3/7: Basslines

Daft Punk - “Around the World”

What is this bass sound?

Daft Punk don't share a lot of details about their process, so it's not entirely clear what instrument plays the bassline on this track. The style is consistent with the way a funk bassist might play a bass guitar, but this can also be done with a synthesizer.

How is this bassline put together?

This bassline has an interesting shape: a sort of "ascending stairs" pattern that repeats three times before "climbing" back down the notes of the scale. The use of three repeating variations followed by a new idea is a common composition technique.

Experiment with your own basslines that use some of the defining characteristics of the original: intricate rhythms, passing tones, and ideas that repeat three times.

Even though there aren't really any chords played here, the notes in this bassline suggest some possible accompanying chords (in a similar way to the "Mary Had A Little Lamb" example).

Listen to this "implied" chord progression along with the bassline.

Did you notice...?

This particular chord progression (1-3-5-4) might sound familiar. It's also used in another Daft Punk track: "Get Lucky" (but in a different key).

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