3 – Noodle Bass

Our name for this one might imply a somewhat ill-conceived and meandering approach to creating a bassline, but its origins lie in the exceptional funk and disco players exemplified by the fluid playing of Chic’s Bernard Edwards (just listen to the second half of their ‘I Want Your Love’ to hear him in action) or Herbie Hancock’s ARP Odyssey riffing on ‘Chameleon’:

Check out Daft Punk’s ‘Around The World’ for a more modern take on this:

The key thing thing here is movement, with the bass moving into much more melodic territory. It may come back to the root to provide some sort of resolution, but it can go almost anywhere in between. This type of bass works particularly well over a simple unsyncopated beat.

Pic 7a - Noodle synth bass example

Here it’s the bass that’s pushing and pulling the rhythm to create an interesting overall groove. Leaving gaps and avoiding too many notes on the downbeat adds a sense of anticipation. What you leave out is as important as what you leave in.

Things get more complex (and less disco) when other parts of the track exhibit rhythmic complexity. ‘Footwork’ by Theo Parrish exemplifies this, with many of the tracks on his recent American Intelligence album revealing a serious indebtedness to freeform jazz and experimental fusion artists of the 1970s:

To expand on this idea, you can also try recording your bass parts live (as audio) and then treating them as samples for further manipulation.

25th July, 2015

Comments

  • Easily one of the most informative articles ever on basslines, what a godsend!

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  • So good! Thanks, attackmagazine!

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  • Nice. A top educational post.

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  • This is awesome!! Thanks!!

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  • Great post. I will come back many many times to check this post again 🙂

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  • Great article & some really useful info there, I like the way you educate as you are explaining instead of the usual spoon feeding that goes on these days. I’ve been doing music for 20 years or so & still learnt & picked up some inspiration from this, thanks.

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  • Great article! Thanks!

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  • Nice!

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  • Wow! super article. very informative and well researched with lots of examples. Love it. Thank you

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  • You forgot the Reverb Bass used in Dark Techno tracks.

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  • hey guys!! as always great tutorial for every type of producer 🙂 Could you tell me which delay you used for this work? I can’t find these one with only the name relayer delay vst. Thank you

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  • John, that’s UVI Relayer http://www.uvi.net/en/software/relayer.html

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  • Fantastic explanations, thanks guys.

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  • Brilliant article! It would be great if you could put all these articles in a book or app format similar to what Sample Magic have done

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  • Much obliged attack magazine !

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  • Forget all those Youtube videos 🙂 Attack brings to the point…

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  • nice beats

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  • Great article!! I guess there’s another one: those subby techno lines with lfo on pitch

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  • well explained, systematically, without frills
    well done!

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  • Well done! Good information and great examples!

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  • Have not read a better article on low end theory. Thank you Attack!

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