#1
Hello

I'm a guitar player but have been tracking the bass tracks on my songs (e.g. http://soundcloud.com/morphitis/seeing-in-black-and-white)

Can any bass players give me any tips on how to right my bass parts so that they fit the song better rather than approaching it from a guitar point of view or shed any insight onto how you approach writing your parts.

Look forward to your responses.

Thanks, M
#2
I can't get to soundcloud at work, but I will give a few general ideas.

1. Basslines should provide a bridge between the drum part and the other instruments. So they should provide a rhythmic foundation along with a harmonic foundation.

2. If someone else is doing fills, the bass line should provide "space" as a balance.

3. Don't be afraid of setting up a "groove line" that is somewhat repetitive but supports and drives the entire song.
#3
1. Learn how to do counterpoint. Even if you're not good at it it helps a lot.

2. Practice triads and scales.

3. Study the bass playing of Cliff Burton. He really knew how to add his own groove to Metallica's songs that really got the vibe going and his riffs were awesome too without following the guitars too much. On some choruses you can really hear him go off on his own, playing thirds and fifths in their own melody compared to what the guitars were doing. Examples: The Four Horsemen, For Whom the bell Tolls, Creeping Death, and Orion.

4. As stated by Anarkee, don't be afraid to be a bit repetitive with your lines. You're the anchor for the band that drives the groove of the song.
#4
Okay, thanks guys i'll try those ideas and have a go ant some of the songs you've suggested. Cliff Burton is one of my favourite bassists but I haven't sat down and tried to learn his parts yet.

When writing your bass parts do you often try to match what the kick drum pattern?
#5
Yeah, counterpoint is the key. I really think a more melodic bass line around 1:15 would really open up the atmosphere. You know, if that's what you're going for.
#6
On the kick drum question, conventional wisdom says you should be playing a note 90% with the kickdrum. There are exceptions though.
#7
Well; you must first and always remember that the electric bass is a rhythm instrument. That means that your bass lines must first and foremost serve the song! With that in mind, get together with a very good drummer! (Nothing less will suffice!).

With the drummer's help, you must put together rhythm tracks that are not constrained to the usual 4x4 timing. You need to break out of the standard, "everybody else does it" rhythms. Once you understand how to do this, you can write songs that are truly great and that do not owe themselves entirely to the guitar, or entirely to all of the many songs that have come before you,
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#8
Hay,
Study the sheet music you will be playing. Look at the bass clef to determine how difficult the bass line will be.

Play just the bass line--notes on the bass clef, played with your left hand--before attempting to play treble at the same time.

Put the bass line with the melody line and chords from the treble clef. It may take you a few times to get your hands coordinated. Try not to focus too much on what your left hand is doing.