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  #76  
Old 08-17-2023, 11:39 AM
Brent Hahn Brent Hahn is offline
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Originally Posted by nostatic View Post
The great bass players achieve that status usually because of the notes they *don't* play.

Then again, you can play a lot of notes if they are the right ones in the right places. A youngish Anthony Jackson killing it with Michel Camilo
I was engineering a jingle session in the early 1980s and Anthony Jackson was on the date. The arranger was out in the room with the players, and before they had played anything, (and there were never any unrecorded rehearsals or rundowns) the arranger said, "... and this time, Anthony, play a little less."
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  #77  
Old 08-17-2023, 06:59 PM
Merlemantel Merlemantel is offline
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Not sure if this like a guitar, or like a bass, but I'm pretty sure no one is giving him any grief. Do your thang, man. https://youtu.be/JUlwqvTtJZQ
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  #78  
Old 08-18-2023, 01:16 PM
Brent Hahn Brent Hahn is offline
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Not sure if this like a guitar, or like a bass, but I'm pretty sure no one is giving him any grief. Do your thang, man. https://youtu.be/JUlwqvTtJZQ
If you get any further than about 2/3 of the way through the video, you'll discover that he has more than one thang. Not giving him grief for it, just pointing it out.
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  #79  
Old 08-21-2023, 08:20 AM
Charlie Bernstein Charlie Bernstein is offline
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Reread what Rudy4 said until you can quote it all with your eyes shut.

When you hear people say don't play bass like it's a guitar, they're not talking about technique. What they mean is that, in general, bass should keep a steady pattern and not go off on intricate melodic or harmonic pyrotechnics. Guitarists who pick up basses often just transfer their cool guitar riffs to bass, which defeats the purpose of the instrument. And makes bassists weep.

The bassist's job — again, in general — is bottom. It's fifty percent of a small band's rhythm section, working closely with the drummer to make a firm foundation for the musicality and invention of the other instrments.

Even in jazz and funk, the bassist only goes into wild riffs on bass solos, not when other artists are singing or soloing. Google some Jaco Pastorius.

That's not to say that you pick or finger bass exactly as you would guitar. But the criticism of bassists who think they're playing guitar has to do with the role of the instrument, not the technique.

So to answer your question, all bass books will teach you what you need to know: technique, as in how to fret and pick, and role, as in how to hold down that steady bottom groove. Learn the bass lines in the book and you won't be playing it like it's a guitar.

Last edited by Charlie Bernstein; 08-21-2023 at 09:18 AM.
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  #80  
Old 08-21-2023, 08:32 AM
Charlie Bernstein Charlie Bernstein is offline
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That’s fine for some styles and situations, but it’s a pretty narrow brief. And most of the bass players who really inspire me (Entwistle, McCartney, Sklar, Kaye/Osborn, Jamerson/Babbitt, etc.) have happily ignored it whenever the music took their brains/fingers elsewhere.
Sorry, but those cats knew exactly what bottom means and stuck to it.
Sure, they could riff, but they never quit their day jobs. From the classical era to the foreseeable future, there's a reason it's called bass.

So yes. Be the kick drum. Be the heartbeat. Be the pendulum. Be the throb. Be the beat. As a guitar player, I really need a bass player who can do that.

That doesn't mean no variation. McCartney, Entwistle, Jamerson and the others varied their bass lines all the time. But always in the context of bottom. They never tried to play lead. Other people had lead covered.

Last edited by Charlie Bernstein; 08-21-2023 at 09:17 AM.
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  #81  
Old 08-21-2023, 08:37 AM
Charlie Bernstein Charlie Bernstein is offline
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Originally Posted by lfoo6952 View Post
Do bass players really frown upon playing bass like a guitar? . . . .
Yes, they do.

Turn it around. Imagine a bassist swapping with the guitarist and playing the guitar like a bass. Might be interesting, but would that help the band? Yuck!

Last edited by Charlie Bernstein; 08-21-2023 at 09:13 AM.
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  #82  
Old 08-21-2023, 08:47 AM
Charlie Bernstein Charlie Bernstein is offline
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Originally Posted by nightchef View Post
That’s fine for some styles and situations, but it’s a pretty narrow brief. And most of the bass players who really inspire me (Entwistle, McCartney, Sklar, Kaye/Osborn, Jamerson/Babbitt, etc.) have happily ignored it whenever the music took their brains/fingers elsewhere.
xxxxxxxxxx

Last edited by Charlie Bernstein; 08-21-2023 at 09:10 AM.
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  #83  
Old 08-21-2023, 08:56 AM
Charlie Bernstein Charlie Bernstein is offline
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Originally Posted by standup View Post
I’m a bass player first, came to guitar later.

One bass player who blew me away long ago was seeing Oteil Burbridge with Aquqrium Rescue Unit. He’s solid, he grooves, but his lines were also just soaring melodically.

Haven’t heard him lately, but I’d bet he’s even better now.
Yup. I think of Phil Lesh and Jack Bruce, too.

Those guys all had bottom down to a science. They got fancy and fanciful, but always, always, always within the context of the rhythm section and the chord arrangement.

Interesting to me is Keith Richards. He's never believed that rhythm and lead guitar are two different things. As he put it, you don't walk into a music store and ask to see a rhythm guitar or a lead guitar. And in his Stones work, it was always Charlie Watts's drumming that he was playing along with. He anchored himself to it.

So you could almost say he's guilty of playing guitar like it's a bass. And to good effect, right?

Last edited by Charlie Bernstein; 08-21-2023 at 09:15 AM.
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  #84  
Old 08-21-2023, 09:26 AM
Charlie Bernstein Charlie Bernstein is offline
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Originally Posted by Merlemantel View Post
Not sure if this like a guitar, or like a bass, but I'm pretty sure no one is giving him any grief. Do your thang, man. https://youtu.be/JUlwqvTtJZQ
Yuck. I'd never play in a band with that kind of bassist. He's talented, but he has an aversion to one-two-three-four. I need bottom.

And looping? Mechanical and monotonous!
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  #85  
Old 08-21-2023, 05:14 PM
Brent Hahn Brent Hahn is offline
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Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
Yup. I think of Phil Lesh and Jack Bruce, too.

Those guys all had bottom down to a science. They got fancy and fanciful, but always, always, always within the context of the rhythm section and the chord arrangement.

Interesting to me is Keith Richards. He's never believed that rhythm and lead guitar are two different things. As he put it, you don't walk into a music store and ask to see a rhythm guitar or a lead guitar. And in his Stones work, it was always Charlie Watts's drumming that he was playing along with. He anchored himself to it.

So you could almost say he's guilty of playing guitar like it's a bass. And to good effect, right?
A lot of people have opinions about Phil Lesh, but one I've never heard is that he plays like a bass player. I started playing bass -- country and soul music -- for money when I was 13, and I was 17 when this came out. In my musical community, this record was as divisive as "Try That in a Small Town" is now.

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  #86  
Old 08-21-2023, 05:36 PM
zuzu zuzu is offline
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I have always found that there is a lot of wisdom in the words spoken by Willis Conover in the introduction to Miles Davis At Newport 1958:

“In the Ellington conception, it isn’t the instrument that’s being played that makes the difference, but the man who plays it.”

Someone like Phil Lesh fits into a band in a completely different way than, say Flea. And it’s interesting because although Phil doesn’t play traditional bass lines, he isn’t playing like a lead guitarist, either. He is, I think, thinking in terms of counterpoint, and that is what makes himself such a unique musician. He has a distinctive voice on the instrument, and again, it isn’t the instrument that is important, it is the musician.
The Ellington conception is the essence of what we do. When techniques, theory, instruments, amplification, etc., get out of the way, it is what we are left with: the choicest sayings of our musical soul displayed for all to see and hear.

Getting back to the technique of "playing like a bass player", what I notice with guitar players playing bass is their evident belief that licks and lines are the building blocks they are working with, kinda like lead guitar, but that leaves the music lacking when the bass leans in that direction. The building blocks of bass are chord tones and counterpoint, especially melody counterpoint. Phil and Flea both make some interesting note choices, but play their lines and you will find that they are regularly "touching base" with the chord tones. The art is in how they get there.

Plus, what a bass player can accomplish with the groove alone can be surprising. My last band started "rehearsal" with a jam of whatever anybody kicked into, song, groove, drum beat, whatever. The guitar players were both about 1/3 my age, very talented, and very green. The drummer was an old friend, kinda light on technique, but on catching the vibe you were throwing he is tops, like he can almost "see" where you want to go. One evening I decided to give a groove lesson to the young whippersnappers, so I led them through a 15 minute jam of shifting times, grooves, beats, and pockets, rolled them around and left them standing on their head. The only note I played was A on the E string. Probably not many guitar players would even think of doing that, which is likely why I am a bass player who plays guitar, not the other way around.
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  #87  
Old 08-25-2023, 09:55 PM
frankmcr frankmcr is offline
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Bass comes through really nice on this recording.

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  #88  
Old 09-02-2023, 02:59 PM
Br1ck Br1ck is offline
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Listen to pop records of the sixties. Notice how the bass lines can be simple in support of the song. Likely many were Carol Kay parts. Listen to James Jameson on those Motown hits. When you play with others, notice how a one five heavy line in the groove always sounds good, and how you can destroy the song with too many notes. But those Monkees and Mamas and the Papas hits are a treasure trove of info. Peter Asher produced anything is a classroom. And listen to Paul McCartney from the very early BBC shows on. See how he adds one or two notes to a standard 50s rock and roll line to propel the songs. And there is no better melodic bass line than his part in Something.
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  #89  
Old 09-02-2023, 10:16 PM
frankmcr frankmcr is offline
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As a melody instrument player, to me this is just a whole different language. Which is why it's so fascinating.

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  #90  
Old 09-03-2023, 10:43 AM
Brent Hahn Brent Hahn is offline
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Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
Listen to pop records of the sixties. Notice how the bass lines can be simple in support of the song. Likely many were Carol Kay parts. Listen to James Jameson on those Motown hits. When you play with others, notice how a one five heavy line in the groove always sounds good, and how you can destroy the song with too many notes. But those Monkees and Mamas and the Papas hits are a treasure trove of info. Peter Asher produced anything is a classroom. And listen to Paul McCartney from the very early BBC shows on. See how he adds one or two notes to a standard 50s rock and roll line to propel the songs. And there is no better melodic bass line than his part in Something.
There was a period when pop records were arranged and produced to work well on a tiny transistor radio. Built from the top down rather than the bottom up, so to speak. So players like Jamerson and McCartney and arrangers like Brian Wilson could indulge themselves without fear of yanking the moorings out from under the song.
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