Writing Parts not for yourself?


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12-19-2005, 10:47 AM
Hi, I currently...sort of run a band (we haven't had practice in over a month, we've all been really busy) but after xmas break we're getting back to it. However, I was wondering...is it bad that for some of the songs I've written, I'm writing out complete parts for everyone? I don't want to feel like I'm forcing my musical styles on them, but also I don't want to waste time, because I'm going to leave for college in about 6 months. Also, what is a good way to write bass parts? Right now, I just have the bass follow chords, and move up and down the chords a bit...just easy moving bass. What else can I do to keep things fun on the bass (she hasn't been playing too long, but she's really enthusiastic).


12-19-2005, 10:58 AM
Not at all. Many bands do it. Take Metalllica for example. Lars and James would meet up somewhere, write the songs and telll everyone how to play it and when to play it. But just make sure that if ur buddies don't like it, dont get pissed. Ask them what you could do to make that riff better of make that solo sound better.

12-19-2005, 11:05 AM
I've written parts for my bandmates before. What I generally try to do is come up with a part that is interesting for them to play, and follows the basic structure of the song. However, if they decide that changing this or that will make the song as a whole sound better, there's no problem there.

Even though an individual has written the music, it's being played by a group. Don't let your individual vision mess with the group's synergy.


12-19-2005, 11:17 AM
Well, strictly James wrote the songs and Lars played drums. Lars pretty much has his name on all their songs for no reason.

12-19-2005, 11:21 AM
Try looking at some led zeppelin basslines for some ideas...

arpeggiate powerchords on the bass or other arpeggiated stuff......

12-19-2005, 11:34 AM
^ Yeah, or, if she can slap. get her to do some octaves (like on powerchords but without the middle note).

There nothing wrong with writing music for other bandmates, if theyre fine with it then, u know...

Sir Edwin CBE
12-19-2005, 12:03 PM
Remember and write what you think your band mates'll be able to play.

12-19-2005, 01:52 PM

No I don't think it's bad that you wrote all the parts. But don't be too adverse if they want to change them.

-SD :dance:

12-19-2005, 06:01 PM
i often write entire songs even though i only play guitar. so ill write one or two guitar parts, a bass part, and some drums. now i know i only play guitar, so i know i like the guitar parts, but i look at the rest of the parts as a guide for whoever will be playing it (im not in a band at the moment so it isnt always for a certain band member). for instance i wrote a song recently while at school, and yesterday i get my friend who is a drummer to work on some drum beats. he listened to what i had and then changed them around, and now they sound better because he is the drummer and im not.

i think its great to write all the parts yourself, just dont get angry if someone wants to change their part. i find it best to look at what you have written for other members as more of a guide or rough sketch than the final idea. sometimes you know exactly what you want the person to play, and you can stick to your idea in those times as long as you explain that first. but most of the time i figure its better to let everyone get a little creative so you can have the best final product.

12-19-2005, 10:37 PM
Alright thanks. Yeah, I'm just trying to be open minded about it, it's just that we've been having trouble finding time for practice, so I was making an effort to get stuff together to play for when we actually can. Thanks for the help guys, I just didn't want to overstep my bounds. And I'll listen to some Zepp.


12-20-2005, 12:20 PM
I write all the parts in my band to

12-21-2005, 06:51 PM
Also, what is a good way to write bass parts? Right now, I just have the bass follow chords, and move up and down the chords a bit...just easy moving bass. What else can I do to keep things fun on the bass (she hasn't been playing too long, but she's really enthusiastic).

er.. well it's like, a pretty dumb idea to write lines for the bass player if you don't have a clue how to write a bass line. Unless he's even crapper than you of course

12-21-2005, 07:36 PM
For writing basslines, you could try looking up some bass lessons (http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/bass_lessons/) on a few (http://www.taborama.com/lessons.php) different (http://www.countrytabs.com/lessons.asp) websites (http://www.talkbass.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?s=&f=90&page=1&pp=30&sort=lastpost&order=desc&daysprune=-1).

Interestingly, after writing a couple of songs and passing them out to my bandmates, today I was e-mailed a PowerTab from the lead guitar player, outlining my part for a new tune.

If I wanna hand 'em out, I guess I gotta be willing to take 'em, too.


12-22-2005, 04:15 AM
I write bass parts for the bass player because, well, he might be able to play ok but his musical ear is lacking. I find it difficult to write good drum parts, so usually the drummer does his own thing with occasional feedback from myself. I might not have to in my situation, but I agree with the above post that you have to be willing to learn parts from others as well.

As for writing bass parts...it depends a lot on your style of music. In general, stay away from following the guitar unless you REALLY want to emphasize the part. There are so many better things your bass player could be doing aside from following you. Some general ideas are to play notes that are in the chord the guitar is playing, or play a scale or some derivative of one.

The bass can make a lot of difference in a song without most people realizing it. Keep this in mind. If you want your song to sound fast and angry, you might want to try to have the bass play a fast, steady beat. If the song should be slow and mellow, maybe the bassist should experiment with some slow, higher notes. Generally, the rhythm of the bassline should more or less follow the rhythm of the percussion (especially the bass drum).

Another option, my personal preference, is to give the bass some kind of cool riff that drives the song. This is especially useful if the band has only one guitarist. There are lots of ways to write riffs. One easy way to get you started is to take the root notes of the chord progession, play them on the first beat of each bar, and play some kind of scale in between each root note. Hope that helped.

Bulletbass man
12-23-2005, 07:48 PM
i used to do it all the time if they make up something for themselves thats better and still works with lyrics i let them use it.

12-28-2005, 12:45 AM
I did it all the time with the bassist in my band. But in writing bass parts, I would come up with a melody that fits the song and put it on bass. Just kind of hum something out in the key of the song and put it on bass.