How to Structure a Bass Solo And Keep It Appealing

red carpetSpending month after month practicing your instrument is a great way to build your chops, but it isn’t the only thing you will need to learn how to do.

In fact, learning all of the licks in the world won’t make you any better at writing your own. In order to write good licks, you need to practice writing licks.

In this article, we’ll talk about how to roughly structure a bass guitar solo so that you can start to familiarize yourself with creating something of your own in a cohesive manner.

Before we get into structuring a bass guitar solo, you should take a look at your skill set: Are you familiar with triads, and how they are built? Do you understand the basic major and minor scales, and the relationships between the notes in each of those scales?

Memorizing of Some Sort is Still Required

Do you know the basic major and minor scale key signatures by heart? Do you understand the relationships between different scales; how they can work together, how they can be used to branch off from one another?

If any of these things sounds a bit out of your range, it is best that you take the time to familiarize yourself so that you better understand what you are doing when you start to structure a bass guitar solo.

The Rules Are There Are No Rules!

creating a bass soloThis is mainly because there is no set structure when creating a bass solo, and what we are going to give you is simply a basic guideline that will help you to write successful solos. That means, if you don’t understand it already, you aren’t going to learn it here; you are going to learn to apply that knowledge.

When writing a solo, the first thing that you should do is take a good look at the underlying progression. This shows you what notes, and in what order, you have to work with. It also will help you to get a better understanding of where to add different bass techniques.

For instance, a longer held chord is great for a legato run, whereas a string of chords is better for holding notes. In the case of bass guitar solos, opposites truly do attract.

Don’t Reveal Your Entire Hand At One Go

You want to make sure that you aren’t giving everything away in one solo. Think about how long it took you to learn all of the techniques you can play. Now, think about how short a solo is. You don’t want to cram all of your techniques into one single solo.

Why not? Because it will leave nothing to be desired in the future, and you won’t be doing much more than putting on a clinic in the span of thirty or so seconds. This is a waste of the time allotted to the solo.

In the end, the best way to write a good bass solo is to practice. Try different techniques in different places, and try matching different notes with different chords. There is no wrong way, or right way, to go about writing a solo, so do whatever comes naturally to you, and produces the best results. Good luck!

Need Some Inspiration? Check Out Billy Sheehan’s Slick Bass Solo

This is pure madness…


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