Bass Groove/ Note Choices in Dub

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Bass Groove/ Note Choices in Dub

Post by Dubbest » Sat Nov 05, 2011 7:35 am

Just seeing if anybody knows of common riddims used in dub for the bass? Like the one to five pattern, and the three hits pattern. seeing if anybody knew names of other ones? also just curious about how most reggae bassists think about the groove, like when they include long legato notes and when they decide to play short staccato notes? If anybody know's of a interview please share. When ever I look for a interview with family man, he only talks about his music career and never about his actual playing.

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Neil C
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Post by Neil C » Sat Nov 05, 2011 2:03 pm

Good dub, particularly on 'real' instruments, has subtle but immense groove and I feel this is all something you should just absorb by listening.
I would like to think I can play a bit of dub bass, but I don't have names for any of the note rhythms. Good playing comes from a state of 'unconcious competence', if I start thinking about it then it starts to fall apart.
If I was back in the Black Ark with Boris, Robbie etc. I'd be mildly stunned to hear them talking about legato and staccato notes.
But I suppose it's a reasonable question to see if anyone does have names...

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Post by AUX1Dub » Fri Nov 16, 2012 3:06 pm

There is really no such thing as "Dub" bass since dub is just remixed multitracks of reggae riddims. And reggae has many influences.
I am a bassist for many years and can say there is no one thing bassist do in reggae for that "sound". Each bassist is different and each riddim is different. Real Rock is different from Big Girl, Shenk I Sheck is different from Artibella. There are also no notes used specifically. I have heard riddims that use harmonic minor, natural minor, major, and the pentatonics in every key imaginable. Some riddims have 3 notes and some have many notes. Aston Barret wrote untypical reggae basslines, but it is for sure reggae.
Listen to the famous bassist like Flabba Holt or Robbie Shakespeare and get your style from there. But don't only listen to reggae bass or you will be stuck after a while. After all these guys didn't listen to only reggae, they had many influences like soul, funk, disco, R&B and much more.
The key to Reggae and any music for a bassist is playing in the pocket. That means getting in the grove and riding it.

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Getting a good reggae bass.

Post by Reggae Crusader » Wed Oct 16, 2013 1:50 am

Greetings all reggae lovers, rockers and rastas.

If there is one thing we love its reggae bass.

I have long searched for the answer to how to make this bass and finally it was revealed to me.

I'm gonna share my insights and tricks for the betterment of bass in music and let whoever wants to take on the challenge bring bass back to modern reggae.

The length of notes is indeed important on bass. To get a good groove I suggest trying to play a bass. In lack of this instrument pick up a midi keyboard. A groove is something you feel and you can learn this. Just practice. If you are far off start dancing, singing and playing instruments often you will get there. You need good material to work with to make killer songs.

The 2nd thing you do if you are a bad instrument player like me is to choose the best parts of what you record. Mess around until its tight enough. If you are tight then just play your heart out -> its all you need.

And now for where the magic happens. The EQ. You run bass through distortion, not to much, tube type. Ableton has a nice tube dist simulator. Now before the tube you boost the EQ, pretty much, fairly narrow band. Then as the bass line plays you automate the EQ. Just move it up and down in rhythm with melody and song. You can add another EQ after for those harsh mid range basses and play with if you want. This is bass rockers style. Like in the song "tribute to the kings" I have on my soundcloud where I tried to imitate the bass used in the disco scene of the rockers movie also known as midnight rock by Big Joe / Jack Ruby / whoever. If you want more modern sound you just dont automate the EQ in real time but you fiddel with the settings until each note sits perfect.

This technique with EQ before a tube dist you can use on all instruments. Guitar, organ, hihats. Push hats really hard for that old tape feeling. Now go dub it like you love it. Just control in real time and you be fine.

as for source anything works, I've used synth, guitar (autotuned one octave down) and e-bass. Its how you process it that really matter.

Good luck lovers.

Peace out.

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Post by Kickassdub » Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:56 am

Enjoyed your tunes Reggae Crusader!!!

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Post by Reggae Crusader » Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:16 am

Thanks man, much appreciated.

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