#1
So I've played guitar for about 2 years now, and six months ago, I got a bass. I don't play it an aweful lot (about once every 2 or 3 days) and I've come across a stump. I write a lot of music for my guitar, but when I try to write the bass line, it ends up being just a simplified version of what the guitar is doing, or 3 or 4 of the main guitar notes played in 16th notes constantly. How do I write cool bass lines and not just look like an unoriginal dumbass?
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#2
Think of arpeggios. Write a countermelody. Write a bass part first then write the accompanying guitar.
#3
im a bass player, and i find it hard to write songs on bass or lines or whatever, i dont think its an easy endeavour, i suggest when u write a guitar line and all, u have to aim for to things, 1 is that the bass line has to support the guitar give it strenght and also has to add something to the guitar melody; start using the root note and then use octaves, fifths, 3rds and everything, see what sounds good or not... ive heard a great bassist say what makes a great bass line is what u dont put in it... a way of saying that playing lots of notes and doing lots of tricks doesnt make a great bass, its all the opposite, the silenced notes, the spaces between riffs and all....good luck dude =)

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#4
Try not to look upon the instrument as a guitar, that will keep your imagination locked in "the box".

Things to take into consideration are Syncopation, Harmonics, Triads/Arpeggios, and indeed Octaves.
Experiment with different techniques, slapping and popping for example.
#5
I too am in the same boat, kind of...

Some of my songs, I can find really awesome and fun to play bass lines, others I cant. But then again, some songs just dont need crazy bass lines, simple is more. If you cant come up with something to counter or go along with the guitar line, do something basic and just add in some nice fills. Take a look at a lot of Incubus songs. A lot of the bass lines are merely the guitar line an octave lower (sometimes the same octave) and a little "spice" (fills, variations, rest, etc)

What I tell my self (mainly because I end up not being able to find a bass line I like) is that simple is more. Songs don't always need crazy bass lines. They can be beautiful in its simplest form.
Last edited by bboyjon at Aug 11, 2009,
#6
Do you have friends you can write music with? I know that i'm really only inspired to do anything reasonably good while playing along with friends ... guess its a focus thing where if i'm sitting alone i just get kind bored with it after a while.

That or record a few guitar riffs, play them back, and then improv bass lines over that. I did that with my first collective original and it seemed to work out well.
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#7
I focus moreso on the chords themselves than what the guitars are playing. Arpeggios, as already mentioned are important too. And also, finding which notes connect one chord to the next. Although it sounds like you are playing metal, which is completely different than what I play..
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#8
Quote by Thegian
Do you have friends you can write music with? I know that i'm really only inspired to do anything reasonably good while playing along with friends ... guess its a focus thing where if i'm sitting alone i just get kind bored with it after a while.

That or record a few guitar riffs, play them back, and then improv bass lines over that. I did that with my first collective original and it seemed to work out well.


That sounds like a really good idea. I have a recording program so i think I'll probably do that


Quote by stinger12345
I focus moreso on the chords themselves than what the guitars are playing. Arpeggios, as already mentioned are important too. And also, finding which notes connect one chord to the next. Although it sounds like you are playing metal, which is completely different than what I play..


I do play metal but the problem is, a lot of metal bands just stick the bass with really boring s**t and i sort of want to break out of that
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Quote by My Father
So is this guitar Mexican made or human made? Wait, shit, that was really racist wasn't it?


My shitty covers: http://www.youtube.com/simpleben09
#9
maybe start by improvising with the fifths and octaves??? ... i dont really know man, usually a guitarist will tell me the simplified version, and i will add **** loads of impro ... maybe try and do run downs and run ups aswell.
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#10
Quote by simpleben09



I do play metal but the problem is, a lot of metal bands just stick the bass with really boring s**t and i sort of want to break out of that

You're going to get a lot of examples of why this is wrong by the end of the night
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#11
Quote by simpleben09

I do play metal but the problem is, a lot of metal bands just stick the bass with really boring s**t and i sort of want to break out of that


It's good to know music theory when your writing bass lines. Also try 'envisioning' melodies. I've never had to write my own bass lines because I haven't been playing that long but the person who does write them knows a lot of music theory. There's lots of awesome stuff to do.

It's just very hard to think of.
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