Where did the bass lines go?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by darwin-bass, Jan 10, 2018.

  1. darwin-bass

    darwin-bass Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2013
    Salem OR
    I have fond memories of interesting bass lines from my youth (70's). Bass used to move. In the 40's it was swing / big band and the bass was all over the place. Motown ruled the 60's. 70's pop, funk, disco - all had lines.

    Seems to me these days that bass guitar lines are gone. Bass just sits on the root outlining the chord structure.

    Am I imagining this or have things really gone downhill from a bass guitar perspective?
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  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Depends on what music you listen to. Current "popular" music, you may have a point (quotes because it ain't popular with me). Plenty of good bass lines still out there though.
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  3. I suspect they’re harder to find, but I think they’re still there.
    Pbassmanca and shawshank72 like this.
  4. Frank Tuesday

    Frank Tuesday

    Jul 11, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Just found this in the 2018 SXSW artist. The bass and vocals in the chorus are divine.
  5. eJake


    May 22, 2011
    New Orleans
    How much new music are you really seeking out?
  6. cdef


    Jul 18, 2003
    Some things reach a peak, and then have to be redeveloped so that younger generations can identify with themselves, rather than with what went before.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
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  7. TyCobb


    Feb 17, 2014
    Folsom, CA
    Oooo me like drool. Thanks for sharing.
    1bassleft and DCGuy like this.
  8. Fat Freddy

    Fat Freddy Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2016
    Albany NY
    I heard a rumor that Jean Jaques Burnel used the last available bass line in 1987.....:whistle:
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  9. darwin-bass

    darwin-bass Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2013
    Salem OR
    Little, which is why I asked the question.
  10. eJake


    May 22, 2011
    New Orleans
    Would you like some recommendations? There is tons of newer music with killing bass lines but it might not be music that you previously might have liked (hip hop, EDM, indie pop)
  11. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Inactive

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    Absolutely in popular music. It's been dumbed down to the lowest common denominator, any originality erased as completely as possible.

    In the late 60's and 70's you didn't have to go on the hunt for a good bass line. :rollno:
  12. RedJag


    Mar 2, 2016
    San Jose, CA
    Here’s a fun bass line from 2017
  13. RedJag


    Mar 2, 2016
    San Jose, CA
    For some really innovative use of Bass, check out Royal Blood
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  14. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Late 60s early 70s was the period in rock with the bass lines were the best. But a couple of things:

    1. Pounding roots is hardly new - Kinks, AC/DC, etc.
    2. As music (and bass frequency especially) has gotten louder, and with better sound reproduction, a pounding bass line has more of an impact. Go back into them I'd 60s and earlier, and you had to struggle to hear a defined bass. Just hitting the roots would have added little to nothing to the song. Add in the fact that there was less overdubbing, so the bass had a very different role.
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  15. Richland123


    Apr 17, 2009
    Here is one for you.

    n1as, 1bassleft and DCGuy like this.
  16. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg , Conquest Sound
    I agree with you 100%. I was talking to a friend of mine about this topic the other day. Even cheesy 70's pop songs like Bobby Sherman's "Easy Come, Easy Go" had an interesting bass line. Now it seems that all the creativity is gone. It's not just bass lines. Lyrics, guitar and drum parts have also become more simplified and less interesting. The lack of creativity has also impacted movies. It seems like all the movies are remakes, sequels and prequels with reliance on CGI. No originality at all.

    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
  17. EricssonB

    EricssonB Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2011
    "_______ from my prime is way better than it is now. I spend little effort to disprove this notion and am familiar all caveats of the subject -- no good _______ these days!. Get off my lawn."

  18. jthisdell


    Jun 12, 2014
    Roanoke, VA
    In much of pop music the bass just hits the root and reinforces the kick drum as in 1*2*3*4, etc, etc. You cannot distinguish between the bass and the kick (if indeed it is a bass and not some sort of synth).

    Partly as a result of this, much of pop music sucks. Simple, boring 4/4 rhythm, little in the form of discernible melodies or harmonies, much in the way of over-singing.

    Gotta go, time for my afternoon nap!!
    ZonieBass and Wesley R like this.
  19. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    Swing is a double edged sword. Some have really melodic lines, like the Glenn Miller stuff. Then there's root five lines all over the place with a major third every eight bars or so.
    bholder likes this.
  20. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    I think we need a crossover band doing metal versions of Glen Miller tunes! Still with all the trombones though! :wacky:
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