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Hands-On Music Theory by Richard Wentk

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5The Bass

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A DROPPED BASS AND A BASS PICKUP? If you’re thinking one has wheels and the other doesn’t—okay, it was a stupid question anyway. Somewhere between the alien galaxy of buzzsaw dubstep and the laid-back smoky earthquakes of reggae floats the planet of the basslines that haven’t been written yet. Your mission is to find those basslines and add them to the perfection of the musical collective.

You will need steely determination, superhuman creativity, a deep feel for the groove, and unfeasibly strong fingers. (A working mouse and a DAW will do. For now.)

What Is Bass?

A bassline is half rhythm, half hook. Drum and percussion sounds are quick hits—in, off, and out. Bass notes wobble and linger, creating a foundation ...

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