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I have a question and a statement

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by soundgardenis, Oct 9, 2010.

  1. soundgardenis


    Oct 4, 2010
    First off I would like to say that I no longer feel bad that I can't find a band because I've discovered a really cool band that basically consist of one member. No its not prince. Nine Inch Nails. This guy also comes from a small crappy depressing boring Pennsylvania town much like myself.

    I was wondering if you guys play other peoples songs when you pick up the bass guitar? Do you play along with records? Or do you write your own material. The reason I ask is this.

    For a long time I played along with peoples records. For some reason I never even really attempted to write my own stuff until I saw an interview with Buzz Osborne and he said, "If you pick up a guitar and you don't write songs your a dufus." And this got me thinking. Then I read an interview where Tool's bassist says if you pick up a bass you should write your own licks.

    So I started to write my own licks and stuff and for the first few weeks it was really simple punk rock stuff and it still is for the most part but my stuff is beginning to develop a little more. I have the philosophy that bass lines should be simple and create a solid foundation and not dance around on top of the music for the most part. I probably have this philosophy because I can't dance around even if I tried. Well anyway I must say its much more liberating to just pick up my bass and not have to follow any certain order. I really want to start my own band consisting of myself and record all the parts without any vocals. Now when I try to play along with other peoples tunes it really frustrates me. I feel detained. I wanna break my rusty cage not run and cower like a dumb monkey inside of it.
  2. GianGian


    May 16, 2008
    I have never liked to play along with records, but I sure play others people's songs when I pick up the bass. I play and sing usually. It is fun.
    I also write a lot of songs. I can play a lot of instruments and sing, so I basically am a one man band. I write stuff and record it, simple as that.
    Playing covers has its value, just like playing originals. And your are not a dufus if you are a performer and not a composer. Everybody can be happy with music (not financially though).
  3. soundgardenis


    Oct 4, 2010
    Thats great man. Good for you.

    I'm at the point where I'm 20 years old. I have no idea where I'll be living tomorrow. I'm on the brink of becoming homeless. I suppose in a way I don't have a home. Lately I've just been feeling so insecure as a bass player. I'm an average bass player. I'm no Victor Wooden or anything. I'm just simply average. So I have a hard time playing a lot of the records I listen too correctly. I have no other choice but to play my own stuff.
  4. GianGian


    May 16, 2008
    That's sad. I am 20 too, but I do have a good family and a good house. For how long have you been playing? You will surely become a better player if you start taking lessons, practising more, exploring the instrument in different ways.
    It is great to write your own stuff and to improvise, but I feel that there is no substitute for learning other people's songs.
    I am only able to write my own material because I have learned a lot of songs, I have heard a lot of songs, and I still do. Even the greatest musicians and composers ever have learned the craft from somebody else. You can't simply throw thousands of years of musical tradition and "start over on your own".
    Keep practising and may God bless you and help you with whatever problems you have.
  5. somegeezer


    Oct 1, 2009
    What is wrong with playing music without writing it? Not everyone is great at writing. Some people aren't good at the performing. You'll see a lot of bands that play music, but the composer isn't even in the band. I do play along to songs and find a lot of tabs to read and play through. It certainly helps when I try and create riffs and such, but I'd definitely leave the main songwriting to my guitarist. Even though I'm playing in a band, i would love to write and record my own solo music too. I can play a few instruments and it could help my composing by giving it a kick up the bum.
  6. soundgardenis


    Oct 4, 2010
    Thanks man I appreciate it. Its partially my own fault for making stupid decisions over the years but my family is strange and likes to blame me for everything. I've had a rough upbringing.

    I practice alot and I can play some cool licks but I feel like I havn't really developed much at all. I've been playing bass for about 3 years.

    Good luck with your playing man.

    Buzz says some interesting stuff sometimes.
  7. Epitaph04

    Epitaph04 Always overcompensating Supporting Member

    Jul 5, 2010
    I've been playing drums for about 4 years now, bass for about 1 year, and honestly, I have a blast playing along to records and learning how to play other artists' music.

    I have come up with riffs of my own, and I do noodle around every now and then, but I honestly just prefer to play stuff that's already there. I have a blast doing that, especially with other people. Maybe down the line I'll start writing my own actual stuff, but for now, I am totally fine learning to play "pre-existing" songs.
  8. puddin tame

    puddin tame

    Aug 14, 2010
    80% of my solo bass time is just me improvising with or without a looper. just play whatever sounds good, then if its really good I record it and write it into something later

    other than that i'll learn a cover line if I have to play a cover for something, or if it's something cool like norweigian wood just for fun/to show off if someone gives me the "YOU PLAY BASS LOL PLAY ME SOMETHING"
  9. You may play along with records strictly playing what the bass player is doing. Or write your own stuff. But there is a third way: improvising over other peoples stuff. Don't just cover it, pimp it. Make it your own version at the least.
    It greatly helps to develop your talents. No need to say many great players built quite a career on this.
  10. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    IMHO the purpose of learning other peoples music is to learn from it.
    Don't just mimic the bass line. Identify the chords, the chord tones, the passing notes, teh rhythm and ask yourself why the bassist may have chose those notes. transpose the part to a new key. try to apply a riff from song A to part of song B. Every bass line you learn should be anylized and broken apart into tools for your own box.

    People who develop their "own sound" in a vaccum without learning from and working with others generally don't get far, musically speaking.
  11. Psycho


    Jun 24, 2008
    I feel you man.

    Due to a stroke, my motor skills and muscle memory are ****, to say the least. I cannot for the life of me remember even a measure of a bass line to a song unless I play it in tempo and such for 5 minutes.

    So, I use what I already know, as in what i've made myself. Some it seems rip-off-ish, some of it is entirely me noodling, then realizing how much I like what I just played and then rolling with it.

    You get a feel for more than just someone's work by doing that, but you get a feel for you. How you musically think, and how you naturally play, your "style" techniques, and your faults.
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    Primary TB Assistant

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