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how to build good pop rock lines?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by xcental34x, Jul 19, 2004.

  1. xcental34x


    Feb 28, 2003
    Memphrica, TN
    I've played for about two and a half years, and recently started playing with a pop rock band. Its straight up rock, and I'm playing with a pick. The music seems to only require simple progressions, maybe a different rhythm here and there. I'm getting worried that my lines leave something to be desired. I pretty much follow the guitarist's notes, and i lock into the kick and snare. Can anyone give some advice to writing good lines. I've tried listening to other pick players like Mike Hererra from MxPx, and I just feel like I'm ripping off whatever I do come up with. I'm wanting something more than just 4 note punk progressions, but when I think I come up with something, my guitarist wanders what I'm not doing, playing with same note as him, or I feel like the line doesn't fit in, or I get lost in the improvisation. We go through practice fairly fast, mostly focussing on getting drum and guitar parts right. Any help?

  2. Corwin81


    Mar 18, 2003
    Ames, IA
    I'm in a pop rock band, but instead of following the roots, I'll go melodic quite a bit. Biggest influences are Geddy, Patrick Dahlheimer, Tom Scholz(he actually recorded the bass on Boston albums, didn't he?), and Leon Wilkeson. I may follow the root initially, to get a feel for the song, but then I start adding notes.
    A good way to come up with lines would be to have the guitarist and drummer record scratch demos of the songs and you can listen to it and form basslines in your head. When something sticks in your head, give it a try. Some of my basslines are based on what I've been humming in my head.
  3. kaboom133


    Oct 19, 2001
    Latrobe PA
    Listen to Sugar Ray for some ideas. They're a pop rock band, but the bassist still grooves his butt off. It's amazing.
  4. nathan


    Jul 16, 2004
    You just gotta let it go dude. Don't think about using scales or modes. just get a feel for the song, relax, and start playing what you think will sound good. Not many people at all can think of a good bassline to a song the first time they hear it.
  5. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    The easiest way to create an intersting and effective b'line is to outline the chord progression of the song. To do this you need to know what the chords are, what notes are in each of the chords being played - this gives you plenty of options and ways of moving from one chrod ot the next. The easiest root to this is to learn some basic at chord and scale theory. It so happens that jazzbo's article here on TB (look under lessons) is a very good start point.

    I can guarantee that if you read jazzbos article slowly, learn it all precisely, and dont skip or rush any parts of it, it will make it a lot easier to hear and create more intersting basslines on the spot. :)

    It will take time for the theory to fully sink in and become 'second nature', and you might feel a bit mechanical to start with using a load theory.. but it will get there and it will make you a better player :)
  6. nathan


    Jul 16, 2004
    Can you put a link to jazzbos thing up?
  7. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
  8. tim99

    tim99 Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2003
  9. Matt Call

    Matt Call Supporting Member

    Aug 1, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    OK, this may sound odd, but bear with me.

    Try practicing without a drummer once or twice. The band I'm in hasn't had a drummer for a few months. As much as that sucks, it has helped us to really develop our music. It gives you a chance to experiment with different ideas. Anyway, it's just an idea. The band I'm in has had a lot of compliments on how tight we are even without a drummer. It may be due to wierd things like this, may just be a fluke, but who really knows. Just try it one time and see what happens.

    Keep on rippin'
  10. one thing that works for me...record the song and just play the roots. then listen to it over and over for several days - you'll begin to get ideas for melodies that compliment the rhythm and the changes.