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Unread 06-04-2010, 07:32 AM   #1
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Melodic bass playing/chords

What are your guys' takes on playing bass melodiously? I know there's a lot of guys that are out there that do this with jazz and such, but have you guys ever mixed it in with worship with any success? Such as... dinking around with chords during a prayer or pause between songs to transition (the kind that sound amazing in the second and third octaves of the bass, not the standard arpegiated chords that one might make a bassline out of).

AND... do any of you who play in this style once and a while just for fun have any good tips/sites that actually talk about this style of play that i can use?

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Unread 06-04-2010, 04:02 PM   #2
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Bass is a melodious instrument by nature. I think really delving into listening to what really good bassists do in pop/rock music (which is really what today's "worship music" is based on), you can find a lot of workable melodious basslines.
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Unread 06-05-2010, 12:45 PM   #3
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It isnt so much basslines that im talking about... its.. well...

YouTube - J.S. Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" by Norm Stockton

Although that isnt to say that that style cant be made into a bassline. It's typically the more solo-oriented side of bass that im talking about.

I don't see much of that style in pop or rock, but thats an idea.. hmm
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Unread 06-05-2010, 12:54 PM   #4
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The way I think of a "melodic bassline", just take a good classic Motown record and check out how singable the basslines are, this being a perfect example:
YouTube - World's Prettiest Bassline (James Jamerson, 1970)

The line between something like that and just a solo bass melody is pretty thin, IMO.
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Unread 06-05-2010, 12:57 PM   #5
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mmm. Thats pretty good stuff
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Unread 06-05-2010, 03:37 PM   #6
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I used some chords just a few weeks ago at church! I forget the song, but I did like a picking thing, not strumming the chords. I think it was like a c-chord (c-g-c up on the A D and G strings) then to b-g-c then a-e-a. Simple stuff.
It was during a part where we were going all out. I thought it gave it a cool sound. I use my thumb for the bottom note then pointer and ring for the next two notes. ...Oh and yeah, I was playing on the higher registers. 15th fret maybe?
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Unread 06-06-2010, 01:21 PM   #7
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I've never played anything like that video you showed in a church band...
I would say stay away from that kind of thing between songs because it generally just feels messy, but during prayer or something could be cool, if you're good.

I'm with Rainer on the 'melodic bassline' stuff. Generally when you are talking about a melodic bassline you're talking about the kind of stuff you would hear from Motown, or the Beatles or King of Leon.
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Unread 06-06-2010, 01:59 PM   #8
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Mm. That was the idea i was playing with. is sort of... playing a finger picking style, similar to what you might do with acoustic guitar, with some bass chords, which sometimes sound cool.

Yeah Ethan thats the type i'm talking about. its not strummed, but yeah.. i play the same way. Usually i use them in mellow-ed out parts of songs or at the end of a song just due to the ring that they have.

Has anyone found any sites that talk about playing using chords? Ive never been able to find any... just a few sites that talk about chord shapes, never ways to use them. Maybe they're just mostly useless?
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Unread 06-06-2010, 02:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffZTB View Post
YouTube - J.S. Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" by Norm Stockton

Although that isnt to say that that style cant be made into a bassline. It's typically the more solo-oriented side of bass that im talking about.

I don't see much of that style in pop or rock, but thats an idea.. hmm
That's beautiful. I can see it being played for a prayer time, or as background for something like Communion.

For some bass solo stuff, check out Steve Jay's site. It's not Christian, but he does some awesome stuff with bass solos.
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Unread 07-16-2010, 10:18 PM   #10
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Not Christian but check out Jeff Berlin's playing, that's his style.

Bad recording but cool.

YouTube - jeff berlin - tears in heaven

YouTube - Jeff Berlin - The Star-Spangled Banner

And Victor Wooten

YouTube - victor wooten
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Unread 07-17-2010, 08:02 PM   #11
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I hear what you're talking about. We do it a lot. For communion during the bread just the band plays, then the vocalists come in while they're passing out the "blood" aka: grape juice. So when its just the band, everyone plays normally, except me, the bassist - I play the melody line that the singers would normally be singing. Then when we do the song the second time while the vocalists sing, I go back to my usual bass line. It works really well.
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Unread 07-17-2010, 10:33 PM   #12
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I like to use a little chorus and play variations of the melodies. It works well in transitions and communion pieces. You can start by playing with the vocal melody. Start slow and smooth. I play high up on the neck with acoustic guitar and piano backing it up.
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