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Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Bayonet, May 11, 2011.

  1. Bayonet


    May 10, 2011
    I am a newbie at bass... i bought mine just a week ago and 3 days ago i joined a "band"(not really a band.. we don't have vocals yet) and the drummer sugested i should stick to the rootnotes while i learn,but he couldnt explain me what that meant and how should i do it,so,can any of you tell me what that means and how should i do it? :help:
  2. jabsys


    Mar 30, 2011
  3. Bayonet


    May 10, 2011
    wow.. that surely helped a lot.. but how am i supposed to know wich notes to play? i must ask the guitarist what he is playing?
    btw,can i play covers but instead of playing the original basslines play only the rootnotes or it will sound very bad?
  4. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    You will realize that many, many basslines consist of nothing but root notes.
  5. 1. You have to know the chords to the song. Ask the guitarist and, if you need to, make and use a chart (although for most rock songs a chart shouldn't be necessary for long).

    2. It depends whether the bass player in the original played mostly the root notes or not. It might work for "Powderfinger" but not "All My Lovin'."
  6. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Depends on what you're playing. If it's covers, you can usually get chord charts from the internet. If it's saying the chord is an E minor, your root note is E, etc. If it's originals, then you'll have to ask the writer what the chord progression is. Or if it's just jamming, listen and figure it out by ear.

    Depends on the song. Some songs, all the bass line IS will be root notes. YouTube - U2 - With or Without you - lyrics

    Some songs you can simplify down to roots or close to it, without the various fills etc., and it will sound fine. This song, I didn't even realize there WERE fills (mostly in the chorus) until I saw a transcription: YouTube - Lit - My own worst enemy - with Lyrics

    Other songs, the bass line makes the song and it will sound like crap if you don't play the bass line as it was recorded. YouTube - Duran Duran - Rio

    Obviously, start simple, read a lot, practice even more, and have fun.
  7. BassmanSBK


    Mar 31, 2011
    Los Angeles
    I noticed that in your other post you are experiencing hand pain after one week. This should just not be. Something is very wrong here.

    You need a teacher. You need to learn the basics of:

    1. The physical production of sound on the instrument, and how to play without causing pain or injury.

    2. Where the notes are on the fretboard.

    3. Music theory. (The chromatic, major and minor scales, the forms of the most basic chords [major, minor, dominant], basic rhythm.)

    With these under your belt, you can then sart playing the simplest base lines possible--the root of the chord that the rest of the group is playing.
  8. Bayonet


    May 10, 2011
    hmm now i get it :)

    yeah BassmanSBK,i solved that other problem but i'm having some trouble finding teachers where i live.. i only found one bass teacher and he lives too far from me,so i'm learning from a friend who plays,but i don't see him very often.. anyway,i'm still looking for a teacher,can't be that they're all hiding :meh:
  9. Little theory first. Just a little something on how music thinks. Just keep this in the back of your mind. What you want to do is harmonize the melody line with the notes you play on your bass. If you do that your bass line and the melody line are going to sound good together. Wish someone would have told me that right at first. We play harmony, the other guys play melody. Harmony comes from the chords. Root notes of the chords is a pretty good place to start.....

    Not hard if you use fake chord sheet music, and I bet the guitarist will have fake chord on everything your band will be playing. Hopefully the person that wrote that fake chord sheet music figured out what chord would harmonize the melody line at this specific point in the song. So -- all we have to do is sing the lyrics under our breath so we can keep up with where the song is -- and change chords when the fake chord sheet music goes to another chord. Yep, that's it. Not a step for a stepper. Speaking of steppers here is an old stepper, see how he does it.

    Enough here to keep you busy for 6 months. Copy or bookmark this and take it one step at a time.

    Have fun.
  10. First mistake..... taking music related questions from the drummer....

    But all that taken into account without going into super detail for a beginner.... if you look at the guitarists hands and what he is playing... play the lowest (pitch) note, it will be the fretted note on the fattest string.... so say he's playing a C chord... play the 3rd fret on the A string (string 3)

    I know I know I know.... but that's not technically right and I agree... but for a beginner this may be the best way to learn... without a ton of theory... thats plug-n-play.....
  11. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    Mirror the barre chords the guitar player plays. Their the root notes.
  12. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006

    A beginner has to start learning basic theory at some stage. So why not now ?

    OP : The link you were given in post #2 by "jabsys" is a great site, which explains things in an easy to understand way. It even gives you the sounds of the notes if you put the cursor arrow over the notes in the exercises. In the absence of a good teacher, my advice is to spend maybe half an hour to an hour each day on this site, with your bass. Start with the lessons contained within the link. IMO, there is no better tutorial site than "studybass".

    With a little time and patience, things will start to make sense. :)
  13. Bayonet


    May 10, 2011
    Since i got that link i've been learning from there 2h a day.. maybe more =D
    thanks guys :)
  14. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    Good for you :) At that rate it wont be long before you have a good basic grounding in theory. Your time and patience wont be wasted.
  15. Good deal, welcome to your demise lol (theory is a never ending debate lol).... not saying its not a good time to learn theory... but "newer" players just want to get basics down first... USUALLY... lol
  16. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006

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