Trouble making stuff up...

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Obsolex, Jun 28, 2003.

  1. Wait to get in a band, that will work...

    2 vote(s)
  2. Keep trying...

    4 vote(s)
  3. Learn SCALES!!

    13 vote(s)
  4. It'll come to you...

    3 vote(s)
  5. You probably suck...

    5 vote(s)
  6. carrots

    3 vote(s)
  1. Obsolex

    Obsolex Guest

    Nov 17, 2002
    I'm having a lot of trouble making stuff up... I remember when I was jamming with people, it was really easy. For the past 8 months or so, I havn't jammed with ANYBODY... What do you guys think I should do? Any suggestions... thanks-
  2. you need to keep trying, learn scales, and listen to lots of music...

    A band may also help, too!

    Get lots of various bands/artists and listen to the basslines/whichever, and see what inspirates you.. :)
  3. Obsolex

    Obsolex Guest

    Nov 17, 2002
    Yeah, it's weird, for the first 2 years of playing, I made stuff up in a snap, then for about a month, I went through this, then for about 6 months, I just worked on technique, and now i'm back to my "drought"...
  4. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Some nifty tricks to find new lines:

    Detune one or more strings, play, your usual licks will sound totally new.
    When you find a keeper, learn it in standard tuning.
    This works especially well for slap lines.

    Shift the rhythm of a line by one or more 8ths and 16ths. A drum computer or metronome will help you do that.

    All this is a quite good way of getting new stuff you wouldn't normally come up with.
  5. Obsolex

    Obsolex Guest

    Nov 17, 2002
    That is an AWSOME idea!! thanks!!
  6. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    In the words of Pacman...

    Transcribe, transcribe, transcribe.
  7. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    You can always jam with yourself - although it would be worth getting back to working with some other musicians as well. Record yourself, then listen back, transcribe the best bits and then use that to feed another jam session...

    You could also work on arranging some songs for solo bass - Purple Haze by Jimi Hendrix is one that I've heard covered in a couple of different ways.

  8. SlavaF


    Jul 31, 2002
    Edmonton AB
    Definitely scales, among the options. I started learning them, and I have an easier time making stuff up now. Also, JMX, I will definitely try that!:cool:
  9. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Forget scales...I mean you should know your scales and chords but then your lines will just sound like you are playing scales.

    A better way:

    1. Go to the library and look for books and magazine articles about "greatest 100 rock (or your style of music if it aint rock) albums of all time".

    2. Buy, borrow or download as many of these albums as you can.

    3. Listen to each one over and over, learn (by ear) a few songs off each one.

    After that, making up bass lines will be EASY. The way to learn how to create them is by listening to great examples of bass playing.

    People who think you can create great music in a total vacuum are nuts, nobody is as "original" as they would like you to think. There is nothing in rock music that hasn't had some precedent in another musical style. Heck, J.S. Bach wrote some of the world's greatest bass lines over 300 years ago.
  10. Obsolex

    Obsolex Guest

    Nov 17, 2002
    I'm not critisizing you or anything, but I don't get what you are saying exactly...

    "A better way:

    1. Go to the library and look for books and magazine articles about "greatest 100 rock (or your style of music if it aint rock) albums of all time".

    2. Buy, borrow or download as many of these albums as you can."

    So you want me to go look for books and magazine's about "greatest 100 rock (or whatever) albums of all time.".
    Then you want me to buy/download these albums... Then want me to listen to them over and over, and try to learn them by ear...3. Listen to each one over and over, and then learn a few songs off each one by ear?...........?
    Why don't I just listen to bass solo's?

    Again man, i'm not critisizing you at all, I just don't get EXACTLY what you are saying here.
  11. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    I THINK he's just trying to say, the more music you listen to the better off yo uwill be when it comes to making your own.

    He just presented that as an order :p

    I agree though, but don't just stop with music, everything has the capability to inspire.

    I was playing piano, then I thought, this piano, is a percussive string instrument, like any instrument it has harmonics, like any string instrument, by subdividing the string length you can single out those harmonics. So I put my finger over a portion of the strings for the note I was playing, and viola I had a harmonic, then I found some little clamp things and I put a little piece of cloth, and I found harmonics for about 5 notes(I didn't have enough time or clamps to do more) and I started playing little melodies and stuff on this harmonic piano.

    eventually, I want to create a full 88 key harmonic piano.
    I have a lot of ideas like that, I just wish I had all the technical know how.

    Another thing...sometimes you just gotta try something new, have you every tried playing in an alternate tuning?

    I decided to mess around with them and I found myself playing in D-A-D-A, it was really neat, and I found myself exploring new sounds and stuff that were so much more easily accessible, then I wrote a song in it, and I'm pretty proud of it that song.

    There was a thread about this(or something rather similar) started in the "ask Michael Manring and Steve lawson" forum a while back, Steve gave some brilliant advice, that I have tried to paraphrase in my post.

    I'll try and find that thread.
  12. Obsolex

    Obsolex Guest

    Nov 17, 2002
    Yeah, it seems the more music I listen to I get more creative. But I ACTUALLY, havn't been listening to as much lately, not very much at all. But yeah, hope you can find that thread!thanks WRobot
  13. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    I too used to have trouble making stuff up, which always struck people as strange since I came from such a creative background. My mother was Karen Carpenter, my father was Jimi Hendrix, I was conceived at a Headhunters gig in Peru and my Godparents were Paul McCartney and Joni Mitchell... Anyway, back on track, one day Flea said to me, I went to school with him and Les Claypool you know, he said "Howard, dude, let's go round to Freddie Mercury's house and get wasted". So, on the way there I tripped over Roni Size's hair and landed face first in Ella Fitzgerald's cleavage were the lack of oxygen caused a fundamental shift in my brain patterns and gave the ability to make stuff up. Mad huh?
  14. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    You tripped over roni sizes hair??!!?:D :D :D

    that's brilliant.;)
  15. ConU


    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province
    For the first part,YES!!!In the last 12 years,without any exaggeration,I've probably learned upwards of 5 or 600 songs,by ear,for gigs.90% of them very famous tunes,some with classic basslines.It's shaped my vocabulary and creativity in countless ways.It gives you a reference point from which to create(hopefully)your own style.I have a new R&B/soul gig next month.I lifted 45 tunes in less than a week by ear.If I get a studio gig this week where somebody wants some R&B/Soul basslines,and I'm feeling a little stuck,well I have a "well" I can go dip into for inspiration.

    For the second part,nobody cares about bass solo's,until you have the vocabulary and resulting voice to say something original.

    I'm getting $300 for that gig,there is'nt 1 bass solo in the whole gig.:)
  16. XxBassmanxX


    Nov 21, 2001
    Rosman NC
    All these great ideas!

    When i cant make something up i dont force it, but I do learn something someone else has already written. Sometimes jamming with the cd player can really open you up. Also if you dont know your modes then learn them! I recommend experimenting with different modes over chords to learn how they sound. Finally, try stacking major and minor thirds to build chords and just do arpeggios to hear how they sound. You can build a progression with just a few chords and youll have a song. You can also record interesting progressions and make up solos to them as you play them back. Have fun!

  17. you could be a root note junkie and let the guitarist do all the work then just add some licks into it. but thats not the way to go