terrible at composing basslines

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by adam_bro, Jul 22, 2003.

  1. adam_bro


    Jul 22, 2003
    hey guys. i play bass in a small band. we just jam a whole lot, and not very many gigs. but i have a really hard time making up basslines of my own. a really really really hard time. i have an astounding lack of creativity, and i dont know the chords in the first place :( so the stuff i actually do come up with is bad, and im pretty sure it sounds wrong to everyone else who knows anything about music. i wish i could make my own basslines. can anyone help me? i dont even know if its possible!! i just dont have any ideas (im really slow in the head) i mean, i can play popular songs no problem :bassist: but when i go to make up a song... i draw a blank. im totally stuck. i dontknow what to do. so i dont know. maybe give me some tips if possible? maybe its not possible for me... but thanks anyways! :meh:
  2. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    Well adam, here's a few important questions to ask yourself first-
    1. Do you know all the major, minor, and penatonic scales?
    2. Do you know all the modes?
    3. Do you know how a chord is built, or what the name of a chord means (major, minor, 7th, dominant, etc)
    4. Can you find these scales, notes, and chords on your bass neck quickly, or without having to look for them?

    If you can't say "yes" to most of the stuff above, then there is nothing wrong with you and you don't lack creativity, you simply don't hae the tools necessary to compose a quality bassline. At least some basic theory is essential for understanding or making quality music. If you know all that stuff, chances are that you'll have a lot mroe fun and find your playing time and band time more fulfilling and interesting- it will be more natural to you. To get started, you can do a search in the General instruction section, as well as teh TB articles, on the stuff I mentioned above. Knowledge is power man! Good luck!
  3. adam_bro


    Jul 22, 2003
    thanks dude. that sounds good. i will give that a shot. :D :D
  4. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    Start with the root of the chord and work your way up to the branches. :p
  5. adam_bro


    Jul 22, 2003
    yes. i think my problem is i started out learning songs from tabs. and eventually, thats all i ever ended up using. i only use tabs i find to play songs. i dont even know what "key" or chord im playing most of the time... :(
  6. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Do any of the other people in the band have any idea about theory? I don't mean a guitarist who says "Well, it's like an E shape but at the sixth fret so that's, uh, E6" :confused: or the drummer who's got a theory that aliens are trying to take over our brains so you should line your hat with tin foil :eek:

    However, if there's someone in your group who can explain what's going on then they'd be an ideal person to work with.