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Makes You Want to Get Up and Dance

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by still laughing, Aug 1, 2005.

  1. still laughing

    still laughing

    Jul 11, 2005
    You all know the type of tune, the one that if you aren't tapping your foot to it, you're probably dead. Music that makes you want to just jump and start dancing. What specific qualities make music like that? Are certain scales typically used? Does the rhythm just have a lot of syncopation? I'm just trying to make my music more effective for dancing.
  2. Coward Of Reali

    Coward Of Reali

    Oct 13, 2003
    Listen to Phil Lesh.
  3. Funk Funk Funk! Most music taht makes you dance really just goes by feeling, thus giving you the best feeling possible.
  4. groove100


    Jan 22, 2005
    feeling, having a strong pulse and just being on time. but strongly on feel.
  5. bonscottvocals


    Feb 10, 2005
    Upstate NY
    I became a musician so I wouldn't have to dance. :bassist:

    Seriously, though, I think disco and funk of the 70's was the height of dance music. Try playing "Disco Inferno", "Get Down Tonight", or "More Than a Woman" at a party on the cd player and see if people don't get up and dance. It's magic.
  6. still laughing

    still laughing

    Jul 11, 2005
    My question is more relating to specific things I can do in my music to make it more danceable rather than songs that are easy to dance to. But thank you for the replies anyway.
  7. Snerek


    Jan 12, 2007
    i'd like to try and revitalize this thread.

    i was going to make my own on this topic and upon searching i found this one. but the OP's question is still out there.

    Specifically, what can us bass player do to make people dance?! I personally feel that this is lacking in my playing. I listen to funk, groove as hard as i can, study ..yada yada.

    But what are we missing?

    I go out on friday night and i see these other bass player, just average players totally grooving and making the dance floor shake!!

    Whats this holy grail and how do i find it?
  8. Snerek


    Jan 12, 2007
  9. DogPlaysBass


    Oct 16, 2008
    The holy grail is moving your ass back and forth when you play. Feel the funk in your whole body and then play to that, not the other way around. If you can't play a line without breaking the flow in your body, don't play it. Learn how to play something that works with your whole body, so it will work with the whole body of that sweet little lady out in the crowd who wants to shake something loose. You will know you are doing it right when a woman takes her clothes off at a gig. If you have yet to play a show where that happens, you need to keep practicing. If you have played a show where that has happened, then you know exactly what I'm talking about.

    Here is an exercise to understand the approach.

    Exercise #1
    Right now, play some air bass. After a few seconds, imagine what you would actually be playing if you were holding a bass in your hands. It might be something like "bepop shoo boppa doo twiddly twiddly scoobadoobadooba."

    Exercise #2
    Stand up and violently thrust your pelvis back and forth. After a few thrusts, imagine what you would be playing if you had a bass in your hands. If you thrusted correctly, chances are you would imagine playing something like "BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM!"

    That's the funk. It will fill up the dancefloor every time.
  10. jefkritz


    Oct 20, 2007
    iowa city, IA
    though slightly insane, dogplaysbass' post was pretty on the money.

    if you can't dance to your own playing, no one else will be able to.

    don't play the bass, dance the bass.

    as a side note, a fellow bottom-ender once said to me 'you can tell how a bass player is gonna play just by watching him dance' and i tend to agree. so til next time, like the beach boys song sez, dance dance dance

    EDIT: then find a drummer who dances the drums and you're in business. and if you're REALLY lucky, add a guitar or keyboard player who can dance said instrument...

    ooh and a percussionist in the band never hurts
  11. DocBop


    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    120 BPM Marches, dance music, etc.
  12. A big fat dirty bassline. :hyper:
  13. Snerek


    Jan 12, 2007


    after i made this post last night i listened to 'dance to the music' by sly

    great tune
  14. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    You could study James Jamerson, or Cuban styles, both very dance causing.

    IMHO What you must do is find the bass lines that the greats have played which you consider danceable, and pick them apart rhythmically and harmonically. How does the bass line rhythm fit with the drums? How do the note choices relate to the chords?

    Understand the "ingredients" that your preferred groove masters use, and eventually you'll be coming up with your own "recipes"

    this all assumes the basics are under control : accurate time, consistent pulse, reliable drummer...etc...
  15. DudeistMonk


    Apr 13, 2008
    Newark, NJ
    I suggest you work in a major or minor pentatonic scale to start, all the tones will be real strong and you'll only have 5 notes "lit up" on the fretboard for you to deal with, which will keep it simple so you can focus on the groove.

    Fire up garage band, or logic, or buy a drummer a handle of jack if he promises to keep it funky.... In other words find drums that make want to dance already.

    Now take your simple little scale and start a groovin. I really like Amin pentatonic so I would probably throw down a big phat A on his first beat and then go up to the fifth or an octave, or down to play with the low 7th and the low 5th. Every 1 beat I would drop that big phat A again and just experiment from there.

    Once you can play danceable music with a drummer you'll find it easy to bring the groove on your own.