ALL You Need To Create Bass Lines (& Solos)

I think this might be one of my best bass lessons ever... I'm fairly confident if you give it time (there's a lot in there) that you will get lots from it.

In fact, there are a number of topics that I touch on in the lesson that I have individual lessons for. You will find those videos if you scroll down. The backing track, chord charts, and shapes are there too.

Bookmark this page and come back again and again. If you understand the bass lessons here, you'll go very far towards understanding many of the crucial concepts you need to rapidly improve.

Pink Floyd Style Backing Track & Chord Chart

The style is slightly Pink Floyd, psychedelic chilled out rock. 

Related Bass Guitar Lessons

I know. There's a lot to take in here but, fear not, I have you covered. Here are some of my lessons that go deeper into the essential bass guitar concepts you must know. Take your time with them and gradually learn all of them.

They will help you immensely.

Learn The Notes On The Bass

Harmonise Scales

Pentatonic Scales


I have lessons on all kinds of topics relevant to becoming an excellent bass player. Have a look around the site, or check out some of the lessons below. There are plenty of free backing tracks and similar lessons to this one so make sure you come back to visit. Thanks for checking the lesson out!

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  • Hi Dan
    Hoping you can offer some advice! (I just got involved in a ChristianGospel Music Band)… Here’s what happens: I find that I will learn things like “Appreggios, Modes, Scales”, play them to a backing track, but then when I get to my Band Practice, and the Music and Singing Starts, it seems that all my practice goes out the window and…1.) I “get lost” trying to figure out how to relate all the theory to what’s happening, and 2.) Things like Arpeggios, Roots and Fifths, using Scale Tones, etc often seem like it will interfere with the slow, worshipful singing! So I struggle with ”how and when” to throw in the right things at the right time, how to create, simple, effective Bass Lines! When to use “Approach Notes”, how to creat a riff/line and land on the next Root Note in the progression, etc, etc!
    In all the Music Lessons I watch the instructors are always throwing in a flurry of notes! They make it sound good, but it’s frustrating to beginner/intermediate players! Because, we then go back into our “Confused, Frustrated, Bass Playing World!” Thinking, how will I ever play like those Bass Players that make it look and sound so “natural!”
    A suggestion would be to take a “Real Song” (Instead of a Loop or Backing Track), have the song played (Without the Bass), and Make up a Bassline to the Song, and then “Explain Step by Step” the “Mental Process/What theory is going through your mind as you create a Bass Line through the entire song! Then, have the student try the same thing!
    I find the most frustrating part is “Not Clearly and Confidently “Understanding Mentally” what to do!
    All the “Technique, Learning Scales, Arpeggios, Modes, etc are useless if You aren’t clear in your mind as to what you’re doing!
    In a real band setting when the playing starts, “How should we be “Thinking!” I understand the basic theory! Focus on the Root notes, listen to the drum beat, etc! In closing, I think the most “Confusing Part” is: It seems like there’s “So many “Choices”, so many decisions to make “Instantly”… But mostly, I think it’s “What notes to use, and “How and “When” to throw in the right notes to Create Riffs, Rhythms to fit the particular music being played!
    Hope this makes sense, it’s difficult to put into a few words the years of searching, striving, etc in books, online lessons etc and just feeling inadequate and sometimes humiliated in Real Life Band settings!
    If you can help me, I think there’s thousands of other frustrated musicians out there in a similar situation! It’s like they’re saying, please take me step by step and help me to play like those Bass Players I so admire! I’m willing to do the work but need a step by step program!
    Almost all the Courses out there, promise the world and then make things too complicated and frustrating! I don’t think it’s me, I,m your average guy, with average intelligence, that understands in theory, but am hungering for “Practical, Practical, Practical!
    I think what happens is, once you get good you can often forget what it was like at the beginning and onward into the journey!
    Have a great day!

    • Mark. Extremely interesting comment – thanks for this! Your bandmates and audience don’t care what modes and arpeggios you know. They want to hear you play a) in tune, b) in time, c) with good taste. In fact, a lot of times as a bass player, if you’ve done your job well, people will say….nothing. And that’s a good sign. It means you’ve done your job. The players we see mostly on YouTube are the ‘bass stars’ who play a fill and solo every second. That’s not real-world playing although it can be fun. Mostly it would just annoy people in most real settings.

      So, you need to learn how to be comfortable playing what’s needed. This means playing the simple stuff INCREDIBLY well. You can then build on that, of course, to add some more flair and fills, etc. but that’s not your primary role. If I could be so bold as to make a suggestion, it would be to change your mindset to that of someone completely content to do the basics well.

      Everything else can and will flow from that. Don’t learn arpeggios, modes, scales. Learn the song. Learn the bass line. Then learn how the theory applies to that. It really can change your life to know that stuff (I have a course coming soon that pretty much addresses everything you’re talking about!).

      I don’t know how many of my lessons you’ve watched but I’m always going on about the practical uses of what I’m teaching. You might want to go through some of the other lessons and free courses. However, they are not necessarily linked in any kind of pathway. The new course will be (studying theory, harmony, rhythm, and melody in a really simple, fun, and practical way).

      Hope that helps a little.

      • P.S. The playing along to a real track minus bass is a great idea. Unfortunately, YouTube would possibly give me a copyright strike which could lead to my channel being taken down. Otherwise, I’d do that every single week! It would be the best way to learn too… Let me know if you have any specific songs you want explaining.

    • Very well explained, Mark! I also play at church and have struggled with the same things you do. I’m finally starting to hear fills at the end of lines. Dan’s lesson have been extremely helpful in learning the theory. The more I practice all this, the easier it is becoming. Eventually, Dan says, it will become natural to us. Our fingers will just know what to do. Music is a language and the bass theory is like the alphabet. We don’t focus on the letters in the words we speak and eventually we won’t focus on the theory to begin making words and phrases on bass! One thing that has helped me is, I go on YouTube and type in the song I want to learn and type bass tutorial after the title of the song. There are a lot of bass players that do this. They show their hands and the bass line is a bit louder. It’s been very helpful to me.

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