In this bass lesson I want to focus on something that is one of the fundamental roles of the bass player, holding and owning a groove or part. What I mean by this is the ability to hold tight to the groove/bass line you have created no matter what sort of cacophony might be going on around you. We often as bass players feel as though we need to do something more to our bass parts as the song progresses. It needs a more notes or to vary the rhythm but more times then not the music is best served by sticking to the K.I.S.S. method. Keep It Simple Stupid
In a way playing bass like this is like working on achieving Zen mastery. Think of approaching a song with the base idea that I want to be play the core essence of what the bass line for the song truly needs. How does my baseline support the melody and lyrics(if there are present). Always thinking of ways to compliment what else is happening in a song not trying to over shadow it.
Now this is something that is difficult to teach in a blog or a lesson it is something one must ask themselves as they are playing in a group setting. If you are at rehearsal take the part that you are playing and see if you can distill it down to the bare minimum of notes to have the song work as a piece of art. Now this might not be what you should play in a live situation but it will it will give you insight into what’s the important backbone of your part. I am not saying that your bass line shouldn’t have ornate sections to them just make sure they are being place in a song where they are moving the song forward and not distracting from it.
I look forward to expanding on this concept of bass zen and hearing your thoughts and examples of when you have achieved it. Happy bass playing.
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