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my first post...

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by GavinLT, Oct 9, 2002.

  1. GavinLT


    Oct 9, 2002
    South Wales, UK
    anyone got any tips on creating reggae type bass lines?i play more guitar than bass, so when i do pick the bass up its just simple rock/blues stuff.any tips?all help appreciated
  2. just go find the tabs because if you learn tabs you can learn any piece of music ever made.

    just kidding. whats up with all the people wanting to play reggae nowadays.

    turn your bass all the way up and treble all the way down. smoke some sweet sweet ganja.
  3. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Great advice... kinda?

    Reggae isn't technically difficult to play, it's not fast, in weird time signetures or full of chops.

    My advice would be buy Bob Marley & the Wailers Babylon By Bus and check out the bass on it. Aston "Familyman" Barrett plays mostly basslines with no more than 3 or 4 notes that groove like absolute muthas. One note is all he needs, serious.

    Do turn the treble down on your bass, play near the neck with the fleshiest part of your thumb possible, use 5ths.

    I can get the rhythm of reggae, but for the life of me i cant describe it in words.. just listen the groove is blatantly clear :)

    Smoking weed will probly make you feel like you play great reggae and probably make you enjoy playing real slowly, but I'm not about to advise it, mon ;)
  4. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    As Howard says, you want a really fat sound with plenty of bass. Reggae bass lines would tend be fairly simple - roots and fifths are good, but it's more about the rhythm and feel. Rhythmically, I think it's about what you *don't* play - Reggae bass lines have plenty of space in, and very often don't play on Beat 1. Like Howard says, listen to Bob Marley - and also listen to what Sting plays with some of The Police's more reggae stuff (the albums Regatta De Blanc and Zenyatta Mondatta are good for this)
  5. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    Borrow a CD or shock horror download it
  6. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    oh yeah, the police... i forgot!!

    one of my bands jam reggae grooves quite often, although i'm sure i'm the only one who actually plays what you'd call a classic reggae part.

    i usually find a simple root structure, A and G for example, then create a realy simple line using roots, 5ths and quite often a short melodic run in a minor scale, natural or 2nd mode (cant remember the name!) or even just pentatonic.

    I then play about with the rhythm, ie, play on beat one, then skip beat 1 on the 2nd time round. It sounds good if you play the lead into the beat, then miss the note on actual beat, gives a kind of stuttering feel.

    if that makes any sense at all i'll be surprised! listen to classic example and experiment, that's the key, i'd say.
  7. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    Follows is an abridged version of the explanation at http://www.reggae.4t.com/about.html

    The great-great grandparent of Reggae is mento, a loose-sounding folk music, sometimes confused with calypso, a Trinidad-born music. Mento's lyrical food is topical issues. It draws on the fife and drum music of Jonkanoo, Pocomania church music, the quadrille, and work songs learned on plantations, and passed through generations.


    Reggae Recipe - Like most popular music of the western world, Reggae is played in 4/4 time - 4 beats to a bar of 4. The strongly felt beats, or downbeats, are beats 2 & 4, opposite to most pop music. Some claim that this has made Reggae's acceptance difficult in North America!

    Credit is given to Winston Grennan, "Master Drummer Of Jamaica", the true originator of the "one-drop" reggae rhythm. The One Drop style is defined by the drumming pattern. With the expectation of the bass drum hitting on beats 1 & 3, the "one" is "drop"ped. There's much more to it though. The snare may emphasize the 3rd beat. The bass may emphasize beat 1 with a strong note, but also often misses the first beat too. The high hat may emphasize the 1st beat. By this definition, Ska must be considered the original "one drop" rhythm.

    Rockers is a style of Reggae beat that originated in the mid-1970s. Unlike the earlier "one drop" style which has the bass drum play on the 3rd beat of every measure, in a rockers beat the bass drum plays on all four beats of the measure, like the bass drum in a disco beat. In fact, this beat probably influenced the sound of disco music.

    You should read the whole text at the above-mentioned website for more background and history. It seems that "one drop" is the important part of the reggae rhythm. Google is your friend. Do a search. I guarantee you'll get more than enough info to make your head spin (or could that be tha phat doobies doing that? ;) ).
  8. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    great info above, i'm reading that right now, cheers.

    one drop - good phrase to remember and nicely descriptive too :)

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