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my own "sound"

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by mikomiloho, Nov 19, 2006.

  1. mikomiloho


    Nov 8, 2006
    hello, i've got a question.

    can anyone point me in any direction or something, lol. how do i phrase this.

    when i play over a few chords and stuff, i kinda prefer a more.. sad sound. not really those jumpy, happy ones. like more emotional sounds. i guess it's something i can relate to.

    however, i can't pull them off well. i usually wld just scale up and down the chord.

    can suggest how i could fix this problem? possibly scales. so that i can even make the major chords suit my "sound". haha.

  2. Wespe


    Feb 21, 2006
    Don't worry too much about the scales if the notes in your head sound like they fit the music. If you're playing in a band, see if you can get a song track without a bass track and listen to it over and over so you can absorb it. If you have an understanding of the direction of the music, it's own emotional content, then coming up with an appropriate melody won't be nearly as hard as opposed to thinking of scales and chords. Try doing things to anticipate the next chord, like hitting the root of a chord and then playing a melody in the scale of the next chord. I use this technique in a few songs and it builds tension and can be used as a good hook. Come up with your own techniques and melodies and what have you, and analyze them later. If the technicalities are confusing you, try approaching it from a more abstract perspective. Pick the notes out of your head and play them. That's all you can really do.
  3. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    I think I kind of know what you're talking about. Man, this is really subjective, and you've already got a lot of good advice, so I preface what I'm going to say with a THIS IS JUST MY OPINION. I've found that minor chords/scales tend to be kind or darker, more contemplative, and major scales/chords tend to be happier. Still with that said, you can kind of make major chords sound darker and "sadder" by shifting your progression so that the trend is for the notes to go lower. For instance, you could start with notes that are higher than the root and then hit progress down to the root, or hit the root when other musicians in the song are trending to the higher keys. Anyway, hope this helps.
  4. Turock


    Apr 30, 2000
    D minor is the saddest of all keys, it makes people weep instantly.
  5. WillBuckingham


    Mar 30, 2005
    My lip starts to quiver just thinkin' about that key.:bawl:
  6. mikomiloho


    Nov 8, 2006
    does this mean inversions? as in, i do not start on the root but i go down to it?

    thanks guys.
  7. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    ^^ You got it, dude.

    Actually A minor is very sad, but Eb minor even more so.
  8. mikomiloho


    Nov 8, 2006
    lol, cool. never really tried that, shall keep that in mind.. anything else folks? :D
  9. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    Yep. You could do that. Or you could still start on the root and go root high root to something lower than the root. You can even experiment with an occasional note that is lower than the root and out of key, but "tastefully" placed.

    But as others have hinted here. Put some minor scales and chords in your bag of tricks. They're good to have around. But be warned if you play too many minor chords you're gonna develop tendencies to dye your hair black and wear eyeliner :bag: ;)
  10. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    Eastern North Dakota
    Every key has a certain "sound" to it. Classical composers especially use this when writing. Beethoveens symphony's aren't randomly in the keys they are in. Thye were chosen for a reason.
  11. jadesmar


    Feb 17, 2003
    Ottawa, ON
    It seems to me that this "sound" which you speak of would be a product of the "culture" at the time that these symponies were composed.

    So, given the case with Beethoven's classical symphonies, I'm not sure the same key signatures would have the same emotional undertones in today's culture.

    It is likely that a bulk of modern rock music is written and performed on guiltar, bass and drums. This would likely give an underlying cultural current of say E, A or D minor or major.

    For keyboard instruments, F, C and G major (D minor, A minor and E minor) may be more obvious choices.

    How do you think this affects the certain "sound" you associate with the keys? Or does it?
  12. Bloodfist


    Mar 18, 2006
    Charleston, SC
    This may sound ******** or be completely off from what your looking at, but concentrate on how you "pluck the string". Best way I can describe it is to find the scale or notes you want to play, then imagine how you want it to sound in your head. Once you've got that, play it until you've got it. Don't be afraid to to play the string anywhere on the bass ie the fretboard. I personally have a couple of songs where I strum the bass around the 12th fret to give it a smooth tone then I'll jump back up to the body to give it a harsh tone. Hope it helps.
  13. mikomiloho


    Nov 8, 2006
    whoa, haha lots of comments. i'll keep all that in mind. thanks a lot guys.

    mm, but other than just running up and down the scale (which i find myself doing all the time), i'll just play the scale, and it sounds kinda boring. is there anything else i can do? i'm talking about, within the scale only. :D
  14. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    Sure try it where you don't play every note in the scale. Go forward and backwards before hitting the octave. Start the scale in the middle sometimes. OR alternate two or three different patterns on the same scale that accent different notes. :D
  15. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Play every other note of the scale in other words play the chord.

    C E G B C

    D F A C D

    E G B D E

    F A C E F

    G B D F G

    A C E G A

    B D F A B

    C E G B C
  16. steveb98

    steveb98 [acct disabled - multiple aliases]

    Mar 15, 2006
    Venice, CA
    Time to sit down and do some analysis so you can dicover what you define as a sad sound. That way you can use it in other songs and be able to relay what your playing to others. That way they don't give you weird looks with you tell them to play sad sounds.

    Write out the chord progression for a song you are working for. Then come up with your sad bass sounds basslines you like. Now make write down the notes of the bassline. Next figure out which of those notes are creating the sad sound you like. Now compare the chord to the sad notes and see how they relate. Lots of b3's and b7's, you throwing in Blue notes b3 and b5, or something else. Okay now you know what notes you like, take some different types of chords and see if they work them. Try changing the rhythm or order of the notes, do they still work.

    When you have finished this little exercise you will have learned a lot about what your sound is. If you know what your sound is you can easily use it in other songs or describe it to others you're playing with so they don't play something that conflicts with it. Now do this whenever you discover a sound you like. This will put you in total control of your music, because you can control it.

    This is what all good musicians do. Anyone who tells you different is BS'ing you. Even someone who plays by ear is doing this exercise, they just keep their notes in their head instead of writing it down.
  17. K2000


    Nov 16, 2005
    Try playing your bass line an octave or more up on the neck (not for the whole song, use your judgement).

    Think of the bass lines from New Order/Joy Division...

    When you're high on the neck it can sound "vulnerable" (compared to when you're pounding away in the lower registers.)
  18. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    Eastern North Dakota
    The example I used may not be the best, but I think a lot of music sounds similar today because people tend to play in only a few keys because it's "easier" to play certain instruments in certain keys - as you indicated.

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