#1
So my band is starting to get into composing songs, and right now all we have our bassist play is root notes in different rhythms, which I think is kinda boring and old. What could I have her play instead? I was thinking for an Am - C - Em - Gm progression, she plays C-E-G-A, so that she's always a 'chord' ahead of what i'm playing. Would that work? Any other ideas?
Gear:
Agile Ash RB 828
Schecter C-7 (old 90s style headstock)
Handbuilt 6-string V
Handbuilt Baritone scale 6 string Iceman-copy
Pod HD300
#2
Use the 3rd or fifth from the root, maybe? Passing tones too. Or you could just tell her to get more creative.
#3
What is a passing tone?
Gear:
Agile Ash RB 828
Schecter C-7 (old 90s style headstock)
Handbuilt 6-string V
Handbuilt Baritone scale 6 string Iceman-copy
Pod HD300
#4
Try to study more music and look up a lot tabs. This isn't going to happen in a day. There is a reason these musicians we all love are respected. I'm no bassist myself, but I'd imagine there are some specific patterns behind the workings of most bass lines. Try to find some catchy bass lines you guys all like in certain songs. Try to figure out the lead and rhythm guitar parts of the songs you like using just the bass line tabs. See what happens. You have a lot of time, there's no rush. Enjoy, and don't get discouraged!
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#5
Just an idea, but a local band I'm friends with has a one guitar one bass player kinda thing and in a decent amount of there songs when the guitar player is doing a chord based riff (playing a riff or chord for one bar) the bass player arpeggiates the chord in a lower octave and it works for a GREAT effect.

Not meant to be a name drop but listen to the chorus of Auttumn Leaves by this band for an example of what im saying.
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Its a simple thing to add to your bass work but it makes it sound more interesting and accentuates the guitar playing pretty well.
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#6
Sounds awesome in the song, but she has small hands. Not sure if she'd be able to do it right or not.
What are passing tones?
Gear:
Agile Ash RB 828
Schecter C-7 (old 90s style headstock)
Handbuilt 6-string V
Handbuilt Baritone scale 6 string Iceman-copy
Pod HD300
#8
Hand size DOES factor in if she can't stretch between the frets, or move fast enough between them.
And thanks for the link.
Though the way the chord progression is (goes in thirds) would her playing the next chord in the progression be a passing tone?
Gear:
Agile Ash RB 828
Schecter C-7 (old 90s style headstock)
Handbuilt 6-string V
Handbuilt Baritone scale 6 string Iceman-copy
Pod HD300
#9
Quote by Jango22
Hand size DOES factor in if she can't stretch between the frets, or move fast enough between them.
And thanks for the link.
Though the way the chord progression is (goes in thirds) would her playing the next chord in the progression be a passing tone?

No it doesn't, i've jammed with a female bassist and she has tiny hands. If she can't mover her hands fast enough the that's simply a lack of skill, it's nothing to do with how big her hands are.

The bass playing a chord ahead is just going to sound wrong. A passing tone is exactly that, a note you "pass through" on the way to the next chord - easiest way to do that is figure out what key you're in and use any scale degrees that are in between your chords, if there aren't any then just use chromatics...listen to the keyboard bassline from the intro of Don't Stop Believin by Journey. Either do that or simply work out a harmony line for her like other people have suggested.
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Last edited by steven seagull at Mar 17, 2009,
#10
^^ handsize does affect playing, but does not limit you. However having big hands helps alot if you are learning to play certain stuff, but you can 100% get around it. If ur fingers are longer, they have more leverage, and this means you need less muscles.

People with small hands usually have to train more muscles to compensate, but this happens naturally, and due to the nature of how things are, it hasn't proved to be a very big noticeable difference in playing.

The actual playing of guitar is just sports, and some people have better build bodies(hands in this case) to give an advantage. Of course with the introduction of super small necks and low action, this is of no noticeable concern.

TS;
just check out other bands for ideas. We also don't know ur genre or style.

A bassist has alot to do with the drummer. If a bassist plays syncopated, and the drummer plays straight 8ths, chances are that the groove would feel a little misplaced.


80% of bass players in music just play simple stuff. How often do you listen to a song, and go like the bass bores me, it sox? <Most likely never.

You must understand it's role in a band, unless it needs to serve another role.

Like I said we don't know the genre/style ur playing, so we can't indicate where/what to look for in ur bassplayer.

I recommend ur bass player to "learn" to play with a drummer. To be really aware of what the drummer does. They kinda help each other out, by bringing out each others dynamics, and, they together glueing the groove.

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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Mar 17, 2009,
#12
We play hard rock, to answer darren's (implied) question.
And I realize that it doesn't need to be amazing, I just think that root notes sound kinda boring. Plus i'd like a bit more variation and harmony because im the only guitar player.
For harmonizing, what could the bass line be harmonized to? The 3rd? The 5th?
Gear:
Agile Ash RB 828
Schecter C-7 (old 90s style headstock)
Handbuilt 6-string V
Handbuilt Baritone scale 6 string Iceman-copy
Pod HD300
#13
Quote by Jango22
So my band is starting to get into composing songs, and right now all we have our bassist play is root notes in different rhythms, which I think is kinda boring and old. What could I have her play instead? I was thinking for an Am - C - Em - Gm progression, she plays C-E-G-A, so that she's always a 'chord' ahead of what i'm playing. Would that work? Any other ideas?

I think that would sound inappropriate/weird, however if you were to say that you chose those notes because you've heard what it sounds like and think that is the right sound for your song, I would respect that.

While Staying on the root note may be boring, you do want that aspect of the sound represented. (or maybe you don't... but most music does) Depending on the song I would have her stay on the roots, and/or venture to some of the other notes without losing the overall sound of the root notes underneath. (like a walking bassline)
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#14
Start simple. Have her start playing 5ths and octaves. Then add in 3rds and so on until shes using all 12 notes in her lines.

NOTE: This will take a long time. Even longer if she doesnt regularly transcribe
#15
Munky, what is a walking bassline? I've heard it mentioned but don't know what it means.
Gear:
Agile Ash RB 828
Schecter C-7 (old 90s style headstock)
Handbuilt 6-string V
Handbuilt Baritone scale 6 string Iceman-copy
Pod HD300
#16
Quote by Jango22
Munky, what is a walking bassline? I've heard it mentioned but don't know what it means.


Well, as a jazz bassist, I guess this is my chance to flaunt my knowledge.

A walking bassline is simply a bass line with a quarter note on every down beat. The objective is to use as many chord tones as possible while staying melodic
#17
Hm...well, i changed it up a bit (I have GP) and I like the sound of an eight note tonic and eigth note fifth together, cept repeated 4 times for 4/4 time. It gives it a bit of a DA-da sound to it. I'll mess around with walking bass lines now, though.
Gear:
Agile Ash RB 828
Schecter C-7 (old 90s style headstock)
Handbuilt 6-string V
Handbuilt Baritone scale 6 string Iceman-copy
Pod HD300
#18
Hm...I like this. But i'm not sure how it'll sound played by actual instruments.
Gear:
Agile Ash RB 828
Schecter C-7 (old 90s style headstock)
Handbuilt 6-string V
Handbuilt Baritone scale 6 string Iceman-copy
Pod HD300
#19
To be honest everything in that bass line save the final A sounds good with that progression. If you think about it, all you're really doing by having her play that bass line (minus the A) is putting all of the chords in first inversion, in other words the 3rd of the chord is in the bass rather than the root. Replace the A with a B and see how that sounds.
#20
tell her to play different notes from the arpeggios first, so still one note per chord, just a different one everytime that chord comes up,

now tell her to play several notes from the arpeggio over every chord

now let her fiddle with it for a week or 2, and she'll learn to connect the chords through arpeggio's (well, if her ears are any good, otherwise give i another week or 2)

its the same principle of lines over changes, you need to find common notes to highlight in your lead or bass lines, and tension-notes to get a flow which i think is extremely inportant in bass playing

edit:
@Paquijón
why remove the A, the 9th is a beautifull note, just release it to G halfway the bar, maybe through F on the 2nd beat
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Last edited by Funkicker at Mar 18, 2009,