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How to learn Solo Bass Techniques n Theory?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by FunkQueen, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. FunkQueen


    Aug 23, 2007
    I am mainly a singer/songwriter.
    I can play many techniques like slap/pop/tap, arpeggios etc...
    I try to write chord progressions with walkin bass notes at the bottom while singing. Adding little riffs and changin chords then tapping and coming back to the main chords etc...
    (Nathan Hughes - Seth Horan style)
    My harmony - fretboard knowledge is weak.
    I already study them right now bUT I need tricks and tips to learn how to write 2 or 3 note chords in a row on bass?
    and little riffs- taps in between.....
    Or can u suggest me any good books or dvds?
    What kind of knowledge should be my main concern in order to play the bass like a singer who plays rhythm guitar lets say?
  2. FunkQueen


    Aug 23, 2007
    Because each time i find a chord, they mostly sound the same
    or i play mostly same kind of stuff so i am stucked....
    Am I stucked because i have only 4 n 5 strings?
    I sing the same time so horizontal finger movement desired by bass guitar is tougher while singing....
    6 string would save me?
  3. OK lets see what we can do.
    1. Do you write lead sheet or do you write both treble and bass cleft?
    2. I think you are referring to what I call echo melody. Melodic riffs that echo the vocalist. If so borrow from your treble cleft. O'h when the saints -- O'h when the saints -- Go marching in. -- marching in.
    3. Chords are needed to harmonize the melody. When the chord no longer has melody notes in it -- when the melody moves on to notes not found in the old chord -- you have to do something to bring back harmonization. This is normally done by adding an extension (the harmonizing note) or inserting a new chord. So again look to your melody line. Now if the old chord is still harmonizing the melody it's still doing it's job -- why change to a new one. Your chold line will start competing with your melody line. Then there is the issue of moving the verse along from rest to tension to climax and return to rest so a new verse can be inserted. That a study in itself.
    4. Chromatic runs to the next chord.
    5. An understanding of how to compose bass lines. How to work with fake chord (or lead sheet) and improvise the bass line needed.
    6. Taking the chord tones 1-3-5-7 and then using those notes for the bass line. Just roots may be enough, R-5-R-5 or R-3-5-8 may be called for. Several good books on this out there.

    What I think you are looking for deals with how to harmonize the melody line (tune) Several good books on this also.

    If this is any where close to what you want. Come back and we can get specific.

    Good luck.
  4. FunkQueen


    Aug 23, 2007
    Hmm thanx for some nice info. I ll give a rough example just to give an idea :
    Lets imagine Jimi HEndrix who plays his song called "Hey Joe".
    He plays chords, adds little riffs in between and sings. ;(of course no slap/tap here but u get the idea)
    Now lets imagine someone who does this with a bass guitar.
    He/She plays chords,riffs,taps,slaps while singing the main melody like a real singer.
    I want to be able to WRITE n PLAY nice chord progressions on bass and many riffs along with it with diff techniques involved and always start well then gets stucked after first verse... Songs to perform solo : Just me n my bass.....

    I dont use any paper - I just grab the bass and write by ear.
    I write the singing melody while findin chords on bass so the instrument is my leader i guess..:)
  5. 1. Most vocalists that also play accompaniment on their guitar will play only chords while they sing. With the bass, as we do not strum, this becomes a little harder. Rhythm guitar's chord progression can be put on auto pilot not so much with the bass. Now roots only normally will be enough. Your voice providing the melody and your instrument providing the accompaniment (chord work). Now to the riffs, taps, slaps, etc. Too much of this will get in the way of the vocal so --- things like that are feel things, i.e. color stuff. Color stuff comes in the fleshing out process. Get the structure in the first draft, plenty of time in the fleshing out process for riffs, taps, slaps, etc. In comping less is more, you do not want your riffs, taps, slaps etc. competing with your melody. Interesting thought - most "just me and my instrument" The me provides the vocal and the instrument provides the harmony. Bass normally provides the beat/groove - the bottom end - rhythm. It's just you - how are you going to provide the harmony for your vocal? Arpeggio or pentatonic perhaps. Something to think about. When it's just me singing and my instrument is backing up my vocals my instrument of choice is a rhythm guitar or a keyboard. Might get some ideas from Sir Paul. http://www.rhythmstrummer.com/wordpress/2010/03/07/paulmccartney-teaches-a-bass-lesson/ Yes singing and playing a bass line, with no one providing harmony, is something you will have to work at. Check this out.

    Keep it simple right at first - write a first draft that flows together, then flesh it out with all those riffs, taps, etc. you are wanting. Get the structure first add the color in the fleshing out process.

    Good luck.

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