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How hard is it to be in a 3 piece band??

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by twdavis13, Oct 13, 2009.

  1. twdavis13

    twdavis13

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    I mean, the bass player would have to do double the work, right?
  2. Blueszilla

    Blueszilla Bassist ordinaire Supporting Member

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    What exactly are you doubling, or comparing it to?
  3. hover

    hover

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    not hard at all. I've been in a 3 piece for 20 years.

    The bass player does not have to do more work. If anything, more sonic ground is open to your enjoyment. More of a chance to enforce the melodic side of the song, or offer counter melodies. Or a chance to embellish with effects to thicken or mutate things.

    I dunno. As Cream, Muse, Rush, Nada Surf, etc if they think it's hard or liberating.

    Also, if you call it "work", you're doing it wrong.
  4. twdavis13

    twdavis13

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    I didn't mean "work" in the literal sense. I dunno. I guess you're right though, at least you get to enjoy more sonic playground.:bassist:
  5. kissmybASS01

    kissmybASS01

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    Pros:
    More room for melodic bass lines - as opposed to "root five" bassin'
    More cash per band member (if you gig)
    Less is more :meh:
    Less members also means better musicianship. No places to hide as things are more transparent.

    Cons:
    Can't hide anymore :atoz:
    Sometimes tunes can sound a little thin (especially if you're a cover band)
  6. bassybill

    bassybill The smooth moderator... Supporting Member

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    It's really tough. But posting your question in the correct forum is even tougher.
  7. Stanley Design

    Stanley Design

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    In regards to being a top 40 cover band. That'd be fairly hard.

    For an original band, it depends on the sound you're looking to achieve, could range from too many members to not enough.
  8. old-fashioned

    old-fashioned

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    You can get used to it easily I suppose. At first you may feel a little "small" but it will be OK :)
    It's also about getting used to the space in the sound. I'm sure it will help you to improve as a bassist a lot.
  9. John Wentzien

    John Wentzien

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    Disclosures:
    Artist:TC Electronic RH450 bass system
    I LOVE it... the best possible set-up for a bass player...IMO..
  10. kcole4001

    kcole4001

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    Having played many years in a 3 piece, or a 3 piece plus a singer (cover bands) you have to learn to fill in the weak sounding sections either with busier playing, chording, or just changing to a 'bigger' tone or even just a different tone to fill in as much as possible, and keep the listener from realizing what's missing.
    Just picking up a similar pattern to what the 2nd guitar plays usually keeps the flow moving along.
    It's a good skill to learn, just like improvisation.

    Three piece is way easier to play around with dynamic changes, you don't have that fourth guy lagging behind everyone else. Sounds tighter, and you get good at 'reading' the drummer and guitar player.
    People always come up and say "wow, you guys are really tight" even when we're having a bit of a sloppy night!
    :)
  11. Mike151

    Mike151

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    I love playing in a 3 piece. Seems I always end up with that same configuration.
    My favorite part is that I'm the only one on my side of the stage. I can hear myself clearly without another guitar amp over there. I can stretch my legs and walk around instead of being pinned in a corner.
    Only have to deal with 2 other people. When it comes to decision making, it's a snap. I either put in my vote if I feel strongly about it or just give in if it really doens't matter.
    As far as playing more, it all depends on the music your playing. We play alot of blues classic rock like Robin Trower, ZZ Top, Hendrix, etc... Love leaving space in alot of situations. If I feel a need to fill more, I just hit the distortion and laugh! It's really great!
  12. John Wentzien

    John Wentzien

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    Artist:TC Electronic RH450 bass system
    You ARE the man!:cool::cool:
  13. Wasted Bassist

    Wasted Bassist

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    I'm in a four-piece but we occassionally have one guitarist do only vox on some songs. I really like it sometimes. I means we get to have two incredibly talented singers doing their thing and leaves me enough room to bring in some wall-of-sound techniques.
  14. gweimer

    gweimer

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    I've been in what were basically three-piece bands most of my playing career. I cut my teeth with guys that were constantly trying to do twin guitar songs with only one guitar. I ended up developing a style that is a mix of true bass playing, and a little rhythm guitar thrown in (I always tell people that my right hand follows the drums, and my left hand follows the guitar). You don't have to work more; you have to think more. You learn where to fill holes, and when to hold back. And you get to play loud. :hyper:
  15. Sharkman

    Sharkman

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    It's a joy to play in a 3 piece band. Especially with a solid drummer with which you mix well.

    And if you make a good cake... it'll be good whatever the topping.
  16. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

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    All of that stuff! Sometimes solos would sound better with a another guitar underneath, but then there would be another guitar in the band.....
  17. lancimouspitt

    lancimouspitt

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    I prefer a 3 piece band.

    Less equipment to set up,less hassle with the "volume wars",more money to split between gigs.
    And personaly I just always found it a lot funner.
  18. T. B. Player

    T. B. Player Gold Supporting Member

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    I've been in 17-piece jazz bands, 8 piece bands w/4 rhythm section and 4 horns, 6 piece country groups, and a 4 piece Celtic Rock band. The latest thing I was in was a 3 piece - musically, it was incredible fun.

    Choice of music is critical, since three piece bands have other things going on at the same time. Remember Geddy Lee sings, plays bass with one hand, keys with another, and has a pedal board. Flexibility helps.

    Musicianship is critical - in any of those situations.

    The drawback I have to being in a 3 piece is that I hate to sing and play bass at the same time. But if you have a killer guitarist, you're no slouch on bass, can keep it tight with the drummer and put 3 part harmonies and switch off lead vocals, man, that's a dream gig.

    I must say, though, that the best band I ever heard was when I was 14 years old. I went to Disney World for the first time, and playing on stage was a 3-piece instrumental band - and they were all dressed up in big smiling cat costumes. The bass player was phenomenal, and is what seriously changed my focus from guitar to bass.

    Z
  19. SteveC

    SteveC Supporting Member

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    I'd say it depends on the other two pieces. That really goes for any group. How hard it is depends on the other players.
  20. ForestThump

    ForestThump

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    Three piece groups are great. With a trinity each member can have a hand on each others throats and this is a very strong thing.
    I play in a 4 piece now but played with 3 piece groups for many years and sometimes I miss it.
    The only time a 3 piece can get weird is when there are 2 hotel rooms for 3 people and you have to sort out who gets the "private" room.

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