Developing your own musical style takes a long time. In fact, it is one of those things that not many people are able to do.
This isn’t because it is impossible; it is simply due to the fact that many bass guitarists are content with imitation of another bass guitarist’s style.
This all comes down to your personal preference, as well as reasons for playing the bass guitar in the first place. However, if you are aiming toward creating your own style and your own sound, one of the best ways to do this is to start writing.
In this article, we will talk all about writing licks on bass guitar.
First off, before we get too far into the article, we should talk about some basic necessities first. The most important thing is that you have a fundamental understanding of the bass guitar scales. Knowing the basics of scales will help you to write cohesive licks, as well as allow you to further your skills in ways that other bassists find difficult, such as achieving that “certain sound”, or creating that exact lick that you hear inside your head.
These are both things that all musicians wish to do, but many can’t because they never took the time to learn and understand their scales. Do this, and you’ll already have won half the battle of writing your own licks.
Another great thing that you can do to diversify yourself and to push your mind when writing licks is to listen to different kinds of music. If you primarily listen to metal, try opening yourself up to some pop, jazz, blue, or even folk.
This will help you to find different techniques in bass playing. Likewise, finding these techniques that are special to certain genres of music will help you to develop a unique style all your own, setting you apart from other musicians that play the same genre of music that you play.
One of the best ways to write a lick is by approaching it from the inside out. What do you want the lick to be? What techniques do you want to use in it? It is best that you avoid jumbling a ton of techniques together, or in other words putting all of your eggs in one basket, as listeners will want to hear more if you can give it, and none if you’ve already given it all away.
Keep this in mind, as many musicians tend to get carried away and wind up showcasing all of their techniques all at once, leaving nothing to be desired and giving nothing for the listener to look forward to afterward.
In the end, the best way of writing licks on the bass guitar is by practicing. There is no right or wrong way to approach putting a lick together, and whichever way works best for you is the one that you should hang on to. Have fun with your licks, because if you find them boring, chances are whoever hears them will find them boring as well. Practice hard, and good luck in learning bass!
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