1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
     
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Rhythm player new to bass - first impressions

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Acid Test, Oct 1, 2017.


  1. Acid Test

    Acid Test

    Oct 3, 2013
    The transition seems too smooth. But I cheated and bought a 30" scale six string bass tuned an octave down from a guitar and use a pick.

    As a rhythm player, I am used to carrying a rhythm and back line to let the lead players have the limelight. Bass seems to be the same.

    Am I doing this right? I am following the root note of chords and adding little 2 to 4 note fills in some of the holes of songs. Sometimes I play the octave higher to mix it. So an easy song like Living After Midnight by Judas Priest took me 10 minutes to learn on bass since I already know it well on guitar.

    My aim here is not to minimize bass playing - I am utterly impressed with some of the great players, but rather I am wondering if what I am doing is marginally correct in approach?
     
  2. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Just to clarify: Are you saying it took you 10 minutes to learn the original bass line from a recording of "Living After Midnight," or that it took you 10 minutes to write a new bass line of your own creation? Both approaches are "correct" and both approaches are good skills to have, so I recommend to practice both ways. :)
     
  3. Acid Test

    Acid Test

    Oct 3, 2013
    My own but looking at the bass tab, what I am playing is not much different. I don't think Judas Priest was known for their bass players.
     
    Whousedtoplay likes this.
  4. Whousedtoplay

    Whousedtoplay

    May 18, 2013
    TEXAS
    Good Pro musicians know the limits of their instruments’ application range/s.
    Another sign of good Pro musicians- knowing that there is Music between the notes, which includes silence.
    What about not clashing/invading someone’s space?...
     
  5. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    I would recommend, rather than spend 10 minutes learning the bass line "close enough" from the TAB, spend a bit more time and learn it note for note by ear. Especially since you say it is an "easy song" why not learn it accurately?

    I don't mean to be discouraging, though. :) Knowing how to improvise your own original bass lines, by playing the roots of the chords and connecting them using fills, is also an incredibly useful skill, and a great use of your practice time.
     
  6. Whousedtoplay

    Whousedtoplay

    May 18, 2013
    TEXAS
    It’s a sign of... (edited) musicians if they see only dead notes instead of a kingdom of Sound - Music.
    We have only 7 (or 12) notes but millions of tunes/melodies.
     
  7. Whousedtoplay

    Whousedtoplay

    May 18, 2013
    TEXAS
    There are hundreds of thousands of songs that show the role/duties/responsibilities of the bass and rhythm guitar players, but I was listening to "Now" by Jason Scheff and, therefore, I decided to post it here.
    You are a rhythm guitar player - listen to the rhythm guitar part in the song.
    Also, listen to the bass-line from the song.
    Are they identical?
    Let's start analyzing.



    Most probably, you are talking about some "riff-based" bass-line, sometimes played in unison with the guitar.
    Let's check the next bass-line.
    From my comic relief section, "Everybody could play like Linley Marthe (or at least until 7:20 from the video)".

     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2017
  8. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

    Yes, first "rule" is to follow the chord and play notes of the chord. The songwriter placed that chord where he did so it would harmonize with the active melody. To harmonize the treble and bass clef need to share some notes. How many? One per measure gets harmonization, that is why pounding out roots work. Two per measure is better and three per measure is really not necessary as one got harmonization, it's like gravy if you like gravy spoon it on. So....

    .....If you also play notes of that chord you two will harmonize with the melody. As to which ones; root, correct 3 and 7 plus the 5 and 8 are good safe notes for your bass line. Roots first, need more use the fives next, then the eight, then the correct three and or seven in that order. I never go higher than the 8. Nothing stopping you, however.

    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2017
  9. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    What you're doing is fine. Depending on what you want to do, I guess. It's an easy song, there's no particular signature riff or fill that has to be hit exactly. Follow the chord progression and fill when it serves the song to do so.

    Bass players can be a little touchy because there's a tendency of some to call it an "easy" instrument and imply that bassists are lesser musicians. My response to that is that it isn't the instrument that's easy or hard, it's the music you set out to play on it. If you played the bass line - JUST the bass line - to Living After Midnight on piano, that would be easy too. If you tried to play Pachelbel's Canon on bass, which is not that hard on piano, it would require pretty significant technical skill.