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songs where bass is melody/lead

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by cannsyl, Oct 10, 2013.

  1. cannsyl


    Nov 29, 2012
    Are there any songs appropriate for a 10 yr old where the bass line is the main one in the song? He's been playing for about a year and a half but still a beginner. He learns really fast though and has pretty quick fingers. He is having some trouble finding songs he wants to play and would like something where its really recognizable in the song.
    Thanks so much
  2. What kind of music does he like? It'd be easier to find something, if he had a genre preference. There's quite a few punk bands with interesting, fun bass lines. Though, finding something, age appropriate, no swearing, drug references, may be difficult.
  3. cannsyl


    Nov 29, 2012
    as long as it kinda pg 13 its ok
    He loves Metallica, Rush, Greenday (later stuff), most things from the Guitar Hero game (that's where a lot of his musical knowledge comes from)
    He can play parts of Enter Sandman, Tom Sawyer, Holiday, Sunshine of your Love, he's currently learning Billie Jean.
    He likes his music a little heavier.
    He just wants something where he can really hear what he's playing in the song.
  4. Melody notes, the treble clef; the tune you whistle. Bass clef; the harmony, no one whistles the harmony notes. I think by wanting something he can recognize, you are talking about some lead sheet music with the treble clef.

    A trip to your music store. If they sell pianos I'm sure they will have some song books that he will like. Beginning piano students learn easy songs first and work up to harder ones later, that is why I think you will find what he wants at a music store. Ask the clerk for help. Perhaps something like this; http://www.ebay.com/itm/TWO-CHORD-S...349?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item58a105becd
    Or something like this http://www.amazon.com/dp/0634060791...e=asn&creative=395105&creativeASIN=0634060791 It's jazz and I do not think he is ready for that, but, it is all bass clef. The point I'm trying to get over - we normally play the bass clef.

    He may not understand the role of the bass as a harmony instrument that plays chord tones and not melody notes right at first. Melody notes come later, way later.

    Don't throw cold water, if he wants to recognize the tune - let him. But, get him a teacher.

    Good luck.
  5. Seven Nation Army is an easy one. For Whom The Bell Tolls is a fun heavy song where the bass isn't exactly the melody, but it doubles everything the guitars do, so it should be easy to learn by ear. It works well as a finger exercise, and it has that fun intro.
  6. LanEvo

    LanEvo Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2008
    So, you're looking for rock songs with a prominent bass hooks? Off the top of my head:

    Elvis Costello - Pump It Up
    Led Zeppelin - Ramble On
    Led Zeppelin - Good Times Bad Times
    Soundgarden - Burden In My Hand
    Stone Temple Pilots - Interstate Love Song
    Rage Against the Machine - pretty much anything they've ever done
  7. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    Almost every song in the Audioslave catalog is unison Bass/Guitar.

    Probably be right up his alley. Commerford gets monster tone. I especially like their self titled debut.
  8. Pretty much anything off the the first two Zep albums has a heavy, up-front bassline.
  9. jefkritz


    Oct 20, 2007
    iowa city, IA
    i was going to mention green day even before i read the op. super melodic basslines that drive the song. some songs are pretty tough, but some are definitely doable for a beginner.
  10. cannsyl


    Nov 29, 2012
    Thanks everyone I'll definitely have him look at some of these songs. He does have an instructor but the instructor likes for him to pick his songs then they work on them. so I was just trying to help him find something he would like.
    Thanks again
  11. kikstand454


    Sep 28, 2012
    Soul to squeeze - red hot chilli peppers.

    Parts of it may be tricky for a beginner, but he can hear exactly what is going on at all times on the bass.
  12. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Brit band "The Jam" is a great place for any you bassist looking for melodic lines that flow through great songs...Bruce Foxton is a high energy player of some great lines with attitude. :)

  13. wrench45us


    Aug 26, 2011
    Play Gang of Four's 'Brief History of the World' and see if he relates to those bass lines

    punky funky prominent bass work
  14. Odessa


    Sep 28, 2013
    First thing that came to my mind was Come together and was surprised it hadn't been mentioned yet.
  15. Paul Veltman

    Paul Veltman

    Oct 11, 2013

    'Walking on the Moon' is a nice simple bassline. It's not quite the 'melody line' of the song, but it's so prominent, it might be fun for him to play.
  16. MYager


    Feb 16, 2012
    I second this. Bruce Foxton is the man! How I started on bass lol
  17. CONCUR.
  18. The trouble is that this will teach him that bass is not what bass is in the majority of songs. Sure you can have all these songs with prominent bass lines - even going back to disco in the 70s like Earth, Wind and Fire, but for the vast amount of playing time the bass is a supportive member of the rhythm department. If it's playing real melodies, it's not bass, even if it's playing low notes. Beware any bass part that spends it's time up in the treble - it's no longer bass. Perfectly valid musically, but learning this style as the 'norm' means that when required to play bass in the traditional role a new player could be lacking in essential skills. I do worry that this modern way of letting people pick songs they like and then learning them teaches nothing at all about WHY they were played.

    Let's say the song goes G to C to G again, but the bass note goes G to C then to B, could you guess where it goes next? Can you hear the next note? This is what bass players need to develop. They need to know what to play from listening to the others. Guitarists lead in many cases, and everyone follows. The best bass players can predict where they are going, and play supportively. Learning songs by rote can bring back superb renditions of somebody else's playing, but if you were playing live and the lead singer decided to cut the verse, or by mistake missed the link into the bridge, how long would it take for you to drop back in? Followers need these skills, the leaders assume the followers can adapt. I like to think that it makes the rhythm section more critical than outsiders think!
  19. The Cure has nice bass lines which are supportive and melodic as well. Think "Love Song";

    The Smiths also play melodic walking bass: "This Charming Man" is a nice song.
  20. If he wants a kinda heavy tune:

    1. War pigs
    2. NIB (the bass solo in the beginning is killer);
    3. London Calling (The Clash);

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