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Scales for slow and subdued bass lines

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Davidoc, Jan 7, 2001.


  1. I'm trying to write a kinda slow-sounding and subdued bass-line, but I can't seem to get that ambiance. Can anyone help me out? What scales are good for that type of music?
     
  2. furtim

    furtim

    Dec 12, 1999
    Boston, MA, USA
    Dorian mode is a pretty subdued style. Phyrgian also seems to be pretty good. You might also want to look into classical minor scales. If you're into modes, that would be the sixth one. I don't know what it's called. ;) Generally speaking, scales with lowered 3rd and 6th tones are a little more down than other scales.
     
  3. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    Try thinking chords not scales and see (hear) if that doesn't make a difference.
     
  4. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    To Furtim, the sixth mode is the Aeolian mode (also known as the natural minor scale)and can be used with minor seven, minor nine, and minor eleven chords. Two other minor scales are the harmonic minor and the jazz melodic minor.

    To DavyO, you might want to consider minor pentatonic and blues scales too.

    But I'm not entirely clear about what you are doing. Are you writing an entire song? Because if that is what you are doing, maybe you would do better if the song were in a minor key. Or do you have a song with a chord progression already prescribed? Then you need to pay attention to the chords in the song and choose your notes based on the type of chords in that song.

    Check out some of the lessons at BassTalk and other bass sites for further ideas on how to create a subdued, slow sounding bass line.

    Jason Oldsted

     
  5. Thanks for the help Jason, Jeff and Furtim! Though I've already tried the min pentonic, it's better than anything else I've tried for the desired effect, but still not quite wat I'm looking for. I'll look into the suggested ones.

    What I'm writing is the entire song, and I posted this about the verse riff.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher

    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Try Lydian. It's got a tritone that sounds cool in slow tempo noodling.
     
  7. furtim

    furtim

    Dec 12, 1999
    Boston, MA, USA
    Thanks, Jason. I still have trouble with those names. It's all Greek to me! :eek:
     
  8. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    You guys are really close to suggesting with straight faces that D minor truly is the saddest of all keys.
    Slow has absolutely nothing to do with any particular scale.
    Subdued has absolutely nothing to do with any particular scale.
    I can take any of the scales suggested here and play them slow or fast, subdued or in yer face.

    Slow is a dynamic of time. Period.
    Subdued is more open to interpretation but is largely a dynamic of volume and choice and placement of notes. Neither has anything to do with any particular scale and any scale can work real well played slow and subdued. My suggestion of thinking in terms of chords instead of scales was intended to stimulate the idea of space in the placement of notes which will go a helluva lot further to achieving the effect in question than will using a lydian or a dorian or any other particular scale.
     
  9. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Sorry, Jeff, I guess I automatically assumed the questioner meant sad. I had a real minor blues mindset. I should have asked more about what he meant by "slow and subdued." You are right on both counts,,,slow is tempo,,,subdued is the opposite of KId Rock and Limp Bizkit.

    I misread the question to mean a sad or somber song.

    Jason Oldsted
     
  10. furtim

    furtim

    Dec 12, 1999
    Boston, MA, USA
    As did I, Jason. Ah, well.

    Still, I think that there are probably some scales/modes that sound better when played with a slow and subdued style. Some of the intervals in certain scales might sound a bit "jarring", and thus ruin a subdued style.

    But, hey...