#1
Hey guys, I've been finding it easier and easier to write guitar parts recently, but at the same time I have become very dissatisfied with my bass lines.
I don't seem to be able to write any sort of bassline in one of my own songs that isn't one of the following:
-simple root notes
-small (usually pentatonic) fills
-majorly technical and/or solos

Now that's all fine and dandy, but what about the musicianship, the variety, the excitement!
I'd like some suggestions for things to think about when writing interesting bass lines under guitar lines that are already there (in other words, writing bass pretty much last), but at the same time being fairly simple and able to fit with often fast music. (think thrashy stoner-sludge with the occasional -core influence)
And I will be doing vocals, so that's the main reason I need it fairly simple for the most part.

I can give examples of guitar lines if required
Quote by UraniYum
Fuck you I'm trying to be caring and shit


Quote by Cb4rabid
Okay guys, I have a confession to make. Not really a confession since it's something that's been bugging me for awhile but I've always been in denial about it.

**** you gilly, it's not what you think
#2
Well,bass is usually the last part to cover on a song,if you add drums to it it will be way easier to write basslines,at least that's how it works better for me.
#3
on some of the original tabs in my band, the guitarists had the bass follow the guitar, which wasn't always root notes, although admittedly, i take a simpler approach cuz their old bassist was a guitarist first but still occassionally following some of those lines. also, if playing behind chords, perhaps you could make up some kind of scale using the chord notes or something to that extent
Quote by Heilz
When backstage and talkin to the ladies i always go with the ¨Mines is bigger than theirs¨ argument as me bro holds hes guitar and i take out my bass... It works wonders @,@


Gear list:
Squire Affinity P-Bass
Ashdown Mag300 Evo II
Boss ODB-3
#4
What I've learnt from arranging and composing a fair bit is to think of the whole song.

That being said, if you are writing it is easy to lose your mind in just one line good line. For example if you write a really cool sounding guitar line/riff/chord progression, you will just keep playing that through your head and when you try to change it for other instruments you wont like it so much or might like it better at the end of a two or four bar phrase of the guitar line. with different instruments you need to have a completely different state of mind than the first instrument. In my experience when lines are similar they need to be obvious how they change and is made clear, either that or make harmonize with each other.

Main thing to remember is with a new instrument you need new ideas, as a singer/bassist myself, the hardest part of playing my own song is making the vocal line differ from my bass line, as it calls for another idea.
"Whats that noise??"

"... Jazz"
#5
Heavy stacked chords and octave fills are fun. Sometimes I play the root notes of the guitar but every other note I play an octave higher. Check out intronaut for some winding interesting heavy bass lines as well.
#6
I'd recommend checking out modest mouse's bassist's style.

I realize it's a pretty different genre, but his lines are always tasteful as hell and really fun, but always fairly simple.

Best examples I can think of:

Dashboard
Float On
Spitting Venom
Quote by dullsilver_mike
..Bob Barker isn't dead.

Quote by The_Casinator
Nothing is impossible if you're on acid!

Quote by Holy Katana
What if the NES breaks? WHERE IS YOUR GOD NOW?
#7
+1 to octave use.

I'm also a huge fan of using James Jamerson style 'dead notes'.
"Punk Rock should mean freedom, liking and accepting anything that you like, as sloppy as you want, as long as it's good and has passion."
#8
Quote by Din of Win
+1 to octave use.


Seconding (thirding?) this. Don't be afraid to slide into octaves either, and do a quick fill an octave up and slide back down. That can really add a punctuation mark to a part of a song.

Aside from this, one thing to try is have the bass pumping out the root, then when an important part of the riff comes up the bass switches to playing the guitar riff. I know this shows up a lot in hard rock. The "important part of the riff" might only be 3 notes at the end of it. Think of Paranoid (black sabbath) and you'll get the idea of what I mean here.

Locking in with the drums or the guitars aren't the only options either. Harmonizing with the vocals is also an option and can sound especially nice of the vocals aren't already harmonized with the guitars.
#11
Thanks, guys there's some really helpful stuff here that I'll definitely have a look into


Quote by jovalin
*spam, eggs and spam*

aaaaaaand... *reported*
Quote by UraniYum
Fuck you I'm trying to be caring and shit


Quote by Cb4rabid
Okay guys, I have a confession to make. Not really a confession since it's something that's been bugging me for awhile but I've always been in denial about it.

**** you gilly, it's not what you think
#12
Syncopation. Throw in dotted notes, continue phrases across bars, start a phrase on the third beat of the bar, work on the offbeat.

Or, and everyone can learn a lesson from this, work out when not to play. That 1 1/2 beats of silence can build up tension like a mofo.
#13
Quote by Deliriumbassist

Or, and everyone can learn a lesson from this, work out when not to play. That 1 1/2 beats of silence can build up tension like a mofo.


+1... million.
"Whats that noise??"

"... Jazz"
#15
Quote by Deliriumbassist
Syncopation. Throw in dotted notes, continue phrases across bars, start a phrase on the third beat of the bar, work on the offbeat.

Or, and everyone can learn a lesson from this, work out when not to play. That 1 1/2 beats of silence can build up tension like a mofo.
Great advice. I think rhythm is the single most important part of bass playing.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea