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 play w/o copying/roots

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Journey55, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. I was wondering what to play under a metal riff (think Parkway Drive, August Burns Red). I feel like there's two options, follow the guitar or playing the root notes of the riff. And I was wondering if anyone had any other ideas of what to do under the riff
  2. Duke21


    Nov 14, 2010
    Narvik, Norway
    You can play the 5th's as they are non major / minor dependent, you can play the 1st, 5th and the 9th as a chord, both cases will be ok for metal.
  3. My take on generic bass lines -- something in addition to roots....

    Generic Notes. 4/4 time one chord per measure - playing 1/4 notes.
    • The root, five and eight are generic and fit most any chord. Remember the diminished has a flatted 5. R-5-8-5 is a safe work anytime under major chords.
    • The 3 is generic to all major chords. R-3-5-8 works with any major chord.
    • The b3 is generic to all minor chords. R-b3-5-8 works with any minor chord.
    • The 7 is generic to all maj7 chords. R-3-5-7 works with any maj7 chord
    • The b7 is generic to all dominant seventh and minor seventh chords. R-3-5-b7 or R-b3-5-b7
    • The 6 is neutral and adds color, help yourself to 6’s. R-3-5-6 love that sound with a major chord.
    • The 2 and 4 make good passing notes. Don’t linger on them or stop on them, keep them passing.
    • In making your bass line help yourself to those notes, just use them correctly.
    • Roots, fives, eights and the correct 3 and 7 will play a lot of bass.
    • We get paid for root on 1, but, you do not have to start on the root all the time. Mix it up.

      That's the generic works for everything. Now for metal - another generic "rule" is follow the chords.
  4. anonymous111813

    anonymous111813 Guest

    Mar 1, 2011
    That´s something you need to find out for yourself.

    See if the guitar riff is in a special key or mode. That gives you an idea of what you can play.

    Most Metal riffs are aeolian, phrygian, dorian, harmonic minor or even melodic minor-based. So I suggest you get comfortable with these, and also with the obove list of chords (Maj7, 7, m7, m7b5...)

    I find that most Metal music is not really based on chord progressions that you can find in Jazz, Pop or Funk where you have a certain chord progression that you can follow.

    The riff is what matters, and the riff creates a certain "mood", and although it might not be intended, it follows a certain scale or mode, like I said above.

    You can play melodic basslines following that scale, play fills, just see how you can support the drum groove and the guitars best.
  5. All the notes of those scales/modes are very close to each other. For example, using Aeolian as home base:

    Aeolian R-2-b3-4-5-b6-b7 which is the same as the natural minor scale.
    Phrygian R-b2-b3-4-5-b6-b7 one note different.
    Dorian R-2-b3-4-5-6-b7 again one note different.
    Harmonic minor R-2-b3-4-5-b6-7 yep one note different.
    Melodic minor R-2-b3-4-5-6-7 Now this one is not just one note, however, think MAJOR SCALE with a b3.

    Change one note and see how that fits. If that is a paradigm shift check it out using chord house ::: guitar room (advanced) -- online guitar chords and scales
    C Harmonic Minor
    intervals:  [b]1,2,b3,4,5,b6,[COLOR="red"]7[/COLOR][/b]
    half-steps: 2-1-2-2-1-3-1
    notes:      C,D,Eb,F,G,Ab,B
     C Dorian
    intervals:  [b]1,2,b3,4,5,[COLOR="red"]6[/color],b7[/b]
    half-steps: 2-1-2-2-2-1-2
    notes:      C,D,Eb,F,G,A,Bb
    Let the natural minor scale be your home base. Want a Phrygian sound? Phrygian is only one note difference. And to insure the Phrygian sound be sure to use the b2 note in your riff. In fact accent the b2 (repeat it, come back to it) as that is the characteristic note of the Phrygian mode.

    Here is my Rosetta stone;
    Major Scale Box. 
    G|---2---|-------|---3---|---4---| 1st string
    E|-------|---R---|-------|---2---| 4th string 
    Have fun.
  6. Dang, I guess I have a lot more learning to do. Thanks so much for being so in depth with your explanations guys!
  7. anonymous111813

    anonymous111813 Guest

    Mar 1, 2011
    Malcolm, this seems like a very good guide to me!
  8. Duke21


    Nov 14, 2010
    Narvik, Norway
    Nice thread guys!

Share This Page