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#860862 - 11/28/10 10:26 PM guitar notes over a bassline  
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 6
scottshockershafer Offline
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scottshockershafer  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 6
Indianapolis, IN
I have been playing bass for a while, but I've just started picking up guitar to play on my own recordings. I wrote a song on bass as I usually do and I wanted to know what my option are as far as what notes on the guitar I can play over it. I don't want to play note for note what I'm playing on bass (as I usually do). Can I play the root and another note over the bass line even when I'm not playing the same notes on bass? For example I wrote a song in the G Blues heptatonic scale. The bassline is kind of busy so there is no way I could play it note for note on guitar. Any advice would be appreciated.

#860890 - 11/29/10 12:22 AM Re: guitar notes over a bassline [Re: scottshockershafer]  
Joined: May 2006
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Colin Ward Online content
Colin Ward  Online Content

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The best approach is to figure out what chords fit with the bassline. Write out a chart of the chords relative to the measures of the song. From there, you can figure that the guitar could be playing any note of the chord plus any transitional notes as the melody unfolds. You can also think in terms of scales but you need to know the key and the chords first. A lot of blues is played in pentatonic or its close relative, the blues scale. Some blues is played in a major scale. I have never heard of a heptatonic scale so would have to listen to it to offer any further suggestions. I doubt if duplicating the bass line on guitar would sound very good.


Colin

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#860903 - 11/29/10 02:42 AM Re: guitar notes over a bassline [Re: Colin Ward]  
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scottshockershafer Offline
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scottshockershafer  Offline
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Indianapolis, IN
Thanks, Colin!

#861015 - 11/29/10 01:00 PM Re: guitar notes over a bassline [Re: scottshockershafer]  
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Mike Dunbar Offline
Mike Dunbar  Offline


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Nashville Tennessee
Great answer, Colin!

"Heptatonic scale" just means it is a scale with seven notes (e.g., a heptagon is a seven-sided shape). The major scale is heptatonic. A heptatonic blues scale would be one with seven notes that accomodates the blues. Two such scales would be one with the three and seven flatted and one with the three, five and seven flatted. I prefer an all encompassing blues scale such as: 1 2 3b 3 4 5b 5 6 7b 7 1...sort of a "decatonic" blues scale. In actuality, the blues scale comes from the combination of the European tempered major scale and the African "untempred" natural minor scale. The untempered scale has a seven that is not fully a flat seven, wouldn't be found on the piano, and the same with the third. So when playing African influenced melodies on European instruments, folks began adding flat threes and major threes, and flat sevens and major sevens. The repeated phrase: 1 b3 3, 1 b3 3, Shows this.

Scott, often "busy" basslines incude passing tones...notes in the scale that aren't part of the harmonic structure...so go for it. Play chords and notes that complement that bass line. And the bottom line is: if it sounds good, it IS good.

All the Best,
Mike


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#861027 - 11/29/10 01:38 PM Re: guitar notes over a bassline [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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Andy Kemp Offline
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Andy Kemp  Offline
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UK Wales
Hi Scot feel free to post a link to the bass only track and we can try and work some chords/scales that you can use.
Depending on what style of blues your writing it will probably only have 3 chords. What's the first note you play one bass? If for example you play an G I'd guess that the chords you'd be wanting to play will be G major - C - D (very simple stuff) like I said it all depends on the style of your track. But as a rule the three chord track works for 99% of blues tracks.


Rgds
Andy


http://soundcloud.com/m0rk
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/ajk-ep/id926329402

Work for hire Acoustic/Electric studio quality guitar tracks. I will also produce and master any old/new work tapes up to demo standards. :-)
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#861225 - 11/30/10 05:05 AM Re: guitar notes over a bassline [Re: Andy Kemp]  
Joined: Jul 2010
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scottshockershafer Offline
Casual Observer
scottshockershafer  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 6
Indianapolis, IN
I tried to post the bassline as tab, but the spacing got messed up. In the E string I start on the 15th fret, then usually go to the A string and hit, 13, 15, 16, & 17. Then I usually end up on the D string ending up using 15 and 12. I'm still working on the groove, but that is an example of the order of notes and positions. I'm a novice at guitar so any advice would be helpful.

#861272 - 11/30/10 12:27 PM Re: guitar notes over a bassline [Re: scottshockershafer]  
Joined: Aug 2010
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Andy Kemp Offline
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Andy Kemp  Offline
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UK Wales
Hi Scot so I guessed right about the chords lol

Your bass is playing a walking bassline line so it might soot jazz style chord progression but to get you started use G major when you're on the E string and then go to C major when you move to the A string and finally move up a tone from C and do a D7 chord when you move down to your D string.
Hope that makes sense if not I can record an example of what it should sound like.


http://soundcloud.com/m0rk
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/ajk-ep/id926329402

Work for hire Acoustic/Electric studio quality guitar tracks. I will also produce and master any old/new work tapes up to demo standards. :-)
Just PM or email:

Email -- mork1976@gmail.com

#861959 - 12/03/10 05:19 AM Re: guitar notes over a bassline [Re: Andy Kemp]  
Joined: Jul 2010
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scottshockershafer Offline
Casual Observer
scottshockershafer  Offline
Casual Observer

Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 6
Indianapolis, IN
Thanks, Andy!


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