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help in writing songs

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by bass element, Jul 7, 2004.

  1. hey guys,
    usually when im playing songs or jamming, i like to come up with the bassline first then let the guitar kick in after that. however, wut id like to b able to accomplish is being able to let the guitar and drums start then i can come in with my basslines. but i dont want the basslines to be no-talent root note lines. i like to play intricately and add spice to them and make them jazzy. thanx for the help.
  2. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    I don't understand what your question is.. o_0
  3. i just wanna be able to come up with lines while jamming after the guitar and drums have already started. sry about my bad writing lol....
  4. um...just do it. there is no real tip i can think of to help you write a bass line while jamming. just listen to the guitar and drums and figure out a good, usable bass part. :)
  5. HiFi


    Apr 20, 2002
    Anaheim, CA
    I always want to learn what the guitar and drums are doing. I usually learn the guitar part and use it as a "base". I take that 'base' and get a feel for the song; trying to hear the song and a bass line in my mind.

    I often think of an idea during a jam and incorporate it. I also try and lock into the drum beat and use it to determine where my notes should go for the most part. I always have the root notes to fall back on if I haven't created my own bass line for a song but I constantly find myself adding more layers as I become more acquainted with a song.

    The better you know a song, and those root notes, the more you will be able add or subtract to create the best bass line. Fanciful playing doesn't always yielded the best results. I don't like playing simply root notes either but to call it no talent is a mistake. Some of the best bassists can make root notes sound better than the most intricate pieces if it fits the song.
  6. jbass


    Mar 22, 2004
    You must first study the chord structure then figure out the groove you want. You can then insert arpeggios for the walking bass line. Most importantly, don't overdo it in one song. You might think of improvements later, but then you may do it into a new song.

    Jake D.
  7. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    You need to be insane in order to come up with songs.. It's odd but true.. You hear a little ditty in your head, and you play it. Playing an instrument isn't about playing other people's songs, it's about getting the stuff in your head out of your fingers, into the bass, out the amp, and into other people's ears.
  8. Just becuase root note lines my not sound exciting or full on, often they are all that is required for the song.
    You have to play what sounds good with the song the write feel. Its not all about playing heaps of notes really fast.
  9. Limo


    Sep 22, 2002
    Reykjavik Iceland
    I dig what your saying, check out a band called Rush with Geddy Lee on bass.
    But to answer your question: Learn the root notes on the guitar and find out the thirds and the fifths, if your guitar player is more experianced then you in music theory ask him what the thirds and fifths are. After that find out what key the song is, if it's for example in the key of G you have the G major scale as a referance. So if the chord progression is maybe G, D, C, and want to make walking bass line you can simply walk up the G major scale. Like the song "I'll be coming home next year" by Foo Fighters.

    Hope this helps:)
  10. hey thanx guys. i didnt mean to make root notes sound lame or unimportant or anything. i just wanted to find a way to build off of them to make the music a little more fun for me to play. thanx for the help! :D
  11. Learning the chord structure of the song, and the voicing of each chord (whether it be a major, minor, 7th, diminshed, etc) will really help you add extra notes if you want to get away from the root. You will need to learn what scales and modes accompany each type of chord. Once you get that, the sky is the limit. Hell, even after you learn the rules, you will find that they can be broken and still work for the song.

    The key is anchoring the song--what I mean here is doing what is best for the song. I tend to let my ego take over and I start overplaying. Sometimes simplicity and placing the notes in the right spot are the most beautiful thing about playing bass. Let you ear and your feel for the groove take over.
  12. SlavaF


    Jul 31, 2002
    Edmonton AB

    YES! Listening to Rush was THE biggest help to me in creating interesting basslines. I knew my scales and modes pretty well before I heard them, but I never really used them to their potential in my playing, I just stuck to playing a simple foundation... not that this didn't fit the song, but I can come up with lines that are complex but fit the song too. I'd definitely reccomend listening to Rush.

    Other than that, know your scales and modes inside out, so you're comfortable within the modes you guys are playing in. Usually, any note in the mode will sound OK, but you want to know which notes will sound good and which ones (probably) won't.
  13. loobahood8b


    Jul 13, 2004
    figure out the scale and key everyone else is jammin in and just come in from there and improv, playing with ure eyes closed will help u run the scale more naturally if ure comfortable with the bass enough, but that's what it comes down to is just bein aware of the beat and knowin how to run that scale, which will always come naturally with enough time
  14. dr_Fud


    Jun 27, 2004
    well, im not that experienced of a bassist, ive only been at it for proboly 3 years, but my only suggestion to you, is not only to play the root notes, play all the other notes in that same chord as the guitar is, such as if hes playing a GM you can kick in a random D or B, just get used to the chords that their using and just experiment with it, keep the 5ths and 7ths in mind, they help a lot. hope i helped :bassist: rock on!
  15. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    This isn't a Technique related issue, so I'm sending this off to General Instruction. Good luck! Write when you get work!
  16. thanx guys! I appreciate the help and support!