Using 5ths or octaves.

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by CrawlingEye, Mar 21, 2001.

  1. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    Hey... This is my first time posting on this board. I didn't even think I'd have a need to - ha!

    But I like using a lot of 5th's and octaves, but sometimes have trouble working them into lines/songs.

    I have one line that uses harmonics and octaves... neat line... I play a lot of ska. (the octaves and 5ths are in ska.) Any ideas?

  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Errr...what's the question? Any ideas... for what?
  3. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    I'm not sure I understand the question either but...
    what about a digitech wammy pedal?
  4. brewer9


    Jul 5, 2000
    Do you mean as chords or as seperate fill-in notes?

    I think the answer to your question is to try using them in various ways. You'll eventually learn which ways you like and which you dont.
  5. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    If you are having trouble fitting in the 1/5/8 combination , maybe the bassline is too busy for the tempo of the song.
    Maybe if you save that combination for fills or use the 1/5/8 only every other bar, you will not be so pressed to get it all in. A bassline does not require fireworks in every bar. Often times it is much more effective if it is given space and simplified.

  6. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    My question is how to work in the octave/5th notes to a measure. In like a ska type bassline.

    I've done it before, but is there any scales that work well with it?

    Any logic of thinking that works well?
  7. IMHO Ska basslines (especially the recent Ska revival stuff) tend to follow the root, 3rd, fifth pattern, eg. Mighty mighty bosstones (Did you ever- or whatever that big hit single of theirs was called).- you could take that bassline and substitute the root, fifth octave line to that rhythm.

    re. octaves, Horace Panter (Specials) uses alternating octaves in "too much too young".
  8. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    My first inclination would be to suggest a major pentatonic scale. Other ideas would be any scale not having a flat five in it. In other words you can use any scale that contains a perfect fifth interval.

    You still have to pay strict attention to the chord of the measure, though, because if it is a minor chord and you play a major third, instead of a minor third, you will sound dissonant.

    But I am not one hundred percent sure I understand yet what you are asking.

  9. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Eye-'s cool you're into Ska; if you're interested in using Root-5-Octave "patterns", check out some Afro-Latin music &/or bass books(like Carlos Del Puerto's The True Cuban Bassist).
    After getting some of these "basics" down, you can then experiment(like, maybe double-timing the figure)& find a way to make it "Ska-ish".
    Motown(Jamerson)also has some Root-5-Octave "patterns" that would probably translate over to a Ska-ish rhythm(a local band around here used to specialize in something called "Beach Reggae"...Motown tunes done in a Ska vibe).

    You could also consider a Drum/Groove/Method Book(something written by Gary Chaffee or Frank Briggs...published by Mel Bay, I think). Here, you look at the drum chart, get the drum's bass/snare figure under your fingers & then add YOUR notes.
    Just food for thought...
  10. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    Any idea of where to obtain any books?

  11. Fishbrain


    Dec 8, 2000
    England, Liverpool
    Endorsing Artist: Warwick Bass and Amp
    wot r u all going on about? 5th? octaves? I know an octave is like a whole scale or something, but can u try and explain them all to me?
  12. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Fishbrain, we are talking about intervals. Every step of the scale up from the root is an interval and each interval of the scale has its own name that describes the distance of the interval from the root.

    Here are the chromatic interavals (or root plus eleven other notes) of the chromatic scale.

    (Each half step equals one fret of your bass fretboard.)

    minor second, half step
    major second, one step,
    minor third, one and a half steps
    major third, two steps
    perfect fourth...etc
    augmented fouth/diminished fifth
    perfect fifth
    augmented fifth/minor sixth
    major sixth
    minor seventh
    major seventh

    So, back to your question, the fifth (or more exactly...the perfect fifth) is the fifth interval from the root of the scale. The octave is actually the same noot as the root, but one octave higher.

    So in C major, the root is C and the octave is C, but played one octave higher than the root.

    What the original questioner is asking about is the fifth and the octave. So in a C major scale, the fifth is G, played one string higher and two frets over and the octave is C, played two strings higher and two frets over form the root. In tab, that would be C on the A-string, third fret. G on the D-string, fifth fret and C on the A-string, fifth fret.

    Or in another C on the E-string, eighth fret; play G on the A-string, tenth fret and C on the D-string, tenth fret.

    They both have the same pattern. Did you notice? So it is easy, with any root, you know where to find the fifth and the octave.

    Oh, by the way, intervals are also used to name the steps in chords. So a major triad would have the root, third and fifth intervals and a major seventh chord would have the root, third, fifth and major seventh intervals.

  13. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    No no. I'm aware of how to get octaves and what they are. And how to get 5ths and what they are. The question is... Is there any specific techniques I should try/know to use them efficently in a ska type bass line?
  14. Fishbrain


    Dec 8, 2000
    England, Liverpool
    Endorsing Artist: Warwick Bass and Amp
    k, i tried to understand but I'll just take your word for it.
  15. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...again(to me), you have already decided on the notes; what you're asking(to me)is related to rhythms. If you're like me, you probably have a few "patented" rhythms that you play ad nauseum...for me to break out of my own habit/box, I hadda listen & read about rhythm(s).
    Drum books(do a search for Frank Briggs([/i]Mel Bay's Complete Modern Drum Set[/i]) or Jim Payne's Mel Bay drum book @ has some "free" Latin percussion figures charted out(hope you can read rhythmic notation).
    Check out for The True Cuban Bassist by Del Puerto. Goines /Ammeen's Funkifying The Clave is also recommended.
    The whole point is to add more ideas to your pool of knowledge/feel.
    Too, ask yourself "what makes this piece of music sound like Ska"? Listen to where the guitar's chords the guitarist playing on the 2 & 4? Where's the drummer's kick landing? Where's the snare cracking? With this info, you can decide just where YOU wanna add some of your Root-5-octave notes. You can go the "minimalist's route" with some space(1/4 notes or 1/8th notes)or get "busy"(1/16th notes).

    Example of a 1-bar figure:

    Now what you do is plug in your Root-5-octave notes. Experiment with ONLY those 3 notes.
    Then, you can start subtracting certain beats/notes-

    ...any help?
  16. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Crawling Eye, it was Fishbrain who asked in this thread how to find octaves and fifths. I assumed you do know what these intervals are, but Fishbrain didn't.

  17. crawling eye, if you're looking for a rule about how to construct your basslines, you're outta luck. you just have to play what sounds good in the song. if there was some kind of formula, anyone could do it.
  18. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ..."vandalizing" Grant Wood's American Gothic, eh?
    Funny stuff! :D
  19. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    There's no scales that are pretty good on using octaves and fifths though? Like in a ska type sequence?

    If not, then you're right, I am out of luck...
  20. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Ska(like Reggae, Funk, Swing, etc)is a feel.
    Do you have a Ska "sequence" in mind?
    Would you spell it out here so I can see it? ;)
    /-Am7-Am7/-F-F/-Am7-Am7/-F-G/ what's your sequence?