Why We Want You to Create Your Own Basslines Right From The Start
Have you been playing for quite a while and been mostly copying basslines and learning songs instead of being able to create your own basslines??
Get me right that is a valid way to learn but it is quite limiting if that is all you do. And maybe you are in an originals bands and are toying with the idea of creating your own lines… maybe even on the fly? It may seem like magic to you right now that that is possible…
You do not have to wait for some elusive point in time when you’re ready to create your own bass lines. There is no official license you get, no credential, no certificate – however, you do get a hand emailed certificate these days if you finished our course. And our course definitely enables you to create your own bass lines!
Learning needs a Balance
In our experience, learning needs a balance between
- Studying concepts such as theory, technique and fretboard knowledge
- Learning songs – ie: imitating
- Applying what you learned – ie: creating your own bass lines It’s best to balance the three areas out over time.
What I mean is:
There are phases where learning a program for your band or studying the lines of one of your favorite bass players will dominate your musical time (#2)
In the process of learning songs, you may hit a roadblock of some sort (technically or musically) and feel the urge to go deeper and study what is going on here. (#1)
Then maybe someone asks you to solo. Or you join an originals band. Or you just feel this unexplainable creative itch that you just want to scratch! You may hear something in our head or want to write a piece of music that expresses how you feel. Or you want to give your brain a break and “just play” (#3)
All of these phases are important. They may not happen in equal intensity at the same time (unless you do a structured course like ours). Do make sure that you get to all of them eventually or somewhat equally when looking at this over a longer time period.
We strongly encourage you to create your own basslines right from the start because:
- It is extremely thrilling to do so because you meet your own inner musician. You meet yourself, your style! It’s exciting!
- Even with very simple means, you can come up with your own lines: all you need is a rhythmic nucleus and a chord (theory, essentially).
- It cements all the theory you studied firmly in your mind because it is like learning a new word – use it in a sentence and it will stick (Victor Wooten likes to use this great analogy!). By making it your own, you feel it under your fingers and make it part of you.
- Creating your own basslines puts all these technique exercises to great use! If nothing else it will show you how useful consistent fingering (and hence technique!) is
- Emotional impact: if you point your attention correctly it will help you reveal the musical effect certain devices have (for example, various modes have different emotional qualities to them).
- The lines you studied and learned to play will show you what’s possible and enable you to play similar things (even if simplified). They become part of your fabric and style.
- And mainly, you bring all aspects of your studies together (doesn’t mean you have to pack everything you learned into each line; you pick from your “library” though). This is a unique task for your mind. Nothing is quite like it. Some see it as finding new combinations of elements you have encountered before. Other times it may feel like inspiration flowing directly from some unexplainable source. Nothing is quite as strong at solidifying what you have learned and putting it to the test.
The great thing is, you can do this creative activity with the simplest of exercises, such as:
- Inventing a fill using the Little Box notes;
- Or creating variations for one of our “Creative Notefinders”;
- Or using a groove nucleus and a rhythmic idea and laying that over some chord changes or the cycle
- So many more…
Strengthen that creative “muscle” from day one. It will ignite a spark that will propel you forward and entice you to learn theory and rhythms. And it creates a mental space that is a unique challenge not only to your musical self but also your personality. See it shine through even with the simplest of devices. It is not the complexity that counts, but that this is genuine you. Even if it may be “far from perfect” or “not ready for prime time”, it will teach you something about who you are. It’s thrilling.
In our Course, Music Theory for the Bass Player – The Course – we go through the most important theory a bass player needs and put it to use in a variety of creative exercises. From “Groove and Fill” to “Call and Response” to “Creative note finders” to countless bass line creation exercises, including in various styles. And we show you the technique to make this all possible. In this course you will learn how to create your own basslines.