If you've never played a rhythm instrument, you may not know that a "Bassline" is usually the lower voice and is responsible for emphasizing Rhythm & Harmony. Riffs, Grooves can come into play with the Chord Progression being of great importance.
Helpful Tips - Start Learning to Play Backup For Fiddle Tunes Thread- several tune tutorials here that include backup!
Sometimes the Bassline is in a 'Backing Track' - sometimes played along with melody on our Violin/Viola!
"How to Create a Bass Line on Violin/Cello" - Christian Howes!
WOW, THIS IS RIGHT UP MY ALLEY!
Part of my learning journey, so appreciate corrections and additional info!
...sure wish I could get 'Octave Strings' for my 5-string VIOLA!
Sorry, it's another "sweep the room & take out the trash Day", inside my mind...
Discussions in different threads, like the Chord Progressions Thread & even more recently about the Wexford Carol GP, has made me thirsty for a better understanding of how important a bassline is in arrangements - how much drive & emotion it can add. .
Maybe playing a little piano as a child, I took the bassline for granted - I mean, yeah, music sounded 'better' with some harmony, but I didn't really understand it's full role in music.
With violin, it was only 'melody' that was of any concern to me - and I think, again, I probably mistook backing as just harmony, or a supportive base for the melody - as passive, NOT active. BUT, one thing that has been important to me - searching for ideas/ways to perceive/play the bassline as an integral part of a violin/viola melody - not something separate.
Come to think of it... I've played around with adding 'walking bass' on my 5-string Viola, while playing tunes like "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" - relevant for incorporating bassline in a solo (?)
Some GREAT Violinists we've heard can play what seems like the melody along with bassline backing - at the same time, on one instrument!!! ...I'm happy if I can just sneak a little hint in with a tune.
🤔... don't think is was until the other day that I realized it wasn't just some harmony I wanted to add to melodies I play, but the emotional drive that chord changes in a progression can make.
I think everyone feels when these happen. ...even if it's only subconsciously - so, maybe I need to go back to the Chord Progressions Thread area & concentrate more on the specific notes in the chords, that actually change, in a progression... and maybe even go over chord functions, again.
Another thought crossed my mind... (yeah, I know 🥴)
What kind of music do you think benefits the most from using more complex cord progressions in a bassline - e.g., can they have any impact on the double stops used in a Solo, or the feeling in playing a duet? Or, are they only effective when used by a string quartet, or in larger arrangements?
The Scottish Piper Tunes Played on The Fiddle Thread got me thinking about taking advantage of different string tunings for more than just Cajun & Old Time tunes - maybe making it possible, or easier, to add a different range of harmony or a bassline, besides drones.
Does anyone else ever think about this stuff?
. . .
With violin, it was only 'melody' that was of any concern to me - and I think, again, I probably mistook backing as just harmony, or a supportive base for the melody - as passive, NOT active. BUT, one thing that has been important to me - searching for ideas/ways to perceive/play the bassline as an integral part of a violin/viola melody - not something separate. . . .
Does anyone else ever think about this stuff?
Yes, all the time That’s why I like to play duets!
I started playing duets with my teacher early on. Frankly, I was afraid to play by myself in front of her – I found it easier if we played something together. At first I only did the Violin 1 parts, but as I started to do the Violin 2 as well, I started to hear things differently. I became much more aware of what the harmony/ baseline brought out in the music.
I would encourage anyone to pick up a Violin 2/harmony part of a piece you've played the melody on - bet you see/hear it differently after that.
Characterize people by their actions and you will never be fooled by their words.
Your insight is invaluable and you make some GREAT points!
I had kinda blown off Violin Duets, because I've always felt the range of 4-string Violin was too limited for me.
Maybe I should see if I can find some Viola Duets 🤔 but I seem to remember... yes, Helen Bell has some great Viola/Viola and also 5-string Violin/Viola Duets - with sheet music available! Folkviola Duets - Helen Bell
Did you see all the Swedish Duets I just found? Nordic Folk Tune Archives Thread
There's all sorts and they all have sheet music & mp3's!