#1
Can't always find bass tabs, so I've been learning with the bass lessons on this site. They're really good. Since I can't always find a bass tab, it seems the alternative is just to make your own bass line for the songs. The lesson said most songs are root octave or root fifth, some using root 3rd (which doesn't quite sound right unless played with a fifth).
Looking at Money by Pink Floyd:
Starts with root b, then octave (p8), then fifth. It comes back to the third a few notes later.
Black Sabbath Wicked World on the verses is root, fifth, octave.
I've noticed this pattern a lot..........now I know what it is, lol. You can take the root notes of the guitar chords and add a fifth or octave to get a good bass line.

I haven't seen one for Holding on to Yesterday by Ambrosia, so I've tried to make one.

I start with the b note root(2nd fret) twice , then octave, fifth, octave.
Then I go to the d note root (fifth fret) twice, then octave fifth, root.

Not exactly the way they did it, but it's a start.
#2
If you can't find tabs to a song, I would try to listen to what the bassist does in that song. So that you get at least some kind of an idea of what kind of a bassline will fit that song. You don't need to play anything note for note, well, not usually at least.

Roots and fifths do work. But it's not always what you are after.

So listen to what the original bassist does and try to play something with a similar feel.

In the song you mentioned, the bassist does mostly play roots and fifths (and some notes in between the chord changes - but those are not that important). Listen to the rhythm. That's important. You can hear the basic rhythmic feel by listening to the kick drum. Those are the notes you want to emphasize.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#3
I listened to it again, and see what you mean about the drums. It really does help with the rhythm. Thanks for the input!
#4
Hey you are thinking like a bass player

The ability to take a chord sequence, listen to the rhythm and turn it into a bass line is a better skill to have than just to slavishly copy the 'real' bassline, though you'll learn from both approaches.

Root fifth is probably the way to go 'cos it works in both major and minor keys. you'll be surprised how many basslines work that way! It could be worth looking at root/seventh once you have root/fifth down.

Fun lesson on root/fifth here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZUSEHkLS8Q
#5
Remember inversions are also important, root up to 5th is a good way to start ie C to G, but root down to 4th ie C down to G is equally as good.
5th and 4ths invert perfect whereas all other intervals with the exception of octaves invert major to minor and vice versa.
Inversions always add up to 9 ie C up to G = a 5th, C own to G = a 4th and vice versa.
G&L L2500
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Ashdown RPM pre-amp
Ashdown Little Giant 1000
300 watt 15" powered cab
450 watt 15" powered sub bass cab
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#6
Good vid there, thanx!

So, basically (no pun intended ) use the root, fifth, octave, but add the lower fifth as well to give you 4 notes to work with.

Looking at Money, Roger Waters does:

(Root b), octave, fifth, root, lower fifth, minor seventh, root, minor 3rd.

Then it is inverted pattern with (root f#) octave, fifth, root. (at the "but if you ask for a rise", etc.)

I tried guitar, but the strings are too close together. (Or maybe my fingers are just too clumsy) Either way, I find the bass more enjoyable.
#7
Quote by John Swift
Remember inversions are also important, root up to 5th is a good way to start ie C to G, but root down to 4th ie C down to G is equally as good.
5th and 4ths invert perfect whereas all other intervals with the exception of octaves invert major to minor and vice versa.
Inversions always add up to 9 ie C up to G = a 5th, C own to G = a 4th and vice versa.


Reading your post I thought of this song:

https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/c/chicago/wishing_you_were_here_btab.htm

Maybe I should print it out, and see if I can identify the variations of the roots.
#8
Quote by bar2271
Good vid there, thanx!

So, basically (no pun intended ) use the root, fifth, octave, but add the lower fifth as well to give you 4 notes to work with.

Looking at Money, Roger Waters does:

(Root b), octave, fifth, root, lower fifth, minor seventh, root, minor 3rd.

Then it is inverted pattern with (root f#) octave, fifth, root. (at the "but if you ask for a rise", etc.)

I tried guitar, but the strings are too close together. (Or maybe my fingers are just too clumsy) Either way, I find the bass more enjoyable.

The root C up to G is a perfect 5th, whereas C down to G is a perfect 4th.
G&L L2500
Squier Affinity Jazz Bass 5
Ashdown RPM pre-amp
Ashdown Little Giant 1000
300 watt 15" powered cab
450 watt 15" powered sub bass cab
2x10 + horn
1x15x10 + horn
#9
Quote by John Swift
The root C up to G is a perfect 5th, whereas C down to G is a perfect 4th.


Ok, now I get it. From this page:

http://www.studybass.com/lessons/intervals/basic-intervals/

And looking at my bass fretboard chart, you use a different c to get the p4 from the lower g, going down the fretboard on the e string 5 half steps to that c, not the root c.
Thanks for clarifying that.
#10
Quote by John Swift
The root C up to G is a perfect 5th, whereas C down to G is a perfect 4th.

Yes, but if we are talking about chord tones (as we usually are), G is always called the fifth if C is the root. So both

G|---------
D|---5---5-
A|-3---3---
E|---------


And

G|---------
D|---------
A|-3---3---
E|---3---3-


Are root-fifth basslines.


Also, my point about listening to what the original bassist does was more about getting the feel of the bassline. I didn't mean that you need to play it note for note. (Though learning it note for note by ear is good ear training.) Some basslines need to be played note for note, others are more "loose" in that way. If the song doesn't have a clear bass riff, then I would say it's pretty much always OK to do your own thing. But I think it's important to be able to play it with a similar feel as the original bassline.

Also, inversions are cool, but they have an effect on the overall harmony. If you have a chord chart for the song, the chord symbols tell which inversion you should play (for example if it says C/E, E is what the bass should play). Playing an inversion where it's not "meant" to be played can be a bit dangerous, because it changes the sound of the chord. Especially the second inversion is something you don't want to overuse because that especially has a big effect on harmony. For example C/G basically functions as a Gsus chord. If you want to add more notes other than the root and fifth, play root on "one" and other chord tones on the other beats.

When using(/adding more) inversions, you need to know what you are doing.


Edit: I noticed that "inversion" in this thread referred to inverted intervals, not inverted chords, so what I just said about inversions has really nothing to do with anything people have said here.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Mar 19, 2016,
#11
I found this page helpful, as well:

http://music.tutsplus.com/tutorials/music-theory-intervals-and-how-to-derive-them--audio-4559

It has a chart. Apparently, above the root, count half steps left to right on your fretboard. Below the root, right to left. We then have to find an octave of the root below the g, which is the c on the e string, 8th fret. But what is the label to differentiate the p4 below from the p4 above the root? Inverted p4? Is that the correct term?
#12
Okay
So I've got:

root B from the 2nd fret
P8, P5, inverted P4?, then an open A string, which would be major 7th forward, inverted to m6, root, then d string M3 since it's below the root B

I was hoping to learn how to count below the root. Apparently, it's one of those universal mysteries that no one will ever solve. Just use the shortcut, right?

Do I get a gold star for figuring this one out?
Last edited by bar2271 at Mar 20, 2016,
#13
Quote by MaggaraMarine
Yes, but if we are talking about chord tones (as we usually are), G is always called the fifth if C is the root. So both.

From a bassists point of view chords and inversions are different on guitar and bass.
In big dance orchestras (which I've played in) the guitarist had to be well versed in inversions as many numbers were often a chord a beat, without inversions you'd all over the neck.
G&L L2500
Squier Affinity Jazz Bass 5
Ashdown RPM pre-amp
Ashdown Little Giant 1000
300 watt 15" powered cab
450 watt 15" powered sub bass cab
2x10 + horn
1x15x10 + horn
#14
Quote by MaggaraMarine
Yes, but if we are talking about chord tones (as we usually are), G is always called the fifth if C is the root. So both


G is only the perfect 5th if you go up from the root C. Going down (inverting) from the root C to G is a perfect 4th not a perfect 5th.
Inversions add up to 9 ie C up to A is a major 6th C down to A is a minor 3rd and so on.
G&L L2500
Squier Affinity Jazz Bass 5
Ashdown RPM pre-amp
Ashdown Little Giant 1000
300 watt 15" powered cab
450 watt 15" powered sub bass cab
2x10 + horn
1x15x10 + horn