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Pulling bass lines from a song?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by xxfaux_punkxx, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. xxfaux_punkxx


    Mar 18, 2010
    So what would be a good way to pull the bass lines form a song. When i listen to music I try to listen for the bass riffs but they're not as clear as the other instruments, and even if I can hear them well I still have a hard time copying them when I play.
  2. Alduroth


    Mar 3, 2009
    Slow the song down ;)
    there's a windows media player mod that does just that. Chronotron or something it's called. It changes pitch a bit, but for getting the notes down it does the trick ^^
  3. smogg


    Mar 27, 2007
    NPR, Florida
    I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell
    Yes, slow it down and a decent set of headphones help too.
  4. Vomish


    Sep 22, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    I use VLC media player. You can slow down the tempo without changing pitch and loop sections (this works on audio and video files).
  5. Bassist4Life


    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    there's a little trick i use that works really well. open up the track in audacity and change the pitch up one octave (100%). this makes most bass parts pop out. it makes everything else sounds like the chipmunks, but you can hear the bass! :)

    let me know how it works out for ya.

  6. check out the amazing slow downer.:bassist:
  7. progrmr


    Sep 3, 2008
    Columbus, Ohio
    When I have this happen, I fill in the blank parts on my own. Started doing this as a way to start thinking about how to develop bass lines that fit into a particular style/tempo of music. I needs lots of practice because I'm not a very creative person in general :)
  8. meycom

    meycom Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Southern Wis.
    I have a Tascam bass trainer that works pretty well ...
  9. bassfuser


    Jul 16, 2008
    Learn the basic part of the song first and fill in the gaps later. Contrary to many opinions, you don't have to play a bass line note for note. It's great to copy other guys licks, but if you make it your own you'll get much more out of it. That's my opinion and I'm sure there are many who disagree. Of course, some songs need to be played to a tee.

    Getting some sheet music for the song and reading helps too.
  10. HertzDonut


    Apr 9, 2010
    Portland, ME
    Put yourself in the other bass players shoes. Many bass players are lazy (in the sense of work smarter, not harder). Where is the lick situated in the phrase? Is it in the middle of a chord, or is it between one chord going to the next? In my limited experience, most bass fills are just that-filling up space; and depending on the talent-level of the bassist in question, the fill will be firmly diatonic and in the same general fret-space as everything else that's going on.

    Even if it is a relatively difficult lick, remember that there are only 12 notes in the scale and only so much that is technically possible. And I agree with gmahoog. Why are you learning the lick? To add it to the repertoire of your musical language, or because you want to be a perfectionist and play the song note for note?

    Anyways, just a little nugget to chew on. Hope it helps.
  11. xxfaux_punkxx


    Mar 18, 2010
    I gotta learn a couple of songs for my second band audition, and last time the tabs screwed me over so I wanna go straight from the song.

    where can I get the software to slow down the song? I have windows media player but I've never seen a slow down factor.
  12. Paraietta


    Mar 5, 2010
    Audacity is free, and works just fine.
  13. dogofgod


    Dec 24, 2009
    i play along with the song until i have it down, usually takes me three or four tries, but i improvise and create my own bass lines that i like better. your ear should be able to decipher the bass lines if you play with the eq, unless the recording is not that great. i know with new songs that the sound war sometimes distorts the overall sound and makes it more difficult to play along.
  14. xxfaux_punkxx


    Mar 18, 2010
    I just loaded audicity but i can't seem to figure it out.
  15. this is amazing...and well worth the money, i think.

    Listen to some SMV using this...amazing.
  16. Reaper Man

    Reaper Man

    Jan 15, 2010
    windows media player- Ctrl-shift-S for slow
    ctrl-shift-N for normal
    ctrl-shift-f for fast
  17. timmo97


    Jan 17, 2009
    Awesome tip. Thanks!
  18. Doragon


    Sep 1, 2008
    San Jacinto, Ca
    I use a program called DMM...It will give you the guitar chords and bass tabs of the song tho it's not always accurate on the tabs but with havinf the guitar chords it should be easy to figure out. Here's a link to the site. They have a free trial version to try out....


    Some of the features....

    ·Improved edit functions
    ·Increased visibilty of tones
    ·Strength measurement of tones
    ·Suggestions of alternative chords

    ·Reveal the chords
    ·Reveal the bass tabs
    ·Find "hidden" tones
    ·Slow down
    ·How to play the chords
    ·Loop selected sections
  19. rickl289


    Jun 17, 2009
    minnetonka, mn
    select the entire song (control A) and Effects -> Change Pitch.
  20. bassfart


    May 5, 2008
    If you don't have any programs or other tools to help you lift the bass line, try listening to the song without your bass in your hand. Sing the bass line along with the recording, this will help you get down the feel of the song. Once you've established what key your in and the changes, then grab your bass and start hammering away at the song. I wore out my rewind button on my ghetto blaster figuring out songs. Playing along with albums is a great way to develop your ear and also your timing.

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