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Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Shuller, Apr 12, 2003.

  1. Shuller


    Feb 2, 2003
    moscow, russia
    I got together a band a year and a half ago. Me on bass and vocals, guitarist, drummer and a d.j. buddy of ours.

    After playing quite a lot of shows from that time to now and recording too decent demos our d.j. has finally stated that turntables are not his thing. Fair enough, whats the point of spending time and money on something you don't enjoy (with the exception of dental care). Anyway in that time we also got him a trumpet and I gave him one of my older basses with hope he'll get into it. Now it's what he wants to do in our band. I believe his honesty in saying so and that he'll be an interesting bassist but I love my weapon of choice a lot too so last night we decided as a band to go along with trying him and me on bass at the same time. We have just started to sound okay but still have trouble with the theory side of things.

    Any views/suggestions on how to go about this will be fairly helpful
  2. I've jammed with another bassist, and I didn't think the sound was good, too muddy IMO.
    I've heard of a few-very few--"avant garde"/experimental rock/jazz groups with two or more bassists, but I can't think of any popular rock or country bands that use two bassists at once. (Of course, somebody will prove me wrong)

    After 50 years of rock, you would think it's been tried at least once, so that makes me believe that it just does not work...

    Besides, my ego's too big to share the stage with another bass!!!:D :D
  3. Skorzen


    Mar 15, 2002
    Springfield MA
    I would suggest that you sort of split the basses up into different roles, with a kind of lead bass and rythm bass. use one to lay down the bottom, and the other for melodic lines/chords. you might want to consider tuning your bass higher(restringing it not over tensioning your strings) with a high C or F instead of the standard G on the lead bass. There is only limited room down there(hence the cursed left hand of the keyboardist) so try to stay out of each other's way.
  4. (insert obvious Big Bottom joke here)

    :D :rolleyes:
  5. The right kind of idea.

    You could do it with one slapping while the other playing fingerstyle, or one playing with a pick...

    Whatever, make sure the two of you have totally different tones - it helps if one of very trebly and the other is very bassy. That's stops the two of you from getting in each others way.
  6. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    It really depends - every band that has done this has done it differently.

    When looking at this from the "theory side of things", how about having one person play the bass line, and the other the melody or chords, for instance?

    In any case, I'm thinking this should be in Technique, so I'll move it there.

    Have a nice day :)
  7. Thor

    Thor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Two guys on the low wavelength, dont think so.

    Take some lessons from the classical side of things, or the Mexican Mariachi bands.

    Your basic orchestra uses, 1st violin, or lead, 2nd violin, viola, cello and bass. If there are 2 basses, the play the line exactly the same. Chances of that happening unless you are working from written music is zero.

    The Mariachi guys uses guitars of different sizes, each with its own tonal range. This works well for them.

    I would suggest you direct him to a rhythm guitar role, where there is always room to support and mix without getting muddy on the bottom. This can often be a boon to a good lead player, not having to hold up all the mid range, and allowing him to pick his tones and fill.

    In the future, don't offer other guys your old bass,
    just give up your girlfriend or whatever to keep them busy and off your wavelength.
    I lost my pick, so I'm back to fingers again...
    It only goes to 10, but that Burns Bison has the 'Wild Dog' setting.
    Mud-sha-sha-shark ......
  8. Mike Money

    Mike Money In Memoriam

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    2 basses= probably sound like crap.

    All bands I have heard with 2 basses are just groggy and mushy... To much low end...

    1 bassist is plenty.
  9. Shuller


    Feb 2, 2003
    moscow, russia
    Thanks for the ideas, we've figured that we ought to have me as the rythm(seeing that I sing too) and him to have the soloing thing going on. I've thought about us not being in the same range so as not to sound like a swamp. We both had our first lesson with the same bass teacher today, he stated that with what we know at this stage it's by far not enough but theoretically we could get to that bass team sound. Nothing is impossible but this just might be worth it.
    I've asked around and quite a few people can come up with a few bands/songs that had two basses so I guess it's possible. This really means that we got to get our act together and work a lot harder than before. I see it as venture in to the unknown. :cool:
  10. I can't remember for the life of me the bands name, but I have seen a two bass, one drummer band before. They played funk-style music but in a more pop/rock context. It wasn't really my style of music, however, the bass sounded fantastic! Both bassists were playing in approximately the same tonal range and it didn't sound muddy in the slightest. That might be partially due to both bass players slapping and popping and thus having more treble, but it definitely is worth a go. I actually contemplated it with one of my bands, but the constant line-up changes meant that throwing another bass player in would only complicate things further...

  11. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    For once in his life, a smart post.
  12. MauriLii


    Jan 19, 2003
    Kent, England
    Can't see it myself, unless we're talking two SMOKIN' players (a Jaco and Jeff Berlin duet I once heard jumps to mind). I'm not suggesting that you're not a good bass player, but it doesn't sound like the other guy is really serious about doing the neccessary work to get there.
    But I have been wrong before, and it'll happen again. If I'm wrong on my assumption, I apologise.
  13. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    I've played with other bassists and it can work out great-especially if one is playing fretted and the other fretless. Like parrott said, you just have to have the tones varying, and try to create roles. Think of the Steve Bailey/Victor Wooten albums-they sound great! And Girls Against Boys was a rock band with two bassists, for anyone wondering.
  14. sambass


    Apr 15, 2003
    I jam with another bassplayer a couple of times a week, drums and two bass. At first it sounded sort of wierd, and he was not as experienced as I was, but now we have a great time, and he definitly picked up on a lot of the things i was doing. We usually have one of us playing the lower end and the other one soloing and such, and we really like to experiment a lot. But your group seems to be a bit larger than a trio, so its less of a bass explosion idea, and more of a bass being in the bass section. I reccomend splitting up the low end and the not quite as low end, or possibly try piccolo bass.
  15. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    My bass teacher and I have a jam ever couple of lessons -- I pin down a groove and he does some awesome, almost harp-like lines up on the G and C strings (Yamaha TRB6). I've also got a recording with two bass tracks...one is 12 bar blues (C) with a jam on the g string up top. It's about as muddy as...you know, something that's not muddy. Like two basses working properly instead of trying to fit into a traditional role as the low-down men instead of working similar to a rhythm-lead guitarist duo.

    Just because you're playing bass doesn't mean you both have to ride the E and A strings like some kind of string rapist. Go nuts.
  16. Never let another band member play your bass too much. Once they really see how much fun it is everyone will want to play the bass, and there will be a lot more competition. You are the bands bassist, I doubt this guy could pick it up and play as well as you so quickly. I would find a nice way to tell him that he could be a fill in bassist when you can't make it or, give him a tambourine or something. I know this. I aint givin my spot in my band to nobody, they gotta take it. I love playing too much to have someone else move in on my job. I agree that the idea of two simultaneous basses is both unusual and would be very difficult to pull off with clarity, and professionalism. Rotate gigs, or politely tell him NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  17. Saetia


    Mar 27, 2003
    haha szvonek, nice i like that about big bottom, funny song as well as 3 bass' on it,

    From my own expierience my first band back in the day we tryed two bassist and it was horrible, totally muddy, and the other bassist was terrible, so we removed him accordingly, but ive also jammed with other bassists, doing blues and jazz jams and funk and stuff, even dualing bass'(fun)
    i guess its just how you tastefully put it together, and use theory! harmonize, play the same thing just an octave up if it comes down to it so its not muddy.
  18. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Not a Technique issue, so it's off to Misc.
  19. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Here's a few ideas:

    1-play the same bassline 1 octave apart,

    2-one person plays the bassline, the other plays the same bassline a third up (paying attention whether a chord is major or minor) or a fifth up.

    3-most exciting of all - create a single interlocking bassline, meaning one bassist would, for example, play on beats 1 and 3 while the other would play on beats 2 and 4. The goal here is to make the line seamless as if it were being played by one person.

    4 - mix 1, 2 and 3 in as many ways as you can without getting in the way of the music. Bottom line is, if it doesn't enhance the music, it's a bad idea.
  20. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I could be wrong, but I thought I saw a video where the band Earth, Wind, and Fire had 2 bass players. Can anyone confirm?

    At any rate, the only way to pull it off is to make sure that both bass players don't fight over sonic territory. Have one play up high, or even a piccolo bass. Have the other one play low.

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