When you make up a bassline that is catchy.. well how do you do it? Do you just pick notes from a scale, and see if they go well together, or... well what do you do?

Also, when making a bassline to a guitar track, do you sart off with root notes, then...do what?

And finally drums, when making up a groove with the drummer.. erm.. how do you do it/interlock it ?

Anything appreciated.

(the first question is about making up like a bass song or something, then the second is about like a sort of a band situation.)

ALSO, instead of making a new thread, I'll ask here; is bass guitar for dummies the book give me a good starting point?

If not whats the best book to start with?
Last edited by SlayedInTheFace at Jan 6, 2009,
1. Just improvise, if I do something that sounds good, I'll try and do it again.

2. Follow the chord changes, improvise off it until I find a decent bassline, then I usually stick to that.

3. Try to follow the bass drum to an extent
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thats a pretty dumb question. a good bass line is when the bass sounds good, such as with guitars and other instruments, doesnt have to be in a scale but i know, not to sound disonant
as with the drums, i cant help you, im no drums player
creating a catchy line nowadays is pretty tough, so you should start with theory to get somewhere
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You're basicaly asking how to play bass guitar.

How about getting a teacher?

my words exactly
if you're this new to all of it... i would just start with a basic drum groove, and play only ONE note, over and over, until you find a rhythm you like. there is no magic rhythm or plucking pattern that is universally used for "catchy" sounds.

once you have an idea of how you want the rhythm to go, just start adding a different note once in a while, and then before you know it, you'll start playing something that sounds a little bit musical.

as for locking in with a drummer.... just LISTEN to the drum beat, count along with it, and try to play your notes right on top of the drums. this does not mean that every single bass note must be 100% on top of a drum hit, or vice versa. but, as a simple example, listen to Thunderstruck by AC/DC. when the bass comes in, it's just playing a B note, 4 notes per bar. the first note of each bar is right in line with the kick drum. that's locking in. you can lock in any way you want. maybe your bass note lands exactly in the dead air between two drum hits. maybe you're matching every snare hit... it can be anything.

the real trick is to REMAIN locked in... just keep listening, and try to keep the beat and tempo in the back of your head at all times. with practice, you'll start to find it hard NOT to lock in.
In terms of rhythm, Locking in with sections of the drums is important, but you dont have to only do that (even with certain sections of it), but it quite possibly the best way to do it.

If you want a good reference point for locking in with drums Listen to Hangar 18 - Megadeth, the second half of the song. It has possibly one of the best examples of Bass/Drum Locking that I can think of right now - It mainly locks in with the bass drum, but there are some sections where it locks with cymbals as well.

As for the notes it self, Start with the root note as was mentioned earlier, get that locking rhythm down, then vary your notes. Pentatonic Notes are a good way to start. If it is a Major Scale, the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 6th notes of the scale are the pentatonic notes. In any order, rhythm or anything, those notes in the scale will always sound good together. For a Minor Scale, the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 7th notes are the pentatonic notes. The 8th note in each scale is the octave, and the 8 equals the one if that makes sense.

For somebody new to making licks, the pentatonic scales are the best ways to do it. The 5 notes are easy to remember, and by skipping octaves, you can make some really REALLY funky bass lines. The problem is with pentatonic is that, after a while, it is going to start to get boring, since many of your licks will basically all sound the same. Once you get the hang of pentatonic scales, you can easily add other notes from the chromatic scale to break it apart, adding some tension into what you're playing which is something that many musicians aim to achieve - the large build up until it's then released.
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