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Let's make me a good bassist... tips?

Discussion in 'Children Of Bodom' started by (__Joonas__), Feb 7, 2017.

  1. (__Joonas__)

    (__Joonas__) † Followed the Reaper †

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    So I just purchased a bass guitar a while ago. I played guitar and keys until four years ago, but wanted to get into it again, since music is a big part of my life.

    Don't want to dedicate so much time to it necessarily, so I'd rather become a good bassist than a crappy guitarist or crappy keyboardist.

    So...

    I have 4 strings on it. 21 frets, no inlays. I tuned it to B at this point (I Worship Chaos, Hypocrisy, Type O Negative and such...). I don't know how to get tux guitar (or guitar pro) working on my computer... I learned where the octaves go in relation to guitar and keyboard, it's fascinating.

    What should I practice? What should I learn? How do I practice my ear? It's very hard to tell the root note underneath the rhythm guitars and everything in music like COB. I plan to play mostly stuff like Hypocrisy, maybe some doom, as bass is not really the thing in COB's music.

    From what I understand the basic principle is to play the lowest notes of guitars but at the moment the drums hit. Open this up for me... Describe the path to learning to play songs without tabs.
     
    #1 (__Joonas__), Feb 7, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
  2. ESA1996

    ESA1996 Member

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    Usually the bass plays either the root notes of a chord progression, or the same as the rhythm guitar (If there are any chords on the rhythm guitar the bass again plays the root notes). Thus you don't necessarily need to hear the bass too well to be able to play the bassline at least mostly correctly. If the bassist is a bit more advanced / just likes to screw around (Cliff Burton, most guys in jazz I think), he might play some melodies, he might not always play the root note or might alternate between the root and, say, the 5th, he might play some additional notes in chord progressions where, if going from, say, C to G he might play C B A G instead of just C G. Doing what the first sentence says never sounds bad.

    Example of bass melodies / advanced bass lines:

    What's wrong with Tux Guitar? It's worked for me since forever. It won't open GP6 / GPX files, but GP3 - GP5 should work just fine. Ultimate Guitar is a good place for tabs if you don't already know it.

    And you should probably make a decision on whether or not to play with a pick. In general I'd say that the heavier the music the more picks you see when looking at bassists.
     
  3. IDontKnowWhatToWrite

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    Nice video Esa. Absolutely love Wintersun.
     
  4. (__Joonas__)

    (__Joonas__) † Followed the Reaper †

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    Didn't know that guy plays with Wintersun.

    So what should I practice? I try going thru the fretboard building my nervous system to work left and right hand together. Should I learn some chords or a certain scale?

    One thing I can't find an answer to is if I want to 'learn' a specific scale while tuned to something other than E standard, will the scale move across the fretboard changing positions with the tuning? I think yes, obviously... And what would be a great scale to learn? I read about the harmonic minor / devil's interval in some Dani Filth interview, being the most essential when it comes to metal. Are they the same, and where can I find the scale??

    I use pick. Got accustomed to it back in the day and just can't get my fingers working as precisely, even tho it looks cool when using two fingers.

    I guess the great challenge is to learn to know immediately where a certain note is on the fretboard when you hear it?

    What's the best way to learn to recognize different notes and on different octaves? So that I could immediately see where it is without having to spend a minute searching for it.
     
    #4 (__Joonas__), Feb 8, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2017
  5. dthmtl3

    dthmtl3 Member

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    I have no technical advice to offer but playing bass in metal seems to be a sad affair. I would aim to do something like Dave Ellefson or Steve Harris. Deicide's Legion is one of the few extreme metal albums where the bass is actually interesting. I would start by listening to something more pop, like John Taylor in Duran Duran's early albums and try to replicate that approach in metal.
     
  6. Sany

    Sany Member

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    Wh
    which song does he play at 3:00 min?
     
  7. (__Joonas__)

    (__Joonas__) † Followed the Reaper †

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    Sadly, I realize the bass stuff is quite boring. But I just want to get a professional grasp of some instrument. I guess with bass you could easily get to play with bands, as dedicated bassists are pretty rare. And the type of music I like is so demanding on guitar and keyboards it would take a gigantic plunge into practicing, the type which I'm not willing to take. And just playing bass along to your favourite bands at home still seems enjoyable. Plus I had a dream a few times that I was actually playing bass in COB on a gig, and it was cool.
     
  8. ESA1996

    ESA1996 Member

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    Learn E minor all over the fret board. By far the most used scale in metal. As your bass is in B standard it will of course be B minor, but you can ignore that (Don't search for B minor, search for E minor and play it as it is shown). Harmonic minors and other stuff are just slight alterations to the natural minor that are used quite often to get a certain feeling to a riff / melody, but it's best to learn the base from which those variations are made than to learn said variations first.

    E minor from open string position:
    G 0 2 4
    D 0 2 4
    A 0 2 3
    E 0 2 3

    Immediately knowing where a certain note is on the fret board when you hear it is indeed a challenge. Best way to practice would be to learn some very simple songs by ear. By simple I mean songs where the notes change slowly. Caladan Brood (Atmospheric Black Metal about a book series called Malazan Book of the Fallen that is quite awesome) is a good example. Even so it is really hard. I've been playing guitar for 7 years now and I still can't do it. Haven't done too much learning by ear though.
     
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  9. ESA1996

    ESA1996 Member

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    Sons of Winter and Stars.



    3:50
     
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  10. (__Joonas__)

    (__Joonas__) † Followed the Reaper †

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    Many theories on the colours of notes. Anybody got a clue how it really goes?
     
  11. ESA1996

    ESA1996 Member

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    Don't think there's any real thing in this. Some people see colors, most don't. If you take two people who see colors they might very well see different colors from the same music. One would imagine that happy sounding music would elicit colors like yellow, perhaps green, and dark sounding music would result in black.
     
  12. (__Joonas__)

    (__Joonas__) † Followed the Reaper †

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    I always talk about colours of sounds and melodies. So I can colour the notes however I hear them based on the vibration/nature/mood? This gonna be interesting... whether they're supposed to glide accordingly to rainbow or not. I will give them out to you here once I'm done.

    For example I found this:

    http://www.lunarplanner.com/Harmonics/planetary-harmonics.html

    [​IMG]
     
    #12 (__Joonas__), Feb 10, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2017
  13. mrKRB64

    mrKRB64 Member

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    Maybe you could contribute to the COB forum album that I've neglected?
     
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  14. (__Joonas__)

    (__Joonas__) † Followed the Reaper †

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    I did two accurate song descriptions. I won't take part in playing or composing.
     
  15. (__Joonas__)

    (__Joonas__) † Followed the Reaper †

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    Is 21 frets enough for metal? I don't think there's need for any more, unless one likes to do bass solos.

    Just like 4 strings is enough, correct? And it's natural to tune to B, so it's like having the lowest 4 strings of a 5-string bass.
     
    #15 (__Joonas__), Feb 11, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017
  16. ESA1996

    ESA1996 Member

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    21 frets is enough for a bass. For a guitar you often need 24 but it isn't a must there either. 4 strings is enough for everything though many bassists, especially in death metal and anything slightly more technical use 5 or even 6 string basses. Tuning down to B is somewhat radical, but if your strings are thick enough to keep tension in them (And thus not rattle exessively) it's okay. I don't know about bass strings but for example on guitar people often use 9-42 or 10-46 in E standard. If one wishes to down tune to, say, D standard, they would most likely use something like 10-46 or 11-50. My old neighbor, the lead guitarist of Diablo, uses a guitar tuned to A standard and has a string set of 15-62 IIRC (It really almost felt like a hybrid between a guitar and a bass when I got to try it :D).
     
  17. IDontKnowWhatToWrite

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    Hey Joonas, I was wondering if you'd be willing to try something out. You keep sharing your insane atmospheric song ideas about everything, but you didn't actually write anything. Which I can understand, some people are "inventing" and some people are "creating". And that's why I'd like to know if you would like to take part in some kind of "musical experiment". I've been a bit out of ideas recently in music writing cause of all my uni work. And that's why I'd like to offer you to "collaborate". I lend you my guitar skills, and you lend me your ideas. So we can finally see what all this atmospheric talk actually leads to. I don't have a mic, so it'd be an instrumental. But with Fruity loops, I can get keyboards and drums while I'd record bass and guitar on Reaper. I'd write according to what you send me, and send you the progress every once and a while. You would tell me what you dislike, what you would change and how you'd change it, and so will I do. What do you think?
     
  18. (__Joonas__)

    (__Joonas__) † Followed the Reaper †

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    Sure. I believe these things are strongly tied to the soundworld itself, so it would require eloquent use of adjectives, and still it'll be your interpretation of course, but I can try my best to make descriptions linear and easy to understand.

    Well, my creative hobby is writing fiction. I don't have the technical means to create a song at this point. And getting the audio idea from your head to manifest in desired way is thru many obstacles.
     
    #18 (__Joonas__), Feb 11, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017
  19. IDontKnowWhatToWrite

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    Well, it's just an idea I had after hearing you so many times describe what you'd expect to hear from or change in CoB. But if you think it'll be too difficult we don't have to do it ^^
    Would be a funny "song writing" challenge though.
     
  20. (__Joonas__)

    (__Joonas__) † Followed the Reaper †

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    I designed a song for two guys already but I've yet to hear what they came up with. But if you're up for it of course we can try. I get creative for a while and hear a song idea, then describe it to you, and you'll do it, then we'll see what comes up when there's this symbiosis thing.

    When do you want it? I only need like 40 minutes for it. Maybe tomorrow I have time to dive deep.
     
    #20 (__Joonas__), Feb 12, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2017

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