Tips to Help You Think Like a Bassist

Tips to Help You Think Like a Bassist


As a rule, strong bass playing requires that you practice limitation and nuance as opposed to exhibit your strategy and smooth moves. As a rule, it’s best to work generally with the root notes of the harmonies and secure with the drummer’s kick and catch drums.

2. Figure out how TO WALK

“Strolling bass” begun in jazz and blues, however it has since been embraced in different styles. The term alludes to a method for playing in which the bass line stays in never-ending movement instead of remaining on or emphasizing one note. The line “strolls” from one harmony’s root note up or down to the following, for the most part in a quarter-note musicality, with the intermittent frivolity.

To accomplish this, you utilize “move notes” to easily draw an obvious conclusion and cross over any barrier between various root notes as the harmonies change. The move notes can be any mix of harmony tones (arpeggios), scale conditions that identify with the harmonies, or chromatic passing tones.

As a rule, harmony tones are the musically most secure wagered, as they sound pleasingly consonant, while scale tones include a touch of light discord when heard against a basic harmony. The more chromatic notes that are utilized, the more cacophonous the line progresses toward becoming, as these notes immediately conflict with the common harmony. Regardless of whether this is something to be thankful for or not is up to your tact and senses.

While making a mobile bass line, it’s best to arrive on the root note at whatever point there’s a harmony change. In case you’re remaining on a similar harmony for a few bars, it’s a smart thought to play the root on the downbeat of each other bar or each fourth bar, contingent upon how grounded you need the line to sound.


In a beat area, some portion of the low register guitar’s part is to work as a contact between the drums and whatever is left of the band. Much of the time you need to make the bass and drums seem like one substance, and an incredible approach to do this is to make bass lines that fit like a glove with the drummer’s kick and catch drums. Utilizing octave root notes is frequently an amazing approach to do this, the low octave relating to the kick drum and the high octave hitting with the catch, regularly on thumps two and four, which are otherwise called the steady rhythms.

Octaves enable you to make a dynamic bass line with a fascinating, precise melodic form without conflicting pleasingly with the basic harmonies, as the octave root note “concurs” flawlessly with the harmony.


After the octave root, the fifth is the most pleasingly pleasing note you can play. Numerous exemplary bass lines have been developed utilizing generally roots, octaves and fifths as the structure. The colossal thing about this approach is that it enables you to make a bass line that is fascinating and melodic, secures splendidly with the drums and doesn’t conflict pleasingly with the fundamental harmonies.


This familiar aphorism couldn’t ring more genuine for bass playing. Culling the strings hard and close to the base of the fretboard like Black Sabbath’s Geezer Butler makes them slap against it; culling the strings close to the extension with simply the very tips of your fingers gives you a chance to get that punchy Jaco Pastorius/Rocco Prestia automatic rifle sixteenth note assault.

You can go from a dull crash to a sharp, crazy punch essentially by picking where along the string you pick it and how forcefully you hit it. Between that, your pickup selector (if your bass has one) and tone controls, you have a significant scope of tonal conceivable outcomes before the flag even hits the amp.


Not all bassists utilize their fingers to cull the instrument. Megadeth’s David Ellefson, Rex Brown of Pantera and Down, Yes’ Chris Squire and Paul McCartney utilize a pick, and John Paul Jones, the Who’s John Entwistle and Michael Anthony in his Van Halen days were known for changing from fingers to pick contingent upon the melody. On the off chance that playing with a pick works for you, put it all on the line. I prescribe the huge, non-celluloid kind, for example, Dunlop’s Tortex Triangle, with a thick gage (no less than 1mm).

The extensive surface territory of the huge triangle picks is appropriate to the wide dividing of bass strings and will enable you to keep a grasp on the pick. Tortex (or Delrin, contingent upon the maker) is additionally sturdier than celluloid and less inclined to break, and the thick, unbendable gage will enable you to get more volume and power out of those thick strings, with less exertion.


Some record makers really incline toward having bass players utilize a pick in light of the fact that the assault is all the more even. In any case, in case you’re a fingerstyle player and need to accomplish a more steady assault, take a stab at utilizing just a single finger, for example, the file (rather than substituting between the file and center fingers) however much as could be expected. John Paul Jones copped this procedure from Motown bass legend James Jamerson and made awesome utilization of it on a few exemplary Led Zeppelin tracks, for example, “Great Times Bad Times” and “Meander On.”


Somebody needs to keep the rhythm enduring, and if the drummer can’t, than the bassist needs to. The pocket relies upon you, so figure out how to be your own particular metronome. Don’t simply tally in 4/4—you ought to likewise feel in 8/8, particularly when playing melodies, where the inclination to surge the rhythm is more noteworthy. To enable you to arrive on the beat all the more precisely, tune in to the drummer’s hello there cap or ride cymbal, not only his kick and catch drums.


Fills are the little bits of ear confection that adorn a strong bass line and help drive a melody. Tune in to how different bass players set up another segment, and boldly jack anything that snatches your ear. Playing fills that finish up one segment of a melody, (for example, a verse) and lead into the following, (for example, the chorale) is an awesome approach to soften dreariness up a bass part and set yourself apart from whatever the guitarist is doing.

Filling is a fine art all by itself, in that there’s an almost negligible difference between adding to the melody or groove and clouding it and taking away from it. With regards to the “bass-and-drums-as-one” idea, make your fills correspond with a drummer’s so they seem like a similar individual’s thought being communicated. On the off chance that a drummer plays a fill, it’s more often than not toward the finish of consistently, fourth or eighth bar, so tune in to the drums and pick your spots to fill appropriately. Obviously, all you’re playing choices ought to rely upon the style of music you’re playing, and a few styles, for example, hip-jump or club music, are more about keeping up a persistent score, with next to no variety.

For cases of awesome fills, look at R&B/soul session players, for example, James Jamerson (incalculable Motown hits), Chuck Rainey (Aretha Franklin, Steely Dan) and Nathan Watts (particularly on Stevie Wonder’s “Do I Do”), or shake players, for example, Rex Brown, Stone Temple Pilots’ Robert DeLeo (another Jamerson devotee) and Duff McKagan of Guns N’ Roses. What’s more, don’t give sort a chance to act as a burden—since it’s a “Motown” fill doesn’t mean it can’t be utilized as a part of a stone setting, and the other way around.


Is it accurate to say that you are playing in the correct enlist (octave)? Maybe that cool part you thought of sounds renegade played down low yet might be too substantial for the inclination of the tune. Or, on the other hand maybe it’s too high and is meddling with the vocal or guitar part. Settle on beyond any doubt your note-run decisions are appropriate for the circumstance.

11. Stay away from LOW-B OBSESSION

In case you’re playing a five-string, don’t simply play sub-E notes, as it can end up noticeably irritating. It’s one thing to hit a low B or C once in a while for sensational impact and to demonstrate everybody who’s supervisor, however unless you’re in a Korn or Type O Negative tribute band, don’t live there.


Sporadically playing the third or fifth of the hidden harmony rather than its root note can profoundly change the entire feel of a harmony movement, and when done elegantly it can include warmth or strain. This gadget has been utilized for quite a long time by awesome established writers like Bach and Beethoven and makes what are known as harmony reversals. Ace pop lyricists, for example, Elton John and Paul McCartney utilize reversals, by means of bass line substitutions, to manufacture their harmony movements to a consonant peak.

13. Oil

It’s that tarnished, crazy stuff that seepages between the beats. With all due regard to bad-to-the-bone prog-shake groups, for which exactness is vital, shake and roll has dependably been more about mentality and soul.

This isn’t a reason to be messy and unmusical, however more a urging to make low, thundering commotions and delight in it. Tune in to John Paul Jones’ low-end protest amid the “Hello child, gracious infant, pretty infant” tune area of Zeppelin’s “Dark Dog” (played with a pick) or Black Sabbath’s Geezer Butler on practically any melody. For a more current take, look at session legend Pino Palladino’s work on D’Angelo’s Voodoo collection. In a few circumstances, it’s impeccably alright to make unreasonable worry clamor, be a little behind the beat or slide out of a note maybe somewhat longer than you should, as long as it’s not troublesome to the music and adds to the expected vibe.


I’m not discussing a long trill or outrageous vibrato however truly shaking a pitch. Fuss the note, pick it, at that point rapidly slide, pound on or pull off to another fuss and back. Notwithstanding what style you’re playing, the subsequent sound is hip and adds some additional kick to the sound of the musicality area. Of course, guitarists can do this as well, however it simply doesn’t sound the same (or as great) on that little instrument.


Similarly as you may quiet the strings on your guitar with your worrying hand while you strum “chucka-chucka,” a similar standard and capacity applies to bass, regardless of whether it’s funk or hard shake.