Creating a bass line for an acoustic guitar track

Ok, so due to COVID and everyone working at home, the marketing department of my company decided to make a treat to all employees by creating a song poking fun at some characters of our company and the company itself. One member of said department knows I play bass and tasked me to create a bassline (oof) and help out with the lyrics (institutional sarcasm, sign me in).

I have no problem creating a bassline when I’m noodling and playing for myself. This is a first, where I have to create a supporting bassline to someone else’s track. And now I have this, which is FMaj7 and G6 and I’m at a loss.

Nothing that I do sounds good. Tried roots, roots and 5ths, noodling between roots 3rds and 5ths. On top of that, there’s a clear clash in tone of my electric bass to his acoustic guitar.

So I’m here to ask for help, how do you approach this kind of situation?

Here’s the song “draft” with guitar and voice

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@gcancella - A tough challenge to say the least… Especially recorded as is… It sounds to me as if the guitarist is a bit out of tune, off time, and off key with the vocals… You might wanna start by asking if he could provide you with a cleaner recording while strongly hinting that he play it in tune and in time without vocals so that you can create your groove…?? Good Luck…

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+1 to Lanny, my first question was going to be “is that guitar in tune?”

Root notes not sounding good with the chord is a major red flag.

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Sounds good to me.
The strings are in tune, and the vocals all work.

The changes are either:
Amaj7 to Bmaj

or (maybe more likely, considering the little breakdown moment)

C#min to Bmaj.

Roots and 5ths on either of those should hold together a decent groove.
I’d recommend a real simple Root - Fifth - Root - Fifth thing for this. Like a nice little folk ditty.

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I second that @Gio, it sounds fine. In fact I’m grooving with it now … and it’s nice. I’ve even dropped in some low B and C# action to darken it up a bit on my 5. Lot’s of opportunity to shine on a beat like this @gcancella . For starters, till you get comfortable, try playing the root and octave and feel the groove that he’s given you there ( root = C# on the A string with the octave obviously being the 6th fret on the G string then the other root = B on the A string with the octave again obviously being the 4th fret on the G string). When you get comfortable, there’s lots of possibilities for small slides and runs on the D and G strings to use as fills which will sound sweet coz he’s holding down the rhythm for you. You actually have the opportunity to show him up a little… if you dare… hehehe

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@gcancella…So anyway, I had a little tinker with this “unplayable track”. Sure your guy needs a metronome, but otherwise it was fun. This is just an idea anyway…https://soundcloud.com/user-331709602/work-music It’s not fantastic but it might give you some ideas of how to fill the space.

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Thank you everybody!

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This is so cool! Thank you so much

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Just want to thank you again @russki98, your skit unblocked me and hope you forgive me but I drew some inspirations you’ll certainly recognize :wink: (sounded so damn good that it was too good to go to waste)

He’s rerecording the guitar part, once i have it I’ll record the bassline I wrote over it and share it here!

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That would be great @gcancella. I can’t wait to hear it.

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Hi @russki98, he’s taking a bit to re-record it. I didn’t want to leave you waiting.

I switch from fingers to fingernail picking on the “interlude” to give a crunchier tone. It’s also more noticeable in the newer version.

It’s missing some fills from the “final” version and ofc tempo issues, but here’s a draft of roughly how it is at the moment. I’ll share the final version of this and the other songs when we’re done with the “ep” on the appropriate thread

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Ha! The similarities are there @gcancella but yours is less cluttered so it’s better. Keep up the good work. :smiley:

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