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I'm falling into a pattern

Discussion in 'Ask Michael Dimin' started by BassPanther, Mar 22, 2003.

  1. I've just recently joined a band...my first band ever actually. After playing with them for a while and learning the songs I've noticed that I'm kinda falling into the 1-3-5 rut that bassists get made fun of for.
    Part of my problem is I'm basically playing the root not of whatever chord he's playing, so all I really know of a song is "E-A-C" or whatever notes I'm supposed to play. I've had a couple of moments where I've thrown something in that sounds good but I have no idea why it's sounding good, compared to when I throw in something that sounds completely off.
    How can I be more conscious of what I can throw into where when playing a song? I've only played Bass for 2 years but I don't want to be boring.
  2. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin Banned SUSPENDED

    Dec 11, 1999
    Every bass line is made up 3 kind of notes:
    Chord Tones
    Scale Tones
    chromatic passing/approach tones

    Chord tones are the indivdual notes of each chord. For example a Gmaj chord is made up of the notes G, B and D.

    Scale tones are the notes from the scale or key that the song is in (or that the chord comes from). This is a bit more tricky as you have to have a decent understanding of chord scales and functional harmony. This is knowing which scales work over which chords and when. There are also times when more than one scale works over a given chord. This subject is really too braod to cover here. You might want to find a good teacher, take a music theory class or get some good books on the subject

    Chromatic passing/approach tones are tones that are neither in the scale nor in the chord. They are used to make a bass line smoother by connecting one chord to another or one note to another.

    Every bass line is a combination of these things. Listen and transcribe other's lines. Try to analyze what those line are doing in relationship to the chord. Find the chord tones, scale tones, and chromatic Tones that are being used and more inportnatly find out HOW they are being used

  3. A good book that introduces those concepts is Ed Friedland's Walking Basslines book. My bass playing changed dramatically after reading it.

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