#1
Hey UG,
I just recently got in a band as a bassist (I'm a guitarist, just kinda fell into it.) I ****ing love groups like Mastodon/Dreamtheatre/Opeth and I wanted to provide my band with a good prog. metal bass riffs to go ape-**** on.

So I guess my question is this: is there anything specific I should practice to make me more adept at carrying odd time signatures or add dimension and complexity to our already heavy sound?

FYI this is what I'm doing now:
-experimenting with dropped tuning (whole step d/g/c/f or dropped A depending on the sound)
-Metronome practice (speed, obviously)
-Studying Troy Sanders like crazy
"You can drink an ugly chick hot, but you can’t drink a fat chick skinny."

Fender: HSS Stratocaster

Modulus: 1991 Q5

Peavey:158BASS
Marshall: MG30FDX
Acoustic: B200
Last edited by gizmodious at Mar 2, 2009,
#2
Learn when to provide a simple backing and when to do bitchin' fills.
Quote by dudetheman
So what? I wasted like 5 minutes watching DaddyTwoFoot's avatar.


Metalheads are the worst thing that ever happened to metal.
#3
One thing I like to do for a somewhat proggy sound is playing a fifth below the guitarist on heavy riffs, like the heavy riff in Dream Theater's Pull Me Under, I love playing that in my band, on bass I play a fourth below the guitar's chords in that, except for the open strings, I play either in unison with those, or a fifth or octave fill.

BTW, when I said a fifth below, if my guitarist was playing a C power chord, I'd play the G note on the low E, so maybe my term there is incorrect.
#4
Quote by MadAudioMan
One thing I like to do for a somewhat proggy sound is playing a fifth below the guitarist on heavy riffs, like the heavy riff in Dream Theater's Pull Me Under, I love playing that in my band, on bass I play a fourth below the guitar's chords in that, except for the open strings, I play either in unison with those, or a fifth or octave fill.

BTW, when I said a fifth below, if my guitarist was playing a C power chord, I'd play the G note on the low E, so maybe my term there is incorrect.

That's a 4th below if you are talking intervals, but a the 5th scale degree. Petrucci has a mean habit of doing that himself when he can, so you might want to suggest your guitarist add in the 4th himself and you double the root playing octaves.
Quote by nightwind
You must never double the leading tone ever. Failure to comply will result in a fugue related death.
#5
Prog bass for me is all about rhythmic complexity. I usually have alot of 16th/8th rests in between some chord tones. Also, during softer parts, play something aside from the tonic. Chord tones are good, but a bit of chromaticism/passing tones are really good as well. In the heavier parts, I usually have the bass doing the same thing as the guitar.

If I ever have little guitar fills, I slow down the bass a little. Bass fills are nice too. Complex bass lines are good.
#6
Great info guys. Thanks, I Like the idea of the fifths. I'm not used to trying to blend I'm used to leading so this is very helpful, considering that right now I'm just playing things in the proper key or riding the tonic.

Practice time...
"You can drink an ugly chick hot, but you can’t drink a fat chick skinny."

Fender: HSS Stratocaster

Modulus: 1991 Q5

Peavey:158BASS
Marshall: MG30FDX
Acoustic: B200
#7
Also, when doing bass fills in proggish songs, I like to really accentuate the 3rds, 6ths and 7ths, the flavor notes of the scale, it really gives a very minor/major/lydian/whatever feel to your fills, and I generally only use fifths and fourths which don't have so much flavor associated with them as passing tones to the next 3rd/6th/7th.

Also, another nice thing to do is throw in lots of octaves, like if a section has a long repeating chord and you're playing the root, throwing in my octaves sounds cool, especially when after the octave you do a quick desencding or ascending run in chromatics to the next chord tone, sounds nice IMO.

Also, when in soft parts, playing in the key's relative major or minor is nice for giving some unique feel to those parts.
#8
Can you write a simple bass riff and keep it interesting for several minutes? If you can't, you shouldn't be worrying about writing progressive music. If you can, I suggest actually listening and transcribing progressive music and picking up a few good theory textbooks.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.