Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Metal Basslines

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by altman, Nov 22, 2002.


  1. altman

    altman

    Oct 7, 2001
    Mainly, I'm into blues, rock, punk.

    I've tried to jam with metal guys, and it is very confusing.

    Mainly, they seem to have old Metallica songs they've learned from tabs.
    None of it seem to have any chord structure. It seems (to me in my ignorance) to be just interesting sounds with little pattern. (Hats off to them, very difficult to play)

    I'm a scientist by day. Any logical discriptions or URL's or concepts, or anything I can grab on to.
     
  2. thrash_jazz

    thrash_jazz

    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    Jamming to metal songs can be very difficult if you don't know, or are at least familiar with, the song to begin with.

    Some stuff is based on fairly simple and repetitive riffs, but the more technical stuff is pretty much impossible to jam to if you don't know what's coming.

    Generally, the songs are not composed using traditional chord progressions or keys. They are based solely on what sounds good and what fits with the theme and feel of the song.

    It is possible to describe what is going on in terms of theory and improvise a bass line as a result, but if you don't know the song well, you have to be careful. A stop, polyrhythm or complete feel change could be coming next measure and you'd never know it.
     
  3. lots of the Metallica stuff (esp. old) is heavily syncopated, probably due to the fact that Lars and James would just jam to come up with tunes. You get to their newer stuff (post-black album) and there's a little more 'traditional' songwriting there. (note I said a little)

    Not all metal is like that. It seems that a lot of the so-called 'nu-metal' is like that, but not the '80's stuff like Iron Maiden, Priest, Dio, etc. More traditional song forms.