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thegummy

Bassline Analysis Resource?

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Anyone know of a resource where songs are written out in a way that shows the chords of a song and the bass notes played in it as they relate to the chords?

E.g. something like " R \ \ 3 5 | R \ \ 6 \ " if you know what I mean.

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On 25/02/2020 at 12:40, thegummy said:

Anyone know of a resource where songs are written out in a way that shows the chords of a song and the bass notes played in it as they relate to the chords?

E.g. something like " R \ \ 3 5 | R \ \ 6 \ " if you know what I mean.

I don't *think* this exists - mainly because most people do it either on the fly or by taking time to transcribe a line / solo / groove and part of that process is understanding how it works with the harmony around it. Everything I play / compose I have a solid sense of how it's working with the harmony at any given point. Is this something you're trying to develop or do you have a different reason for wanting to know this info? 

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28 minutes ago, dodge_bass said:

I don't *think* this exists - mainly because most people do it either on the fly or by taking time to transcribe a line / solo / groove and part of that process is understanding how it works with the harmony around it. Everything I play / compose I have a solid sense of how it's working with the harmony at any given point. Is this something you're trying to develop or do you have a different reason for wanting to know this info? 

It's just so I can study basslines from good songs without having to work it all out first.

I've done some myself like this but it's very time consuming for me.

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15 minutes ago, thegummy said:

It's just so I can study basslines from good songs without having to work it all out first.

I've done some myself like this but it's very time consuming for me.

Fair enough but I think the development comes from working it out if that makes sense. Otherwise you're trying to run a marathon without training (not the best analogy but it kind of works..!). The more you do it the quicker you'll get (theoretically and aurally) and the more you'll develop as a musician...a positive feedback loop if you will. No short cuts. Sorry man!

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I think you're mistaken that the act of just looking at a bass line and writing down which scale tone each note is would help someone develop anything other than the ability to do that itself.

It's once that's written out that the useful study can be done.

So it would be more like someone laboriously knitting themselves a sweat band before every time they went out marathon training. So they wish there was a place to get pre-made sweat bands in order to skip the part that doesn't actually help them with their running.

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8 hours ago, thegummy said:

It's just so I can study basslines from good songs without having to work it all out first.

I've done some myself like this but it's very time consuming for me.

As @dodge_bass bass said, it's the process of working it out that's important and - generally speaking - the harder something is to do, the more beneficial it is for you.

It's time consuming for everyone when they first do it, but it does get easier with time, patience and persistent effort.

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I'm wondering if I've not explained myself clearly.

I'm talking about getting the sheet music to a song and going through the notes like "that note is a C and the chord at that time is C so I'll write "R" above that. Then there's a G next, still under the same chord so I'll write a 5 above that."

Then I can look at the bass line and see which scale tones are being used when.

The process of writing the numbers out isn't improving any aspect of bass playing or writing, it's just arbitrarily converting it from one format to another.

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If you want to understand the theory, it's probably just as important to understand where the notes are in the key the song is in as well as where they are in the chord.

So, playing a D over a G chord in the key of C. So the 'D' is the 5 of the G chord, but the II interval of the key.

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7 hours ago, thegummy said:

I'm wondering if I've not explained myself clearly.

I'm talking about getting the sheet music to a song and going through the notes like "that note is a C and the chord at that time is C so I'll write "R" above that. Then there's a G next, still under the same chord so I'll write a 5 above that."

Then I can look at the bass line and see which scale tones are being used when.

The process of writing the numbers out isn't improving any aspect of bass playing or writing, it's just arbitrarily converting it from one format to another.

No - I think you're very wrong actually in your last sentence above - it's the process of working this stuff out (exactly in the manner you describe) that does develop your ability to understand music further. Let me give you an example - by working through a walking bass line in a jazz standard using this method you get an exact understanding of how the bass player who played it thought about harmony / approached it / played it over (in this case) a given progression. If you want to sound like Ray Brown / Jaco / Jamerson / whoever you're into to you need to do this. 

What I'm saying is that the actual process of doing this (rather than getting a programme / 'resource' to do it for you) is that process that *will* develop your understanding of harmony / chords tones / genre specific approaches to chords / progressions and a knowledge of how individual bass players sound like they do. 

As you note it's slow and takes time to do it yourself - because you're having to think about it (= you're learning a new skill). The more you do it the quicker you'll get at hearing / analysing music on the spot which is a serious development of your musical ability. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, dodge_bass said:

No - I think you're very wrong actually in your last sentence above - it's the process of working this stuff out (exactly in the manner you describe) that does develop your ability to understand music further. Let me give you an example - by working through a walking bass line in a jazz standard using this method you get an exact understanding of how the bass player who played it thought about harmony / approached it / played it over (in this case) a given progression. If you want to sound like Ray Brown / Jaco / Jamerson / whoever you're into to you need to do this. 

What I'm saying is that the actual process of doing this (rather than getting a programme / 'resource' to do it for you) is that process that *will* develop your understanding of harmony / chords tones / genre specific approaches to chords / progressions and a knowledge of how individual bass players sound like they do. 

As you note it's slow and takes time to do it yourself - because you're having to think about it (= you're learning a new skill). The more you do it the quicker you'll get at hearing / analysing music on the spot which is a serious development of your musical ability. 

We'll just have to agree to disagree then.

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5 hours ago, Stub Mandrel said:

If you want to understand the theory, it's probably just as important to understand where the notes are in the key the song is in as well as where they are in the chord.

So, playing a D over a G chord in the key of C. So the 'D' is the 5 of the G chord, but the II interval of the key.

I agree - both are useful to study.

Would welcome any transcriptions in that fashion too if anyone knew any.

It's actually a lot easier to that than the chordal way though because for large sections of the song, if not the whole song, the same notes are always going to be the same scale degree whereas with the chords it changes often.

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22 minutes ago, thegummy said:

We'll just have to agree to disagree then.

Absolutely fine my man. As you were :) 

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3 hours ago, thegummy said:

I agree - both are useful to study.

Would welcome any transcriptions in that fashion too if anyone knew any.

It's actually a lot easier to that than the chordal way though because for large sections of the song, if not the whole song, the same notes are always going to be the same scale degree whereas with the chords it changes often.

Most basslines seem to be one or the other.
 

For example the typical blues-rock bassline tends to use notes in the key associated with the current chord, typically by moving a riff around following the chord changes, but even if it has a lot of variation or uses the blues scale etc. (e.g. Can't Get Enough)

On the other hand 'non-bluesy' walking lines seem to stick to the original key as well as fitting in with the individual chords (e.g. Sunny Afternoon).

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