How to Write BASS Lines That Move People • Music Theory from Nine Inch Nails "Closer"


How to Write Bass Lines
That Move People


I remember the first time I heard “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails in a club back in the ‘90s. I’d never before seen people literally running to the dance floor. Running!


My fellow Gen Xers will remember this, but by the time the bass line starts after about 20 seconds of drums, the dance floor would be completely packed. And this phenomenon happened in every club! The power of a great bass line to move people (even over a simple four-on-the-floor beat, like in “Closer”) still amazes me.


Ever since then, I’ve felt that the ability to get people physically moving is probably the most fun aspect of making music. So, inspired by “Closer”, here’s a step-by-step method for writing bass lines with the power to move bodies, minds, and hearts. But first… Tea!



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Lastly, are you new to music theory? Or are you experienced, but you want a refresher? Then download our FREE BOOK (link opens in new tab). It only takes 30 minutes to read, then you’ll have a solid theory foundation that you can instantly apply to your songwriting and producing. Enjoy!

Ray Harmony
Multi award-winning college lecturer