HELP, I can't make a good bass line.

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by Waffleman, Jun 19, 2001.

  1. Waffleman


    Jun 15, 2001
    McCook NE
    I'm a fairly new bass player, and most of the time I'm having a lot of trouble coming up with good bass lines... Right now about all I can do is root/octave patterns or root/fifth patterns, and it's getting really dull. How do you come up with the counter-melody like bass lines that characterize funk? How do you come up with anything cool like that?
  2. Noodle until you trip over something cool.
  3. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    HI Waffleman,

    the best route into Funk is to learn classic lines - theory-wise it's not that complex, often just two chords alternating, but the bass lines often lead between the chords in certain set ways. Have a listen to Herbie Hancock's 'Headhunters' album for some great lines that shouldn't be too hard to work out, and anything by Chic. You'll soon find that many of the lines are based on Pentatonic patterns, with chromatic walk-ups, but it's best to start by learning some classic lines and see what trends you can pick up that happen in lots of tunes...

    have fun!