- Bass Tabs
- Stuck on composing
Stuck on composing
I'm gonna ask you for some help if u don't mind
The thing is that I'm part of a band (We've been gigging for a year or so) and i've begun feel like i get stuck in the process of writing my bass lines and jamming. I feel kinda disappointed because I've been taking classes for the past two years and i know i have the knowledge and resources to work with but i just can't get anything right even though i try to practice a lot.
So any advice you can give me is appreciated
Btw, english is not my first language so what i wrote must be awful, i apologize
Is the problem that you find yourself unable to create new riffs, or is it that you're not satisfied with the riffs you've created?
Way back in the ‘90s, when I was in my first band, our lead guitarist/songwriter and I were talking about some possible covers to include on our next demo. Eventually he said he didn’t really want to do a cover, he wanted more original material, he just wasn't digging the stuff he'd been writing lately. Basically, he needed inspiration. After some back-and-forth, I suggested maybe ripping off another song.
Don't go clutching your pearls, folks. Every artist does it – doesn't matter if you're a musician, painter, filmmaker, whatever. Name me an artist and I'll point you to someone they ripped off. Elvis Presley ripped off Little Richard (who himself ripped off Roy Brown). Metallica ripped off Black Sabbath. Nirvana ripped off Killing Joke. I could go on and on…
So not long after, my buddy comes to me with a new song. We were big Alice in Chains fans (we covered their song Angry Chair on one of our demos) and Jerry Cantrell had just come out with his first solo single, “Cut You In,” which had this great, catchy guitar riff. My buddy basically took that riff, rearranged it a little, and what resulted was, for my money, one of the best songs he ever wrote (it was one of those songs that when I heard it made me think, “Damn, I wish I had written that.” )
So if it's a matter of inspiration, just look to music you already know. Take a favorite riff, change it around a bit, make it your own.
Ooh, speaking of Cut You In, I've been meaning to tab that…
I've been getting inspired by the analysis of songs done by Rick Beato in his “What makes this song great” episodes on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=rick+beato+what+makes+this+song+great).
In some of the videos he really breaks down the bass parts of the songs, explaining how they relate to the guitar riffs and chord progressions. Taking some of those same ideas could give you new things to try in your songs.
I've checked out a couple of that guy's videos as well. Good stuff.
What exactly don't you like?
I'm a huge believer in the “less is more theory” when it comes to bass lines. Bassists usually get bored when writing original material to think that every song needs to be a showcase of musicianship. To the listener, the song may simply need half-notes locked in with the kick drum. Or a simple groove that may be played throughout the entire song with no variation at all. You may find it boring, but that may be what the song is needing.
Not every bass line needs to be homage to Chris Squire or Billy Sheehan.
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