Singing and playing the bass solo, like how a guitar player does.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BrandenSteele, Nov 25, 2012.


  1. BrandenSteele

    BrandenSteele

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    Nov 25, 2012
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    Hello! I come from art-focused high school where a lot of guitarists, and I mean A LOT will perform with their guitars and sing.

    As a bassist I decided why don't I give it a try with my bass? I got out my bass and learned a few nice bass solo riffs and sang.

    Does anyone do or have tried performing solo with a bass and singing?
  2. Orangeclawhammr

    Orangeclawhammr Supporting Member

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    Redford, MI
    I do it at open mics all the time. If I was the only bass player you knew, you'd think bass is strictly a solo instrument for accompanying a solo singer. Needless to say, my arrangements are pretty sparse. Coffee house crowds like my rendition of "Boris the Spider".
  3. joelb79

    joelb79

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    They would love it out here in Lansing too.. if you come this way.
  4. Gitaaroverlast

    Gitaaroverlast

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    Rotterdam, The Netherlands


    Does this count? Not a bass of course, but the man is basically playing bass line's.


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  5. BrandenSteele

    BrandenSteele

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    Indeed it would count. This is a pretty great tune he's got going.

    What do you guys think of tuning a 5 string to EADGC for the purpose of soloing?
  6. ojo

    ojo Supporting Member

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    Jun 12, 2006
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    Chicago
    When I had a fiver, I strung it that way so I could play clean chords for writing purposes. I say, "Go for it!"
  7. BrandenSteele

    BrandenSteele

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  8. Diesel Kilgore

    Diesel Kilgore

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    Do it. I cant even imagine trying that. I have great respect for anyone who can play an instrument and sing too.
  9. bassbenj

    bassbenj

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    Aug 11, 2009
    I sing playing bass and also sing playing guitar and I can tell you that singing and playing bass is MUCH harder to do. I'm not the only one who has experienced this. It takes some SERIOUS woodshed to pull off credible bass playing/singing. It's a lot playing drums where one hand does one thing and another does something completely different. (I'm not talking about your hands but the interplay of singing and basslines).

    Strumming a guitar on the other hand seems a snap. Your strokes seem to go right WITH the words rather than against them and that fits the music. If you try that with a bass somehow it's not quite right. The bassline is more "open" and less "filled" so it stands out and therefore needs to be more contrasting...hence different from the melody. Does that make sense? It really is harder.

    And next time, go for all of it. Sing, play bass, and do dance steps at the same time! Tee Hee (I also play drums...so I understand this sort of thing...but that does NOT make it any easier!)
  10. bassbenj

    bassbenj

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    I strung my Carvin Fretless AC50 that way for quite some time for soloing. Worked great. But eventually I put it back normal because I got lazy and wanted it easier to change keys and play usual stuff. What I really want is a Carvin AC60. So far they don't agree with me.
  11. Draculea

    Draculea

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    Mexico City
    This is a great bass, I've got the fretted model with a maple fingerboard. I suggest you get the fretted model as well, as that will allow you to sing and play at the same time more easily, unless you feel capable of doing so with a fretless, which is no easy task at all.
  12. Immigrant

    Immigrant

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    West of Stumptown, USA
    Can it really be called a solo if you (or anyone else) are singing at the same time? It just becomes a tricky bass line under or along with the singing, no longer a solo.

    IMO.
  13. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Supporting Member

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  14. Immigrant

    Immigrant

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    Yep! Exactly.

    Thanks for the link. Interesting.
  15. xfredrikx

    xfredrikx

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    Or like this?
  16. MrLenny1

    MrLenny1 Supporting Member

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    Check out SETH HORAN.
    Solo 5 string bass & wicked vocals.
  17. Immigrant

    Immigrant

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    I apologize for misreading the OP and posting my misunderstanding for all to see. I broke my "be awake for at least two hours" rule.

    Power to the players who can hold the attention of the audience. I've noticed at open mics and multi-band bills at small clubs that the solo guitarist/singer drives the smokers outside during their set. Sad but true. I tend to think the average attendee may be captivated for a moment but soon lose interest.

    I'm not a good barometer.
  18. goldenglory18

    goldenglory18 Supporting Member

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    Your Mom.
    IMO, it's all about a groove. Once you are "in it" anything is possible....
  19. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN" Supporting Member

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    .... or like this?;)

  20. john m

    john m Supporting Member

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    Jan 15, 2006
    I played with a duo (acoustic guit and electric bass) for years. If the guit player broke a string or had to go quickly to the restroom, my bail out was to play and sing Norwegian Wood.

    If you can sing it in the key of D, it's easy to play the melody on the G string with the D droning.

    Then work out the chords for the bridge.

    This also works easily in the key of G if you have a
    6 string bass or a 5er with a high C.

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