Bassline ALWAYS sounding out of tune

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The Sauce Apostle
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Find a bassline you like, and then you can change the key of the sound so that all of your tones are in key using just the natural (white keys) then you won't have to worry about playing a note out of tune. From their it's about hearing what you want to play in your mind. If you don't understand that or have anymore questions let me know and I will try to explain it better.
If I'm understanding you correctly, I think I think I might do that already. I usually take a clean bass note, either from the same song or sampled from something else, pitch it until it's at C, and then I try to play it out from there. I'm on FL Studio, so I'll use Wavecandy to find the notes in the melody I'm trying to add the bass to, and then use those notes to try to build the bassline.

I didn't really explain myself, but this is what I've been doing: I have a homie who studied music theory in college and he gave me a cheat sheet to help me out. From what I understand from it, the first note in a melody is where you extrapolate scale, and if you play within that scale, that's how you stay in key. He said to find the scale of a melody, start with the first note and then jump a whole note, then half, whole, whole, half, whole, whole, and then there's flexibility in adding another half note as a 'harmonic.' So if the first note is C, then you should be able to play D, D#, F, G, G#, A# and then C from the next scale up.
If any of that is wrong that might be what the problem is.

So if I sample a melody that starts with C, I'm thinking I should be able to use any of C, D, D#, F, G, G# and A# to create a bassline with, but half the time about 50% of those notes feel ever so slightly like they don't fit. It always feels a little bit off. So from that scale I just use the notes that feel like they fit the most, which leaves me very little creative space to play in. This seems to only be an issue with basslines. If I use this technique to add in some chords or another instrument to a sample it seems to work out fine.

For example, here's the latest beat I finished.

I thought with such a simple melody I would have a lot of space to create a more complex bassline, but it ended up really simple because only a few notes felt like they actually fit, and they still seem a little off to me. I tried first playing the bass in a higher scale, but once I pitched it back down the same notes that worked in the higher scale felt off again. Around 1:40 I added in a piano using the technique I explained above and had no problem playing out something. It still ended up being simple, but a whole lot more notes felt like they fit. If I take that same melody I added in and scale it down for bass it sounds completely out of key.
I'm still green at this shyt, but eventually I want to be able to make basslines like this:


Anyway, I'm just looking for pointers or maybe if someone could give a quick breakdown on their process when adding basslines to samples. Or even if someone could point me in the direction of a tutorial that can break it down. I've tried to search on YouTube for tutorials that show how to take a melody, find the key, show which notes you would be able to use in that key, and show what to do if the notes sound a little off, and then the creative process for coming up with more complex basslines. Most of the videos I've found it's usually just some guy saying "So we know the sample is in B, so now we can play in key" and then just go off on creating without explaining any of the details of the process. If I look up tutorials on how to identify what key something is in, it's either overly technical and hard to follow, or overly simple and everything already explained in the cheat sheet my friend gave me.
 

Wavey Singh

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Damn I made this post 7 years ago...

I was looking at this like when the fukk did I ever have problems with basslines :why:

Humbling moment for real. I can now find the key of a track within moments and drill out a bassline quickly.. We've come a long way bruhs
 

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Damn I made this post 7 years ago...

I was looking at this like when the fukk did I ever have problems with basslines :why:

Humbling moment for real. I can now find the key of a track within moments and drill out a bassline quickly.. We've come a long way bruhs
:feedme:

What's your step by step.
 

Wavey Singh

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:feedme:

What's your step by step.
Well I read your post and there was way too much theory in there.. All of my shyt is done by ear I don't know much about notes

If I'm sampling a song and want to put my own bassline over the top, there's a few tricks I can use.

1. Play ur bass over the songs bassline. So low pass filter the sample, and play ur bass notes over the sample, when u match the right key ull hear both bass notes in harmony together... It'll make like a specific humming noise, ull know as soon as you hear it that u just hit the right note... And then you can progress from there using the original sample bassline as a guide so you don't stray too far off key with certain notes.

2. Learn how to hum to the tone of a sample. This one's kind of hard to explain.. So every song has a main key right, you can find this without any theory, it's by feeling.... You hum to the general tone of the song and keep hitting each note on the bass until the bassline matches with the note that your humming. When u match you'll know that your on or at least near the key you need. There's YouTube videos that can explain this better than me

3. This one is my favourite and most useful tip imo... If you've put down a bassline and a few notes sound perfectly in key but some you know are definitely not... Shift your entire bassline up by one or two octaves (12 semitones from your first key) ... Its easier to hear out of tune bass notes when they're played at a high pitch. Correct all the notes in a higher octave cos it's now mad easier to notice anything out of key.

Oh and if a note sounded right pitched higher up and then fukked up when u shifted it back down an octave.. Just know that you can have a couple notes that sound very similar... If it wasn't that note that hit... It could be one a few keys up or down that sounds very similar to that specific part... This is why Its always good to have the bassline of the original sample available at hand because playing ur bass along with the natural bass of the original... When ur in key u will hear that harmonic hum I'm talking about, that's when u know ur notes are good

These tips and a lot of practice got me to where I'm really quick with it now without any theory at all
 

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Well I read your post and there was way too much theory in there.. All of my shyt is done by ear I don't know much about notes

If I'm sampling a song and want to put my own bassline over the top, there's a few tricks I can use.

1. Play ur bass over the songs bassline. So low pass filter the sample, and play ur bass notes over the sample, when u match the right key ull hear both bass notes in harmony together... It'll make like a specific humming noise, ull know as soon as you hear it that u just hit the right note... And then you can progress from there using the original sample bassline as a guide so you don't stray too far off key with certain notes.

2. Learn how to hum to the tone of a sample. This one's kind of hard to explain.. So every song has a main key right, you can find this without any theory, it's by feeling.... You hum to the general tone of the song and keep hitting each note on the bass until the bassline matches with the note that your humming. When u match you'll know that your on or at least near the key you need. There's YouTube videos that can explain this better than me

3. This one is my favourite and most useful tip imo... If you've put down a bassline and a few notes sound perfectly in key but some you know are definitely not... Shift your entire bassline up by one or two octaves (12 semitones from your first key) ... Its easier to hear out of tune bass notes when they're played at a high pitch. Correct all the notes in a higher octave cos it's now mad easier to notice anything out of key.

Oh and if a note sounded right pitched higher up and then fukked up when u shifted it back down an octave.. Just know that you can have a couple notes that sound very similar... If it wasn't that note that hit... It could be one a few keys up or down that sounds very similar to that specific part... This is why Its always good to have the bassline of the original sample available at hand because playing ur bass along with the natural bass of the original... When ur in key u will hear that harmonic hum I'm talking about, that's when u know ur notes are good

These tips and a lot of practice got me to where I'm really quick with it now without any theory at all
Appreciate it :salute:
 

Deoji

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Here is a trick I used when making beats with samples.
Copy the exact sample on a new track, then run a lp filter through it.
This will give you a bass line completely on key.







Or look up the actual song sheets and see what notes they used
Pete Rock taught Preemo this trick and it should be in every sampling producers arsenal
 
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