Types of basslines

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by bass_drum, May 7, 2005.

  1. bass_drum


    Feb 13, 2005
    Hey guys, Just wodering what you think of different types of basslines.

    I'm wondering what kind of bassline would be better for heavy rock/metal type stuff...

    a)the really driving basline that tends to jsut keep hitting the root note, while the guitarists go and play busy stuff (think breaking the law, by judas priest

    b)basically playing what the guitar is playing but instead of palm mutes, you stil hit open strings and such. Maby leave out a few chords if it gets to muddy, but if you put up a little bit of treble, you can still do power chords quite nicely. (think of certain parts of seek and destroy by metallica).
    Also, I know if guitars are just holding chords (like in breaking the law by judas priest)you are going to have to do those root note-type basslines.

    Just wondereing if you guys think that songs really do need those driving root note basslines, or if aslong as your providing low end, and keeping with chords, you can do guitar-like stuff to, without the song feeling like its missing sumthing.
    See, I was thinking of getting a bass VI type instrument, some distortion, and maby an octave pedal. That way there would still be lots of low end, and itd be a way to free myself of those really really really reptitive basslines.

    (BTW, In no way am I dissing driving basslines! I love them and I understand their use, but I'm just finding alternatives)

  2. Andy Cleaver

    Andy Cleaver A show of hands....

    Dec 16, 2004
    England, Midlands
    My favourite kind of basslines for rock and metal (When they work well) are driving basslines with a solid groove, and locked in with the drums.

    Driving basslines also definately do not just have to be root note based! Nate from the Foo Fighters is one of my favourite bassists in that respect!
  3. bass_drum


    Feb 13, 2005
    Ill definately go look up some of his stuff !
  4. bass_drum


    Feb 13, 2005
    maby I should repost my question, but shorten it, to see if i get more answers...

    I wondering what kind of basslines work better for heavt rock/metal-type stuff.

    a)driving (usually root note) basslines that tend to just keep goin and goin (think of breaking the law by judas priest)

    b)basslines that do what the guitar is basically doing
    (think of deuce by kiss)

    now I know kiss was pretty heavy back when they were together so It should work. But m y idea of heavy rock, is a little heavier then kiss stuff, so im wondering is that kind of basslines would still work for heavy stuff.


    P.S. My favourite basslines are like Are you gonna be my girl by jet, but I'm not surer how well those would go over in heavy rock
  5. try writing a bassline and then have the guitars do something different on top. Listen to Iron Maiden. A lot.
  6. bass_drum


    Feb 13, 2005
    I've listened to a few of their songs (definately not alot) and it kinda seemed like the basist was just doing root note stuff. Do you have any recommendations for songs I should listen by them that have that kind of bassline?
  7. Try:
    Running free
    Children of the Damned
    These are a couple of examples where Steve Harris deviates from the root a bit - or at least adds some runs.

    Try listening to some Sabbath as well. Geezer Butler is great at distinguishing himself within songs. He's all over the place on the Heaven and Hell album.
    A lot of times you can stand out with a cool tone or by playing the root with higher notes occasionally (usually right before a change.

    Bottom line- Try new stuff and figure out your own style.
    Make sure it works with the song and with the dynamics of your band.