Where does creativity come from?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by cire113, Jan 29, 2009.

  1. cire113


    Apr 25, 2008
    Ive been playing bass for abou 1 year.. Now i love playing all music..

    But lately i find that when i jam by myself i just sit there staring at the intstrument or playing way too many notes when trying to groove..

    Ive been tryin to come up with funk bass lines or any original bass lines and have had no luck..

    Usually when this happens to me i just keep playing along to music ..

    I was just wondering what everythones thoughts are on creativity and making groovy bass lines....

    It seems every time i hit funk i use that standard Funk formula hitting on the 1 and the 3.... or just the 1
  2. Tyler C.

    Tyler C.

    Jan 18, 2009
    Creativity comes from insparation and life experiance.
    CozmoCosty likes this.
  3. +1

    A guitarist friend related a story that he heard from Joe Diorio.

    Joe had a guitar student that was complaining about how he wasn't able to come up with anything interesting etc. Joe asked him when was the last time he went on a date.
  4. funkybass4ever


    Dec 12, 2007
    Listen to a lot of different styles of music - it will help. listen to Jazz and jam bands that improvise- total creativity:bassist:
    CozmoCosty likes this.
  5. Goatman

    Goatman Guest

    Aug 19, 2008
    well, my creative juices typically flow when I...

    1.) Become fearless to play what I feel, crossing the comfort lines of habit-prone fingers and conventional western music. Even if it sounds "weird" to some.

    2.) Listen to A LOT of different genres

    3.) Experience really strong emotions (both positive :) and negative :bawl: )

    4.) Get a good amount of sleep and otherwise keep my body healthy.

    5.) Start playing in new bands/with new people

    BUT.. :eek:

    keep in mind that at some time and somewhere in human history, a musician already thought of the riff you have in your head. Our DNA is 99.9999etc% similar and our brains react to the human experience in similar ways. Try to find your own voice for expressing that experience first before seeking some crazy creative breakthrough of your own.

    If you can play something like "Sunshine of Your Love" in a musical voice that is entirely and distincly your own, that is just as creative as coming up with original material. :bassist:

    *UPDATE: Just to emphasize point number 3, I just went through a breakup this weekend :( and as much as it sucks, I came up with a little song filled with rich chords and a 19/8 time signature riff to kind of let out some energy. I'll shake the blues in a short while, but now I'll always have that song to play with :cool:
    CozmoCosty likes this.
  6. This may sound weird, but I have noticed that when I'm at home if I close my eyes and shut everything else out exept the music I'm more creative and sometimes suprise myslef almost as if someone else is playing and I'm just listening......................and sometimes not.
  7. LowBSix

    LowBSix Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2008
    818 ~ 805 ~ L.A.
    Endorsing Artist: GHS Strings
    This is quite the philosophical question>>> Isn't it?

    All the responses above are very real...

    Creativity doesn't "just happen"; DNA comes from somewhere; Life experiences and so on are all deeply connected to the beginning of life....

    IMHO... It's God's Gift...
    CozmoCosty likes this.
  8. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2008

    Im at the same crossroads. I can play almost anything I try, but cant try everything I hear..
  9. cire113


    Apr 25, 2008
    Thanks for the great responses...

    I thought of this question because lately i have just been playing the same riffs and getting bored.....
  10. LowBSix

    LowBSix Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2008
    818 ~ 805 ~ L.A.
    Endorsing Artist: GHS Strings
    Suggestion.... to keep away the boredom...

    Practice along with a TV show... Noodle on what you're hearing; helps melodic ideas and ear training...

    Listen to music you wouldn't ordinarily listen to! Make it your own...
    Study reading.... Trombone books or classical bass are awesome....
    CozmoCosty likes this.
  11. ryco


    Apr 24, 2005
    The more stuff you learn, the more resources you are going to have to work with.

    Learn different styles, listen to other bass players - live and recorded. If you hear something interesting take it apart and see what makes it interesting. Basslines, chord changes and progressions, melodies.

    Take scales and chords and *gasp* modes and make little song exercises out of 'em so you can hear the personality each has to offer. Including pentatonics and blues scales.

    There is so much music and sound out there - you will find interesting stuff -- keep your ears open.

    Write down or record your ideas so you can keep a library of stuff, something you can go back to when your running low on ideas. If your fresh out of ideas, then spend the time on technique (means the actual physical aspect of playing) or reading music.

    Creativity comes from observing the world around you and reinterpeting it back to others as you perceive it.
    CozmoCosty likes this.
  12. bass12

    bass12 Have You Met Grace Jones?

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    This is a problem I think most of us can relate to. Try stuff out on a different instrument. If you have access to a keyboard, try coming up with some bass lines on that. I find that, when playing bass (my main instrument), I often fall into the trap of letting my fingers do the thinking. This means that, instead of the music coming from my head (or soul, if you want to be more romantic about it), it comes from the patterns my fingers are used to. On piano, I inevitably come up with lines that are from my head and not my fingers (as I'm pretty useless on piano). For rhythmic variation, try tapping out rhythms with your fingers and then attach notes to those rhythms. By not focusing on the notes immediately, you may find that you come up with some rhythms that you otherwise might not. If all else fails, give yourself a break. Leave your bass alone for a couple of days. When you come back, you might find that your creativity returns with you. Remember though, creativity is like a current that ebbs and flows - it isn't always there and you can't just turn it on at any given time. Be patient with yourself.
    CozmoCosty likes this.
  13. matthiasss


    Jan 21, 2008
    Smoke a joint, listen to jazz.

    Mezz Mezzrow anyone?
    Timothy Pascale likes this.
  14. mattblissett


    Jul 18, 2006
    listen to as much different music as you can, meet people, read books, challenge yourself personally and musically, practice enough so that you can forget the technical things and just let go. Also dont worry about what you should play and accept what you are playing.
    CozmoCosty and Timothy Pascale like this.
  15. MadMan118


    Jan 10, 2008
    Vallejo, CA
    It used to come in a can, but is now available in a tub, bottle, and decorative tin. :smug:
  16. El-Bob


    Oct 22, 2006
    Hamilton, ON

    Huge +1 to both of these responses. The more you've experienced life, and the more that's happened to you, the more of that you'll be able to put into your playing. It's almost beyond human comprehension though if you ask me. Sometimes you pick up an instrument, and music just kinda happens
    CozmoCosty likes this.
  17. EDIT(Mark): Irrelevant. Keep it on topic, or take it via PM.
  18. Zombbg4


    Jul 15, 2008
    Try singing while you play. Doesnt have to be intune or even close what you're playing. Just let it flow and feed off it. I often start sing while soloing and get completely lost in it, all of a sudden it's a half hour later, my throat is sore, and i feel like i just had umm..."intercourse". You're bound to play something creative if you do it long enough. Having good technique I find makes it a lot less difficult.
  19. Try singing what you play (and vice versa) Usually helps improve phrasing.
  20. My creativity exists HUGELY in the chemistry I have with my band. Together we produce original music with ease and enthusiasm. Without each other we are just in ruts....

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