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How to create songs on bass?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by marineman227, Sep 20, 2004.

  1. I am trying to get as advanced in all areas on bass as i can before i go out and look for a band real seriously and one thing i am wondering is what process do you guys use to create songs? If it helps any i enjoy punk/ indie music. I can play most songs like that pretty well and i have alot of the technique down but don't really understand how those guys come up with the song starting from nothing. Is there certain chord progressions that just sound good together or what? Thanks for any help guys
  2. SlavaF


    Jul 31, 2002
    Edmonton AB
    Just use your knowledge of theory and play stuff. If you like the way it sounds, then present it to the band. You'd be surprised how fast songs evolve when you have one riff to start off with.

    As for chord progressions, see what sounds good to you. There are some really wierd chord progressions out there that sound susprisingly good, and you don't want to recycle the same old I-IV-V-I progression over and over again. Experiment, and create something new.

    For punk music, there is usually an intro (which is often the chorus riff as well), a verse riff, and some kind of bridge. This is a simplistic way of looking at it, but if you figure out a basic structure for the song, then you can create riffs, and for a basic punk song, you might need 3 riffs tops.

    Also, try to just create music in your head. Like whenever I'm bored (or in class... haha) I just start "composing" in my head. When I get home, I play the riffs on my bass, and maybe record them if I like them. Try to capture the moment, and not forget the good riffs.

    Plus let's face it, punk music isn't particularly ground breaking riff or chord-wise. It's usually pretty simple, but sounds good. So keep that in mind.

    Like on my website, I made up all of those songs (except one cover). Make something up, and the rest will come to you. :bassist:
  3. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    Set aside some time every day to just play whatever comes into your head and record these sessions. Don't try to write anything here, just play. Listen to the recording the next day after you've forgotten what you played and if any of it is any good expand on those ideas and see if any of them turn into songs. Again record EVERYTHING as good ideas that seemed so obvious have a strange way of disappearing as soon as the phone rings or you stub yer toe. This method was passed on to me by a guy who's written a lot on the bass and it's worked for me. Bass is kinda tough to write on but if you can learn some inversions and voicings to outline chords that will really help too.
  4. bige2002

    bige2002 Guest

    Sep 15, 2004
    Milton, West Virginia
    I usually start out playing root notes and once I have that down I try to start throwing in different runs or intervals. I find something I think is good and build on that. Then I ask the band what they thought, and if they like it I keep it and maybe build a bit more. We also record everything and listen afterwards. Later we usually have someone else listen and tell us what sucks, lol.