1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

What to add to my "song" ?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Burialist, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. Burialist


    Nov 19, 2012
    I am fresh bass guitarist, and yesterday i decided to start writing my own bass lines because its fun and good for learning bass.
    So i writed down my bass lines and played them along drum track.
    I recorded everything, its VERY basic, its not a song (or is it?) but it is something.

    Sound clip is 1.40 min long and it only has 1bass guitar and drums in it.

    My question:

    1. Do you think its possible to add something else in this "song",

    if it is, what would it be (guitar, piano...) and in what way (chords, melody..)

    2. What could i improve about jaming to this song ?

    3. Is this even the way bass should sound or are those even bass lines ?

    Here is sound clip i am talking about:

    Thanks so much for your help and good advices !
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2014
  2. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

    Yes as this is only the bottom end - a drum track with a bass line. You've taken care of the Rhythm, there is now melody and harmony to add to what you have for it to be "a song". Great first attempt, by the way.

    Yes, those are bass lines. But, now the question is; to what? Answer; to a drum track. When you add the melody and harmony, and make it a song, will those bass lines fit?

    Great effort. Keep going. Pull up some backing tracks that have the melody and harmony and jam (write) a bass line for them. Which brings us to the real question; How do you write bass lines for songs?
  3. Burialist


    Nov 19, 2012
    i was just reading basics about what parts should song include.
    Not that this is the only way, but its a way to start.
    Intro ,Verse , Bridge , Chorus and Outro.

    So i am kinda stuck, i dont have clue what that means, how long intro should be, how verse sounds/look like, what a hack is bridge xP..

    It would really help if someone could post a song (hopefully a song in witch you can hear bass line) and divide it to parts.

    Lets say you post a link from youtube, than just write down time when specific part starts.

    something like:
    0:00 - 0:30 intro
    0:30 - 1:00 verse
    and so on

    Pleas reply

    Much thanks to


    He always helps me, and makes great posts !
  4. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

    I think you are worrying about something you really do not need to right now. Learn how to play someone else's music before you start composing music, i.e. play from sheet music right now. The songwriter has figured all that stuff out for you.

    To answer your question..... this may shoot over your head, but, here goes.

    Intro - My intros are the last chord progression in the song less the last tonic chord, i.e. I'm not ending so do not need the last tonic chord to resolve and end -- my intro ends on the dominant chord which begs to go to the tonic chord, which probably will be the first chord in the first verse. The intro introduces the key and pulls you into the song..... I use the last full chord progression in the song to do that. I'm sure there are other ways to construct an intro.

    Verse - Normally a song will have three to four verses. The four line verse is classic, but, can be as many lines as needed. The first two lines of a verse brings up a thought, the next two lines of the verse react to that and bring that thought to an end. The next verse brings up another thought and repeats the same format as verse number one. The song normally would progress like this; Play the first two verses, then the chorus, then play the last verse and repeat the chorus and end by repeating the last line of the chours again. Most verses will use the same chord progression and the tune pretty much repeats in all verses. I like to have a full V-I cadence in the first two lines of the verse and then repeat that same V-I cadence in the last two lines of the verse, i.e. one chord progression repeated twice in a four line verse. If a lead break solo was to be done it would probably come after the first chorus. Not all songs take a lead break.

    Bridge - I really do not understand what a bridge is. We don't use them in the music I play. Someone else will chime in I'm sure.

    Chorus - About the same as a verse. It's the hook, what you want them remembering about the song tomorrow. The chorus could use the same progression and key that the verses used. You can change keys and the progression if you want. There should be a reason for doing so...... I usually see the same key and progression repeated in the chorus. In Country, I'd say it is 85% the same. Other styles will vary.

    Outro. - We usually end the song by repeating the chorus and the outro is we repeat the last line of the chorus twice, slowing down as we get to the end of the line.

    Perhaps someone will, kids are just before getting here for Christmas, no time right now. I think you can answer this question by looking at some sheet music.

    Good luck.
  5. SunnBass

    SunnBass All these blankets saved my life.

    Aug 31, 2010
    Columbia, Mo
    I couldn't disagree with this more. I have been playing stringed instruments for 17+ years and have yet to learn an entire song. Just become a "better listener". Sure, learn a part or two from your favorite songs. Choose some "target" songs. What can really push musical growth is playing with others. Especially friends who are better than you.

    One suggestion I have for you Burialist, work on your right hand. Timing, timing, timing. One or two notes at a time with a metronome or basic drum/click track. THIS is the most important thing a beginner should practice. Then start adding left hand work.

    But, I really have to add: play with a living, breathing drummer (if possible).
    (I know someone here will try to call me out on the following statement, and that's fine, have at it)
    I have found, and I believe that metronomes and click tracks are unnatural and can cause some very static and lifeless playing. Choose a song you love, if you can figure out the song's bpm set a metronome or whatever.
    Which one is off?
    Is John Bonham not playing correctly?
    Bill Bruford can't keep time?
    Stewart Copeland doesn't know how to count?
    Or is it just that a metronome keeps time to an unnatural/mechanical rhythm since time is relative?

    Also, when writing, keep an open mind. "intro, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, breakdown, etc..."
    There is no "right way" to write a song. You don't NEED all those things to write a song.
    IT'S A TRAP! Like top 40 radio, a bestseller list, 120 bpm, songs in A or C.
    Spoon-fed, zombie walk.

    It doesn't work like that buddy. Music would never progress.
  6. Sloop John D

    Sloop John D

    Jun 29, 2012
    Here's an example. I Want To Hold Your Hand by the Beatles.

    Here's the basic structure:

    Intro: The song begins with a very brief instrumental introduction to the song. Instrumental intros are typical, and generally they're based on the verse or the chorus of the song. This particular intro is actually pulled from the ending of the bridge.

    Verse 1: The verse in this song begins with the lines "Oh yeah I'll tell you something..." The verse is a section of the song that repeats, but generally contains different lyrics each time it repeats.

    Chorus 1: The Chorus goes "I want to hold your hand, I want to hold you hand." The chorus is generally a section of a song that will repeat multiple times, but with the same lyrics each time. Often known as the hook of the song, the chorus is usually thought of as being the catchiest part of a tune. It's the part that gets stuck in your head.

    Verse 2: Following the chorus, we hear a second verse.

    Chorus 2: The second verse is followed by another chorus.

    Bridge 1: The Bridge of the song begins "And when I touch you I feel happy inside." The Bridge is a section of the song which generally represents a strong departure from the Verse and Chorus and is meant to give the listener a break from hearing too much repetition. It also appears less frequently. Generally only once, or sometimes not at all, but usually not more than twice. In this song, the bridge appears twice.

    Verse 3: Following the Bridge, we get a third verse.

    Chorus 3: A third Chorus follows the third verse.

    Bridge 2: Here, we get a second bridge. This is fairly typical for early Beatles songs.

    Verse 4: Following the second bridge, we get another verse.

    Chorus 4: Another chorus follows the verse. As you have probably noticed by now, verses and choruses are generally grouped together in pairs.

    Outro: The song ends with a very brief outro attached to the end of the last chorus.

    While these are general names that get attached to sections of a song, not every section of a song will fit neatly into one of these types. Many songs will have sections that defy labels. "She Loves You" by the Beatles is a good example. It's very difficult to attach a verse/chorus/bridge label to the sections of that song.

    Here's one with a more prominent bass line. Drive My Car by the Beatles.

    I won't detail each section for you this time, but the song begins with an instrumental intro, the first verse begins "Asked a girl what she wanted to be...", and the chorus always begins "Baby you can drive my car."

    There's not really a bridge in this song, but there is a verse that has a guitar solo instead of vocals and lyrics. This can be viewed as a bridge if you like. It's a departure from the typical verse/chorus dichotomy that helps break the song up a bit to keep it from getting too repetitive.

    You don't have to structure your songs the way these songs have been put together, but it can be helpful when you're first starting out to get an idea of how songs are generally arranged.
  7. If you can't practise with other musicians, then what you're doing is okay. I would, however, suggest downloading (or creating) something with chord progressions to play along with, as opposed to just a drum track. Playing over chord changes is essentially what music is all about.