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Improvisation and writing basslines from scratch

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Fassa Albrecht, Mar 18, 2008.

  1. I want to start writing basslines from scratch and also improv from said basslines.

    How should I approach doing this?
  2. BillyRay

    BillyRay Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    1) Practice your ear, if you have perfect pitch, skip this.
    2) Learn music theory
    3) Transcribe basslines from your favourite genres/players/songs
    5) Success !
  3. AlphaMale


    Oct 30, 2006
    Ventura County
    AlphaMale's to instant beginner bassline success:
    Know what scale the song is in(the key)
    Play it consistently every down beat or Every other down beat.
    All the other notes you play should be somewhere on the scale.

    Scale Guide:
    Funky= Minor Pentatonic Scale
    Blues = Blues Scale
    Traditional/Folk = Major Scale
    Happy sounding = Scale
    Sad = Minor Scale
    Metal = Minor Scale
    Punk = Scale
    Gospel = Minor Pentatonic or Major Scale

    Best way to know what scale to use is to play around on them and figure out if it gives you the sound you want.
  4. DocBop


    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Make sure you know the chord progression it will tell you what key or keys the song is in. The chord tones are your basic notes to start with. Need more notes then use the appropriate scale for the the chord or key. Then sit and write a bass line, sing if you can't write music and transcribe what you sing. Now pickup your bass and see what it sound like. Work on it till you like it. Try to understand what you like and don't like about the line. What notes you like and didn't like, what rhythms very important what notes working on what beats.

    You're done with that piece of music, now do that a few hundred times more.
  5. One thing, other than the above have mentioned, is I take a song and listen to it over and over again. I listen to the bass line intentively, and then try to see what the bassist is doing. After a while I try to play along. As I get to know the bass line try other stuff like soloing over the bass line, slapping a little, and try to harmonize with the line, etc. This is something that I do ON TOP of learning theory and ear training. Stuff like this will help you out as you learn theory and ear training. It's just a little something that gets me along.
  6. DeRoy


    Jul 21, 2006
    Fort Worth
    Try looking at some of the bass lines you've learned and notice how they tend to follow the chord changes and key of the song. Look at how that bass player put together his chosen notes based on an appropriate scale for the chord of the moment and how those notes fit within the groove and melody of the song. Do this a lot with different songs. Pay attention to what the bassist is doing rather than just memorize their bass line. You'll get all kinds of ideas that you can use when you create your own.
  7. Bassist4Life


    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    How many bass lines have you transcribed? This can give you some great ideas on how to approach different chord progressions.


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