How to Create a Bass Line in Unison

Double your pleasure when you double your bass line (musical phrase) with someone else, usually the guitar player or the keyboardist. Unison is very popular in hard rock and progressive rock styles, but it was also used much earlier by Paul McCartney in tunes such as “Day Tripper” (where he doubles the guitar line) and the more subtle “Drive my Car” (he doubles the guitar on that one as well).

In playing in unison, you mirror the exact same musical phrase that one or more of your bandmates is playing, so it’s a really good idea to get together before a gig or jam to rehearse the phrase, note for note, matching each other as closely as possible.

Some other unison lines include the famous Led Zeppelin song “Black Dog” (bass and guitars play in unison), as well as the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” (bass and piano play the unison line on that one). You can also check out AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long;” listen to the bass doubling all the hits of the guitar chords.

Here is a song that requires a unison accompaniment, so get together with one of your bandmates and learn the line, note for note.

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The effect is a wall of sound played in perfect agreement. Well, as they say, the band that plays together, stays together (or something like that).

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