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Writing Basslines

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by orestes71, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. orestes71


    May 14, 2008
    Honestly I have no idea how to write a bassline. I have the general idea of chord progression, how to make a chord (root, 3th, 5th), and scales (wwhwwhw for majors and such). I play for a band that as of now we don't have a sound yet but we are going pretty much Heavy Metal/Hardcore and I want to stand out so, how do make a bassline?
  2. Allmanfan456


    Jan 23, 2009
    Im in a heavy metal band and i like to stand out too. And I honestly just wing it. I have my guitarist show me the basic chord structure/riff of the song. I play it through with them a couple times see what sounds good what doesent.

    thats my two cents worth. i hope it helped at least a little bit. I find when Im not thinking too much of what I want to do it comes rather easily. So dont think about it so much and just go with it!
  3. jschwalls


    Sep 4, 2007
    Savannah GA
    the best way to stand out is to establish YOUR tone...

    A killer sounding bass tone says alot in ROCK/Metal bands..

    just keep tone in mind , that's all I'm saying.. :)

  4. upandb


    Feb 18, 2009
    CT and NY
    I'm gonna go with tone, too. You could be playing something average and generic, and there will still be plenty of people who will go, "Wow listen to that bass!" just based on how it sounds. Tweak everything until it couldn't be any more pefect...then go from there.

    Obviously tone isn't everything, but it gets left out quite a bit
  5. DudeistMonk


    Apr 13, 2008
    Newark, NJ
    I'm not too experienced with metal but to me the bass should blend in except for fills...sticking out is all about blending in until the appropriate time and then letting loose.

    Also chord tones are good for the foundation of the line but scale tones/chromatic tones will give you the building blocks necessary for a less basic more pronounced/melodic/intricate line or fill.

    and yeah in metal the guitar tends to be so distorted/crunchy and steps into your range that you need to a tone that can cut through the sludge.
  6. orestes71


    May 14, 2008
    Mind you I'll be playing a Rat Distortion (The guitar one not the juggernaught) Very light on the ditortion about midnight on filter and midnight on tone. Also I am debating on C# tuning or Drop D. I can always stick ot root notes but it gets boring.
  7. Sing what you play, play what you sing; that's what I've learned. So, hum something when listening to your tracks, then pick it out from the bass. Adjust a bit, and voila! Of course there are other methods, but this works fine with me.
  8. upandb


    Feb 18, 2009
    CT and NY
    I feel like sometimes changing tuning helps me get my mind out of the standard tuning gutter. Drop D or even lower seems to clear my head. It's more a psychological thing than anything else, but still. (Although I mostly do this with guitar)
  9. El Bajo

    El Bajo

    Apr 12, 2006
    I struggle with this a bit. I'm in a prog rock band with a guitar and keyboard and the music is very riffy which gives me little room sometimes. I do tend to have to play with the riff but i can enhance my lines with dynamics. You may only be playing roots but sticking a slide it, popping some notes and using actives and fiths can really make you stand out without going outside of those invible guidelines and without making the song overly difficult. It is rock after all, I wanna rock out and put as much energy into it as poss without getting bogged down with intricate line.

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