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Two Bass Players?

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by paulears, Apr 9, 2014.


  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvhelIbUlXc

    A 1970s concert in Japan with the Carpenters. They have two bass players. Considering how busy Carpenters arrangements are, with guitars, strings, steel guitar and loads of other stuff - which would a live show have two bass guitars? Very odd!
     
  2. LakeEffect

    LakeEffect Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Location:
    South Haven, Michigan
    Dumpstaphunk pulls it off, but their bassists have two fairly different styles, little ego and a great understanding of how not to step on each other. Check em out!
     
  3. Milk

    Milk

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2013
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    Ned's Atomic Dustbin had two bassists. There's other bands out there. I just forgot the names.

    Well there was that Peter Hook and Andy Rourke project, Freebass, but it really sucked.... and I love both these guys.
     
  4. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    I was in a band w two basses--the other played clean; I played fretless, heavily distorted.
     
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  6. billgoodwin

    billgoodwin

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2011
    Location:
    Roanoke,VA
    the Dirtbombs - (one of many projects by Mick Collins) has 2 bassists (at times).


    now defunct group Sing Orpheus (Jeffery Sebelia of Project Runway winner fame) had two bassist and no guitarist.
     
  7. Feral Feline

    Feral Feline Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2007
    Location:
    Honky Kong, ShangriLamma
    There's a few threads on the topic. It's fun, challenging.

    Alain Caron & Michel Donato

    SuperBass

    B3

    Various quartets, sinfonietas and what not all with nothing but bass...

    BassPlayer Live always manages to get a bevy of bassists up on a single stage.

    [5th String Element]
    Bassist 1: One two Tah-Dah mul-ti-bass.
    Karen Carpenter: Yeah.
    Bassist 2: One Two Mul-ti-Bass.
    Karen Carpenter: Yeah, multibass, the audience knows we have multibass. One Two Da-Dah. This is my band.
    Bassist 1: Mul-ti-Bass.
    Karen Carpenter: We're so happy to be here in Japan. You know how it is. We threw together a band with two basses, sparks happen...
    Bassist 2: Mul-ti-Bass.
    Carpenters: Yes, the audience knows the band has multibass. [turns to audience] Anyway, we're going to play a medley of old hits for you, hope you like it...

    I thought maybe the Carpenters were trying to emulate the tic-tac Nashville bass sound, so I checked out the vid.

    The main bass player puts down his bass, picks up a sax. Additional keyboard player picks up a bass to keep the bottom together while bass 1 solos on sax. After that he just keeps it strapped on, waves it around (no playing) and sings some BG vox. I didn't see/hear bassist #2 playing whilst #1 was holding down the bottom end at any time. #2 starts playing again when #1 switches yet again to sax. Later #2 takes over while #1 makes like a flautist. It's like serial monogamy...

    Instead of hiring a full band, the Carpenters hired multi-instrumentalists. So, the Carpenters were just keeping there bassist(s) covered.
    :bag:
     
  8. FiXeR

    FiXeR Bass monkey, Drinker of swill, No sleep since 1985

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2000
    Location:
    Seattle, WA.
  9. SoCal1

    SoCal1

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2011
    At Motown, Jamerson would occasionally play a line on upright and then go over it with his P-bass. They also tried some two bass sessions with Jamerson and Babbitt, however, the sound came out too mushy. Could have been a mixing problem, or it could have been overkill...
     
  10. Passinwind

    Passinwind Charlie Escher Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2003
    Location:
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Yep, I've done it in a number of bands over the years, different approaches each time too.

    A few well known acts that have dabbled, off the top of my head:

    Miles Davis
    Willie Nelson
    Talking Heads
    Pharoah Sanders
    Ornette Coleman
    Gary Burton
    Sun Ra
    Willie Dixon
     
  11. Against Will

    Against Will

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2003
    Location:
    Big Sound Central
    Two basses makes as much sense as two guitars, two drums, two keys, etc. etc. Certainly, bass is designed and suited for covering the low end, but the only thing precluding a multi-bass ensemble on stage or recording is convention, and some small adjustments to style and EQing.

    Consider Lightning Bolt, a two-piece where the bassist's technique is similar to that of solo classical guitarist: plucking the low strings while picking out melodies on the higher strings. There are other, similar bass-drum duos (the Japanese duo, Ruins is one) that do the same thing.

    Speaking of Peter Hook: with New Order, Hook's lines were pretty much exclusively melodic, letting the band's synths fill out the low end(his technique was similar for Joy Divison, but JD's traditional rock lineup meant he still filled the traditional bassist role, regardless of his style. New Order is where he really go to cut loose and do new stuff and it's why he's one of my favorite bassists and partly why I love New Order as opposed to liking Joy Division). New Order had a big impact on EDM and Hip-hop and these genre's experiment a lot of multiple basslines.

    billgoodwin also mentioned the Dirtbombs, where one bassist acts almost like a rhythm guitarist, banging out fuzzed out notes that almost sound like chords while the other acts more like a traditional bassist, holding down the groove. It's actually kind of an ingenius way to imitate the fuzzy, noisy quality of old Nuggets-era garage rock bands.

    Black Eyes were a art-punk 5-piece DC band with two bass (and two drums), and their approach is similar to EDM and Hip-hop acts (and New Order, by extension). One bass plays a line that's more melodic that's punctuated by the second, either for emphasis or counterpoint. It's not everyone's cup of tea but Black Eyes were a great band.
     
  12. groooooove

    groooooove Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    tony doubles on a lot of guitar- but is still a badass on bass.

    their full-time bassman (i forget his name) is seriously a badass bass player. dude can groove like nobody buisiness.

    on the "two bass player" topic, mike frost and chuck alder did a recording called "the deep" here on long island around the late 80s early 90s i believe... two six string basses and a drummer- without that recording i wouldn't be the musician i am today! if it's at all available you should try and check it out.
     
    MikeFrost likes this.
  13. Spent

    Spent Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    Burn Guitars was just basses.
     
  14. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Location:
    LA
    on this one we have the one bass overdriven through the mesa d180, and the other bass going through the multi fx into the peavey

     
  15. Doctor_Clock

    Doctor_Clock The Moon Machine Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2013
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
  16. ritz

    ritz

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2010
    Location:
    Den Haag (The Netherlands)
    In the 80's I have seen a concert of Stanley Clarke + Jimmy Earl. Good memories!
     
  17. Staccato

    Staccato Low End Advocate

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    Location:
    Spring Hills
    Chicago and EWF made it work while playing on the same stage at the Greek Theater!
     
  18. Noonan

    Noonan Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2011
    The Groove Trolls of Athens GA had 3.
     
  19. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2009
    Location:
    Somewhere on the Alaska Panhandle
    Disclosures:
    Too many to list.
    The Beatles (a.k.a. The White Album)
     
  20. nanymoa

    nanymoa

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2010
    Molotov. Mexican rock band. Great stuff. 2 basses almost all the time.
     
  21. stratovani

    stratovani

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    Spencer, MA, USA
    The Trammps did Disco Inferno with two bass players. One guy is in the front with a J, the other is in the back with a P.

     

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