What is a complex bassline, or what makes part of a bassline technical?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by JukeBoxHero, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. JukeBoxHero


    May 21, 2009
    What makes it so? I know playing a simple root bassline isn't complex but I don't quite know what makes something technical or complex.

  2. I don't think that anyone can define what a complex or technical bassline is. Depending on the skills of the player the same bassline you might had found complex could be really easy for him.

    Listen to the song Bernadette by the Four Tops, the notes played by Jamerson aren't complex (mostly chromatic approaches) but the rhythm and the way these notes are played in a simple motown song makes the bassline a masterpiece and his seen as technical and complex bassline.

    Hope I helped :bassist:
  3. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Rule of thumb: if it requires more skill, artistry, or music-theory understanding than you have, then it is technical and complex.
  4. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Believe it or not this can be complex to some players because they cannot bring themselves just to do that, it is so simple and basic it becomes complex for them to just do that.
  5. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    I'm pretty guilty of this. I can't root at all when I write. My bass is either tastefully hopping around the octaves and fifths or I'm holding one long note for a passage. You will almost never catch me playing a solid root-note rhythm - they just don't sound good to me unless I'm doing it to comp for a rhythm guitar under a solo.
  6. JukeBoxHero


    May 21, 2009
    Ah, I thinking it would be a bit more defined than that, but I guess that works.
  7. Off the top of my head, I'd say any of these attributes would make a bass line technically difficult:

    fast tempo (well, duh)
    syncopated rhythms (emphasizing off beats, changing the emphasis around in the measure)
    unusual time signatures (5/4, 7/8, etc)
    many or rapid changes of key or mode
    frequent large intervals between notes, requiring you to cross strings or shift up & down the neck
  8. Montsegour


    Apr 1, 2008
    - Anything that you can not do is complex.
    If you follow that sentence, and your goal is to overcome & make your own "complex" lines, soon you won't see so much complex lines.
    I hope this isn't a complex answer, due to all of it's "complex" parts :))