pls need help from all

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by kay prince, Apr 20, 2014.

  1. kay prince

    kay prince

    Oct 26, 2012
    playing bass and my problem is I can't create fills am only stucked at root notes that makes playing always insulted by my mates....pls what can I do to create good bass line without stucking only at the root notes...pls help
  2. kdogg


    Nov 13, 2005
    Practice, practice, practice. Play, play, play. There is no substitute for time and experience. We were all in your shoes when we first started. Don't get discouraged and keep plugging away.
    gregmon79 and kay prince like this.
  3. kay prince

    kay prince

    Oct 26, 2012
    Thanks man :)
  4. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    It goes in steps - octaves, fifths, other chord tones, then on from there. Play at home with songs that have simple chord changes, like a straight blues, and play different notes to hear how it sounds. It's easier to experiment when you are alone, because no one hears your mistakes. When you are more comfortable, you will be more willing to try different things in a band setting.

    Listen to simpler songs you like (again, alone) and find a section that repeats. Try to replicate the line a little at a time.

    Remember, many great basslines are one or two bar phrases that repeat (My Girl, Come Together).

    Also, youtube has many tutorials that break down bass lines.

    It ain't that difficult. Relax.
    kay prince likes this.
  5. kay prince

    kay prince

    Oct 26, 2012
    Thanks for the advice much appreciated :)
  6. As I was starting out as a rookie church bassist in my mid-50's just a couple of years ago, one of the fellow bassists from my church gave me this advise:

    "Keep it simple but SOLID. Don't underestimate the power of simple but well-executed lines that are played with confidence and conviction, even if it means hitting nothing but root notes! The rest of the band will always love you for it."

    Of course, he was NOT trying to tell me I should never play more than the root notes; there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing fancier stuff like occasional fills and moving away from the roots. But the point he was making, as I understand it, was I needed to embrace the role of the bassist as the rhythmic foundation first and foremost.

    As I took that advice to heart, there is no longer such thing as "boring" basslines in my own mind no matter how simple they might be.
    kay prince and Pentatonic like this.
  7. Yeti_carnage


    Apr 20, 2014
    Emulate you favorite bass players. Even if you don't really know the notes. Some of the fills/lines I keep coming back to are mistakes I made trying to learn someone else's stuff. Also, I would ask back if they want you to fill more or play more. Normally bands don't care about flashy bass playing they care about groove. Also, What type of music are you trying to play?
  8. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player Inactive

    Nov 13, 2009
    Somewhere on the Alaska Panhandle (Juneau)
    Endorser: Plants vs. Zombies Pea Shooters
    Join a U2 tribute band, and you'll do well.
  9. Root on the first beat will play a lot of bass, but, I understand you wanting to add more.
    Like others have said. Add a 5 and when those fifths flow get some 8's or octaves into your bass lines.

    I know that is easy to say and hard to actually add when playing so ---- practice it at home. It's always the old P word that make things happen.

    If you play from fake chord -- write out your bass line. Just in case, where is the 5? From your root up a string and over two frets. The 8 is same fret as the 5 and then up a string. Easy pattern, get it into muscle memory.

    The following is see the A, B & C's on the fake chord and then place the box's R note on that root note - then play the R, 5 & 8 within the box. If you have not been using the box, it may take a few days. It works for me.

    Major Scale Box.
    G~~|---2---|-------|---3---|---4---| 1st string
    E~~|-------|---R---|-------|---2---|4th string
    The R-3-5-3 is an easy pattern and would work over any major chord, for that matter R-R-5-5 would work over major or minor chords. Might run into problems over a diminished chord, but, how many of those do you run up on?

    Might as well give you the rest of the story. Have you thought of using Nashville numbers? I play from fake chord every Sunday and have found that if I transpose the fake chord's A, B, C to the 1, 2 3's of Nashville numbers it sure makes using the major scale box easier. When I get my fake chord I take a marks-a-lot and mark through the Chord name and put the corresponding Nashville number over it. Now that makes playing from the box a lot easier. Here is a video that goes into detail on the Nashville number system.

    Notice it's by Chas Williams. In E, 4/4 and 103 bpm to a boggie shuffle beat.

    The complete band can use a Nashville chart. I write my numbers over the fake chord lyrics and then sing along, under my breath, so I know where I should be on the chart. I use the lyrics to keep me with every one else.

    Good luck.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2014
    MirandaEsque and harleyman888 like this.
  10. karl_em_all


    Jul 11, 2013
    Dimension X
    Practice fingering exercises, practice the pentatonic scale, and practice the major scale. Over and over and over.
  11. djasterix


    Jan 1, 2012
    Lima, Peru
    +1, and all of The above... Relax and enjoy!!! :)
  12. lyla1953


    Jul 18, 2012
    I found the book Building Walking Bass Lines by Ed Friedland very useful. While it's jazz oriented it certainly improved my over all playing, reading and transposing skills. You'll need to be able to read notation and transpose at an intermediate level to use it. If not, he has other books that include TAB that are just a good - I'm doing his Blues book now - which is just plain fun!
  13. joegrant413


    Dec 6, 2009
    The 5th *below* the root is usually easy. Just one string below the root on the same fret.

    I also highly recommend Free and great.

    Good luck!
    - Joe
  14. Schmorgy


    Jul 2, 2012
    Clarifying that by "Below" he means treating the G string as the "Top". Easy to get lost on the orientation.

    Learning how your octaves work, and how you can slide between octaves on the same or on adjacent strings can be a good start to learning fills, and from there, learning how chromaticism works. Remember, if you don't dwell on a note, it won't sound off if you resolve to an enharmonic (contextually correct - be it relative to key or chord) note. From there, learn how you can incorporate chord tones into the fills and it'll just start to make sense on its own.

    Also, some new mates seem to be in order!
  15. Ezmar


    Jul 8, 2010
    If it's good-natured ribbing, then there's nothing too much to worry about, but if they're putting you down and it's really bothering you, they should lay off. Like others have said, not everyone is good when they first start bass. Almost nobody is. I was pretty darn good when I first started playing bass, but that was because I'd played Cello since I was 3 and guitar for a few years before picking it up. You just need to practice and listen. Copy what other people are doing. You may think you need to be able to invent your own fills, but you start with what other people have done. You build up muscle memory, and then you learn what you're listening for and can start to invent things yourself, but unfortunately, you need to put a lot of time and practice into playing and listening.
  16. Once I learned to play my bass, my basslines became too busy. I was working harder, not smarter. I was not a tasteful player. I finally listened and listened to lots of songs, and then I learned that the space you create by not playing as much is where the tastefullness comes in. I realized that playing roots generally was what the music called for, with just a simple turnaround and simple fills. Dynamics, dead notes, etc are important too.
  17. sowilson


    Jul 5, 2013

    It's a stage that everyone goes through. You first learn to play lots of notes, quickly. Then you learn to play the spaces between the notes and start to blend in. Ever notice when recording that when you lay the track down (generally with little other instrumentation) you are generally somewhat notey? Then, as other parts are overdubbed you notice that the bass line is too busy so you rerecord it and simplify?
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    Primary TB Assistant

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