Watch the Bassballs online guitar lesson by Rich Maloof from 50 Acoustic Guitar Licks You MUST Know

Dropping a melody into the bassline is based on "the Carter style," named for the singing Carter family of yore. But that country tradition has been widely emulated by players like Peter Buck (REM), Chris Cornell (Soundgarden), Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters) and many others. It essentially flips the bass/melody juxtaposition on its head, so that the lower strings take the lead while the upper harmonies pick up the accompaniment.