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How to come up with stuff that sounds good while still pertaining to the genre I want?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by KyleTheBassGuy, Dec 7, 2018.

  1. KyleTheBassGuy


    Oct 24, 2018
    So I've been trying to make a few lines after two weeks of playing the bass, and while I get what to do in theory, as I'm trying to make funk stuff, it usually ends up with the two following results:

    A. It sounds way too punk.

    B. It sounds terrible but has elements of funk.

    Need some help, and I can't figure out anything online.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
    Spin Doctor likes this.
  2. Keep at it. Just copy stuff you like that you can actually play. BTW, you have a long way to go. It doesn't happen overnight. It's gonna take maybe 5 years before you start to begin to sound the way you want.
    IamGroot likes this.
  3. Short notes, control with left hand
    Spin Doctor likes this.
  4. Lot of reasons it may sound like you indicate with only the short time you have been playing. Knee to knee with an instructor, or another bassists that can give you instant feed back will get the best results.

    Three lessons will get you started. If you can swing more lessons keep going....
  5. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Welcome to TalkBass Kyle!

    Be patient. Keep exploring randomly while learning theory. Over time, your lines will become more musical, complex, and FUNKY! (Or punky....depending on what you're going for.) ;)
  6. KyleTheBassGuy


    Oct 24, 2018
    Thanks for the advice, guess you need to learn how to talk before trying to run.

    Thanks for the vid, at least it gives me a general idea as to what to go for.
    two fingers likes this.
  7. Badwater


    Jan 12, 2017
    Anything Blues will fit, and if you have the blues, you can make it fit. All forms of modern pop music has the core elements of blues. If you know the blues, you can solo in just about any type of pop music using blues based solo lines. The challenge is learning them, and knowing how the feel in a song, and when is the best time to use it.
  8. Funk is something you feel and experience. James Brown said "it's all about the 1" meaning downbeat. For me I think in terms of the V7 key signature and chords. Example: walking bass line in C7 while chords are G9-Am9 or if u want to be politically correct it would be FM9-Gm7-B♭M7-C6/7. Enjoy.
  9. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    In order to create bass lines in a specific genre convincingly, you need to have a handle on that genre's vocabulary. The best way to do that is to learn as many songs as you can in that genre. The second best way is with method books that outline the genre.

    And give yourself years, not weeks. ;)
  10. From what I know about funk, the key interval is the octave. If you play the root, followed by an octive (down 2 strings, and toward the body 2 frets) that starts a funk line. Heavy Emphasis on the "1". Envelope Filters also go a long way toward the funk sound.
  11. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Exactly this. Other than lessons with a teacher who knows funk, you have to keep listening to funk tunes where you like the bass, and figure out what the bassist is doing. Learn the language if you want to speak it.
  12. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    If you want to get good at pull-ups , do more pull-ups.
    If you wan to get good at funk, play more funk songs.

    Yes there are theory tendencies you can extract
    such as blues scale, dorian, octave riffs
    and a solid grasp of 16th note subdivisions

    But you could create a bass line that meets all theory criteria
    and still not have it sound like funk.

    Because at the end of the day it's a vocabulary issue
    And you need to increase your vocabulary
    By learning more funk tunes.
  13. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Listen to enough Funk that you can make a line with the general feel. Then, listen to something completely different and do with the Funk sensibility. Ask yourself, what if Bootsy had hired Bach to write the Cello suites?
    What if Jim Croce wanted a funk bass for "Time In A Bottle"? What if Santa Claus was "Coming to Funkytown"?

    In other words: you'll not get to any level of originality if you only copy what has been done in the genre you're working in.
  14. A big part of funk in my opinion is octave jumps. Play the root then the Octave (2strings down and 2 frets toward the body of the bass). That jump is a staple of funk music. Come in hard on the 1, then hit the octave. Then usually some blues or pentatonic run involving the 5th (one string above the octave). Usually this makes funk.

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