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HELP, NEED TO GET AWAY WITH DULL SOUND

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by TheDecline, Apr 11, 2006.


  1. TheDecline

    TheDecline

    Mar 9, 2006
    alright, i have been playing bass on and off for the past couple years, i took lessons in the beginning for a shortwhile, right now i joined a band. we sound pretty good, but i think the bass is kind of dull, i usually (when playing along such as less than jake, who really like to move around on the fret board) find it sounding better when there is less strumming on the bass for instance

    right now a song would sound like this

    0000000-88888888-55555555-3333-5555

    my problem is, its easy to strum on the bass, but does not give the song what it could get, so how would i make the song sounding better while playing on the right scales, another problem i have (i guess you with experience) is i will sound something out in my head, and when i figure out how to play it, it doesnt sound as good

    Thanks,
    Dylan
     
  2. SolidFoundation

    SolidFoundation

    Apr 7, 2006
    What kind of sound are you after? If you mean your tone is dull try a nice set of strings. I tried a set of DRs because I'd heard they were so great, but never wanted to spend the extra $5 or $10. I finally did and was amazed at how different they sound from what I had been using.

    If you're talking about what notes to play, then I can offer this advice: Keep it simple. Go for groove over flash. However, a "simple" line can really be spiced-up by giving it an interesting rhythm. Stick with chord tones and eventually you can try other tones, but let your bandmates feel like they're standing on a solid bassline and you wind-up sounding good because the band sounds good.

    At least that's my take on it.
     
  3. shaggysivirus

    shaggysivirus

    Feb 19, 2006
    Yep, a decent set of strings would do you justice. I changed the standard strings on my Peavey, which after a time sounded very dull, to RotoSound strings which gave a nice, bright tone, ideal for strumming and the exact tone I was after.
     
  4. bannedwit

    bannedwit

    May 9, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    Given the fact that you are playing those notes on the E string here is what help I can offer you. (I am assuming these are simple power chords also)

    You bass line progression goes:
    E to C to A to G to A.

    Now not knowing any other parts means that this song could be in a couple different keys...
    Since there are no sharps or flats in this particular riff. It could be a couple different keys.
    Notes for the power chords are below
    Swap the closest note to the minor note if it is a minor chord the guitar players are playing
    root = (1) then (3) and (5) chords respectively. The minor is just the (3 - flat)

    E = (E)(G#/Ab)(B) (G if minor)
    C = (C)(E)(G) (D#/Eb if minor)
    A = (A)(C#Db)(E) (C if minor)
    G = (G)(B)(D) (A#/Bb if minor)

    These are notes the guitar players are probably ringing out when they are strumming.

    Do something where you accent these chords and maybe when you find out what key it is in, do some to help define the key you are in.

    Simple example would be
    G||-------------------------------------------------------
    D||-------------------------------------------------------
    A||------------3333-----------------------2255-----------
    E||-00000000-------0033--55555555--3333------55553333-

    That is with me playing the notes of the chord on their stuff making little bass lines. DISCALIMER: I have no bass in front of me at the time i wrote this and have no idea about the song at all so this may sound like crap but it can give you an idea of researching stuff and playing entirely different notes in there...
    Those little runs can spice up bland bass lines however
     
  5. Not sure if you mean dull as in "not bright" sounding, or dull as in "unexciting/boring."

    For problem 1, tone controls, new/different strings, or lastly new gear should do the trick.

    For problem 2, well, it ain't quite as easy. Basically, that is "how to be a better bassist!"

    Of course rule #1 is practice.

    After that, you could try not just playing straight eighths or sixteenths or whatever.

    Use long notes and short notes, let some notes sustain, clip some notes short, and also leave some space here and there.

    In a nutshell, rhythmic variety.

    Also, you needn't always play the root note and only the root note that the guitar is playing.

    You'll be surprised how much mileage you can get out of using the old root-fifth-octave.
     
  6. chaosMK

    chaosMK

    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    New strings, fretting notes closer to the nut, locking in with the bass drum.

    If you learn scales and a bit of theory, you can spice up the bass lines quite a bit. Listen to sicker music and see what the bassist does.
     

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