I've been playing in a band for about 3 or 4 months now but I have been playing bass for about 8 years but I digress, we have written a few songs and I have the basic bass lines down for what the guitar player is playing...but I have a hard time coming up with stuff that sounds interesting to go along with our songs. Should I try to make my parts a little more complex, if so how do I go about this, or should I keep it simple and just make sure I'm in sync with the drummer and do nothing too overly fancy? Any opinions you guys have would help me a ton. Thanks
What might help you is to experiment in the way you utilize rhythm in your bass playing. But also with the way you improv along with band mates a couple of times during the songs (with keeping time of course) to find better bass lines.

With the rhythm part use subdivision to an extent to what the guitar players doing or do the opposite and play longer note increments to what the other player is doing. Use a mixture of this. It can always give greater depth to songs when done right. What I say is to go with your instinct on what sounds good and what should be thrown out all together.
Last edited by guitarbreaker at Jan 9, 2010,
listen to bands you like and see what their bassist does

bass can easily be dull when rolling allong on one note for ages, i make it more interesting by keeping the power chord shape, going on the root, fifth, then the octave, and slide around on the higher octave depending on the chord being played on the higher octave, if that makes any sense...

Try odd rhythms and note choices.

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Add fills. Rythm variations. Power chords instead of one note. Octave accentuation. In general, try playing CHORDS, not power chords - it sounds good, and also builds left hand strength - anyone can hold down a root note on a bass, try holding a chord (Check out Primordial - Gallows Hymn ; I uploaded a Guitar Pro Tab for it here - a very simple bass solo intro with chords - great for left hand building) . Try harmonics (Slapping harmonics really cuts through). There are many ways to add more flare to your bassline, but NEVER OVER-DO IT.
Thank you guys very much for your advice I think knowing what to do know will help me out ...
I usually add small fills, and after my basic line is hammered out, and It's solid and fits, I give it a little flair and sparkle. So give it time and stuff will come to you as your playing.
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When writing a line, start simple: root notes and root/five octave stuff. Then once you get the feel of the song and the rhythm, start to flesh out that bass line. Try adding either chord tone notes or extra notes from appropriate scales. Don't lose sight of the rhythm! If the bass line becomes too busy, then it is no longer a bass line. It is a bass solo. In most instances, save the elaborate licks for fills at the changes. In short, don't try to write an amazing bass line from the get-go. Write it in stages; let it develop as your feel for the song develops. Yes, it takes time and can often be maddeningly frustrating, but it works and it works well.

Remember the old writer's maxim: "Ninety percent of writing is rewriting!"
play along with your guitarist and drummer until you figure out the proper lines then just improv. all the songs my band plays only need a couple notes so i improv so i dont kill myself of boredom. just do a couple pops or something and if your guitarist doesnt like it then play louder lol.