Help on Basslines/Rhythm

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by light blue bass, Apr 30, 2020.

  1. light blue bass

    light blue bass

    Apr 20, 2020
    I've made some good basslines in the past but a lot of the time I end up sitting down and thinking ok chord tones got it, now scales got it. But when I try putting them together it sounds either random or very repetitive as if I'm just playing scales or arpeggios.

    Also, it's hard but I can't seem to come up with any new rhythm to my songs.
    Anyway, just a case of writer's block anyone has a technique you use when looking for inspiration.
  2. Malcolm35

    Malcolm35 Supporting Member

    If you are playing notes of the chord the time signature has what you need. Yep, the songwriter has decided if the song is to use 3/4, 4/4, 5/8 or 6/8 as the beat rhythm. Don't reinvent the wheel. If you have a drummer let him set the beat and you play to that rhythm.

    Google how to play drums. The basic introduction will give you some things to follow.
  3. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    Try listening closely to the song or piece of music and sing or hum a potential bass line. When you think you have nailed a good one...try playing it on your bass. Sometimes, when thinking chord tones/scales, we can't see the wood for the trees.
  4. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    fearceol has it. That's the answer. When singing a line, you're free from technical constraints of the bass or intrusion from some theoretical expectation. Just sing, its in there.
    Also, keep in mind that every bass line, every melody, every chord progression does not have to be 'the next great thing'. Some of the best music in the pop genre has been made from 3 chords, or a melody that needs the lyric to survive. Think of the song as a whole, not sum of the parts. Think of what you're trying to get out to the audience, not your fellow band mates, or some unknown dude on the other side of the world (who, btw is not waiting for your next bass line to add meaning to his life).
    Let it breathe.
    aiden Fiori likes this.
  5. Bassdirty


    Jul 23, 2010
    Throw your "potential" notes (on scraps of paper) into a hat, Include "spaces" (or no notes) as well.
    Pull em out at random. (each time you pull one, write it down, and then it has to go back in the hat).

    Then throw 1/8, 1/4, 1/16th etc, into a hat.. (same as above)

    Play your new hit song.. okay it may sound sorta random, but it could point you into a direction to get you out of your roadblock.

    aiden Fiori likes this.
  6. There’s 50+ years of good rhythms and bass lines out there in Rock/Top 40 Land to serve as inspiration and to draw from. You can do the same in just two easy steps:
    1. Listen to, and play, the greatest hits of all time.
    2. Do this for three or four decades.
    aiden Fiori likes this.
  7. WestyBassBob


    Mar 2, 2020
    Repetitive isn't a bad thing. Look at "Get Lucky" by Daft Punk. The whole song is basically a couple of ten second clips looped together yet it's totally infectious and was a huge hit.

    Focus more on the groove and how the song makes the listener feel.