I just joined a band and i know some theory but our bassist doens't know anything . usually he plays the same as me (if i play a G chord he will play the G note on the thickest string ) but if i say that it sounds too low he just plays the same thing a string down so then he plays the C note ( which doesn't belong in a G chord).

if we are trying to make a song he just plays random notes and only thinks about the melody not what key a song is in .
I know if i do this stuff on my guitar it would sound horrible but it sounds quite good if he plays it so can you just play random notes on a bass should he use scales and stuff like that.
If you're just playing random notes it will (probably) sound horrible. Learn scales and play in key. Also make your bass player learn the notes on the fretboard, so if he's just going to play root notes he can play in different octaves.
Last edited by Footrot Ninja at Jul 5, 2009,
He just plays random notes? You need a new bassist! How could that possibly sound good?

Then again, if you reckon its fine, then why stop him? How 'random' are we talking here anyway?
Wait.. bassists play notes?

Thats like saying the drums are an instrument! =P

NINJEDIT: Teach him scales, then play in those keys
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Last edited by Ninjake at Jul 5, 2009,
^^^Bassist jokes are even less funny than drummer jokes

And it depends what you mean by random. He may be unintentionally hitting the right notes
Just learning scales isn't really useful. Teach him to use arpeggios and octaves. But TBH it sounds like you don't know much about it yourself if you even thought it was possible for random notes to sound just fine.
If it sounds bad, tell him. My bassist doesn't know a lick of theory and refuses just to play the root of what I'm playing. Guess what? It sounds awesome. He throws in chromatic notes often while I'm playing ska progressions and his ear is good enough that he knows if it sounds good or not.

Does it sound OK? That's all that matters.
Quote by Nietsche
^^^Bassist jokes are even less funny than drummer jokes

Why don't you make like a bass guitar and be inaudible. (Sorry man, I had too...)

You don't necessarily need to teach him a lot of theory or scales, just teach him how to keep playing in key. That's what I did with my bassist, first off he would follow the root note of whatever I'm playing. I eventually taught him how to find the octave for any note, than the 5th and maj/min 3rds (and how to tell when I'm playing a maj or min chord, or neither), and etc.. like that in little steps. It took a bit of practice, but now he can find the octaves anywhere on the fretboard for whatever note I'm playing, and knows how to play a little transition/fill at the end of measures and have it sound great. And if someone were to ask him a music theory related question, he probably couldn't answer it for his life