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Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by teenagebass69, Jan 20, 2004.
hey does anyone have any tips on playing a bass solo in the middle of a song? any tips will do
[jet]don't get harpooned! [/jet]
instead of playing the root you can two-hand tap the arpeggio of the chord you're playing over
you can add a sweep arpeggio
you can find a pattern of notes that sounds good and move it up and down on the neck
you can use harmonics to create a harp like effect of notes ringing out
these are just a few options...you can even combine two or more of these if you want...john myung of dream theater often breaks out into a solo spot in the middle of a song so you should listen to some of his stuff and get a feel for that
I would say the first thing to do is work out all the notes in each of the chords you are playing over - that would be a good start to deciding what notes you can play.
Meaning one would have to identify the cords the guitar is using (or key of the song?) and do the appregios for those cords Root,3rd,5th position of the major scale of that key?
the melody is a good place to start. Try using it as a reference point and working from there just by using your ear. (That's just one idea. There are obviously tons of other ways to aproach soloing).
warning, this may get kinda long, hopefully it'll be worth it though...
knowing the chords the guitarist is playing would be great b/c then you have a lot of options...
if the guitarist is chugging away on a riff that is mainly an A5 chord (power chord) then you can decide to play an Aminor tapping lick, or an Amajor tapping lick... since the A5 chord is not major or minor in it's tonality, you can go either direction and really influence the feel of the song....the same idea applies if you want to add a sweep arpeggio
if the guitarist is playing a progression like Am Dm Em Am for example, then during the Am chord you could do an A minor sweep arpeggio or play the relative major arpeggio which would be C major. (a relative major is a major key which is found by going up one and a half steps from the minor key) So in the minor key of A, if you go up one and a half steps from A you get C, so Aminor's relative major is C major. Relative majors contain the same notes of the scale as their relative minor chords... so they don't sound out of place at all. Keep in mind though, if the guitarist is running through a minor progression you will change the feel of the piece if you change everything to relative major (you'll make it start to sound more cheerful) ...take a guitar progression on a record and experiment with playing different basslines under it... "Knockin on Heaven's Door" is a good one to practice with b/c the chords are very clearly defined
another cool trick is to sweep a neutral arpeggio pattern (ie... sweep the root and the fifth) and then add a tapped note with your right hand higher on the fretboard that dictates if your arpeggio will be minor or major.
Here's a simple tapping lick that will spice up a lot of your playing. Hammer on the A string 12th fret (note = A) with the first finger of your left hand. Next, tap the D string 14th fret (note = E) with the first finger of your RIGHT hand. After that, hit the G string 14th fret (note = A) with your right hand second finger. Then descend back down hitting the notes with the same finger you hit them with the first time. Now, whenever the guitarist plays an A chord you can just throw this little thing in there instead of the same old open A string pulse. You can move this shape up and down the neck and you'll be able to play a tapping pattern for any chord.
L1 R1 R2 R1 L1
There are many other possibilites though, feel free to pm me if you've got any questions. Good luck with the shredding madness!
Learn what parts of the scale and other chromatic notes combine to make the knid of lick you are looking for. To find your "sound", try listening to good player that you dig and steal their licks. This will help you to develop your own ideas later on (even the greats steal, so it's ok)
Also try singing a solo to the song you want to play and transcribe it. Your sound usually emulates what you would sing.
Lastly know you instrument.
Try playing simple melodies to easy songs (row,row row you boat or mary had a little lamb)
Simple tunes are where we derive our ideas from.
Eventually you might even be able to think about a simple melody and play it right away.
The desired effect is that you "sing with you instrument"
sorry about the long post.
I got carried away
it cant be tought... just go on the weather channel, find the root of the background music, just try playing any notes off that scale or any variation... once your comfortable with it finger style, try adding in slapping tapping blowing sucking hitting plucking and all that good stuff...
worked for me
Well...listen to guitar solos. See what they do when they have the spotlight.
Listen to horn players too.
*** is a horn? I read somewhere "play with the fluidity of guitar soloists and great horn players" and I remember thinking what the hell is a horn? Like a french horn?
wind instruments. sax/trumpet/etc.
I can't believe anybody asked that question - but anyway - the main point is that horn players have to breathe - so they are thinking about phrasing - the way to practice this for bass is to sing your solos - then you will have to think about phrasing and breathing.
Sing a solo first and then play exactly the same on your bass - once you can do that perfectly, you should be coming up with pretty good solos !!
I know what a horn is (both sorts), but what is a sweep arepggio?
I think it's to do with playing brushes on the drums!!
now stop that sooty, be sensible, this nice man Ed has asked a sensible question he wants a sensible answer
it's a technique a lot of shred guitar players use but many bassists use it effectively too. Usually they're played at pretty high speeds by sweeping your pick across the strings in a raking motion, that's how it got the name sweep arpeggio. If you play fingerstyle you can do the downstroke half of the arpeggio with your thumb and the upstroke part with your first finger.
here's an G minor sweep arpeggio
on the low e string the 15 to 18 (G to Bb) is hammered on. The next three notes ascending are played with a downstroke. Then you do a hammer on and pull off on the G string. The next three notes coming back down are all played using an upstroke...finishing with a pull off from the Bb to the G.
hope this helps. Keep in mind this is a relatively advanced technique so take your time and get it clean at slow speeds before you try to burn
Well excuse the hell out of me for not knowing what a horn player is. Not all of us can be as intelligible as you, Bruce.