View Full Version : What Now?

09-21-2004, 03:43 PM
Hi there all bass players.

Im a guitar player but some time ago I bought a bass (Squier Jazz Bass) to do some homerecording. I thought it might be easier to play bass lines instead of programming them.
But turned out not so easy to come up with bass lines that fit

I never thought much about bass playing (you know how it is with us guitarists, as long as the bass player plays 8th notes on the root it's fine with us - just think AC/DC).

So I want to learn how to do do some bass lines for my homerecording stuff.
Where do I start? Just work on some transcriptions? Buy a book? Which one? Take bass lessons?

What now?

SE em all
09-21-2004, 05:26 PM
Well, Im a guitar player, too, but a friend ( a bass player ) told me that he spices up the typical bass-lines playing only the roots by adding 4th and 5th and octaves in small runs. I tried it at home, and it worked even for me, because 4th and 5th are very easy to create, like you possibly know.
....my 2 cents ....

BTW : ....Groove rules....
Strange, two german guitar players are the first writers in that englisch-language using bass forum ......

09-21-2004, 06:06 PM
I most of the time write the bass lines for my band's songs. I just write them on guitar. Play a lot with rhythm and I also use a lot of octaves and 5ths for the lines. Also, you can exp. with using natural harmonics. They can create a really moody feel when played on a bass. There are no rules, sometimes simple chord following bass lines will work, other times its way more interesting to create a contramelody kinda thing (think simple stuff like Red hot chili peppers etc). There are no rules, just try to play what you think sounds good!

09-22-2004, 02:07 PM
Hey Matze, I recommend you check out the Jimi Hendrix Blues album, you`ll definitely get some inspiration from there.

Caffeinated Cat
09-23-2004, 03:20 AM
Start by just playing the root notes of the chords the guitar is playing. Some melody should suggest itslef. Then just go with that feeling. I find that ignoring the guitar solo, lyrics, etc. works pretty well. Just do a really nice melody - simple, or maybe complex, whatever - without worrying too much about what the other instruments are doing. Fill any empty spaces if they need to be filled, don't if they don't.

I just program my bass lines into my drum machine, but that's what I find works best. Maybe a real bass player will come along and give you better advice :D

09-23-2004, 06:06 AM
It isnt unreasonable to believe that you guitar abilities will transcend over to bass guitar in the area of writing lines. I've often found writing bass lines easier than guitar lines because in most cases the chord you need to imply is already there and the rhythm is already there. Find bass players who's style you enjoy and emulate their playing, making it your own. I recommend checking out Victor Wooten, Stanley Clarke, Jeff Berlin, John Patucci and Jaco Pastorious.
CARAMEL (http://camslivesexy.com/cam/CARAMEL)

10-08-2004, 08:32 PM
arpeggios are the way forward - you can pick any note from the arpeggio of the chord being played and work round that - often through blues or majer scale - a technique favered by cliff burton and noel redding

I find minor scales difficult to fit in anywhere when playing - even the most depressing tune...

05-23-2005, 02:32 PM
For myself, the most important thing is to lock in with what your drummer/machine is doing. If there is a beat you are recording to listen to what the kick and snare are doing and make your more "important" bass notes fit in with this. Then you can fill in the gaps (or not - space is also important!)

If you are recording in a home studio just loop a suitable section and jam with it, but din't expect to just come up with a great line in 2 minutes, play with it and experiment. If you play guitar you will be able to hear when your getting to the good stuff! I find it good to get a basic groove going then just add occasional runs or notes to get a bit more interest. Follow any fills in the drum pattern.

Possibly the biggest problem being a guitarist playing bass (I do both too, although bass has become my prefered instrument) is the temptation to fill a bassline with too much stuff just because you can. Leave room for other instruments (If you're also recording the guitar part you can wig out on that later!)