#1
How can I spice up my bass lines? When I jam with my guitar playing friends I kind of just play the root note and it gets pretty dull. We want to start up a little band, but I want to know how to make my bass lines better than just the root notes before I commit to a band that will be playing live shows.

What are the rules for making up basslines? I hope I explained this well enough. Thanks for the help!
#3
Well I play bass, but I never have in a band. But I would guess that you can mess around with some arpeggio stuff. Like when playing that root, add the fifth of that. Or alternate between the root and fifth, maybe add a third in there etc. Just mix it up.
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#4
I'm not a bass player myself, but I've learned stuff about interesting bass lines, by listening to video game music. Here's a bassline from Sonic 2, Emerald Hill zone... No timing, but this'll give you an idea.


G||-----5---5-----7---5------5-|-----7---7-----9---7----5-7-|
D||------------5---------5-7---|------------7---------7-----|
A||--3-------------------------|--5-------------------------|
E||----------------------------|----------------------------|

                                  (galloped, 8th 16th 16th)
----------------------------|-----2-2----4-4----5-5----2-2-||
-----8---8-----10--7------10|------------------------------||
------------8---------8-10--|--0------2------3------0------||
--6-------------------------|------------------------------||

Notice how, apart from utilising the root note, it also adds in the same note an octave higher? It plays around with the perfect fifth as well, and other notes within the scale and chord progression.

Basically, don't be afraid to throw in 5ths and 4ths, and if appropriate, minor and major 3rds, and other notes. It's hard to explain, but listen to video game music (or maybe just electronic music in general... though video game music is best) and you'll hopefully pick stuff up.
#5
Quote by FaceTheBass
How can I spice up my bass lines? When I jam with my guitar playing friends I kind of just play the root note and it gets pretty dull. We want to start up a little band, but I want to know how to make my bass lines better than just the root notes before I commit to a band that will be playing live shows.

What are the rules for making up basslines? I hope I explained this well enough. Thanks for the help!


Try practicing melody. Focus on your left hand.
#6
Play around within the scale, arpeggiate the chords the guitarist are playing. If the guitarists are playing single note melodies, a good idea is to double the melodies with variations, or play a counter-melody and occasionally play the same phrase as the guitarist.
#7
Learn scale and chord theory!
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#8
When I add basslines in my songs, I use a mix between the root note, it's octave, and some fills here and there, like going up or down a scale. (part of a scale)
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