2 Basses in a Band...ideas...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by cap, Jan 13, 2002.

  1. cap


    Aug 8, 2001
    Hickam Hawaii
    Well....i got to thinking....when you have more than one bassist in a band what would the other bassist do? My idea was that the second man plays the same thing as the first but an octave lower...has anybody tried this or something similar? or hell...something else completly different...any ideas are appreicated


  2. cap


    Aug 8, 2001
    Hickam Hawaii
    and as i realize that i just posted this in the wrong forum could i ask a moderator to send this thread packin to where it should be

  3. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    About this time last year, I did some recording in a 2-bass project.

    Basically, one would lay out the roots for impact while the other played melodies or basslines on top of it and under the chords of the guitar.

    On some songs, one bass would be heavy on effects to differentiate it from the other bass.

    Ned's Atomic Dustbin put out some recordings that worked well with 2 basses, IMO.
  4. With two basses you'll need to make sure that the notes played by the basses don't clash or else it will sound very very muddy.
  5. on mp3.com i came across a band called burn guitars which had 3 bassists and a drummer....pretty unique
  6. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    I will second what Rickbass1 said--check out Ned's Atomic Dustbin. They have some pretty cool 2-bass stuff.

    Thread moved, also.;)
  7. Dave Castelo

    Dave Castelo

    Apr 19, 2000
    one bassist should play "normal" basslines and the other can do that octave below, slap bass, distorted bass, tapping, etc. (everything but "normal" bass because they could clash)
  8. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Depends on the music. Two of the best examples I've heard of layered multiple (non-lead) bass parts are the Police's "Masoko Tanga" from "Zenyatta Mondata" and Marcus Miller's "Rush Over" from "Tales".

    There's a lot of fusion music where one bass plays the lead and another holds down the bassline. If you have a lead instrument, though, I think that idea's out.
  9. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    you might want to check out the band Rothko...3 bassists! Really great creative stuff.
  10. If your planning to have fun, do what me and my friend did.

    We both switched the tones and such on our amps and basses, and both have pretty different tones. And we just jammed ;)

    Of course, sometimes it can sound muddy and normal listeners won't be able to tell the difference, but oh well.
  11. there is a band that i forgot the name of but they have 2 bass players. but they both only have 2 strings on their bass an "e" and "a" on one bass and a "d" and "g" on the other bass.
  12. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    RexSpangle, wasn't the band you refer to called The Presidents of the United States or something similar?

    As for Adam's Atomic Dustbin, I once read an interview with one of their bassists in one of the guitar magazines. He said that one bassist plays high on the neck and the other plays low on the neck in order to maintain a distinctive tone. I used to like that band. What ever became of them?

    When I saw James Brown's band in Nashville a couple years ago, he had two bass players. One of them did not appear to play on every song. I'm not sure how they divided up or blended their basslines. I was way at the back of the auditorium and couldn't adequately observe each bass player. Brown was amazing, though. He even played drums in one song.
  13. No it wasnt them I really can't remember the name. I know who the Presidents... are but know nothing about them except they sing that peaches song.
  14. pre_shrunk (www.preshrunk.com). And its not just because they happen to be Australian, but there's was my fav album of 2000. If you every think you've heard everything thats possible on bass, check these guys out.
  15. Acacia


    Apr 26, 2000
    Austin, TX
    listen to cop shoot cop and slughog, both have 2 bassists playing.
  16. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Two basses in one band, you say? Three paths are open to thee:

    1) Play in unison: Create a natural chorus and be the most earth shaking band in your town.

    2) Play octaves, fifths or some other interval apart: That way one will be the bass guitarist and the other can be the "tenor" bassist. Make sure you stay within the key or it won't work.

    3(My favorite option) create intricate (or not so intrincate) interlocking bass parts, like steel drum players. You can practice this with a slow tune or a standard I-IV-V rock n' roll progression, where one bassist plays beats 1 and 3, the other plays 2 and 4 or one plays the root while the other plays the other notes. If you pull it off well, you'll both sound like one single amazing player, which is the goal after all. If you get really good, you guys will sound like three, which is also good depending on the context. There are some logistics involved regarding individual volume and consistency of tone, not to mention attention to rhythm and to each other. There can be no ego involved, no one must try to outplay the other and playing economically is key. It seems like this would be hard, but it would be so slammin' if someone did it and got it right!:)
  17. Every Monday I play in a band that hosts an 'open jam.' Last Monday we had another bass player come up and we did the two bass player scenario for a few songs and jams. Since I was the 'host' bass player, I tried to do what I could to support and accomodate what the other bass player was doing. He general stayed high up on the neck so I covered most of the lower notes and kept it as open as I could. At certain points I tried to create a harmony line to what he was doing and I also had some success creating some counter melodies.

    All in all it was a blast but I'm not sure how I would feel if it was a band situation and I had to deal with a second bass player all the time. There is a lot of accomodating that you have to do and I'm not sure I could humble myself enough to make it work. I guess I might be just a little to obnoxious.:p ;)
  18. MTRatt


    Dec 31, 2001
    Minneapolis, MN
    Hey, Spinal Tap had three! The sky's the limit!
  19. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    I've always wanted to try that sort of thing! :cool:

    A 2-bass band to check out is the Dirt Bombs (from Detroit). Also, THRAK-era King Crimson had both a bassist and a Stick player, so there was occasionally a lot of low end there too.
  20. Dave Castelo

    Dave Castelo

    Apr 19, 2000
    theres a huge mexican band called "Molotov" that has two bassists... i posted about them some time ago in a similar thread...

    heres a pic... a warwick and a fender jazz:

    they have some pretty good songs