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0bscenecreations
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:54 am
Posts: 1
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:56 am 
 

I'm starting a death metal band and I'm unsure of how to write death metal riffs for songs of that genre? Do I just follow the guitar work?

Thanks.

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Against Such Things
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 8:16 pm
Posts: 450
Location: Southern Maryland
PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 12:38 pm 
 

I would recommend picking up a copy of Extreme Metal Bass by Alex Webster for reference.

As far as writing riffs, that's all on you. Depending on which form you're playing, you might find it helpful to goof around with specific patterns (diminished scales, augmented triads, various minor scale modes). Learn songs by other artists you like and listen/look for concepts that crop up a lot, what they sound like, and see if that's something you could make your own.

If you're talking about writing a bassline for an extant guitar part, when in doubt, you can just follow the root note of the guitar. In that case, you might want to check to make sure they're not playing any inverted chords. Most interesting players in the genre don't always do that, though. There is a knack to figuring out when you want to play a supportive role, and when you want to play something a bit more "interesting".

While we can point you in some directions for ideas that work for a lot of people, it really still is up to you to figure out how you want to play.
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infinitenexus
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 2:35 am
Posts: 1939
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 2:48 pm 
 

Alex Webster is a god amongst men, in terms of bass playing and song composition.

I'm a guitarist by trade but when I'm recording bass lines for my music I try to use a few little tricks such as octave displacement to make things sound a little better. Octave displacement is just playing an extra octave lower when possible. So if the guitar is playing an E chord up high on the neck, instead of following along with the guitar play your low E string open. It'll make the bass stand out a bit more and add fullness to the overall sound.
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Thexhumed
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 2:26 pm
Posts: 499
Location: Chile
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 3:05 pm 
 

Make sure to make it inaudible.

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FearTheNome
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2003 8:41 am
Posts: 372
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 9:40 pm 
 

I just play riffs. The guitars follow my bass.
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Goran
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 8:32 pm
Posts: 140
Location: Belgium
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 2:56 am 
 

Haha. :)

It also depends on which kind of death metal. Are you playing Obscura or Six Feet Under?
The general writing/playing approach is immensely divergent, so why would it be any different for the bass guitar?
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AzzaKnowldy
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Jun 10, 2013 10:28 am
Posts: 70
Location: Antarctica
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:19 am 
 

A good metal bass-line should complement the song. Following the guitar EXACTLY is a sure fire way to make sure you have a bass-line that works. But it's also really boring. There are ways to make bass-lines more exciting. For example, take Eric Langlois from Cryptopsy. He followed the guitars but also threw slap parts in, which complemented what the guitars were doing and gave the bass some spotlight. Also, another thing. DON'T tremolo pick with the guitars on bass unless you're completely in time with each other. Combine this with kick drums at the same speed and you have a mess of notes that just sounds bad. Don't be afraid to play half time, you can still have an interesting and fun bass part playing half the notes the guitar is. :)
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Goran
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 8:32 pm
Posts: 140
Location: Belgium
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:31 am 
 

AzzaKnowldy wrote:
DON'T tremolo pick with the guitars on bass

Good tip. When the guitars tremolo pick at 16ths (along with the kick drum) I'll usually have the bass at 8th notes.
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somefella
Veteran

Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:57 pm
Posts: 2662
Location: Singapore
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:36 am 
 

Goran wrote:
AzzaKnowldy wrote:
DON'T tremolo pick with the guitars on bass

Good tip. When the guitars tremolo pick at 16ths (along with the kick drum) I'll usually have the bass at 8th notes.


Yes and no. There are riffs where it works and riffs where they don't, no hard and fast rule should be adhered to. As for it sounding sloppy, guess you'll just have to tighten up your playing with more practice.
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MalignantTyrant
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2011 3:27 pm
Posts: 1184
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:08 pm 
 

I'd do you a favor and write one for you but I have nothing to properly record with and then send to you
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TheGrimWombat
Nelson Wannabe

Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 3:06 am
Posts: 1421
PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 4:40 pm 
 

I trem on bass all the time...sometimes it is sloppy, who cares?
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DarkWolfXV
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:08 pm
Posts: 205
Location: Poland
PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 7:13 pm 
 

Goran wrote:
AzzaKnowldy wrote:
DON'T tremolo pick with the guitars on bass

Good tip. When the guitars tremolo pick at 16ths (along with the kick drum) I'll usually have the bass at 8th notes.


You can do it if intro/ending of song is tremolo picked/16th note kick drums for bigger impact, but usually you dont have to.
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soul_schizm
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:55 am
Posts: 659
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 12:35 am 
 

There's bass in there??!?


J/K. I got nothing here. Just play what sounds good to you :)

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XcKyle93
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2012 7:04 pm
Posts: 297
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 10:36 am 
 

There are a bunch of different approaches. I've only recently started writin music, so I'm a bit of a novice, but it really depends on what you're going for. Them music we write is certainly guitar centric, so I usually write the bass from a complementary standpoint, i.e. usually playing the root in sync with the bass drum, occasionally doubling whatever the guitars are doing to emphasize a particular part of a riff. Of course, I'll usually throw in little bass fills here and there for variation, e.g., fifths, octaves, and scale runs, but I make sure not to go too crazy. I've recently been trying to find a way to incorporate slap bass into a song without it sounding too ridiculous, like it does when Cryptospy does it in Blasphemy Made Flesh. I mean, I like it, and it sounds good, but it's not really the approach that I'm going for.
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