#SCJC Day 23 – The Descending Bass Line

via Songwriters Circle blogs by admin on 1/24/11


The Songwriters Circle January Challenge Day 23 – Descending Bass Line Songs

Quoting Paul McCartney again, I don’t know why, perhaps he has had more to say about songwriting over the years, anyway he once said that he would never again write any more descending bass line songs because it is just too easy.

If it’s that’s easy, let’s do it!

Today can act as a liferaft for anybody who is still stuck without a decent song from January, or as a bonus exercise to the rest.

What is a descending bass line?

The ear tends to respond well to a simple stepped line of notes within a chord progression, following the scale upwards or downwards. In the 17th century, descending bass lines found favour for example Bach’s orchestral suites – the famous Air on a G String, and Handel’s organ concertos all contain very similar harmonisations of the descending major scale. When this was reintroduced into mid-20th century pop music, it brought with it many baroque trappings eg: The Beatles’ “For No One”, Procol Harum’s “A Whiter Shade of Pale”, and The Steve Miller Band’s “Dear Mary” and “Baby’s House”.

But really I need to pick up my guitar to show you so here’s the video:

Facebook video: