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12-bar riffs

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12-bar riffs

Post  Nocturnal_Pulse on Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:27 am

Ok, I know how to practice the 12-bar blues riff (Key of E), but I am really really curious, about other 12-bar riffs and about how to mixup harmonics and make those 12-bar riffs sound better, and richer.

I hope I made sense.

Mind you, I haven't played for some time now, but I still remember all my major scales. Yes. I just have problem improvising and creating lines, and have no idea where's the best place to start.
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Re: 12-bar riffs

Post  Stryfer on Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:20 am

I was just about to say that it's a matter of improvisation, but then I read your last line Laughing

First off, I think that 12-bar riff can be played from any note (not just E) and it's the exact same pattern...like a scale.

Second, improvisation is becoming a huge question on these forums. There're lots of topics about it and none of them really give a good explanation. Why? Because improvisation is just that, no rules. Well, there is only one so called rule - it has to sound good to you. The hardest part is actually getting comfortable doing it. The rest of the post is a few methods that I know of to get you loosened up:

1. What helped me get a grasp on improvising was learning songs note for note, with all the improvisation the original players added. Once I did, I could never remember exactly every note played all the time so I...well... improvised. Laughing Those licks gave me a general sense of what I can add to make something sound cool. They're like patterns. Today I always find places to add one of those patterns, even on the fly with a song I'm playing for the first time.

2. There's always the jamming option. You can just get a drum loop or something, then play something over it. You will get bored playing the same thing so you may just try to change it as you play. Though I've started doing this only after I've gotten used to modifying existing bass lines.

3. Then there's hearing what you want to do in your head and trying to find it on your bass. This is something I have a lot of trouble doing Sad Some people find it easy though.

4. Finally, the most boring way in my opinion, but I still do it at times: Take a 12 bar riff and play only the root note. Then go back and add something else instead of one of those root notes to make it more interesting. Then go back and add something else instead of another root note and so on until you have only one root left. Then go back again and make every bar sound different. This is slow and dull, but it helps get you off the ground with improvising.

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Re: 12-bar riffs

Post  MetalJacob on Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:40 pm

What in the heck is a 12 bar riff?

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Re: 12-bar riffs

Post  Stryfer on Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:52 am

It's the standard blues cycle Smile Google 12-bar bass riff or do a youtube search. You'll find thousands of examples.

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Re: 12-bar riffs

Post  Pippynip on Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:22 pm

I I I I
IV IV I I
V IV I V

Or a variation thereof. Sometimes you get an IV instead of the third I, sometimes the last V is an I, etc. etc. Sticking with that up there, in C...

C C C C
F F C C
G F C G

each of those represents a whole bar, so you could for example play in 8th notes CCEEGGEE on every C, FFAACCAA on every F, and GGBBDDBB on the two Gs.

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Re: 12-bar riffs

Post  Stryfer on Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:06 am

Just to clarify what Pip said, that F is usually the F below the C, aka - the octave, aka - not the first fret of the E string, where almost every bass player plays an F Smile (same goes for the G)

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Re: 12-bar riffs

Post  Pippynip on Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:49 pm

The F above the C! High and low on the bass fretboard corresponds to pitch, not altitude Very Happy

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Re: 12-bar riffs

Post  Stryfer on Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:48 am

Right, I was just saying physically Razz I thought I made that clear in the rest of the post XD

If they get that high and below as pitch, they'll get the I I I I IV IV bit Smile hehe
I added this for laymen Laughing

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Re: 12-bar riffs

Post  Pippynip on Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:28 am

Yeah I know, I just like these things to be standardised, 'cause otherwise clarification is always needed when it needn't be Very Happy

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Re: 12-bar riffs

Post  Stryfer on Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:13 am

Agreed...it should be standardised Smile

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