A bassline (also spelled bass line) is the term used in many styles of
popular music, such as jazz, blues, funk, and electronic musicfor the low-pitched instrumental part or line played by a rhythm sectioninstrument such as the electric bass, double bassor keyboard ( piano, Hammond organ, electric organ, or synthesizer). Basslines are in the low-pitched musical register, which is lower in pitch than the other musical parts (chords, instrumental melodies, and vocal melodies).
Basslines in popular music often use "riffs" or "grooves", which are usually simple, appealing musical motifs or phrases that are repeated, with variation, throughout the song. Bassline riffs usually emphasize the chord tones of each chord (usually the root note, the third note, the fifth note, and the octave of a chord), which helps to define a song's key. At the same time, basslines work along with the drum part and the other rhythm instruments to create a clear rhythmic pulse.
The type of rhythmic pulse used in basslines varies widely in different types of music. In swing jazz and
jump blues, basslines are often created from a continuous sequence of quarter notes in a mostly scalar, stepwise part called a " walking bassline." In latin, salsa music, jazz fusion, reggae,electronica, and some types of rock and metal, basslines may be very rhythmically complex and syncopated. In bluegrass and traditional country music, basslines often emphasize the root and fifth of each chord. Minute rhythmic variations by the bass can dramatically change the feel of a song, even for a simple [http://www.wikimusician.org/Singer-Songwriter_Groove singer-songwriter] groove.
Though basslines may be played by many different types of instruments and in a broad musical range they are generally played on bass instruments and in the range roughly at least an
octaveand a half below middle C. In classical music, basslines play the same harmonic and rhythmic role; however, they are usually referred to as the "bass voice" or the "bass part."
Most popular musical ensembles include an instrument capable of playing low-pitched bass notes. In the 1920's, a Tuba was used. In the 1930s and 1940s, most popular music groups used the
double bassas the bass instrument. Starting in the 1960s, the louder, easier-to-transport electric bass replaced the double bass in most types of popular music, such as rock and roll, blues, and folk. By the 1970s and 1980s, the electric bass was used in most rock bands and jazz fusiongroups. The double bass was still used in some types of popular music that recreated styles from the 1940s and 1950s such as jazz(especially swing and bebop), traditional 1950s blues, jump blues, country, and rockabilly.
In some popular music bands, keyboard instruments are used to play the bassline. In
organ trios, for example, a Hammond organplayer performs the basslines using the organ's bass pedalboard. In some types of popular music, such as hip-hopor house music, the basslines are played using synthesizers, sequencers, or electroacoustically modeled samples of basslines. In electronic music and house music, basslines are often performed on electronic devices such as the Roland TB-303.
In modern popular music, the bassline is generally played by an electric bass guitar player. The bassline bridges the gap between the rhythm part played by the drummer and the melodic and harmonic lines played by the lead and rhythm guitarists. Bass players also perform fills in between the phrases of the vocal melody, and they may also perform
bass runs or bass breaks, which are short solo sections.
"In any style, the bass's role in the groove is the same: to keep time and to outline the tonality. When developing bass lines, these two things should always be your goal" (Santerre 2001, p.iv).
Some rock bass guitarists, such as
John Entwistle, John Deacon, Chris Squire, Paul McCartney, Phil Lesh, Les Claypool, Flea, Victor Wooten, Geddy Lee, or the more recent Chris Wolstenholmehave developed a lead sound, incorporating bass solos along with their rhythm playing. Funk bassists often use slapping and popping, in which the bassline uses a number of percussive muted notes.
*Cadwallader, Allen (1998). "Analysis of Tonal Music: A Schenkerian Approach", p.45. ISBN 0-19-510232-0.
*Santerre, Joe (2001). "Slap Bass Lines". ISBN 0-634-02144-3.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Bassline — Als Bassline (engl. Basslinie) bezeichnet man in der Tontechnik die Tonspur, auf der das Bass Instrument aufgenommen wird. Die Bassline bildet gemeinsam mit der Drumline (Aufnahmespur das Schlagzeug) die Rhythmussektion einer Musikaufnahme.… … Deutsch Wikipedia
bassline — noun The low pitched instrumental part of a piece of popular music … Wiktionary
Bassline — Bạss|line 〈[ laın] f. 10; umg.; Mus.〉 = Basslinie [<engl. line „Linie“] … Universal-Lexikon
bassline — /ˈbeɪslaɪn/ (say baysluyn) noun the line of notes in a piece of music which is fundamental to the sequence of chord progressions and which is usually played by the bass instrument such as, in pop and jazz, the bass guitar … Australian English dictionary
bassline — bassˈline noun The lowest line in a piece of jazz or popular music, provided by a bass instrument or electronically • • • Main Entry: ↑bass … Useful english dictionary
Bassline Boys — est un groupe belge né fin des années 1980 en pleine vague New beat composé notamment de Fabian Van Messen, Marc Neuttiens musiciens de studio ils collaborent ou créent d autres projets simultanément (Fancy Fair, Fax Yourself, Herr Satz,… … Wikipédia en Français
Bassline house — Infobox Music genre name = Bassline house color = white bgcolor = #666667 stylistic origins = Speed garage Grime cultural origins = early/mid 2000s, Sheffield instruments = Music sequencer Turntables samplers Drum machines Personal computer… … Wikipedia
The Bassline (club) — The Bassline is a popular music venue and club in Johannesburg, South Africa. The original Bassline, established in 1994 in the Melville neighborhood of Johannesburg, closed in 2003, only to reopen in Newtown.As well as being popular among young… … Wikipedia
Drumsound & Bassline Smith — Born Derby, England Genres Electronica Drum and bass Dubstep Drumstep Occupations Producers Disc Jockeys … Wikipedia
Live at the Bassline — Infobox Album Name = Live at the Bassline Type = live Artist = Vusi Mahlasela/Louis Mhlanga Released = 1999 Recorded = Genre = Length = Label = Producer = Reviews = Last album = This album = Next album = Live at the Bassline is a live album by… … Wikipedia