Drone strings in different keys...

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Saxn, Feb 9, 2013.


  1. Saxn

    Saxn

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    Location:
    Nashville, GA
    Ok, so I was fooling around with some new techniques last night and found myself playing phrases over drone notes in the key of E, which was a pretty awesome breakthrough insofar as getting some new sounds out of the bass.

    Did a search here and couldn't find anything on it, so I thought I'd ask if there is a standard technique for doing this in other keys that are less "open string friendly"? I tried doing the barre thing, but it seemed to limit my ability to play all the intervals I wanted to play. So is there a way to play drone strings effectively in all keys with barring somehow, or is a capo the best way to go here?
  2. Saxn

    Saxn

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    Location:
    Nashville, GA
  3. Saxn

    Saxn

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    Location:
    Nashville, GA
    Okay I'll try one more time... then I guess I can assume that maybe I need to rephrase the question. Or maybe I've died. I refuse to cross over and nobody can hear me.

    Bump!
  4. JES

    JES

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2003
    Location:
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    Capo and alternate tunings will make your life a lot easier than barring.
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  6. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Location:
    Canada
    Nothing limit you of playing F# scale with an open E drone you know ... your drone will be the 7th degree instead of having the root. We could say it gives you E locrian but oh well you can also see it as F#.
  7. Saxn

    Saxn

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    Location:
    Nashville, GA
    Thanks for the replies, guys!

    Jes, I was sort of expecting to hear what you said. It seems unavoidable to have a barred root and still have the ability to play a full scale around it without a capo.

    Fa, I hear what you're saying, and I do plan to explore drones on different degrees/modes pretty soon - as well as trying to play drones on strings other than the E string. It's just that it occurred to me shortly after I 'discovered' this technique that It was good for certain keys only without aeither a technique change or the addition of a capo to my kit.

    I'm really pretty jazzed about the whole deal :D Again, thanks for the replies, and I guess I am off to the music store to disappoint them by coming in and leaving having only bought a capo!
  8. Ubersheist

    Ubersheist

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Ventura, California
    The only time I've ever seen a bass with a capo on it is in the Metallica documentary "Some Kind of Monster," where Bob Rock used one. He was recording the bass during that time between Jason Newsted and Robert T. and couldn't play the bassline with out it.

    Otherwise, I think there's reasons that you never see any other bass players use capos at all for anything. I'm not saying to not try it, but I think it'll be a crutch for better technique or skill, especially if you're using a 5- or 6- string bass.

    Alternate tunings are another thing. A common one if you're using a 4-string bass is to drop the E to a D. I'm not familiar with any others, but look up Michael Manring. That guy uses a ton of alternate tunings and has for decades even before he had his "Hyperbass."
  9. Ubersheist

    Ubersheist

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Ventura, California
    It's very rare that you need to use the whole scale. Almost always you can work around it without a capo. Also, barring is a great technique, as well as using chordal fingerings in general on bass. If you can build up some strength to bar chords and use chord fingerings on bass, it'll let you play very fast runs.
  10. Saxn

    Saxn

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    Location:
    Nashville, GA
    Yep, I'm trying my best not to do it either, but I have yet to see anything anywhere on here, on YouTube, or on the Interwebz that addresses using this technique in any way other than using open strings! Aside from using different drone intervals as Clef de Fa suggested above, this pretty well limits the keys that the effect can be used for. I am looking to get around that limitation and would definitely prefer to do it without the 'capo' cheat, but I haven't seen anyone yet that does this. Not to say that they're not there, but I haven't found them yet.
  11. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Location:
    Canada

    Micheal Manring, Jeff Schimdt and Zander Zon all used a capo to change things a little. I guess you could argue that they play solo bass and not really standart background noise but still.

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