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Writing music...

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by massivemonster, Oct 3, 2005.

  1. massivemonster


    Oct 3, 2005
    Hello, I have been playing drums for about 27 years, I am actively playing still, Most of the bands I have been in I have wrote all the lyrics and relied on the guitar player to get the sound I was looking for.. I recently decided that I wanted to get the sound in my head out. Via guitar... well after purchasing a nice Dean flat top I found my hands were to big and my fingers far to fat to play proper chords... I know I should try piano... but I have always loved to bottom line... even as a drummer I always hear and remember the bass line in every song I hear... I played Tuba all through high school and collage as well... my question is "Can I eventually write music on the bass?" is it versatile enough for me to explore? I love to sound... I don't think I would have any problem with my fingers on the neck.
  2. Mudfuzz


    Apr 3, 2004
    For me, yes; I almost always write on bass. I have occasionally wrote parts on guitar but I always end up using bass to glue the parts together.
    Although, a lot of people will tell you a chord based instrument like guitar and keys helps or is necessary to right, and that's cool too.

    As for big hands, you have my sympathies, I have big hands [although my fingers are rather thin] and I find most guitars uncomfortable to play.
    A good option is a baritone guitar; a longer scale and lower tuning make it a nice compromise between a bass guitar and a guitar.

    Good luck.
  3. massivemonster


    Oct 3, 2005
    Thanks.. does a baritone guitar have more spacing between the strings? thats my only problem is no matter how hard I try.. no matter what angle.. I kill the strings around my fingers when playing chords.. all I need is just a tiny more bit of room...
  4. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Actually, no, all you need is practice. Guitar isn't easy (neither is bass - though the difficulties are different). I have large hands. Hendrix and Albert King had huge hands. Just takes practice.

    Bass is a very limited compositional tool unless you're already at a very advanced level (and I can't think of any advanced bassists who don't also play keys at a functional composing level).

    You really need a chordal instrument to be able to write freely and to teach your songs to other players.

    Unless Motorhead is your inspiration in life, of course.

    None of the above is in any way meant to devalue the importance of bass - but bass has to be in context. Especially since a compelling bass part doesn't always play the root, you have to know the entire picture, not just the bassline.
  5. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    You could also try a nylon string classical guitar. Much wider string spacing and less difficult to fret than a steel string.
  6. Kurisu


    Nov 19, 2003
    Saskatoon SK
    SRV had big hands too.
  7. Mudfuzz


    Apr 3, 2004
    Actually, Lemmy Killmister writes on Acoustic guitar :smug:

    But, part of writing is about getting what you hear out of your head, melodies, riffs, loud banging ect. The one nice thing about keys though is you can play the bass part and the chords at the same time, but, even though I have tried to learn keys and can muddle about at best if I must I have never had enough draw to it go past that, plus I already play bass guitar, double bass, guitar and lapsteel.

    And this I why I had to learn guitar, so I can convey to others my ideas more easily. also, a guitar or bass is a little easier to drag about.

    I agree.
  8. bad_andy


    Sep 21, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    For song writing and implying chord color and movement you don't need more than a 4 string. Jonas Helborg wrote a great book that voices chords for playing on the 4 string bass (usually at the 7th fret or above). Once you get the shapes under your hands, it's not much different than playing guitar chords. Check out the voicings Bryan Tyler charted out here. Most of the shapes are portable to the neck of a 4-6 string bass. Just use your ears to keep them high enough on the neck that they sound clear.

    While I think there is great value in learning the guitar and/or keyboard, you can also do a lot chordally with a 6 string bass thanks to the C string. You can even tune it to B, so that guitar shapes will work on it, esp above the 12th fret. I play chords in trio situations all the time. Hell, even most good jazz guitarists only need 2-3 strings to comp a chord. :)
  9. drumsnbass

    drumsnbass Bassic User Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2004
    Seattle WA area
    you might want to try a midi computer setup and some software.

    I just purchased Ableton LIVE 5, and it is way cool. Though you could try Cubase, or Acid, or any other programs.

    i suggest the site www.tweakheadz.com for about everything you need to know to get started.