I made two bass lines, one without much knowledge of what actually makes a bass line catchy and reliable, and then another after learning more techniques of bass playing. Some techniques are walking bass, inversion, chromatic scale and contrary motion.
My First Bass Line
I made this first bass line without knowledge of what makes a bass line good. I have been playing bass for 3 years so I have some experience but I hadn’t written one yet. I ended up walking down the scale a few times, at the end of every measure, but I wasn’t specifically trying to make a walking bass line. The tonic note is C.
One of My Favorite Bass Lines
Second Bass Line
I created a second bass line that used the chromatic scale in two places walking down three notes. I also had walking bass part at measure 4 and 8 where it goes up and down the scale. The tonic note is C.
Tonality – what makes western music different, starts with chords and scales
Root / Tonic Note – first note of a scale/chord
Contrary Motion – when the bass line purposefully goes the opposite direction as the melody
Walking Bass – walking up and down the scale note by note, normally on every beat used most often in jazz
Chromatic Scale – a scale using every note, increasing by a half step until the octave (13 notes, also called ground bass)
Inversion – using a note other than the tonic note of the chord in the bass line, normally the 3rd or 5th
Bass Riff – a bass solo signifying a transition between parts of a song, or the beginning/end of a phrase
What I Learned and Problems I Solved
I learned many new techniques that make bass lines sound cool. I also learned what kind of basses and styles of bass lines are used in different genres of music, which I didn’t know before. A problem I had was creating a bass line in GarageBand. That is basically all that we did, but I struggled in writing something since composing in GarageBand is so different from playing my actual bass that I play all the time. To solve this, I created 4 different options of bass lines at home on my own time and transferred the one that had more of the techniques we learned, such as walking bass, inversion, and the chromatic scale.