Are Disco Bass Lines Making a Comeback?

Above is yet another cover (of many) of Daft Punk’s Get Lucky.

Yeah, I know, by now you’ve heard this song a million times and may be getting sick of it (currently 66 million views on YouTube, by the way), but consider the following:

First, Get Lucky is totally and absolutely a disco song, and second is that dance songs never truly go out of style. While they may change around in sound from year to year, the point is that the dance song itself has always had tremendous staying power.

Should you be happy about this?

In fact, yeah you should, because if there’s one thing keyboard bass has never been able to do effectively, it’s accurately replicate the articulation of a real bass player playing a real disco line.

Even when the keyboardist is a master programmer, getting in all the walks, slaps, pops, stops, double-stops, slides and everything else that goes into a disco line is a next-to-impossible task, whereas it’s second nature to the bass player…

…so yes, you should be thankful whenever you hear new songs that are decidedly disco in flavor.

I’m not saying to give up any other styles you play. Not at all. Play what you like. But don’t discount disco. 66+ million views can’t be wrong…

…and maybe rehashing Parliament Funkadelic’s Bring The Funk into a modern flavor wouldn’t be such a bad idea? 🙂

21 thoughts on “Are Disco Bass Lines Making a Comeback?

  1. P-Funk isn’t disco, it’s Funk. If you wanted good Disco bass lines see Chic. Bernard Edwards kills it on “Everybody Dance” and if you haven’t heard the lick from “Good Times” you are truly out of touch. Slave and the Steve Arrington band is more of what I would consider Disco. P Funk, Ohio Players, Cameo,GCentral, Tower of Power and Brothers Johnson are more what I would call Funk

    • Also forgot to mention one of the best disco style bass lines of all time. Narada Michael Walden’s “I should’ve Loved You” with T.M Stevens on bass. Hands down one of the best disco dance bass lines out there

  2. Disco basslines never really died in the first place. The genre did, but the influence kept going. House music has been taking from Disco and funk for years.

    • The man on guitar Nile Rodgers…Miss the duo that he and Bernard Edwards had with Chic. Two of the most creative musicians that brought all the good grooves to the dance floor

  3. Disco and funk bass have created such a foundation for modern bassists. Tough the style when it came may have been a fad, the bass from disco and funk is alive and well! With slapping, finger funking, and all the beautiful decoration you can handle, in my opinion, disco and funk bass are the best and most fun to play. Now lets talk about harmonic metal!

  4. Never went away for me. The 70’s, and mainly disco, are when I fell in love with the bass! Happy it is making a pop come back. I do believe, though, that this type of bass never went away, but paired with this guitar style and keys definitely makes it disco. YES.

  5. Yes, there is a definite difference between Disco and Funk, although most non-musical types cannot tell. As a Bassist for going on 50 years, I make it a point to play through Donna Summer’s “Last Dance” every day because it still challenges me. Gotta Have That Funk (and some Disco for good measure!)

  6. Form follows function… That song would have sounded empty without that bassline. The best bassists play the exact line that needs to be played, when it needs to be played.

  7. Wrong. First, disco bass lines has never disappeared.. at most in mainstream music. Second, I consider this track not be disco at all but funk, you must be making a confusion with both style even though they are truly dependant.. Review your basics, guys..

  8. In a time long ago (showing my age) I was a drummer during the disco era.. Hated it.. But now, as a bass player (for some 20 plus years) I actually enjoy some of the tunes I hated back then.. The tone, the lines, the funk… All good.. A lot of credit should go to Daft Punk for doing the research and inviting the pioneers of groove to colaborate on their latest CD; “Random Access Memories”…

  9. Jamiraquai is proof positive that it never died. Stuart Zender is amonster! The guy that replaced him. Sorry his name escapes me. BUT Take a listine to Starchild off the album Dynamite for proof!

  10. Only those who can’t dance hate disco !.. some of the best in the pocket bass grooves and licks come from disco and funk…back in the day when we used 15″ woofers !….check out ” down to love town” by the originals and ” come back lover ” by fresh band !

  11. Bands lose track of the fact people go to bars, meet other people, and hook up. You can’t get laid if the band is too loud to deliver a come-on line. I really like the demo above. That young lady confirms I need to practice more…

  12. Say what you like about disco, it had some great bass lines, some bad ones too, for me overall it was great training for tempo and for exercise. I learned a great deal from it. Check out “paradise” from the band change, its a great groove tune bass oriented, and very challenging to play correctly.

  13. It’s got Nile Rodgers one of Disco’s architects playing the guitar part. Of course it sounds like Disco. Disco contains some of the best & most fun to play bass parts of any genre. I play in a wedding band & we do everything from standards to Daft Punk & Icona Pop. We may chortle at playing “Boogie Oggie” but when we play any Disco song it packs the dance floor!

  14. Of the 40 years of gigs under my belt the most successful bands were either wedding bands or dance bands.It’s all about the audience having a great time and dancing is the biggest part of that experience. As a bar band your job is to make people thirsty and thirsty people drink. Consider it a form of job security and Disco works like a charm.

  15. Disco sucks by definition. If it did not suck, it would not be disco. It’s well known that disco is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as “a type of dance music that started in the 70’s, led to the adoption of leisure suits, cheap gold plated chains, the use of adulterated cocaine, saw the release of songs with titles such as “Daddy Cool”, “Fly Robin Fly”, “Disco Duck” and a serious of the most egregious cover songs ever, such as the disco versions of Beethoven’s 5th, “Also Sprach Zarathustra”, among other examples of the most appallingly bad taste in recorded history. A genre of “music” such as what was described, therefore, MUST suck”.

    What else do you need?

  16. No matter what genre if the bass grooves and lock with the drummer, you have something special. We could on and on about every tune we could think of, trust me I could find some stuff, ex: Pleasure “Glide”, that’s the same disco funk sound.

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