Criminally Overlooked – The Importance Of Bass

Bassists. The most vital role in any band composition, yet overlooked as much as hidden sugars in your cereal. A band forms with a guitarist and singer, finding a drummer and then filling in the bass as and when it becomes necessary. The industry filled with names of guitarists, vocalists and even drummers, with only a handful of bassists cutting it. Les Claypool from Primus, Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tool’s Justin Chancellor and John Young of Dream Theatre. They’ve become known for their style of playing, their funky bass lines and the way they beef out the tracks bringing depth and girth. It’s crazy to think that an instrument that brings a level of intensity to tracks, that moves them with fluidity and is literally what attracts your neurological sensors.

Researchers at McMaster University in Canada have found that one of the reasons that basslines seem to cease into the melodic architecture of the song, placing high frequency notes more poignant is because lower tones are easier for the brain to understand. If the bassline isn’t moving in fluid motions and creating an overall structure of the track, our minds find it difficult to comprehend the motion and rhythm. With our brains instinctively syncing with these lower frequencies, bassists are acclaimed for their talent of keeping the low tone frequency rhythm in tact. If a drummer was to hit too early or late, or a guitarist was to cut a chord short, it’s less likely that we will recognise, but due to the low end registry, we’re able to detect cadence of the bass with more attention that can throw us completely off track. It was noted due lead author Laurel Trainor hooking up participants to an EEG to monitor their brain activity while they heard stimulating streams of two piano notes – one high-pitched and another low. Researchers would sometimes play one of the note fractions too early, effectively proving that participants were more likely to recognise the errors that occurred in the bass notes. It was also noted that when the participants were asked to tap their fingers to the unpredictable note rhythms, the subjects were much better at adjusting their tapping when the lower tones began to arrive early than they were with the higher frequency.

In 1980’s History of the Science of Music, Robert Challoner wrote “the bass part… is in fact, the foundation upon which the melody rests and without which there could be no melody.” Establishing and defining the chords that sets the songs melodies – while it doesn’t always define the chord’s root – it frequently commands the role. “You know, the piano player can play a C chord, but it’s only a C chord if I play C on the bass,” Sting, vocalist and bassist of English rock band The Police, says. “If I play something else, it’s a totally different chord. For instance, an A. So, you control the harmony. If you are also a singer, you control the top. So, everybody performs within your parameters.”

As if that wasn’t enough to provide you with enough evidence that bass is a vital role in successful music writing, Northwestern University researches found that bass-heavy music is far more likely to provoke feelings of power and drive in listeners. The study that discovered this were made to listen to pieces of music with altered bass line. Dennis Hsu, one of the studies authors said “we chose to manipulate bass levels in music because existing literature suggests that bass sound and voice are associated with dominance.” Reporting feelings of influence, subjects also chose more power-related words on a world completion test aiming to assess implicit, or unconscious, feelings of power.

Criminally overlooked, bassists often fits into the background of our day to day music, but is essential to shape and structure our favourite tracks. It doesn’t avert song writing either, with Paul McCartney and Roger Waters of Pink Floyd primarily being bassists and making it into the hall of fame with their writing talents.

Lifestyle

GEAR UP FOR VALENTINE’S DAY – Playlist and Gift Ideas

Valentine’s day is, whether you like to admit it or not, something to everyone. You could be the hopelessly in love maniac buying flowers, chocolates and staying up late making the perfect track compilation; you could be the one who’s just been broken up with and you’re sewing up your heart while listening to Real Friends on repeat; or you could be the one eating your normal dinner, on a normal 14th of February not partaking in the commercial holiday that everyone has saved money for. It’s the time of year to scribble hearts and “I Love You”‘s in red, glitter decorated cards and music and their meanings become emphasised. That’s why we’ve made two whole Valentine’s playlists to fit your mood, or you know, just have as background music.

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Our Pure Love Valentine’s playlist is mixed with some of the best love-song tracks that have captured our emotions and made it easier for us to talk. Including tracks such as Paramore’s ‘Still Into You’ and Say Anything’s ‘A Walk Through Hell’, this playlist has a little something for everyone or at least a few songs that will really hit you in the nostalgia feels.

Of course, Valentine’s isn’t the best of holidays for everyone. There are the people that have been left high and dry, and that’s why we’ve got this Pointless Valentine’s playlist that’s got a little more than pop-punk and a bit more punch. Including (a lot) of Taking Back Sunday and Neck Deep, we’ve thrown in a bit of Silverstein and Senses Fail to really liven up the angst this Valentine’s. spotifylove
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Still looking for last-minute gifts, or just want to spoil yourself with all the stuff that’s going on sale? Here are a few of our favourites. We will not be held responsible for the amount of money you spend.

  1. Grindstore is known for their alternative merchandise, and it’s a good place to splurge if your significant other likes their gifts a little on the weird side. There’s a super cute A Whole Lotta Love Yellow Backpack or this Alchemy White Hart Black Rose Pendant. Alternatively, you can visit their Anti-Valentine’s section that can really bring out the witty-sarcastic person we know you can be.
  2. PULP currently have a huge sale of up to 70% off going on – and is known for their flurry of music merchandise, you can’t really go wrong with getting yourself or your significant other a band shirt of their liking. Blink 182 band shirt? Sorted for £9.99. Slayer tee for those finding it hard to come to terms with their break-up announcement? Get yourself over here for £9.99. All their sale items can be found here.
  3. Kings Road Merch has seen us through birthdays and Christmases, or even to spoil ourselves after a hard day. Pre-Order this Alkaline Trio Past Live Blu-Ray or this Shape Shift With Me 2x Clear Against Me! Vinyl. Check out their sale by clicking here and pick yourself up something nice this Valentine’s because, hey, you’re awesome.

Happy Valentine’s Day!! 

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Lifestyle

Have a punk rock Christmas with these gifts!

Christmas is a hard time for everyone, trying to decide which gifts to get for who. Take it from me, I spend most of the time worrying about getting it right and trying to imagine their reaction. It’s not an easy time of year, but for those looking to make yourself or a friend happy this Christmas by indulging in the mighty punk spirit, we’ve scoured the net to find some of our favourite (and most wanted) Christmas gift ideas to make your lives easier. There’s a little something in here for any music lover, but try not to get too jealous if you end up buying it for someone else.

The Used Complete ‘The Canyon’ Bundle.With the latest release of The Canyon, The Used have released the perfect bundle for Christmas. Consisting of a T Shirt, a sweater, a vinyl, CD and pin badge, this complete bundle kit is priced at £66.99 from kontraband – well worth the money for any lover of The Used.

This “Kool Santa” sweater or this “Sad Snowman” sweater from pop punk sad boys Real Friends might just be the final piece to someone’s (or your) Christmas wardrobe. It is a chilly winter, and priced at $14.99 from the official store, it’s a gift that’s going to warm your heart and compliment those honey knees of yours.

71jic1ruiil-_sl1228_Anyone can appreciate Blink 182, especially around Christmas time when there’s a bunch of family gathering so and your grandmother just doesn’t quite understand the beauty of penis jokes. The Blink 182 vinyl box set is a gift for any fan or vinyl collector. It’s the 10LP collection including the latest ‘California’ priced at a reasonable £123.94, and bound to look magical in anyone’s living room.

Small and mighty gifts are sometimes the best job, and if we start looking at albums that have come out this year, there’s a lot to fill up that stocking to the brim. Not only that but with the popularity of vinyl coming back into fashion makes for a quick and easy gift with most bands supplying them. Enter Shikari, Foo Fighters, Neck Deep and Queens of The Stone Age have all brought out albums this year that’s had high praise, and overall a great addition to anyone’s music collection.

Alternatively, there’s one gift that will go down well for anyone. And that’s a puppy.

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Lifestyle

5 ways to motivate writing through procrastinating.

It’s no doubt that there are a lot of people in this world that enjoy the practise of writing. Journals, creative or even reality – writing comes in many ways and it’s always fun to explore the different ways to go about exploring your passion of writing. I’ve loved writing ever since I was little. I dreamed of being an author, then I wanted to be a journalist, and now, all I want to do is just write. But, it goes without saying that even the best writers get writers block. It’s horrible and it easily chips away at the pleasure of writing. I’m in my third year of a creative writing degree, and I’ve felt the pressures of writers block too many times. And, well, procrastination has actually been my best friend in those difficult times. These are five ways of procrastination in the most wonderful way that has helped me on my writing endeavors:

 

  • 1. Watch a film, documentary, tv series

Like I said, procrastination. But some of my favourite ideas have come from watching something. It’s best to find something related to your writing – if you’re writing about crime, then watch a crime documentary. If you’re writing fantasy, watch something sci-fi and fantasy related. Side note: it’s always easier when watching something new. That way, there’s something that will grip your attention, whether it be a character, the scenery or even a new language. Besides, it’s always fun watching a new film and expands your horizons in both ways.

  • 2. Listen to an entirely new band, artist or album.

Just like the last one, it’s always easier listening to a new band, artist or album rather than your favourites. Only because, we both know, that when your favourite comes on you’ll be screaming each word at the top of your lungs. With something you’ve never listened to before (whether it be a new album or an entirely new genre) then you’re listening to new sounds, new words and getting an entirely new emotional experience. Music can also help explore the mood of your writing. If your soundtrack is happy, then your words are going to be more upbeat and the reader will feel it. This does also depend on your mindset at the time too.

  • 3. Read other blogs.

This is for more than just creative writing. I know just how hard it can be to come up with new content for your readers. (Hello, by the way!) When you are forcing yourself to write, then it stops flowing and it’s easy to tell when someone is bored. AND it’s easy for it to happen, even to creative writers. Unfortunately for those wanting to make something of themselves in the writing world, the majority of media and journalists cover what people want to read. For those without up-to-date and unknown press releases that’s going to get us out there in the big wide world, we have to depend on making our own interesting content. Other blogs can be very helpful of this, especially those that are starting to break out into the bigger world. It’s an easy way to find out what people are reading and what people are writing and even a way to inspire yourself. For most around my age, it’s make-up and fashion, and I’m terrible at both. But by reaching out to other blogs and exploring further into the blogiverse, there’s still hope for me. People. Freakin’. Love. Lists. Hence this post!

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  • 4. Reddit writing prompts

Reddit is an interesting place, and recently my favourite place when I’m all out of ideas. Sometimes, it’s a lack of creativity rather than writers block. Especially in university when there’s a thousand other assignments to be done, my mind finds it increasingly difficult to keep coming up with fresh, new ideas. That’s where I’ve been using Reddit. It’s helped spark some minor ideas, but it’s also sparked my major ones. There’s some silly and fun prompts, but then there’s also the ones that will get you writing for days on end if you can actually get behind it.Not to mention, there’s a thousand other pieces, written by real people to read too, and that sparks creativity enough. Click here to be taken to the page and see what you can find!

  • 5. Take time away from writing.

If my tutor read this, he’d be reeling in his seat. But it’s true. This is my final year in university, and I’m doing a creative course that I should be writing for 90% of the time. But I don’t and I don’t plan to. Why? Because if I forced myself to write a section every day then it would be forced. The last emotion I want to feel when writing something I should be passionate about. Like I said, my final year means this should round up my best writing pieces, and if I hand in something that has boring sections, then whoever ends up grading it will be like “well, shit, she doesn’t really want to be writing this, does she?” I’ve spent most of this year away from my laptop, and that’s no word of a lie. Hell, the most I’ve spent on a computer is the time I’ve been bored out of my mind on a four hour uni break, and all I’ve done is watch YouTube videos. Not writing 100% of the time doesn’t make you a bad writer, keep that in mind. Your own exploration can be your biggest inspiration.

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