Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

How do I?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by kudzukid, Jan 18, 2005.


  1. kudzukid

    kudzukid

    Jan 18, 2005
    I'm still a rookie bassist, but I've been playing for a few months with a rock guitarist and drummer on some of the guitarist's original songs. Most (OK, all) of his songs are major chords. He doesn't know much about music -- like what key the song is in, for example. I've pretty much settled on simply following his chords, but I'd like to vary things a bit. Any suggestions? Forgive me if this post sounds simplistic. I'm new at the bass.
     
  2. try writing down the chord changes for a couple of his songs -- then, at home with your metronome (you *do* own a metronome, right? ;)), work out a suitable bassline. Choose notes that lead into the following chord.
     
  3. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    learn the scales , both major and minor, and their arpeggios, in all 12 keys inside and out, while you're learning those also take the time to learn chord construction.

    Scales and chord construction go hand in hand with each other. The chords are built off the scale tones. By learning these two things you will have a firm grasp of the notes and intervals of the scale and specifics of the chords being played, this in turn will allow you to be a more competent bassist and be able to lay down a functional bass line; because you'll be able to hear the chords better, which will allow you to play better lines.
     
  4. tim99

    tim99 Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2003
    It is possible that all his chords are correctly major because they are I and IV and V chords. Or, he may not even be using a third and just playing 1-5-8 power chords. You and this guitar player need to learn diatonic chord construction. You need to learn that the sequence of chords in any key are maj min min maj maj min dim.

    Take some music theory/song writing lessons together where someone teaches you diatonic harmony and chord progression on a keyboard. You do not have to own a keyboard, and the teacher can be a trumpet player or sax player or piano player etc. Ask around for a good music theory teacher.

    Learn the guitar fretboard well enough so that you can look at what the guitar player is actually playing and so you do not have to take his word for what chord he is playing. He may say he is playing C major, but actually be playing C5.

    How do I?

    You use your ears. You try something and see how it sounds. Strive to play the song differently every time. After a few months of playing the same song over and over something will happen to your ears and your fingers and your playing that become the bassline for that song.

    If you are not learning music theory, and not working out learning other people's songs in the style you want to play, and if you are not willing to play one song over and over and over...you are gonna...not sound too good.

    tim99.
     
  5. tim99

    tim99 Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2003
    Oh. Welcome to talkbass.

    This is a great place to learn this stuff.

    You will often not get the answers you expected here. We will not help you build a bassline. We will tell you
    what you need to learn to be able to. It is great that you are striving to get better, and great that you are frustrated. Because that means that hopefully you are ready to do some hard work.

    Hop into the general instruction forum and read every thread there. Take notes. Learn to use the Search feature to look for more info on the topics brought up that you do not understand. Use "and" to find specific threads. For example, search for "diatonic and scales".

    Every bass player that you read about that did not learn x and y and z about the bass has better ears than you or I do. They actually do not need to be able to express in english what they are doing because they can play it. Do not think that this means that we can get away with that. On the other side, do not think that music theory is some type of golden path whereby all things become clear. You still gotta play it. You still gotta hear it.

    tim99.
     
  6. tim99

    tim99 Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2003
    Your goal is to hear a good line in your head before you play it, instead of hear a bad line in your ears after you play it. Grin.

    There are some books with cd.

    Building Rock Bass Lines

    Rock Bass Basics

    Blues Bass Basics

    Rock Bass Lines

    Go here:

    http://www.bassbooks.com/home.asp

    tim99.
     
  7. tim99

    tim99 Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2003
    So...what if your guitar player claims to be creative and does not want to be "limited" by proper chord construction?

    Tell him all the greats learned the rules before they figuired out how to break them.

    Tell him it is ok with you if he sounds bad, but you don't want to.

    tim99.

    I really am done for tonight.
     
  8. kudzukid

    kudzukid

    Jan 18, 2005
    THIS one nails it, I think. All other advice taken aboard, and that's what I'm working for now. I guess my frustration is (a) I'm trying to learn to be a musician first, then a band member and (b) my guitar is trying to do the opposite. Hey, who was saying that playing bass is easy???