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Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by DaveP, Mar 20, 2011.

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  1. DaveP

    DaveP PV Master & Musician ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    May 22, 2010
    Central GA
    Agree 100%, Southern Gent

    If you think in terms of a vocalist when you solo, you can't go wrong. Emulating the nuances of the human voice makes a solo interesting. A soloist has to breathe, so there are pauses between phrases.

    The origin of the guitar, horn, or keyboard solo was an attempt to give the singer a "break". Singing four hours a night can take a singer's throat down in a hurry, so it became obvious that for a singer to sing six nights a week, there had to be rest time. That rest time was captured while a musician took over for a verse on most sings. The singer could have a drink of water, wipe off the perspiration, and breathe.

    "Be the Singer" when you solo and it will be interesting to the audience. Don't just play a series of unrelated notes to show off. Incorporate pauses, vocal recreations, and riffs. You can also be the backup vocalist if you insert little harmonic riffs that complement the vocalist here and there. Jimmy Page was a master at this.
     
  2. bassnut

    bassnut Crumby Jokes ECF Veteran

    Apr 1, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Wow!
    You could knock me over with a feather right now.
    Two guitar players extolling the virtues of "silence" as a legitimate form of musical expression.
    I suppose that assumes no sustained notes when referring to "silence"?

    I have to admit that in my younger days in bass playing, if there was a hole anywhere I figured it was my job to fill it.
    I've since learned the real power of the bass. A good dynamic device is to quit playing altogether for a measure or two and let the drums carry it. It has it's place when done right and has a very dramatic effect.
     
  3. Southern Gent

    Southern Gent Super Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 18, 2009
    Tennessee
    Silence allows breath...breath allows life.....silence is where music lives
     
  4. bassnut

    bassnut Crumby Jokes ECF Veteran

    Apr 1, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    I don't think Steve Vai got that memo.
     
  5. Southern Gent

    Southern Gent Super Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 18, 2009
    Tennessee
    Most of us haven't earned the right to emulate what Vai does.......most of us....
    Man these guys running up and down the neck sweeping just sounds so sterile to me. There was a day when I thought cramming as many notes as fast as possible within a bar was the absolute thing to do. I was never a big Billy Gibbons fans and a musician friend told me "that's the guy you need to study" simply because you "don't" care for his style. Billy could get more music out of one note than I could 100 notes.......at that point it's time to rethink your approach to guitar. There is also the fact that nobody plays rhythm guitar anymore. Nobody can get with a bass player & drummer and play some solid rhythm work. Seriously, Hendrix was a "good" lead player....but he was an INCREDIBLE rhythm player. There is a lot of musical art being overlooked these days.
     
  6. DaveP

    DaveP PV Master & Musician ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    May 22, 2010
    Central GA
    Sorry, double post Blues.
     
  7. DaveP

    DaveP PV Master & Musician ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    May 22, 2010
    Central GA
    A good guitar solo can incite emotion into me. Steve Vai is like a machine gun. I want to take cover, even though I admire his skill. I watched the fastest guitar contest on youtube where the contestants played "Flight of the Bumblebee" over and over at faster and faster tempos until they could no longer hit the notes clearly. It was interesting, but not inspiring.

    I like to hear a solo cry and weep. Yep, I like blues guitar. I like rock, too, but in the vein of Jimmy Page and even EVH when he's soulful. Warren Haynes can grab me by the ear, through the speaker, and make me hit the replay button over and over. With Billy Gibbons, it's tone and technique, combined with phrasing that impress me.

    I am, however, a typical lead guitar player who wants to do more than play chords for two verses, take a solo, and play chords for one more verse. I insert fills wherever they fit. Between vocal phrases, between verses, and in the beginning and end of a song. In other words, where there's a place, I want to fill it. But, I want to fill it with grace, not showoff endless strings of notes. I'll play two or three notes here and there and play call and answer with the vocalist quite often.

    One of best all around players who does it all is Neal Schon of Journey.

    I think lead guitarists could all learn something from horn players.

    Silence is an accent. It makes the audience want more.
     
  8. Southern Gent

    Southern Gent Super Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 18, 2009
    Tennessee
    In my mind Schon is from the Hendrix school of rhythm. Super tasty chops all over the beat. He's in the groove, behind the groove, ahead of the groove and so natural and flowing. Not to mention the most tasteful lead work that's ever been recorded. Definately one of the most underrated guitarists of all time.

    BTW....Sent you a PM Dave.
     
  9. Steel

    Steel Full Member

    Aug 21, 2010
    Tucson
    Sort of bass player... off and on. Been working on starting an unplugged Tool coverband type thing with a couple of buddies who can play it (a fanstastic drummer is a must for this), but after breaking my wrist in December and school getting in the way, its been tough.

    My gear - Ibanez SR505 through a Hartke 250w combo, 1 12" and an extra 2x10 cab for when i want those mids to come through...mo betta.
     
  10. Surf Monkey

    Surf Monkey Cartel Boss ECF Veteran

    May 28, 2009
    Mach GoGoGo
    I missed this thread.

    I've been playing bass since I was 16. I'm 46 now, so that's 30 years behind the four strings. Frightening.

    I picked up bass because every other kid I knew back then played guitar and we couldn't form a band with just guitars. Over the years I've been in dozens of bands, all of the original acts. I've been the main creative force behind most of them. Now, however, I'm in a cover band called Big Electric. It's an entirely different experience. Better in a lot of ways. No egos to deal with, no pressure to write hit songs, no unrealistic dreams of being signed and whatnot. As a cover band we get to play songs we like for crowds that just want to dance and have fun. Plus, we make actual money doing it, as opposed to the original bands, all of which lost money in the long run.

    As many already know, my bass is a Rickenbacker 4003 Jetglo. It's a vintage 1984 model. I've played many basses in the past, from the standard P-bass to various Ibanez rigs (my favorite being a Roadstar II) and even an SG bass that I owned for all of two months. My current amp setup is a GK MB210, which sounds amazing for a combo that weighs just over 35 pounds. It runs at 350 watts with the internal and at 500 watts with an extension cabinet.

    So, there you have it.
     
  11. bassnut

    bassnut Crumby Jokes ECF Veteran

    Apr 1, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Ditto. I had the self-same experience. I remember the day. I remember the (sorry-...) bass that we all passed around to try out. When it came to me I really liked it even though I was the better guitar player (which isn't saying much then), it was sort of a major relief. A liberation. An individuation from the fray. Simple, powerful yet expressive. It fit my hands and had a warm and fuzzy feeling. I felt it in my gut. I found home.

    Again ditto except I was never the main creative force but only in partnership, at best.
    I "wrote" my own bass parts and had opinions, of course, but most "singer-songwriter-song-interpreters" need to be treated with a certain amount of diplomacy no matter which hat you're wearing (producer or otherwise) and regardless of the artists talent. They're all "geniuses"...or not, depending on sales.

    Original songs alone can be the kiss 'o death financially but when mixed in with the "flavor of the day" in certain styles it can mean a paid and artistically satisfying gig. (See Beatles, Stones, Van Halen etc.)

    Here's me with Mindy Austin around '75 in an out-door concert in San Louis Obispo CA playing original-country-folk-rock-jazz-yadda-blah-etc. We had a steady gig at a local restaurant bar for a year and 1/2 that paid rent for an ocean view 4 bedroom "apartment" for the bunch of us. Check out the thumbtack holes. Mindy has been tacking this photo up every time she moved.

    [​IMG]

    Again, "right you are" except for the ego thing but I'll grant that the issues are minor and easier to deal with personally than was when there was the perception of "life or death" attached.
    I'm having more fun than ever. People throw down $$ to hear Pat's original tunes almost as much as the covers but we play more covers than otherwise.
    At my age and the caliber of talent I'm working with, it's just fine. I'm having fun because I like to play. Most importantly, bottom line, I love to play music.

    I've got an early '80s Ibanez neck-through Musician bass in my closet. It weighs a ton but whenever I need that grindy-growly retro-classic Roto-Sound string tone for the studio, I'll dust it off....and play it sitting down.

    Edit:
    I just checked out that GK MB210 amp on line.
    I love the idea of 350 watts and 2x10" at 35 lbs!
     
  12. DaveP

    DaveP PV Master & Musician ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    May 22, 2010
    Central GA
    Some of the best bass players I've played with were great guitar players who took up bass because of the band's necessity. Through the bands I've played with over the years there have been good ones and so-so ones. I've always said my next best choice behind guitar would be bass. Bass is a fun instrument and you get a certain amount of control over the character of the music.

    Our bass player generally plays through his Ampeg PF-210. He also has a smaller Hartke bass amp that looks like a wedge monitor. If he turns it just right (or wrong) the bass port works out on my ears in a seriously damaging way. It amazing how technology has put bass response in a smaller box over the years. Speaker efficiency has become much better since the 60s. It used to take 15" speakers to get good sound and smooth response on the low end. 10" speakers would have become rattlers and blown the cones through the grill cloth in those days.

    I've always played in cover bands while maintaining a full time day job. The guys I've played with all these years have been distillations of previous bands where people fell out and the rest reformed. Usually it was the die hards, who were dedicated players, so we always had good talent to pick from. Over the years, I have been fortunate to be able to find good people to work with.

    In the 70s bands were in great demand all over. When Disco hit, band gigs died out due to disc jockeys with light shows. We traveled in a circle of people who wanted real, live musicians and didn't mind paying for it. So, I generally made as much playing on weekends as I did in my 40 hr day job. The day job was above average, so I was always in good shape financially as a result.

    Lots of my friends are still playing those types of gigs. I'm enjoying a church praise band gig that is into its 5th year at this time. Several of us did a few outside gigs playing for wedding receptions, decade level birthday parties, and we did a one nighter at the local county fair a few years ago. One of those wedding receptions involved travel and we got home around 2am. I was beat! It was a reminder that I'm not 30 anymore. Back in the old days, we thought nothing of traveling and getting home at 3am and 4am. IT was an adventure. Now, playing is fun. Travel is a bummer.

    Below is my current rig. The Peavey amp is the Vypyr Tube 60 I described in a previous post. The wireless is a new NADY. My previous AKG wireless became illegal when the government sold off the spectrum to cell phone companies. The TKO bass amp is connected to a set of Roland V3000 electronic drums.

    BTW, the stand sells for $19.99 at Musicians Friend. It's a well made, adjustable stand that puts the amp up where the controls are at a convenient height and gets the music where you can sense the tone without leaning it against the wall. Recommended.
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Safira

    Safira Super Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 14, 2009
    Plainfield,IL
    For you people that say you switched from guitar to bass can I ask how was it switching for you? They are 2 completely different instruments and (I think) you would play them differently.

    Just wondering, really. Someone did gift me a very cheep electric bass guitar. (it doesn't have strings or a nut) Someday, maybe 5 years from now when I feel like I have a good hold on guitar, I'd like to learn bass too. But, one thing at a time.

    Also do you think you can play both instruments well? Or are they that different.
     
  14. DaveP

    DaveP PV Master & Musician ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    May 22, 2010
    Central GA
    Bass is a large guitar without the 1st and 2nd strings. The remaining 4 are tuned an octave below guitar. That's all common knowledge and I'm sure you already knew that.

    Playing bass is more an exercise in playing intervals than chords, although some bass lines include dyads and triads. You think in terms of 1-4-5 progressions when you play. If the guitar player is playing an A chord, you might play the 3rd or the 5th rather than the root note A. It's really a sort of freedom instrument where you can do all sorts of different things. Guitar players who like playing lots of runs really enjoy playing bass.

    Some of our regular bass players can expand on that, I'm sure.
     
  15. Levitas

    Levitas Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 2, 2011
    Saint Louis
    I've played bass guitar for 12 years. I actually have switched from bass to guitar and to guitar to bass in numerous projects through the years, but I am foremost comfortable with the low end monster. I don't play nearly as much as I'd like to now and days, I've got school pretty much filling my entire schedule and my lovely family as well. But, when I do get some time for myself, I'll break out the little 4-track and my Fender P-bass Special and just jam out all by my lonesome.
     
  16. bassnut

    bassnut Crumby Jokes ECF Veteran

    Apr 1, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Playing bass in bands with guitar players I find it necessary to know your way around a guitar.
    You can watch a guitar player's hand to know what chord he's playing and verbally communicate better etc.

    On the other hand most people who come to bass (upright) through the jazz and classical idiom don't need it. They'd be much better off having a strong keyboard knowledge and maybe another solo instrument - trumpet for instance.
    I studied upright bass long after knowing how to play electric bass guitar and found it to be a completely different instrument. It's a damn bass violin! I had to re-learn fingering techniques to be able to play it in tune. It's a never ending struggle for me.

    One of my favorite rock bassists is Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead. He's got a really quirky but melodic style. Nothing cliched about it. He never was a guitar player but came from a highly trained classical background as a violin and trumpet player. He was just given the job to play bass one day by Jerry Garcia. Within a couple of days he was off to the races.
     
  17. bassthumper

    bassthumper Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jul 4, 2010
    TN
    Hey guys can you guess what instrument I play? lol
    I play a Warwick 4 string and use a GK amp. Been playing for around 15 years. I can play all kinds of styles, including jazz and rock. I have alot of knowledge on recording and music theory. I'm not currently in a band but if anyone is in the Nashville area and wants to jam, hit me up in a PM on here!
    -Rob :2cool:

    I can play anything from a little Victor Wooten to Rush. 32nd notes, double thumbing, slap, pluck, whatever.
     
  18. cracker75

    cracker75 Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Dec 18, 2010
    Washington State
    Bass is also a much more percussive instrument IMO. Some guitarists can zone out on the more rhythmic aspects of their instrument, but it's rare, most tend to be more tonally focused.
     
  19. bassnut

    bassnut Crumby Jokes ECF Veteran

    Apr 1, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    I disagree. Most guitar players when playing bass tend to be more focused on melody.
    At first it used to bug me when a guitar player grabbed a bass and seemed to sound more creative than me playing all sorts of cool sounding melodic runs etc. Later I realized they did this because they really didn't grasp the function of the bass in an ensemble.

    Of course playing melodic bass can be a very cool thing, don't get me wrong but listen to Paul McCartney's bass playing in the Beatle's early years having been a guitar player. He's considered one of the most melodic but tasteful players ever but he early on understood the proper roll of the instrument in the type of rock and roll they we're playing then.
     
  20. cracker75

    cracker75 Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Dec 18, 2010
    Washington State
    I think we're actually agreeing. Yeah, listening to guitarist play their newest most favorite riff on a bass is annoying, but what about guitarists isn't?

    (Just joking you six shooters)
     
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