What makes a bassline a GOOD bassline?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Muusers, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. So what do you guys think a bassline needs to be a good bassline?
  2. eddbassman


    Feb 28, 2008
    even if the bass is buried in the mix
    you still gotta FEEL it!
  3. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    It's gotta fit. I'm a big fan of understated subtlety, but sometimes even subtlety don't fit.
  4. wld3


    Jun 22, 2008


    When I read the question, the instant answer in my head was "feeling" - though I wasn't sure how to explain what I meant. Nice to see that the first response was just that.

    There is something transcendent about a good bass line. It is the soul of the song.

  5. Structure. You gotta be able to listen to the bassline and tell that there's a progression going on in the song. It should flow too, from one tonal centre to the next. Which is why roots are sometimes all you need.
  6. When I play it :p
  7. 69nites


    Jul 11, 2006
    when the song sounds better with it than without it.
  8. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    When it moves the music along, it's working.
  9. dave64o

    dave64o Talkbass Top 10 all time lowest talent/gear ratio! Gold Supporting Member

    If it makes butts start to move, jiggle, and shake then you've got yourself a good baseline! :D
  10. When you can pay attention to it with ease, but it doesn't distract from anything else going on in an ensemble.
  11. BillMason

    BillMason Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2007
    When it makes people who know zip about music want to move, wther that is dancing, banging their heads, sc**wing, etc. :)
  12. Deluge Of Sound

    Deluge Of Sound Inactive

    Nov 8, 2007
    And everyone was being so hideously esoteric about it... C'mon guys, this is music, you know, notes on paper. No feeling here folks, just good old structure :rolleyes:

    just taking the piss...
  13. BillMason

    BillMason Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2007
    A lot of those criteria can also apply to sucky basslines. :)
  14. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Same thing that makes a good guitar part, drum part, singing melody - it serves the song.
  15. dave64o

    dave64o Talkbass Top 10 all time lowest talent/gear ratio! Gold Supporting Member

    Helluva good point.
  16. Valerus


    Aug 4, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    Catchy, not overly-complicated, adds to the feel/groove of the song, not hindering it.
  17. SpaceYourBass


    Aug 28, 2007
    You must have synesthesia. Or some good psychedelics.

    I've always wondered how someone "feels" a sound.

    Just kidding, but surely you can explain what you mean by feeling a bassline? I can feel the music while playing, but when trying to write a bassline, I never think "okay I'm going to feel this one out."

    A good bassline has to fit the song. It has to support the music, not be boring, and at the same time not take away from or distract people too much from the other instruments (if the others are playing the melody). This all depends on the song, though.