#1
I've been playing bass for a while now, and I feel I am getting pretty damn good. I can play just about any song put in front of me, but my desire has always been in creating my own basslines. Anybody have a similiar experience or tips on developing a playing style? I'm sick of playing RHCP and classic rock tunes.

Another thing is when I'm jamming with buddies sometimes I play something I made up and the look at me like I'm crazy. I think the problem is I switch rhythms or something. How can I correct this problem? No snide coments please.
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#2
For the first part of your questions-
I'm just open to differant styles and try not limiting myself to the shape of my fret board, i dont hang out on one string and I like floating around the bass and breaking rythems with something that's maybe more high pitch but in scale

for your second part-
changing rythems? if you jam with a drummer you should always make eye contact and use body and mouth language to help in suggesting changing rythems, same with scales and the guitarists, maybe changing scales in a middle of the jam would make it more interesting.
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#3
Thanks. Your input is helpful. The guitarist I play with is quite good at keeping the groove with me, its just hard to all be on the same page. Its a practice makes perfect thing I guess.
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#4
Learn your theory. You will see things on the fretboard you never saw before, and all of a sudden you will be able to write wondeful basslines that fit along with the song very well. When writing basslines, you should become familiar with the phrase "in the pocket". Bass as an instrument fills up the space between the guitar and the rythm. It locks melody with rythm. All of your basslines need to fill up this empty space inbetween and pull the melody and the rythm together. A great bass player will be able to bring the most obscure guitar line and drumline and make it sound great.

As far as rythm goes, practice with a metrenome. Work on keeping time. Lock in with the drummer, as jagstang said. He covered pretty much everything else.


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#6
Buy a copy of Fretboard Alchemy, learn it inside out for a year and then create away.
#7
Definately learn theory. Learn your scales, then learn your modes. Once you know modes, stay with the beat and the general feel of the song (that helps to make what your doing sound more natural, I think) and let your band know when you're going to do something that's a bit more out there. Maybe they're looking at you like that because they're thinking "Where the **** did that come from?". Let them know what you want to do with your role in the band. Once you've learnt modes everything just makes more sense, and music just feels so much more structured(sp?).
At the end of the day though, I'm not in a band, so my opinion is completely theorectical, and it's not rock solid.
#8
Quote by Applehead
Buy a copy of Fretboard Alchemy, learn it inside out for a year and then create away.


is that the book that jaco used to learn? i read something about that in an interview, but i forgot the book name and havent found it since.
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#10
i've got the Slonimsky book and i find it's more for ideas than anything else. The Fretboard Alchemy book is all theory. check it out online
#11
Quote by Incubus_SCIENCE


ah, thank you

ill be picking that up soon i do believe.
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#12
^Its over my head lol... It would be interesting to read, but it will take me a little while to comprehend it all.


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#13
Ink, that's rubbish. You have a good grounding in theory. There is nothing too fancy in there that you would not be able to understand.
#14
I was just kidding... I can understand it, though it might be a while until I digest all of it. That book is truely astounding. The part I will have trouble with is finding exactly how each pattern is derived. I'm actually going to see if they have a copy of it in Borders today


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#15
Thanks guys, lots of help. I've learned a lot of basic theory (Penatonics, Blues, Major, Minor, Blah, Blah) and hunger for more. Learning just one new scale opens up a whole friggin world for me when jammin. Music is so endless its ****ing great.

One more question. I lot of what I've learned involves staying "in the box". I can expand a little bit with the chromatic scale but what are some tips for "playing all over the neck". I want to be able to groove like Jack Bruce and John Paul Jones.
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#16
/\ learn modes and keys then. also learn the scales for more than just one octive, run it for at least 2.

i dont think JPJ really, jammed. he kinda just ran blues scales. most of his solos, fills, and basslines are blues scales. he just knows it, very, very well.
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#17
Can you explain what a mode is? Is it just the same scale started from a different note? And keys? Please explain.

I have started to learn 2-octave scales.

Yeah, I guess your right about JPJ, which just goes to show how much you can do with just one type of scale! Sweet!
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#18
there are 7 types of MAJOR modes(there are many many modes but these are the ones that most often come up I find)

-iononian(regular major scale)

-dorian(C dorian would be a scale from C to C in the key of (and here insert the scale that the note your looking for is the second of ) Bb

-phrygian (a C phrygian would be from C to C in the key of (and here insert the scale that the note your looking for is the third of) Ab

-lydian(same thing as dorian and phrygian but the C has to be the fourth) key of G

-mixolydian C (5th) key of F

-aeolian C (6th) key of Eb

-locrian C (7th) key of Db

ionian- CDEFGABC
Dorian- C,D,Eb,F,G,A,Bb
Phyrgian- C,Db,Eb,F,G,Ab,Bb,C
Lydian- C,D,E,F#,G,A,B,C
Mixolydian-C,D,E,F,G,A,Bb,C
Aeolian- C,D,Eb,F,G,Ab,Bb,C
Locrian- C,Db,Eb,F,Gb,Ab,BbC
These are different examples of the modes I showed above. To see how to find keys Look below

For keys on the modes you are ALWAYS thinking major never minor aeolian and locrian are minor scales but thats beside the point. And if you do not know the keys it is very hard to find out a mode although there could be an easier way than this.l This is how I was taught. And you can do this with any note not just C.

To find a key signature you need to know to simple things the order of sharps and flats
The order of flats- BEADGCF(opposite of sharps)
The order of sharps- FCGDAEB(Father Charles Goes Down And Eats Breakfast)

For flat keys (in major flat keys are F Bb Eb Ab Db Gb Cb)(these are in order F 1 flat Bb two flats Eb 3 flats etc. this is called the number of flats for me theres probably a better name for it.)
you take the order of flats and lets say you have the key of Eb you go up to the E and one past it so in the key of Eb you have the flats BEA you can do this with any flat key.
An alternate way to find the flat key is take the key you want say Eb again and go in the number of flats and see that Eb is the third one then go three flats into the order of flats and you have your key.

For sharp keys (G D A E B F# C#)( Number of sharps)
For sharps take the name of the key you have lets sat D and go down one tone to a C then see the order of sharps and go up to the C. So the key of D has F# C#
You can also use the alternate one for flats on sharp keys.

For minor (DO NOT use this for modes) the simplest thing to do is find the relative major. How to do that is go up A full tone and a semi tone DIATONICALLY as in no of the same note names this is KEY. SO lets say you have Bb minor go Bb-C-Db(note its NOT C#!) so the key of Bb minor is the same as Db major and then proceed to do whatever method you choose to use on sharp keys.

Wow long post anyway I don't know if you wanted this much info if anybody finds something wrong with anything tell me please. I just took all this stuff in my jazz major class so its pretty fresh in my mind.
Last edited by jazz_rock_feel at Oct 20, 2006,
#19
/\ you over complicated it a bit i think, but good job other wise. and keys are easy to find, they are simply the ionian mode of whatever key it is, or pretty muich whatever note the major scale is. if you want to play in the key of G, play a G major scale and there are all 8 of your notes you are going to use. another big thing to remember with keys is that they run down chromatically, so if G is your ionian mode, then A is your dorian, B is your phrygen so on and so forth.

i know its said never to refer to dorian phrygen aeolian and locrian as minor, but this is the way ive been taught by 2 different instructors and to be technical, they are noted that way.

I- Ionian (natural major, noted as a triangle)
ii- Dorian
ii- Phrygen
IV- Lydian
V- Mixolydian (dominant, noted as a 7)
vi- Aeolian (natural minor, noted as a -7)
vii°- Locrian (diminished, noted by little circle with a line through it)

I- Ionian-- major scale
ii- Dorian-- minor scale with a raised 5th
ii- Phrygen-- minor scale with a lowered 2end
IV- Lydian-- major scale with a raised 4th
V- Mixolydian-- major scale with a lowered 7th
vi- Aeolian-- minor scale
vii°- Locrian-- minor scale with a lowered 3rd and lowered 5th

these numbers help me a lot, that way if someone says "ok we're playing a I IV V ii progression in the key of G, i know that i am playing a Gmaj, Cmaj#4, Dmajb5, Amin#5

i also like the numbers set up because if we're playing an A dominant, i can count down 3 notes and know that i am in the key of D.

i hope this makes sense to you, if not it helps to have a person explain it out to you in front of you.
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Last edited by crazypeanutman at Oct 17, 2006,
#21
Quote by kmbuchamushroom
Just a minor point but diminished doesn't have a line like ø, but its just vii°

on the great explanation though.


sheet music notation always has ø <== that thing in a diminished chord. i meant that its notated that way when writen like in a chord.
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#22
doesn't the line signify half dimnished?

And I know that was over complicated but my jazz teacher has this thing with teaching everything in detail and cofusingly but its a good way to memorize the stuff the more confusing the more you have to think the more you get it down pat. And for keys ya its just a G major scale but if he doesn't know that or the actual sharps or flats he has to go to his bass and look through the whole scale and look at all the ones that are sharp or he could just be like ok well B dorian is an A scale from B to B and bang its quick I don't know it just makes more sense to me.
Last edited by jazz_rock_feel at Oct 17, 2006,
#23
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Just reading the reviews makes me want to buy this book. Wow great find Incubus!!!!
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#24
a good way to get into making your own basslines is listen to ska, and try and play ska, because you will really move around the fretboard, and get to learn how sounds come together
#25
Quote by BadBishop
Just reading the reviews makes me want to buy this book. Wow great find Incubus!!!!



Great find? that book is nearly 50 years old son!! I've got that book and it helps loads. i find the best way to use it is to get an idea and then change it to your liking.

People, the most important thing is having a good ear. you can know all the theory in the world, but you need a good ear to be creative
#26
/\ a good ear developes with time and practice, but what you are practicing in that time is very important. LEARN YOUR THEORY. by practicing a key or a mode, or even a scale for that matter, you'll learn the relationships the notes have to each other and you'll find patterns and lines you like and ones you wont.

i think its more important now to learn the roots of music so that you are developing your ear to be able to express it later on to people, without having to make sound effects with your mouth in order for you to get an idea across.

EDIT: oh yea, jazz rock feel, your right, the circle with the line is half diminished and the open circle is fully diminished.
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Last edited by crazypeanutman at Oct 18, 2006,
#27
As long as we are on this topic, is it true that the 1, 3, 5, and 7th of a scale are notes that "are more appealing" to the ear? And that the 1, 3, and 5th form a triad, or chord?
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#29
^Ooooh I love the sound of a dominant seven (flat seven) it sounds so bluesy and awesome. And yes the Root 3rd 5th are the basic chord (or arpreggios) (or notes that are more apealling to the ear) And the seventh is used extensivly in jazz(as in if a chord on a jazz part just says F you just take it as meaning with the seventh as well)
#30
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
there are 7 types of modes



bad choice of words. There are countless modes out there outside of the 7 modes of the major.
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#32
/\ there are seven church modes, the established major modes like the ones we've been discussing, but yes, modes are just about limitless.
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#33
I still have a couple questions.

Number one...a key is what? I was under the impression a key was another name for a scale. Say my guitarist plays a G chord and then a C chord, GC progression (both major). I could play any note from the Gmaj scale while he's playing G, and same with C?

Also where to learn about arpreggios?
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#34
i play with a band, and usually when we start writing a song the drummer and guitar start playing then myself and lead guitar come in with our respective parts until we get it hammered out. my question iseverytime i throw a chromatic in with my groove the drummer is like "hmm... that sounds out of key, lets change it" to just stepping down a scale. i generally think it sounds good and fits (tho sometimes it doesnt) but regardless of how it sounds its always "out of key"

just wondering if anyone knows the mentaility of this

ps we are a rock band, not jazz so...
#35
Quote by chopps00
I still have a couple questions.

Number one...a key is what? I was under the impression a key was another name for a scale. Say my guitarist plays a G chord and then a C chord, GC progression (both major). I could play any note from the Gmaj scale while he's playing G, and same with C?

Also where to learn about arpreggios?


http://www.activebass.com/basics/atable.asp
#36
also, it could either be the R-4 of a G or 5-R of C, so it doesnt really matter what you play over it, one way of thinking about it (if thats all he is playing) is to use the 2nd chord as your key (somewhat arbitrary, but keeps it moving and leads into 2nd chord well) and for the G play a G myxolydian (a c maj scale, myxolydian is referring to but emphasizing the 5th degree in the scale as the root, in this case G) and then C ionian ( 1st degree in the scale as the root, C, so just cmaj scale)

a good place to start (is what i did and helped alot with scales and modes) is to first just learn the relationships between notes and between distances on the fret board. ie, play a note, 2 frets up is the 2nd, 3 is flat3, 4 is 3, etc, having major scale shapes helps with this too) and then learning how scales are built etc. i tried learning scales just by their shapes once upon a time and it was just too hard to memorize everything, whereas its easier to understand it and just know what your doing.

anyways you can apply modal theory (as said above) to any type of scale, just basically emphasize a different root. this works with pentatonics, augmented, diminished, suspended etc. just have the ground floor theory to base it off of