#1
Hey guys, so i was invited to play in a blues combo, and i have a question:

How can i spice up my blues basslines?

I know the 3rds, 5th, 7bth, chromatic, etc, im just wondering how to make the bassline 'better than normal'. Also dont want to be eclipsed by two amazing guitarists.

Can you guys recommend any songs/aritists to listen to?

Also, i remember there was a thread about the blues a bit back, but search didnt turn up anything, link please if you have

-IRen
#2
Check out Jack Bruce and Donald "Duck" Dunn for some mad blues bass

(Yes he was in the blues brothers, but he played with Eric Clapton among others too)
#3
I'm not at all a blues player, but I DO know that Tommy Shannon is a GOD. With his stuff from SRV, you should get an idea of how great blues bassists sound. Pride and Joy is a favourite of mine... he has a talent for half melodic and half walking bass lines.

Tommy Shannon.

Now.
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#4
Blues, more so than any other type of music you are the foundation. Its not about you it's about the foundation you lay down for the solo instruments to build upon. You are the engine that drives the song.

Learn your blues scales and build from there. Keep it simple and thrown in those fills and chromatics only as tasteful variations. Learn to improv a bit in the blues scale, but use improv sparingly, unless you get the odd solo. Less is more and make sure your playing has that chug, that swing feel. Blues bass playing is all about feel and keeping that train moving along.

For artist to listen to: The Kings (BB, Albert, Freddie) are always a good start. For bass players you can do no better than Tommy Shannon (Stevie Ray Vaughn), Willie Dixon, Jerry Jermott (BB King), and Roscoe Beck (Robben Ford).

Gigging in a blues band is a great experience for any bass player. You will gain serious chops and a great sense of rhythm. It is my favourite genre to play bass in--its so much fun.

And if you are looking for books (yes, here's a Hal Leonard endorsement..). Hal Leonard's Blues Bass is great. It has the basic techniques and it has all of the classic blues songs such as Hideaway, Pride and Joy, Stormy Monday, Born under a Bad Sign, Killing Floor, I'm Tore Down...well you get the picture.
#5
Quote by anarkee
Blues, more so than any other type of music you are the foundation. Its not about you it's about the foundation you lay down for the solo instruments to build upon. You are the engine that drives the song.

Learn your blues scales and build from there. Keep it simple and thrown in those fills and chromatics only as tasteful variations. Learn to improv a bit in the blues scale, but use improv sparingly, unless you get the odd solo. Less is more and make sure your playing has that chug, that swing feel. Blues bass playing is all about feel and keeping that train moving along.

For artist to listen to: The Kings (BB, Albert, Freddie) are always a good start. For bass players you can do no better than Tommy Shannon (Stevie Ray Vaughn), Willie Dixon, Jerry Jermott (BB King), and Roscoe Beck (Robben Ford).

Gigging in a blues band is a great experience for any bass player. You will gain serious chops and a great sense of rhythm. It is my favourite genre to play bass in--its so much fun.

And if you are looking for books (yes, here's a Hal Leonard endorsement..). Hal Leonard's Blues Bass is great. It has the basic techniques and it has all of the classic blues songs such as Hideaway, Pride and Joy, Stormy Monday, Born under a Bad Sign, Killing Floor, I'm Tore Down...well you get the picture.



Bassists don't really use the blues scale for blues. Bassists use the myxolidian mode, wit the root corresponding to the current chord.
I <3 bangoodcharlotte

Quote by humperdunk
one time i let my cat has cheezburger. i thought it was pretty funny.
#6
Quote by Mongoose87
Bassists don't really use the blues scale for blues. Bassists use the myxolidian mode, wit the root corresponding to the current chord.


Yes and no. I've gigged in blues bands on occasion, and you should know the blues scale to base your line under and to take the occasional solo. If you listen to rock blues, that "bent" note is used (Tommy Shannon does this on "fills"). Actually you spend a good time in the pentatonic scales as well (Spoonful is good example of this).
#7
thanks everyone for the input, ill go put your suggestions into practice when i get the chance

EDIT: things to master: pentatonic, mixolydian(sp?)

I'll have more questions when i have time to listen to the artists you guys mentioned

-IR

The actual performance is in 2 months, so i have time
Last edited by InvaderRen at Feb 28, 2008,
#9
does anyone have the link to that thread where ppl posted their original/fave blues line? search is turning up nothing good
#11
mucho thanks

EDIT: so i got the song list:


Sweet Home Chicago
Five Long Years
Texas Flood
I Feel Fine (Beatles)
Mustang Sally
Play that Funky Music
Feelin' All Right
Shambala

Thoughts?
Last edited by InvaderRen at Mar 2, 2008,
#12
Update: Playing bass in a blues band is much less glamourous/fun than i thought it was going to be.

Any ideas on how to spice it up, or will all my basslines sound vaguely similar?
My Gear:
MIM Jazz fretless
180W Ashdown 12"
GAS:
NOTHING
#13
Not a bassist, but I appreciate the low end. Try listening to some EARLY funkadelic and sly stone. Their lines are a spiced up version of basic blues lines. Also, listen to some Mingus, specifically Me and You Blues, to get a feel for some fiery yet tight and strong bass lines.

my 2 cents.
#14
Thanks for the help, but these are hardcore blues, and Ive tried experimenting, but they only want basic stuff

bleh
My Gear:
MIM Jazz fretless
180W Ashdown 12"
GAS:
NOTHING
#15
This may sound nuts, but try ignoring the guitars pretty much altogether (except if it's very riffy) and try to base a walking-ish line around the vocals. Again, Pride and Joy by SRV is a good example of it - it's as if the bass line and the vocals are one. That way, you're out of the monotony of some straightforward blues lines but are implicitly playing the chords while not doing anything too fancy. Four notes to the bar, walking with the vocal melodies.
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#16
can any of you guys recommend songs that follow the blues prog. [to an extent] but arent too bluesy? Stuff like mustang sally come to mind
My Gear:
MIM Jazz fretless
180W Ashdown 12"
GAS:
NOTHING
#17
Quote by InvaderRen
Update: Playing bass in a blues band is much less glamourous/fun than i thought it was going to be.

Any ideas on how to spice it up, or will all my basslines sound vaguely similar?

i have played lots of blues, and it's great in small doses. but after a while, it drags me down. blues is all about the guitar, and the lyrics, and i'm not a lyric driven person. the groove drives me. for those reasons, i have never accepted an invitation to join a blues band. and to be honest, i would be happy to never hear Mustang Sally again, for as long as i live. lol
#18
Quote by 83lespaulstudio
i would be happy to never hear Mustang Sally again, for as long as i live. lol


Mustang Sally is a bit more county / R & B than blue-sy. But I agree--if I don't have to play that or Low Rider again in the conceivable future, it would be a good thing. I'm done with playing "Funky Music" as well. Its one of those party songs that when everyone gets a bit tight, someone insists that the musicians at the party play.

InvaderRen Check out Cream's Disraeli Gears and some of the earlier Zeppelin output. The Lemon song is a blues bear to play, but the bridge is basically "Killing Floor" by Howling Wolf, a blues classic. The whole mid to late sixties hard rock explosion was very blues influenced.
#19
Listen to Berry Oakley with the Allman brothers band. He was one melodic blues playin mofo. Fillmore East 1971
#20
Quote by Sly Taco
Listen to Berry Oakley with the Allman brothers band. He was one melodic blues playin mofo. Fillmore East 1971

+fitz
i'm agreeing with this 100%.
#21
Nice to see my thread mentioned .
I've learned alot of new tricks then, and I can tell you all the things you need:
Swing!
Walking
Riffing (Learn some riffs like posted there)
Knowing all of the vasriations of the 12 bar blues as good as you can.

Blues is a great style to play, you just gotta really get into it.
For long you live and high you fly
But only if you ride the tide
And balanced on the biggest wave
You race toward an early grave.


Ben Hamelech