writing grooves

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by bass_extremes, Oct 3, 2005.

  1. bass_extremes


    Jul 9, 2005
    I dont know if this is really the right place to ask this becaues this is mostly I solo bass section. But what do you guys do to write come up with a basic groove?
  2. I try to think more like a drummer. A nice rhythm first, the notes can come in after. Also, a lot of people forget that a good groove can also be very sparse (the "less is more" approach). It also depends on what genre you're trying to write for as well. Funk grooves differ from rock grooves from latin grooves from reggae grooves from hip hop grooves, etc.

    Also look around on the internet or in music shops for a really recommended book on bass lines (and try to avoid buying just any old crap). Quality books on bass lines will give you ideas, and the more ideas/possibilities that you're aware of, the more quicker you'll be at comming up with grooves.

    And one final thing, try to play in many different groove contexts as you can (straight 8ths, swung, 12/8 shuffles, odd time signatures, syncopated, 2 vs 3/3 vs 4, etc). It'll give you a bigger toolbox to fool around with. ;) Also remember to use hammer on's, pull off's, slides, double stops, mutes, node harmonics, slaps, pops, etc when you're fooling around trying to come up with a groove, it'll add to your tone colouration. It's called "groove" because you're making a dent into something that would be far too straight othewise.
  3. Michael Manring

    Michael Manring TalkBass Pro Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    It’s a big question you’re asking as creating good lines is a large part of the art of bass playing. I don’t know if we’ll be able to give you a complete answer, but Guitarrista has offered good advice so I‘ll just add a few thoughts: Learn as much as you can about harmony as that will give you the tools you need to make effective note choices. Also, always listen carefully to everything else that’s going on in the music. A great bass line will support and interact with all the other instruments and if you’re really listening you probably won’t even have to think about what to play it‘ll just happen!
  4. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    I would underscore michael's comments about reacting. A good groove, like good music, is dynamic. You could have the tasstiest funkiest grooviest lick imaginable, but if you're not keen to what's surrounding it, and don't respond in a dynamic way towards with the music. You'll end up trying to force the funk, and everyone knows you can't do that :)

    btw, michael, I just read that you visited vic's last bass camp. Did you enjoy it? I've been twice, learned a lot there!