1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Melodic bass lines

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Cliff em'All, Dec 1, 2005.

  1. Cliff em'All

    Cliff em'All

    Sep 27, 2004
    Well Im new to this kind of thing and my band is playing this song with this guitar line that would sound great with a melodic bass line with it. Problem is I donno where to start Ive never tried to write something like this. I know exactly how the guitar line goes but i wanna come up with something different with the bass that really blends with it . Any tips?

  2. d8g3jdh

    d8g3jdh Guest

    Aug 9, 2005
    Cliff em all...Cliff burton fan? Listen to Orion (mainly second half), build off of that, its great. We dont need no words!
  3. Correlli


    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand
  4. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    There really isn't a situation that absolutely does not call for a melodic bass line, although you have to gauge how melodic you want or need to be depending on what else is going on in the music.

    A piece of music is like a puzzle where there is no wrong answer, although some answers can sound more correct than others. Two or more players' lines for a song may be radically different but equally effective and musical, and only be different because they're played by different people who hear things in their own individual way. That's where individuality comes in. It's how you put your personal signature on that piece of music and make it yours.

    In order to play melodies, you must have a somewhat developed melodic sense. The only way to achieve that is by listening to a lot of melodies and internalizing them and learning to play them. In other words, you have to learn to sing through your instrument. This same principle applies to soloing.

    Once you have internalized enough melodies (and this is a process that never stops, which is why we're constantly evolving as players), you'll have a catalog of melodic ideas to draw from, which, combined with your knowledge of chords and scales, will create your voice on your instrument.

    Hope that makes sense.
  5. bannedwit


    May 9, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    Yeah it stinks knowing something needs to go in your bass line but can't figure out just what it is...

    You really need to know how to talk through your instrument. Hum what you hear in your head out loud and try to mimic it on bass.

    Also, work on training your ear. Think of simple show tunes or stuff like "Happy Birthday" or "Star Spangled Banner" and try to hear what is right.

    It will take time but you will get it...

    For now as a quick fix, hit the books... Get the guitarists chord progression, find what key its in and work with modes and scales from there. Just be creative and jump around the fretboard. Who knows what will come out.
  6. well if you know what key the song is in, just make up something using the notes from that scale. most of the time you'll get somethin cool just noodlin around if you know the scale notes.