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Power Chord Lines

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by TheListPunk, Feb 2, 2002.

  1. TheListPunk

    TheListPunk Guest

    Feb 2, 2002
    Topeka, Kansas
    I play around with my friend who plays guitar a lot and we've written 5 songs but so far I've only been using root notes and lead notes for basslines. All he plays is power chords and I don't really know any other way to write a good line. Could any of you give me some good tips for writing a good punk bassline? Thanks in advance.

  2. <font face=courier>Try doing a fast walking line, such as Fat Mike from NOFX. In some songs, he just does a quick quarter note walking line that sounds very cool.</font>
  3. Listen to "Detroit" by Rancid. If you're doing something a bit slower, listen to Radio Havanna or Journey to the End of the East Bay
  4. TheListPunk

    TheListPunk Guest

    Feb 2, 2002
    Topeka, Kansas
    Could you explain this walking line to me maybe just a little better. I'm new to bass and just an unskilled punk rocker so try to help me out.

    Thanks for replying guys it is greatly appreciated.

    thinks he'll stick around for awhile
  5. TheListPunk

    TheListPunk Guest

    Feb 2, 2002
    Topeka, Kansas
    I want to know how they can make up those basslines out of power chords. Do they just use scales or what? I want to be able to write like that but just don't know how to go about doing it.

  6. Shumph


    Aug 25, 2001
    On the move
    The probably use a combo of chord tones, scales and leading tones to make the walking lines.

    Start your line by using chord tones the add flavor to it by mixing in some notes from the scale. Then you can play with adding leading tones to your line. Remember lead tones are usually only a half step from the note they are leading to i.e. f# to g.

    Hope this helped

  7. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    I suggest listening to both Green Day and The Offspring for good punk basslines that are more than just roots, yet don't get too complicated.

    For example, if you can find a book of Green Day sheet music, you will see the chords and then you can listen to the music to hear the root and try to figure out where and how the bass player departs from the root.
  8. <font face=courier>The walking lines are usually pretty simple, technique wise. They are just a quarter note pulse, using chord tones (as someone said before).

    Try taking the root of the r5 that the guitarist is playing, then while he is playing that (a lot of punk songs have one chord per measure , or 8 8th notes or 4 quarter notes or something like that. Anyways, try playing the root, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th of whatever chord he's playing, but try to transition into the next chord.

    Good luck!

  9. <font face=courier>Oh yea, try <b>NOFX</b> "Champs Elysees" for a good example of a walking punk line, I think "Flogging a Dead Horse", I think that's another one. </font>
  10. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    Since power chords are root-5th or root-5th-octave, a good thing to start with is to use those notes.

    Try pitching in 2nds, 4ths and b7s as passing tones. You usually can't go wrong with that, but of course it depends on the specific song.

    3rds can be used to add "flavour", but before you monkey with those, you might want to think carefully about what your bass line is trying to express. Depending on what chords and melody you're playing them against, major 3rds USUALLY sound "happier" and minor 3rds "darker".
  11. <font face=courier>If all the guitarist is playing is power chords, he isn't defining the tonality of the chord (see what you learn from TB?), so you have to (or not, it's up to you), but you can if you want. Just look at a chord chart, and see the other notes in the chord besides the root and 5th, and try playing those, and see what ones sound the best.</font>
  12. TheListPunk

    TheListPunk Guest

    Feb 2, 2002
    Topeka, Kansas
    Do you know any other good chord chart sites? The only one I know of is Tabcrawler and it's down right now.

    Thanks in advance
  13. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    Use www.activebass.com, and learn the natural major scale. Once you've learned it, chords consist of root, 3rd, 5th, and all the octaves. :)

    You can make your own chords.