#1
Hey, so I mainly play bass at church for my youth group's praise team. In most of the songs i only play single notes that follow the chord or harmonize to it (Playing B when the chord is G) it gets pretty boring iust doing that so i was wondering wgat techniques there are to improvise some riffs for chords (or chord progressions)
I have some knowledge of music theory if that helps.

Thanks! itzkpanda
Bass gear:
-Squier Vintage Modified Jazz Bass
-Fender Rumble 15 Amp

Guitar Gear:
-Agile AL-2000
-Boss Tu-3 Tuner -> Joyo Vintage Overdrive -> Joyo Vintage Ultimate Overdrive -> Ernie Ball MVP -> TC Nova Repeater
#3
Use notes within the scale, particularly other chord tones. Try different rhythm patterns, not just straight quavers/eights - you could throw in some syncopated rhythms per example.

What kind of music do you play? Knowing that would help.
Professional lurker since 2009.
#4
get your band to play stryper songs intead of boring old hymns
My Gear:
BC Rich Gunslinger Retro Blade
Vintage V100 Paradise + SD Alnico Pro Slash APH-2's
1963 Burns Short Scale Jazz Guitar
Dean Performer Florentine
Bugera 6260
Orange Micro Terror + cab
Digitech Bad Monkey
Zoom G2G
#5
Well since nobody will hear it I think you're good.

Serioiusly though, when I'm gonna improvise something, I don't think about it I just do it. Just stay in the same key, being able to really feel the music helps too. Get the groove of the song and just jam the hell out. If people look at you in bewilderment, (eg. Marty Mcfly) than you did a good job
"[Bleach] is mostly water, and we are mostly water, therefore we are bleach"

I feel we should go to...

Purple Alert
#7
Quote by technoguyx
Use notes within the scale, particularly other chord tones. Try different rhythm patterns, not just straight quavers/eights - you could throw in some syncopated rhythms per example.

What kind of music do you play? Knowing that would help.

I play contemporary christian to christian rock.

Quote by Retrogunslinger
get your band to play stryper songs intead of boring old hymns

We play songs from bands like Hillsong, Starfield, Chris Tomlin, David Crowder, etc.

Quote by soulsablade
Well since nobody will hear it I think you're good. Serioiusly though, when I'm gonna improvise something, I don't think about it I just do it. Just stay in the same key, being able to really feel the music helps too. Get the groove of the song and just jam the hell out. If people look at you in bewilderment, (eg. Marty Mcfly) than you did a good job

Alright, I'll keep that in mind. Thanks!

Quote by Delirumbassist
Don't overdo it though- you're there to lead worship, not show off chops. Roots, 5ths, octaves and passing notes are your friends here.

I understand that. Our praise team had a lot of talks about how it's not for the glory of the people but the glory of God. (Not trying to go too religious)
Roots, 5ths, octaves, and passing notes. Got it.
Bass gear:
-Squier Vintage Modified Jazz Bass
-Fender Rumble 15 Amp

Guitar Gear:
-Agile AL-2000
-Boss Tu-3 Tuner -> Joyo Vintage Overdrive -> Joyo Vintage Ultimate Overdrive -> Ernie Ball MVP -> TC Nova Repeater
#8
Just thought I'd add in a little question here because it's semi-related. A passing note can be any note in the key, eh? Or any note?
For how can I give the King his place of worth above all else
when I spend my time striving to place the crown upon myself?
#9
To add to Delirium's (Ben's) comment here, you really need to serve the song and your respective god, not your ego. So keep it simple and stick to notes which provide a good foundation to the melody.
#10
I found that, when i was doing worship for my youth group, to fancy of stuff seemed out of place. Its not in the genre to slap, or take a solo... on the bass... but, if you have to do something, i found roots and fifths. octaves seemed.... too much for it.
Understand nothing, in order to learn everything.

Quote by liampje
I can write a coherent tune ... But 3/4? I play rock, not polka.
#11
Quote by RetroGunslinger
get your band to play stryper songs intead of boring old hymns

not to sound like a jerk but most church bands bass parts are very dull
#12
Quote by Astralcat19
Usually sounds best in key but it doesnt have to be limited to that. Say you were strumming a G major and the next chord was a C. Either a A or a B or both would work well as a passing note.


Not being rude, but that doesn't really clear anything up, because in your example, both A and B are in both chords.
Current Gear:

Warwick Thumb BO 4
Musicman "StatusRay" Stingray 4 - Carbon Fibre Neck
Musicman Stingray 5 HH
Sadowsky MV4 Jazz

Markbass LittleMark II
AccuGroove Tri12l
Sansamp VT Bass
Line6 BassPodXT Live

CHECK OUT MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL!
#13
Know your major, minor, blues and pentatonic scales. Know every single one, everywhere on the fretboard.
Yamaha TRB1006
Fender MIA jazz bass
Hora Hybrid double bass
Hartke lh 500
Ev 606L
Epiphone les paul
#14
I just saw Chris Tomlin last night, was absolutely amazing. The bassest had one of the most mojo looking vintage P-basses I've seen. But anyways, lost of these artists kind of take their style from U2 and more recently Coldplay, and I've found studying their parts helps. Its best to keep it simple. mostly roots and 5ths, and passing notes like everyone said, but add nice dynamics and it gets alot better. Octave jumps are also frequently a nice way to make something sound more interesting. If you have a quarter note rhythm for four measures play two on the lower octave then slide up to the higher octave on the same string. Thats something used alot in this kind of music. Just my two cents from my experience
#15
Good advice from Delirium and Anarkee, I'd just add my personal experience. When I've played in a worship band, my best go to has been blues scales and variations. Since they don't have to be "out there" loud or ear catching like slapping or a true solo, they fit pretty well and give your mind and fingers something to do. I'm a big fan of blues and funk/soul type stuff, though. Some songs you just gotta bite the bullet and play roots.

Also, what you can do depends on the band make up. When I've had a drummer, he and I would play off of each other's rhythms and get a good dynamic sound going. When there is no drummer, it's a lot more important for you to keep a pretty straight beat, since you can get the congregation (or your singers/guitarist) off time.
#16
Quote by Astralcat19
Well depending on the sound of the song you would need to see which sounded most appropriate.


Yes, but that has nothing to do with the question. He asked if a passing note should be any note in the key, or just any note. The response was yes, it could be any note, but the example explaining this used 2 notes within both keys.
Current Gear:

Warwick Thumb BO 4
Musicman "StatusRay" Stingray 4 - Carbon Fibre Neck
Musicman Stingray 5 HH
Sadowsky MV4 Jazz

Markbass LittleMark II
AccuGroove Tri12l
Sansamp VT Bass
Line6 BassPodXT Live

CHECK OUT MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL!
#18
My experience is with this sort of thing mostly:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_2qG22SPwU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_2qG22SPwU

Not really gospel, more hymn crossed with modern pop/contemporary style? I'm not very good at genre recognition. Very vocal/acoustic driven.

P.S. If you have an electric guitarist, you should (imo) really crank The Stand on the chorus, and play something funky. Just thinking.
Last edited by samskii at Oct 23, 2011,