10 Common Bassline Patterns in EDM

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Hello producers how’s it going? Following our first post: 7 Deep House Bassline Patterns and Techniques, we’ve received a wide range of requests. We’ll try to cover all of them in the following weeks. As bassline patterns was the most popular request, here’s another one: 10 common bassline patterns used in EDM genres. We’ll show you how to write the entire MIDI clip, but we’ll also explain the techniques behind theses patterns. So just pick & skip to your favorite or go through all of them.

Summary:

 

1) Trance Bassline Pattern 1.

 

2) Trance Bassline Pattern 2.

 

3) Progressive House Bassline Pattern.

 

4) Deep House Bassline Pattern 1.

 

5) Deep House Bassline Pattern 2.

 

6) Disco House Bassline Pattern.

 

7) Tech House Bassline Pattern 1.

 

8) Tech House Bassline Pattern 2.

 

9) Future House Bassline Pattern.

 

10) Tribal House Bassline Pattern.

We’ll use Ableton Live 9 as our workstation, but you can follow this with any DAW. Just make sure to pay attention to the grid settings in the right corner of every image. Also, if you have any questions or suggestions just get in touch with us at hi@promusicproducers.com! Okay, let’s start.


 

10 Common Bassline Patterns

 


 

1) Trance Bassline Pattern 1.

This is an example of the classic driving bassline used in Uplifting Trance tracks. The 3-notes pattern follows a simple rule: each off-beat note is surrounded by 2 lower octave notesTEMPO: 135 BPM.

 

STEP 1 – Create a new clip, one bar long and insert the root note (F in this case) in every off-beat spot:

1a

It will sound like this:

 

STEP 2 – To get that “rolling” effect, add the root note, but one octave lower, around each of the off-beat notes:

1b

It will sound like this:

 

STEP 3 – Create the main progression. Note that in the last 2 bars, it follows F – G# – C, the notes from the F minor chord:

13

It will sound like this:


 

 

2) Trance Bassline Pattern 2.

This bassline pattern is derived from the previous pattern, but with a small shift. It simply changes the order of the lower and higher octave notes every 2 beatsTEMPO: 135 BPM.

 

STEP 1 – Create a new clip, one bar long. In contrast with the previous bassline pattern, now we’ll start with the lower octave notes:

21

It will sound like this:

 

STEP 2 – Now insert the higher octave D# between and around these notes:

22

It will sound like this:

 

STEP 3 – Uplifting Trance tracks build up from the intro by repeating this pattern until the breakdown. Then, they’ll follow the main progression. But a simple trick for the intro is to shift the last group of notes a few semitones higher, or lower:

23

It will sound like this:


 

 

3) Progressive House Bassline Pattern.

As in Episode 14 from our Pro House Producer Pack:

This is an example of the bassline pattern used in old-school Progressive House Tracks. The bass hits simultaneously with the chords. Also, as the focus is on the chord progression, the bass is kept simple in terms of both its pattern and its sound characteristics. It is a basic resonated square wave playing a steady 1/8 pattern. TEMPO: 124 BPM.

 

STEP 1 – Create a new clip, one bar long. With the root note, draw the following pattern of 1/8 notes:

31

It will sound like this:

 

STEP 2 – Make it work with your chord progression:

32

It will sound like this:

And with the chords:


 

 

4) Deep House Bassline Pattern 1.

As in Construction Kit 9 from our House Addiction Pack:

An example of how to get an interesting bassline from the classic 3/16 pattern used in Deep House. Tempo: 124 BPM.

 

STEP 1 – Create a new clip, one bar long. Draw the following pattern of 5 notes every 3/16 with F#:

41

It will sound like this:

 

STEP 2 – Insert the main progression (F# – D – E – B):

42

It will sound like this:

 

STEP 3 – Create a smoother transition between these bars by inserting a C just before the end of the 2nd bar and by shifting up the last B1 hits back to D2:

43

It will sound like this:

And with the rest of the elements:


 

 

5) Deep House Bassline Pattern 2.

As in Construction Kit 13 from our House Constructor Pack:

This bassline pattern is derived from the previous Deep House bassline but with a small change every 2 barsTEMPO: 123BPM. 

 

STEP 1 – Create a new clip, two bars long. Whilst the second bar will play the exact pattern (3/16) as in the previous bassline pattern, the first bar plays two longer notes on-beat:

51

It will sound like this:

 

STEP 2 – Extend the length of the clip to 4 bars and copy the same structure a few semitones higher:

52

It will sound like this:

And with the rest of the elements:


 

 

6) Disco House Bassline Pattern.

An example of the classic octave bass used in Disco House Tracks, although is played at 124 BPM here. The sound comes from the Electric3 Damped Bass Tension preset from Live 9’s library.

 

STEP 1 – Create a new clip, one bar long. Insert 1/8 notes on all 4 on-beat spots:

61

It will sound like this:

 

STEP 2 – After these notes, insert 4 shorter (1/16) notes, one octave higher:

62

It will sound like this:

 

STEP 3 – Duplicate this bar and shift these notes around every 2 beats:

63

It will sound like this:


 

 

7) Tech House Bassline Pattern 1.

A classic on-beat bassline pattern used in Tech House Tracks. Note how well it goes with the off-beat chords. Tempo: 128BPM.

 

STEP 1 – Create a new clip, one bar long. Insert this simple pattern of 2 long notes on every beat:

71

It will sound like this:

 

STEP 2 – Duplicate this bar. In the second bar, shorten the length of the last 2 on-beat hits. Insert two off-beat notes just after them:

72

It will sound like this:


 

 

8) Tech House Bassline Pattern 2.

As in Episode 08 from our House Elements Course:

We’ll start from a basic pattern to create a nice, groovy Tech House bassline style. Tempo 127 BPM. 

 

STEP 1 – Create a new clip, one bar long. Using two notes, draw the following off-beat pattern:

81

It will sound like this:

 

STEP 2 – Let’s see what happens if we move the 1st and 3rd off-beat hits 1/16 to the right. This is also a common percussion pattern in EDM, as it creates a nice rhythm:

82

It will sound like this:

 

STEP 3 – Let’s add some on-beat hits on the 1st and 3rd beat:

83

It will sound like this:

 

STEP 4 – Duplicate this bar. In the second bar, move the first F1 to A# and the G2 to C3:

84

It will sound like this:

And with the rest of the elements:


 

 

9) Future House Bassline Pattern.

As in Construction Kit 06 from our Deep House Maniac Pack:

Although this is not the best example as the tempo is 122 BPM here, this bassline pattern can be recognized in Future House tracks with the 2x on-beat hits in the first bar.

 

STEP 1 – Create a new clip, one bar long. A common Future House bassline pattern starts with 2x on-beat notes, and then they move on to 3 shorter notes every 3/16:

91

It will sound like this:

 

STEP 2 – Duplicate this bar. In the second bar, shift the B2 to G2 and A2 to D3:

92

It will sound like this:

 

STEP 3 – Duplicate these 2 bars so we’ll end up with a 4 bars progression. In the third bar, shift the B2 to E2 and A2 to G2:

93

It will sound like this:

 

STEP 4 – In the second bar, insert E3 just between the 1st and 2nd D3. Same applies for the last bar, but this time with G3:

94

It will sound like this:

And with the rest of the elements:


 

 

10) Tribal House Bassline Pattern.

As in Construction Kit 05 from our House Constructor Pack:

 

STEP 1  – Create a new clip, one bar long. Draw the following pattern with the root note:

101

It will sound like this:

 

STEP 2 – Duplicate this bar. In the first bar, move the 3rd and 4th E to B and C. Also, move the last note from every bar to D:

102

It will sound like this:

And with the rest of the elements:


 

That’s it!

 

We hope you found this useful so don’t forget to share it!

If you have any questions or suggestions get in touch with us at hi@promusicproducers.com.

 

Learn how to produce 93 House Tracks.

6 replies on “10 Common Bassline Patterns in EDM

  • Hugh Jones

    With 3) Progressive House Bassline Pattern, the kick and the bass sound at the same time. Are you applying subtle sidechaining there, so they don’t clash? Or… does it just sound alrifht without sidechaining? :-)

    Reply
    • pmp

      Hi Hugh!

      Yes, side-chain compression has been applied to the bass.
      But it’s not subtle though, since the 1/8 pattern and the bass sound used in this example required the volume of the bass to dock for at least the first 1/16 that clashed with the kick. But too much compression can hurt the main pattern, as you do not want to dock the second 1/8 hits (the off-beat ones).
      But as always, it depends on the sounds…

      Reply
  • Moobey

    This is exactly what I have been looking for – thank you so much, this is my way in to kickin bass lines. I am going to have a close look through everything else on here, heck, I may even end up buying something. Awesome!

    Reply

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