Course 4: The Bass

A bassline is a progression of notes played by a bass (low frequency) instrument and is usually used to outline the harmonic motion of the music. Big, round, and booming, the bass can be found at the foundation of western popular music across nearly all genres. Great basslines range from being very simple to extremely complex, using non-chord tones to create interest.

Bass is a huge component in hip hop production, although bass lines tend to fall on the simpler side, used as the foundation of a chord by playing the root note (tonic). In this course, you’ll learn how the bass can make all the difference between a muddy-sounding low-end and one that hooks listeners with its seemingly hypnotic power.

You’ll learn how to identify a bassline, interpret commonly used rhythms, use techniques to create your own basslines in a DAW, and explain how basslines are an integral part of modern music production. In this course’s Market Time, you’ll review your contact information and consider a professional email address.

In the listening library for this course, you’ll take on Joji’s Ballads 1, a collection of 12 tracks that are alternatively chill and exotic. Describe how the production elements of the album made you feel and if any left you inspired. The digital field trip will send you to Moog to investigate their synthesizers, including the Minimoog.