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writing parts you can't play

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by mikerophone, Oct 23, 2010.

  1. mikerophone


    Mar 10, 2010
    Denver, CO
    just curious if anyone else writes bass lines that are a little too tricky to actually play. not necessarily impossible, but something you really have to practice and work at to be able to perform the way you hear it in your head (or have composed in one way or another).

    there's one note in a tune i composed electronically (this one, if you're curious) that i had a real hard time hitting when i'd play it on bass. i think the fact that it's difficult for me to play makes just that one note much more enjoyable to me.
  2. dtiii


    Apr 22, 2009
    Sure. It becomes an etude.

    Great clip. I enjoyed it very much... love the dynamic arch. Thanks for the link.

  3. slybass3000

    slybass3000 Banned

    Nov 5, 2004
    Best way is to adapt it for bass guitar. Remove some extra notes, shift octaves for high notes and bottom line: make it groove. Don't put yourself in the corner by trying to play grooves or lines that were not meant to be played on bass.

    Ok, I just listen to your song and it is of course a keyboard line. Use a bass guitar sound for the bass part and listen to it this way. You'll probably find out that some notes could be played lower to avoid big leaps and make a more bass guitar groove or part from the notes.
  4. Samsound


    Sep 28, 2010
    Yeah I wrote new rock arrangement of an 1840's hymn, with a real fast, hard punk sounding chorus long before I took up the bass. When I first started up on bass, it seemed nearly impossible for me to run it at tempo. That was a few years ago, and haven't tried since. Maybe I'll have to dig that out if the archives and give it a whirl.
  5. Samsound


    Sep 28, 2010
    Here's a 2007 recording of it. I Heard The Voice. The bass here is a soft-synth.
  6. SnakeKappele


    Sep 20, 2010
    All the time. For most instruments.

    My imagination is much more skilled than my hands. :)
  7. For bass, I can play what I write, but my guitarist and drummer have a tough time playing what I write and I'm often told to scale back. I've grown to understand their limitations and write accordingly, to a good extent.
  8. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Stanley Clarke said he wrote parts in RTF days that he still couldn't play fifteen years later.

  9. GianGian


    May 16, 2008
    Not really, I write things when I have the instruments in hands. I used to write on the computer, but I ended up with some videogame songs after a while.
  10. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    Sometimes, when I write stuff using Guitar Pro or other notation software, stuff ends up on the staff that I can't play right that instant. It's a good incentive to get better though, definitely.
  11. mikerophone


    Mar 10, 2010
    Denver, CO
    i had to look up the word etude, but you're right, that's exactly what it is!

    i actually wrote the bassline on a bass before i arranged it the way it is there. when i adapted it to sound more video-gamey i moved some notes around and added the one that makes the tune a little trickier to play on bass. i ended up learning to tap that note so i could get back to the low g without missing a beat.

    i use that program too! fun stuff!

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