10

Do note that your question is really vague (and too close to the "opinion based" flag). As many rules, the first rule is that there is no absolute rule. Bass lines are fundamental (yes, implied joke): they give a reference to the listener, and that reference is usually a foundation to what the listener perceives. There's a reason for which they ...


9

I suspect you're coming at this from a guitarist perspective? Suppose you play a C major chord. C, E and G. Suppose there's a bass player and they play C. The overall harmony is a C major chord. Now, suppose the bass plays A. Now we've got an Am7 chord. Perhaps they play D. Now we have C/D - sometimes rather inaccurately labelled as D11 or D9(...


8

The important thing about the bass is that it's the bridge between the drums and the other instruments. How it fills that role is massively dependent on the musical style, the conventions of that style, and the song itself. The most basic bassline of course is playing a low root note of the current chord on the "one". And honestly, sometimes that's ...


4

The bass has the following rhythmic elements the START of a note the END of a note CHANGE of pitch Whenever a bass note starts, end, or changes pitch, it is an important rhythmic transient, like a drum hit. So pay attention to those. If the bass sound has a fast release envelope, such as when playing muted notes, you can do bass notes that don't have a ...


4

In addition to the answers so far, which seem to focus on melodies, don't forget the rhythmic aspect of the instrument. Sometimes you get more out of playing a groovy rhythm on just one of two notes than trying to sew together an intricate counterpoint melody. The bass can be percussive, slapped, tapped, hammered. Not only in the Pfunk sense but think of ...


3

The bass stands out as the lowest (in general) note (like the melody stands out as the highest.) I'm limiting the discussion to music with a structure having a bass line (whether played by a bass or bank of celli, etc.) and a melody (like a song or a solo; harmonized melodies are for the most part treated as a single entity) with some "filler" in ...


3

The technique described in another answer is called subharmonics and is not what the OP was asking about. Pavel uses subharmonics on notes below B1 however he is said to use a kind of "forceful strohbass" for notes between E2 and B1 according to a fellow Oktavist who performs with him and the Kovcheg ensemble. What exactly is meant by that I do not know, ...


2

The main idea should be to make the bass an independent melody but still support both the harmony and the melody. The (at least I think so) easiest bass line is the "oom-pah-pah" or "boom-chick" bass. The simplest indication is (in 4/4) to play the root of the underlying harmony on 1 and the fifth on 3. (Similarly for 3/4 but often the ...


1

I know this idea from Arnold Schoenberg. In Fundamentals of Musical Composition - chapter XII - he says "watch the bass line." The harmonic style of the book is Common Practice. The figured bass method of the early part of that era associated certain harmonizations with specific scale degrees. You can loosely translate that figured bass view into ...


1

Many of the answers I received back told me to “listen to the bass note”. Anyone care to explain or elaborate on why the notes that the bass are playing is significant to the chord progression (harmony) of a song at all? You were told to listen to bass notes, because most of the time, the bass note i.e. lowest note is the root of the chord. If the bass is ...


1

Start with your last question: there can be many different chord progressions to any parts of a song, given that several different chords will fit over a series of notes. However, what's a chord progression? It may be three or four bars worth, it may be the whole verse, chorus, etc. but generally, the chord progression that is accepted is the one the song ...


1

I can tell you as someone that does sing can sing as a Basso Profundo that you never use your swalling (digrastic) muscles ever. It's a technique similar to singing in fry. If you're not sure what fry is, listen to any interview by Harry Belafonte, he literally speaks in Fry. He's generating two frequencies at the same time. With the technique I use, you ...


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