well - this is what I meant - those who really "hear" bass are willing volunteers! ;)