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"Bassline" - Know What It Is And How To Use It?
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
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ELCBK
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September 17, 2022 - 12:08 am
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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.

Chord Progressions for Improv Thread

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!

https://i.pinimg.com/736x/60/f0/ee/60f0ee4029ce88f1c349c704973e3ed6.jpg

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ELCBK
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September 25, 2022 - 4:02 pm
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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? 

 

https://i.pinimg.com/736x/b1/63/3e/b1633e818ea8ee1df266cb78e7ae0e69.jpg

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SharonC
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September 25, 2022 - 7:33 pm
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ELCBK said
. . .
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 smileThat’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.smile

Characterize people by their actions and you will never be fooled by their words.

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ELCBK
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September 26, 2022 - 1:58 am
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@SharonC -

Thank you! 

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! 

- Emily

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