Ok, i obviously realise bass isnt just root notes, but having played guitar for a year and abit - and having played bass in a band for 2 months i cant say im the most experienced of guys.

Other than skills such as popping/slapping/tapping ect how can i learn to implement fills in our songs to make 1. Me feel more fufilled with bass and 2. Make our band sound better.

Now ive been told a few times "Learn your scales and fills will come easy" so is it really that simple? And im wondering if i can just show a bass line for a song of ours and see if anyone can give me an example of a fill...? Thanks.

E 00000 33333 55555 3 (Repeat)
A 55555

Ive been starting to use powerchords and plucking single notes to add to my sound... so far on the more intracate parts of the song i've got...

E 00000 3 3 3 5 5 5 3
A 5 5 5 5 5 7 7
D 7 7

You get the idea and fyi I chose our simples bass line so i can get a good idea of how to implement fills.

All help is much appreciated,
Thanks in advanced Agosen.


EDIT: I've also jus found out tabbing doesnt work lol.... so its 5Xopen notes on E, 5xfret 3 on the E, 5xfret 5 on the A and then 5XFret5 on E with a 3 to finish on the E... sorry if this sounds confusing, and i imagine you get the idea with the powerchords :P
Last edited by Agosen at Oct 15, 2007,
To make your question simple, yes...fills really are that simple. If you know your scales, you can really make it as simple as playing up and down the scale in a funny rhythm and it will sound like a decent fill. For example (can't find a tab of it) By the Way at Hyde Park (RHCP). Around the last chorus (at 3:05...just checked) there's a beastly fill that just sounds awesome in there. When you actually look at the fill though, he's just skipping around the minor scale...nothing complex about it. Obviously, you can later on add some dissonance and/or chordal tones to your fills to add character, but scales are the bare bones.

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Sex, pizza, the smell of fresh washing and slap bass.
Thanks very much for teh replies, ill go check out the lessons and that song
Yeah, fills can come easy with time. But for writing more intricate basslines, a good strategy, or at least the one I use, is to start off by just following with roots. Then, once I know the song, I start throwing in octaves and fifths. From there I get something to work with those. Once that's down, I throw in other stuff, and eventually I get it to where I want it. If you start off simple and know your scales, you should be fine.
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i started with pentatonic stuff, and quickly learned it becomes a habit, although it works in the beginning
When I have to begin from roots, I just throw in fills too. Nothing to add to those guys above me.

But dude: if the guitar or keyboard is playing a riff: go with them.

If not: try to go with the drums, or create something that's different from all of them but adds something to it. Like good placed harmonics-> but this might be too hard for you at the moment. It is most of the times for me too
Quote by Agosen
Placed harmonics? Explain pl0x

Lol... I just ment don't just play random harmonics. But play them in Key and on the right time. Not just go and play an eigth not pattern in harmonics, that would suck.

I normally play harmonic chords (well chords... mostly containing 2 harmonics).
Ahh i see :P Thought it was some special term, thanks
Once I learned my minor and major scales improvising came easily. If you know which chord is major and which is minor almost anything can sound good.
If music was the food of love I'd be a fat romantic slob.
Another simple thing that helped me out is tabbing a few songs on my own (not crazy-easy songs, mind you). If you get really good at knowing what to play before you play it, improvising will take on a whole new light for you.

Quote by Applehead
There are some things in life that are universally "good":

Sex, pizza, the smell of fresh washing and slap bass.
Know your song. Thats what its all about.

I record everything thats created....if theres a whole song there, ill record it with just the guitar and drums and ill just get the main root notes and then listen to the recordings inbetween practice, that way there is absolutely no pressure on you...you can play things that sway away from the root notes or you can just add in the casual fill every once in awhile...but by that next practice, you'll know the song and your ideas well enough to do it.
We use guitar pro: everyone (or the thinker of the song if he knows all the parts he wrote), put their parts in a guitar pro file and every bandmember can than look what can be improved etc. + you can practise with all the other instruments!