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How to make simple Basslines ?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Production Techniques  
Author How to make simple Basslines ?
msegarra
I’ve been trying to get it right to make simple Basslines such as Blood walk s is it stupid to design a song around a bass line because all the videos I’ve watched have pretty much made the bassline around a chordal element and I’m not intending on having much melodic elements in this track. Sorry for vague question I shouldn’t have Sold my analog four I don’t think
Any help would be huge
Koekepan
There's nothing wrong with starting a song from a bassline.

If you get a bassline that works for you, then you can work various harmonies around it, and it can work fine.

Historically, a lot of music was done in terms of bass drones and grounds and harmonisation with the bass, so it's obviously a process with a long and well-regarded history.

There are all sorts of music theoretical arguments to be had about the extent to which chords emerge from the result, but I'll leave that to the philosophers.
Dcramer
Yeah I do this all the time, starting from some kind of simple bassline and letting it build into a whole piece.
Little short sequences, some switches and/or logic, a quantizer, and w00t
msegarra
Yeah I think I need to buy some logic because my Basslines just get repetitive because I don’t have enough ways to change them up outside of transposition
Maybe I just need to put more time in and try to figure something out lol
commodorejohn
Half the songs I write are designed around a bassline that sprang to mind. It's totally valid.
gruebleengourd
lay down a drum track and then just play your baseline live along with it for a long duration. You'll naturally get bored with just repeating it exactly the same each time and discover that they kinda write themselves. If this doesn't happen at first, just keep practicing. You can always chop and quantize later.
alexander92
Well you can start a bassline with a C for example, i find its easier to do on x0x sequencers. In the examle you posted all he did was transposing the key && the mid voice, that is when the melody changed. its pretty much just the same note in a sequence with passing notes leading to the next tone in his scale

Its not that hard, the song is good, you know why because of the anticipation of that nostallgic cassette distorted sound. Not really because of the rest of the instruments i'd say.

anyway, you can try to upload this track in sonic visualiser and see what he exactly does..[/img]
Toowoombaus
No it’s not stupid. Start with a drum beat set your Arpeggiator to 16th notes or 8th’s and if you’re in the key of C mess around with C, F, G, A, B-flat...

Everything can follow the bass I was a bass player for 25 years, among other things.

Bass doesn’t always have to play the root either it’s more interesting if it doesn’t.
It’s cool if it plays the third or the fifth.

Find a drumbeat you like and home something.Try away from the instrument and see where your imagination will take you without the confines of trying to play it physically.
cptnal
I'm thinking of the James Brown (and by extension, Bootsy) thing where it doesn't matter what you do for the rest of the bar, as long as it all comes back on the One.

Edit: I'm now thinking of Jah Wobble saying he doesn't play the One because the kick generally has that covered. So... one of those two things. nuts
MRoyce
cptnal wrote:
I'm thinking of the James Brown (and by extension, Bootsy) thing where it doesn't matter what you do for the rest of the bar, as long as it all comes back on the One.

Edit: I'm now thinking of Jah Wobble saying he doesn't play the One because the kick generally has that covered. So... one of those two things. nuts


Depends a bit on the style, for funk you definitely want to hit the one, while in reggae the One Drop is an essential rhythm device. The bloodwalk is a good example of how straightforward sixteenths and two notes can serve a song quote well, from there its possible to add variuation by adding some syncopation or throwing in a fifth, etc. etc.
beku
Hey msegarra,

like posted above, the bassline in your example is a 16th arpeggio. But what i think makes these basslines special is the fast attack/release sidechaining (to kickdrum) compression on the 1st beat. It gives it a nice groove.
As a good slower example listen to:
Karabasan Jenerik Müziği
(Starts at 1:00)
Toowoombaus
cptnal wrote:
I'm thinking of the James Brown (and by extension, Bootsy) thing where it doesn't matter what you do for the rest of the bar, as long as it all comes back on the One.

Edit: I'm now thinking of Jah Wobble saying he doesn't play the One because the kick generally has that covered. So... one of those two things. nuts


Dang dude, that Bootsy Sex Machine period with JB is the funkiest bass playing ever. If you didn't comeback on the one JB charged you $50 I hear.

I spent a year learning all that stuff when I found it after like after 15 years of playing bass. That is a whole different animal, it's all about where you leave the holes, and playing "back", one could spend a lifetime on that.

The OP's example was pretty straightforward and a good place to start and build a solid foundation for all kinds of exciting creative stuff on top.
spilthyfred
I am seriously trying to figure this out myself. All of my favorite bass lines in songs seem so simple, but when I go to compose one I always fall short. I am much more familiar with a keyboard than I am a bass, so maybe its just that I haven't found my groove yet..

I have found though that a sequential switch can definitely help with varying up the bass line so it isn't so repetitive.
Mind Flayer
Use an MPC to come up with bass lines! I find that the 4x4 grid note layout gets me thinking outside of the box that I often find myself if I'm coming up with a bass line using a guitar or a keyboard.
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