How to level up

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Sapatown, Feb 7, 2021.

  1. Sapatown


    Sep 16, 2016

    So Im in a great threepice original rock/metal band.
    The all three of us have been inspired and hugley influenced by different bands and
    I feel like I am not so good at playing bass, and are probably the weakest link in the band when it comes to my instrument. I have played for 8 years, I feel like I have reached a platau in my skill level.
    I can come up with simple ideas for a riff thats good sometimes, I also plays tight rythm with the drummer.

    When we make songs, I usually follow the guitar alot, but I really want to be better at having my own basslines underneath.. Its like I don't know which scales or modulations even triads fits to a riff. The last months, I have noticed that when I sit and play at home I have gotten alittle better, but not much.

    How do can I practice to get better at this?
    What do you do?
    How can I get out of my habits of playing, and just play it safe, following the guitar...?

    We even released an album in 2019, and are onto our next album right now!
    Plus gigging, so I feel like I need to step it up.

  2. Two things helped me:
    1. listening and playing to all the top hits for a few decades—so I really had a handle on the styles, and
    2. learning music theory--so I know which scales and chords to play.
  3. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    bass lines outline chord progressions in a stylistically appropriate rhythm ( more details in this post. )
    realize that even in guitar based riff-rock, that riff is outlining a chord or chord progression of some kind.

    for a lot of rock / metal simply pounding out steady 8th or 16 notes on the root is a useful start, or roots to the rhythm of the riff. Then find other notes from the chord tones of the implied harmony, or stealing bits of the guitar riff.
    Sapatown likes this.
  4. Malcolm1935


    Feb 5, 2021
    To the OP --- follow the chords and play notes of the chord. Cmaj7 coming up. It's spellings is R-3-5-7. Draw your bass line from those notes. The R and 5 may be all you need. G7 coming up, it's spelling is R-3-5-b7. Draw your bass line from those notes. As the G7 is the dominant chord the b7 would/should fit in your note selection nicely.

    Follow the chords and play notes of the active chord -- to the beat the drummer is laying down.

    Google can find the chord progression for just about any song you want if you use these search words; chords, name of the song.

    Happy trails.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2021
    Sapatown and mambo4 like this.
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