#2
Really, you dont.
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#3
Hmm depends on your level of understanding bass. If you're new to bass, I'd say learn about 1/16th, 1/8th and 1/4 notes. Keep it simple though.
Hope this helps.

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#4
Iron Maiden anyone?
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#5
I had my mate's bass for the day and wrote, like ten good, useable riffs. I was just bashing about on it and they came out. So my advice is just pretend you're the bassist in your favourite band, even if you can't play it.
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#7
there is no set way to write songs. you have to find what works best for you and most of the time good songs are written when you take a new approach to it.
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#8
I don't write songs on bass, this is probably more because I don't have any means of home recording. Do you have recording means?
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#9
We need more information on what you mean by "writing songs" to give you decent advice
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#10
Quote by ScottB.
We need more information on what you mean by "writing songs" to give you decent advice


I was in a band but we broke up. Now I am going to transfer to a new college and probably won't have a band for a while, and I want to write music. Like I want to do what a guitarist does when he writes music and lyrics.
#11
Quote by CBNJ
I was in a band but we broke up. Now I am going to transfer to a new college and probably won't have a band for a while, and I want to write music. Like I want to do what a guitarist does when he writes music and lyrics.

Just do what a guitarist does then? You're a guitarist too, just do the bold.


I'm failing to see any reason for the thread...
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#12
Quote by lordofthefood1
Just do what a guitarist does then? You're a guitarist too, just do the bold.


I'm failing to see any reason for the thread...


I was looking for tips on how fellow bassists go about writing. Because in my last band we all got together and wrote songs together, now I don't have that option.
#13
Quote by CBNJ
I was in a band but we broke up. Now I am going to transfer to a new college and probably won't have a band for a while, and I want to write music. Like I want to do what a guitarist does when he writes music and lyrics.


I always like to keep a centre to the song, a scale. I can leave the scale, I can play notes outwith the scale, but it'll always keep a general scale going (say, A minor). It helps give me a direction of my play. My solo stuff has to cover two frequency ranges, I needs to have low end and a melody tapped out on the higher frets. The low end stuff helps the melody flow. I started with a simple idea, tap out a G major chord. The 'bass' being 3rd on the E string.

I don't know much about piano playing, but i'm guessing it's kind of similiar? left hand playing deeper chords that dictate the direction of the piece, while the right hand creates a melody over those chords.

Stu Hamm, Michael Manring and Jeff Schmidt have really helped my playing. Manring has easily been the most influencial towards me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=js93qxDlIzg

I think this song sums up what i'm trying to say. watch the left hand and the right hand, how they interplay with each other to create a strong sense of direction, meaning and melody.
#14
I don't usually record songs with bass as the main instrument even though I only play bass and the tiniest amount of guitar. The bass is wonderful but I find it much easier to write bass-lines to act like a glue for the guitar and drums so it's usually the last thing I think about.

I practice riffs that I like the sound of, I tweak them and try different speeds, note sequences and change notes around until I can use them on the fly. Then whenever I'm writing in the bass line to something I have a repertoire of what I think sounds good.

If you're set on using the bass to write songs I suggest starting simple and building upwards. To start pick a short sequence of chords from a key (ex: D->G->A->D) play a simple quarter-note chug from root to root. Then start dropping notes to come up with a rhythm, after that just experiment with different tone changes.

TL;DR - Start small, work through a pattern of chords and change the sequence slowly until you get something you're happy with.
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#15
i find it best when i'm just alone playing, and then things just seem to work. For example last night, i was playing two riffs that our band are working on linking, and after about 10 minutes i just came up with the perfect link. And then after that, i made up a really cool 'my friend of misery' type intro thingy, im pretty pleased with it. Also, i'm not too educated in music theory, i just play what sounds right really . . . :S

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#16
In a band situation, the bass is normally one of the last things that'll be sorted- with two guitarists, I need to determine how much space there is for me to move in. But I'll never play the same line twice with my band- I'll jam and improvise lines except for when there's a strong motif I feel really adds to the song.

On my own, I'll play around with chords and arpeggios until I have nice progression and an idea of rhythm, and then throw in some melodic things through the chords.
#18
I've written the music for several of my band's songs on bass.

Often I'll come up with a riff or groove, then figure out what key said groove is in.

Then I mess around with various chord progressions in that key to see what best supports the groove (and vice-versa) and also what best works with the mood I feel the song will take.

Coming up with a melody line on bass will usually start the same process, and then I work with the rest of the band to decide how to use the melody line, and which instrument plays it.

Usually though the writing process is mainly collaborative, but when writing alone I think a solid, working knowledge of theory is a great help.
#19
Quote by Deliriumbassist
In a band situation, the bass is normally one of the last things that'll be sorted


Yeah. Same way in my band. Whenever we get together to practice, I usually don't do anything until they finish a song. But then its all about meh. The only exception is when I come up with omething har,monic, but then one of the guitarists usually transposes it onto the guitar, and we end up keeping it
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Last edited by PluckU at Feb 14, 2009,
#20
I always imagine what I want the guitar to sound like and come up with bass a bass part. After the guitar is finished for the song,I can go back and change some of the bass line.
#21
I pick a key to start with, say e minor. then i pick notes out of the key and make several basslines. One for the intro, chorus, bridge, ect. It really is just the way i like to write my music. I can't say its a RULE to always start with a key, because some people don't do it.
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#22
Quote by CBNJ
I was looking for tips on how fellow bassists go about writing. Because in my last band we all got together and wrote songs together, now I don't have that option.


just screw around with it intell you come up with something good sounding, then add on to it, simple, maybe try and imagine what the drums and guitar could sound like if you had them there too
#23
What is a song? Most songs now are just riffs. Riffs are easy to write, hey presto.

But really, if i'm in a band situation i'll just stick to the chords and **** around on scales.