#1
Okay you might know me as that persistent oddball remixer from the Music Theory forums but I also have a love for the bass guitar. I'm planning on forming a metal band with this guitarist/singer I met named Zack and may have a drummer (it's metal, it needs a drummer but his percussionist roommate could suffice). I'm thinking Doom Metal meets Hard Rock and Goth but not sure what style to do. How do you write a good metal bassline and what makes it good? Got any advice?

Also I'm almost an intermediate bassist but can't slap (slapping is more of a funk thing anyway). I can at least play 16th notes with only my index finger (that's the way I pick) and am great with 8th notes. I'm also good at adapting to most rhythms and know quite a bit of theory (modes, chord construction, arpeggios, intervals, ect). I'm just saying this because I want to explain my skills.
"I don't know what you're trying to suggest. There's no shame in taking what you need to hold your position!"

Super Buu (DBZ) on assimilation (it could also apply to blues guitar and guitar soloing in general).
#2
Root notes really fast

use your ears

learn some scales
...it was bright as the sun, but with ten times the heat
#3
What I'm asking is "what makes a good bassline (especially in metal) and how would one apply that to one's songwriting?" There has to be more to Metal (especially Extreme Metal) basslines than "root notes really fast".
"I don't know what you're trying to suggest. There's no shame in taking what you need to hold your position!"

Super Buu (DBZ) on assimilation (it could also apply to blues guitar and guitar soloing in general).
#4
It's entirely subjective. Write whatever you feel sounds good.

Listen to bands and learn what you like.
...it was bright as the sun, but with ten times the heat
#5
Obviously it depends on the genre you're going into and I don't have much experience with the style you're describing but I would say your best bet is to just listen to a bunch of bands that do similar music and pay attention to the ones that have more intricate bass lines.

For me, the best examples of bass lines in metal are from Cynic, Ne Obliviscaris, BTBAM, etc... but I listen to mostly progressive metal so that's a different story. Ne Obliviscaris I am particular fond of for how the bass often follows the root note but little inflexions are added here and there.
Guitars & Gear:
Parker Nitefly M
Sumer Metal Driver
Ibanez RGD2120Z
AMT SS-11B
Two Notes Torpedo CAB
Last edited by Emperor's Child at Jun 20, 2015,
#6
Don't write, orchestrate. I start really simple and evolve, evolve some more, evolve some more, and evolve some more. I typically get the core done by myself and listen for tweaks/fills when playing it with others. Sometimes I will completely re-work a tune based upon how a guitarist or drummer is playing it. I get tons of bassline ideas particularly from listening to drums.
"Quick to judge. Quick to anger. Slow to understand. Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand-in-hand."
- Rush, "Witch Hunt"
#7
Deeptubes, I like the way you think. Most of the time, the drummer can make or break a tune (given he/she is the one who keeps timing and provides the main rhythm). Also I agree that orchestration is important if you want to sound interesting and you're advise was pretty useful.

Emperor's Child, what do you mean by "follows the root note but little inflexions are added here and there"?
"I don't know what you're trying to suggest. There's no shame in taking what you need to hold your position!"

Super Buu (DBZ) on assimilation (it could also apply to blues guitar and guitar soloing in general).
#8
play the lowest string open, let it ring for as long as it can
play the 7th fret on the next string at the same time.
repeat this whilst facing the amp until the room begins to feed back on itself
at this point a wormhole into another dimension will open, and Greg Anderson will shake your hand.
#9
for general technique:
go listen to some alex webster

and try playing 16th notes with your index finger at 140bpm with a good tone

for doom:
Quote by Banjocal
play the lowest string open, let it ring for as long as it can
play the 7th fret on the next string at the same time.
repeat this whilst facing the amp until the room begins to feed back on itself
at this point a wormhole into another dimension will open, and Greg Anderson will shake your hand.


this
Quote by Kevätuhri
Hail isn't too edgy for posts, posts are not edgy enough for Hail.


Quote by UseYourThumb
You win. I'm done here.
#10
If you're playing doom, you don't need a bass guitarist Just get the keyboard player some bass pedals or a dedicated bass keyboard with a key hold function.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#11
Quote by theogonia777
If you're playing doom, you don't need a bass guitarist Just get the keyboard player some bass pedals or a dedicated bass keyboard with a key hold function.


drone yeah but sabbath is pretty much the epitome the significance of bass in doom/stoner

any "doom" bands i've seen without a bassist ended up sounding more industrial or droney


not that it matters anyway lol it's all bad
Quote by Kevätuhri
Hail isn't too edgy for posts, posts are not edgy enough for Hail.


Quote by UseYourThumb
You win. I'm done here.
#12
But Thergothon and Skepticism are the two best doom bands and neither had bassists.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#13
i wasn't even thinking of funeral doom, you right you right

i always think of more stuff along the lines of st vitus and candlemass
Quote by Kevätuhri
Hail isn't too edgy for posts, posts are not edgy enough for Hail.


Quote by UseYourThumb
You win. I'm done here.
#14
Nice reference, Banjocal (reminds me of when the Angry Video Game Nerd mentioned Witchfinder General). I had to look up who Greg Anderson is. For those who don't know, he was guitarist for Goatsnake and is a founding member/guitarist for Sunn 0)). Sunn 0)) are a Drone Metal (possibly Doom Metal's heaviest and noisiest subgenre) legend but I don't think they have a bassist (just lots of deep feedback and distortion).

By the way, Alex Webster (Bassist for Cannibal Corpse) is such a badass. I actually have his book on Extreme Metal bass and would recommend it for those interested in the subject. People who think Extreme Metal (especially Black Metal, Death Metal, and Doom Metal) is "noise", don't get it. There's so much artistic value and complexity that most people don't understand or want to understand.

Also I was thinking more in the line of Candlemass, Saint Vitus, Black Sabbath, and Witchfinder General than Funeral Doom but to each their own ...

Edit: Is it weird that I find Funeral Doom bands soothing (not that it's a bad thing)?
"I don't know what you're trying to suggest. There's no shame in taking what you need to hold your position!"

Super Buu (DBZ) on assimilation (it could also apply to blues guitar and guitar soloing in general).
Last edited by RonaldPoe at Jun 21, 2015,