making good bass lines

Discussion in 'Ask Michael Dimin' started by Waffleman, Jun 15, 2001.

  1. Waffleman


    Jun 15, 2001
    McCook NE

    I'm a new bass player who just got a new bass and is trying to start a band with a friend of mine who plays guitar. My problem is, I know his chords, but I have problems coming up with bass lines with anything better than root notes... do you have any certain approach to writing bass lines?? I could use help in any style of music... I play a lot of stuff in church where all I know is the chord, and my friend and I are starting a hardcore and punk band...
  2. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    Sorry, I took so long to get back to you. Been a hectic few weeks.

    Start with the root and the other chord tones (R, 3rd, 5th anf 7th if it is a seventh chord)

    Create a transition between chords by using scales or chromatic approaches

    KISS - "Keep it simple stupid" -start with a simple bass line - an ostinato (repeating figure) is good. An ostinato will give the tune a feeling of stability.

    As the song develops, so should your bass line. Embellish the original ostinato, add fills, etc.

    Change the rhythmic figure based on the dynamics and flow of the song

    Changing the rhythmic or melodic figure can also add tension and release to the song.