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Old 03-29-2016, 09:51 AM
BluesCam BluesCam is offline
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Default Playing solos in duo with bass??

Hey folks. I play acoustic guitar in a duo with a bass player. I am a strong rhythm player and when I stop playing rhythm and try to play single note solos, the sound gets kind of empty. I wind up trying to do some kind of chord solo, but I wish I could play single note riffs. I'm not sure I want to use a looper.

Any suggestions? Thanks.
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Old 03-29-2016, 10:32 AM
Br1ck Br1ck is offline
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I suggest you listen to Jimi Hendrix, not necessarily for style, but for the way he uses chords mixed with single and double note passages.
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Old 03-29-2016, 10:33 AM
soao soao is offline
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Have you listened to some recordings of these types of songs? I bet they sound better than you think. I play solo with an upright sometimes and I had the same feeling that you do. My apprehensions went away when I heard what we were doing. I thought it sounded fine. Flatpicking, strumming, fingerpicking; it all sounds better with a bass backup.
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Old 03-29-2016, 11:10 AM
chasarms chasarms is offline
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As a bass player, I will add that the bass player needs be mindful of what the both of you are trying to accomplish as an ensemble. His line makes a very big difference in terms of how "empty" it feels.

In terms of the lead itself, even if flat picking single notes, taking a cross-picking approach and playing lead within the chord forms adds a lot of body and resonance as it allows every note to ring out clearly. Of course, that's easy advice to write on a forum post. Executing it is the real kicker!
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Old 03-29-2016, 11:16 AM
rogthefrog rogthefrog is offline
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Try this for inspiration:

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Old 04-18-2016, 09:12 AM
BluesCam BluesCam is offline
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Thanks for your replies. Someone asked me yesterday: "why don't you play more solos?"

I guess I will try. Thanks!
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Old 04-18-2016, 09:31 AM
s2y s2y is offline
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I play bass and guitar. I would agree that a flexible bassist should kep keep things moving if the guitarist solos. I'm a sucker for fretless bass.
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Old 04-18-2016, 10:37 AM
Ralph124C41 Ralph124C41 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BluesCam View Post
Thanks for your replies. Someone asked me yesterday: "why don't you play more solos?"

I guess I will try. Thanks!

That is part of the problem with just having a bass and a lead. I've often played bass in rock band trios and when the lead guitarist does a solo, even with a drummer, it can seem "empty". What I do is fill in more on the bass to provide a bit of a fill. However, it's easy to be accused of playing too "busy" a bassline so I generally will back off once the solo is over.

So some ideas would be to have the bassist play a bass line with more notes, but tastefully; play double stops if the music is appropriate; and of course as others have noted, play chord-based solos.

Also if you play some cross-picking on open strings the sustain from the open strings will add a little more depth and complexity and fullness to your playing.

But most importantly, don't hesitate to play your solo!
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Old 04-18-2016, 10:58 AM
ianb ianb is offline
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I know the felling well, and here's what has helped me overcome it:

When playing rhythm, use less strings, keep it light, use triads or the top 4 strings only. The gap between chords and solos is smaller that way.

Learn to outline the chords in your solos, using the same chord notes as when playing rhythm. Use small bar chords ala Hendrix, so you are adding some chord tone color behind your melodies

Play chords softer, and then turn up a bit for solos, or use a clean boost pedal, preferably one which fattens up the tone a little. Adding in a little bit of delay also helps fill up some space.
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Old 04-18-2016, 11:24 AM
capefisherman capefisherman is offline
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In my experience another aspect is to be absolutely certain that the bass player doesn't get <too> busy, i.e., forget about the chord structure and neglect the roots of the chords, especially on changes. It is difficult to have the confidence enough to "let go" and be creative if the overall chord structure disappears.
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Old 04-18-2016, 11:29 AM
lizzard lizzard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogthefrog View Post
Try this for inspiration:

This is a stunning performance by two HIGHLY accomplished musicians.

My Answer to the OP:

I was fortunate enough to graduate from a top-5 B-school. My challenge was mapping the large corporate concepts back to my small company.

I see the same thing here.

It is the INTERplay, the musical familiarity between 2. The bass player needs to have the same intuition that you do, the same familiarity with the piece. It is incumbent upon both of you to put in the hours, and map the concepts in this brilliant performance to what you do.

Then, you can present with authenticity, and just be you - at any level.


Just my thought - worth every penny you paid.

Chris
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Old 04-18-2016, 12:07 PM
lizzard lizzard is offline
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duplicate post
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The Acoustics

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Old 04-18-2016, 12:11 PM
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ljguitar ljguitar is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BluesCam View Post
Hey folks. I play acoustic guitar in a duo with a bass player. I am a strong rhythm player and when I stop playing rhythm and try to play single note solos, the sound gets kind of empty. I wind up trying to do some kind of chord solo, but I wish I could play single note riffs. I'm not sure I want to use a looper.

Any suggestions? Thanks.
Hi BC

My gigging partner plays both bass and guitar, and we do a set of each. The bass set is usually when we sing as well.

I love the sound/feel of a single line solo on songs like Summertime with the bass doing a running line in the background. Sounds awesome…



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Old 04-18-2016, 12:37 PM
Ralph124C41 Ralph124C41 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capefisherman View Post
In my experience another aspect is to be absolutely certain that the bass player doesn't get <too> busy..
Yes, that is what I was trying to say, less is more but the bassist should/could add some notes but not enough to compete with you. It's your solo ... not his or hers.
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