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Harnum
01-12-2008, 06:41 PM
Ok, so lately I have been listening to people on Youtube play their bass and play really nice lines and junk. I've tried to copy some of the stuff but it seems I can't pick it out well enough. So it hit me, maybe I just don't know enough techniques to be able to just make nice lines with notes that jive, etc. When I try to play something creative, I usually end back up at the same old octave thing and it gets to sounding really bland. Can someone help me and give me information towards new techniques that can help me and my funky bass line obsession? Thanks! =]

coke_a_holic
01-12-2008, 06:56 PM
Study music theory.

Seriously, study what notes are in the chords, learn scales, and figure out which tones you can/should include in the bass line.

I don't know much about actual bass playing techniques; I took 4 lessons a year ago until I got the basics (lol mor liek bassics lol) down, then used my guitar training/Primus dvds for the rest. I found that a lot of funky basslines come from melodic phrasing (try playing basslines as if they were rippin' solos and you can come up with some sweet lines).

Harnum
01-12-2008, 07:01 PM
(lol mor liek bassics lol)
i saw wht u did ther. lawlz.


(try playing basslines as if they were rippin' solos and you can come up with some sweet lines).
I can't even do that really, so I will need to learn both. =[

So, the whole theory thing.. Can I get shit on the internet about it? or will I need some sort of lessons/classes?

lol@selftaughtn00bz

coke_a_holic
01-12-2008, 07:32 PM
If you try to teach yourself music theory, you will go norwegian. Don't even try it.

Bassically (this is never going to stop), you want to look online for scales. This is a basic G major scale for a bass:


G:-------------------2-4-5--|
D:------------2-4-5---------|
A:-----2-3-5----------------|
E:-3-5----------------------|

It contains the notes G, A, B, C, D, E, F#. If the first chord in the progression is G, you can start on G (3rd fret, E string, if you don't know your notes, which would be something else to work on) and just go up and down the scale until the next chord.

If the next chord is, say, C, you've got C in your scale (3rd fret, A string). When that chord comes around, you can start the measure on that note and just go up and down the scale like you did for G.

If the next chord is something weird, like, G# minor, you have changed keys and have to not only change your scale, but also move it up one fret so that it is:


G:------------------3-4-7-|
D:--------------4-7-------|
A:-------4-6-7------------|
E:-4-6-7------------------|

This is G# minor, it includes the notes G#, A#, B, C#, D#, E, and F#.

Bassically (oh god), the amount of sharps or flats in your key signature determine what the root is for the scale you want to play out of. You can always just stay in that scale for as long as the key remains in it, but if you want to get really interesting, you can move the scale to fit whatever the chord is you're playing under. I suggest staying in the scale for now, though.

I apologize if you already knew that information, but I figure there might be some other people who wanted to learn some theory and some bass scales.

ALSO, you can totally play solos on these scales, they'll fit for any chord in the key. And sound totally bitchin'.

Apathy
01-12-2008, 09:29 PM
I tried to teach music theory to myself.

Its the equivilent of trying to eat your own poo. You could technically do it, but it's insanely hard and would take a hell of a lot of will power.

I eventually gave in and took some lessons. Worth it.

Harnum
01-13-2008, 06:19 PM
I apologize if you already knew that information, but I figure there might be some other people who wanted to learn some theory and some bass scales.
That's fine. I already know all the notes but besides that I didn't actually know the scale.

So, that same note progression can work for any key as long as you move it up to the appropriate frets? If so, then I can play some sort of solo now! *gets bass* Thanks a whole lot Mike. =]


I eventually gave in and took some lessons. Worth it.
If the whole scale thing doesn't fit for me, I will have to get some!

coke_a_holic
01-13-2008, 07:10 PM
Glad I could help! If you look online, you can learn more scales that fit in with key changes and stuff. I'll actually give you my two favorite scales to play on the bass. The first is kind of egyptian sounding, the second is the watered-down, jazzier version of the minor scale I gave before:

Here's (randomly decides on key) F# harmonic minor:


G:-------------------1-2-4-|
D:---------------3-4-------|
A:--------2-4-5------------|
E:-2-4-5-------------------|

This is my favorite scale to play around with, it sounds fucking cool.

And here's the (more random key decisions) B pentatonic scale:



G:------------------7-9-(10)-|
D:-------------7-9-----------|
A:------7-(8)-9--------------|
E:-7-10----------------------|

The notes in parentheses can be added to the pentatonic scale for a bluesy feel. When included, the scale is called "the blues scale" instead of pentatonic, but it's essentially still the same thing. THIS is the scale I would use for most solos, it's the same scale most guitarists use for their solos. Feel free to throw in notes from the regular minor scale from above.

Enjoy.

Mr. Gepetto
01-13-2008, 09:05 PM
Well I've only been playing bass a few months now, but I would agree lessons are a good idea. I've been playing guitar for about 3 years, 2 of which were lesson-less. Basically I couldn't write a single song or riff that hadn't already been done. I eventually got a a teacher, and I tell you it helped a so much. Basically after learning a bunch of scales, I became way better at writing. I can improve crazy solos and such. It all transitions over to bass. People I've played with don't believe when I say "I started in November." I'm just saying take lessons and you'll notice a big difference.

mrconeman
01-14-2008, 03:20 AM
They don't believe you started in November because you've been playing music for 3 years, on a very similar instrument. As you say, it all transitions over.

Mr. Gepetto
01-14-2008, 02:49 PM
They don't believe you started in November because you've been playing music for 3 years, on a very similar instrument. As you say, it all transitions over.

I realize this. I wasn't trying to brag or anything, I was just trying to prove the fact that it transitions over.