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A general question about playing bass...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Fallen Zero, Nov 9, 2003.

  1. Fallen Zero

    Fallen Zero

    Nov 9, 2003
    Hi, i am thinking of learning to play bass. I was just wondering, is the instrument ok for playing by yourself, or is it only really for playing in a band?
  2. Of course you can play it by yourself :)

    There are some crazy slap maniacs out there who play solo and do the most crazy stuff. It definitly can be used solo.

    Furthermore, if you play music by yourself, it is just fun to practice, and play along with cd or something. Lots of people do this, have fun, and never get to play in a band.

    Just try it really, it can be great fun.
  3. Boozy


    Apr 29, 2002
    Kelowna BC, Canada
    I think I have the most fun while playing by myself. I don't have to deal with other people (LOL).. I can just rock and keep rocking spontaneously forever.. you cant do that while a guitarists stands there rying to figure out what your playing.. well, you can, but how can he play along when you yourself don't even know what your playing until you've played it? spontaneous is usually the most fun... PLUS, get a friend who drums and jam together.. spontaneously.. you follow the beat, he sorta follows you, it is soooo much fun.

    Sure being in a band is fun too, but it is also very trying and usually you play for the band, not for yourself.. this is usually a comprimise and you dont get to do what you would be doing on your own.

    IE: I love the funky stuff, I love slapping and just rockin out, but, in my band I don't get to do this.. I just play heavy pickstyle in the band I am in... sometimes me and the drummer jam for a bit doing the funky stuff, but once the guitarist shows up we stop and get into hardcore/band/pick-syle mode.

    When you can play your instrument alone, for hours, having sooo much fun, you know it is the right instrument for you.
  4. Funny you should ask because I've wondered the same thing. For the longest time, I could not imagine the bass as an instrument that can stand on its own. I thought it needed to be accompanied by drums and could only support music. People would tell me to "play something!" but I could never play anything except the bassline to some rock song - which sounded awful by itself.

    Then I started learning techniques that are (for the most part) unique to the bass guitar: walking basslines and slap bass. It's a total pain in the butt learning this stuff...lots of theory to learn and many painful hours of practice but it is TOTALLY rewarding.

    So to answer your question, the bass guitar is an instrument that can be played alone. But you have to recognize that it's not like a guitar or a piano. It's a very different instrument and requires a different playing mentality.
  5. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Off to Misc with you...
  6. Funkize you

    Funkize you Guest

    Nov 4, 2003
    Westminster Ca.
    I usually play with myself (insert joke here) because I cant find any musicians that like 'my style' of music (Mostly Prog/Funk/Jazz stuff)they dont understand "Time sig's", the guitarists (at least the bad ones I know) just try to shread a lot... Failed attempts.
  7. Bryan R. Tyler

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

    May 3, 2002
    There's a whole forum here on TalkBass devoted to solo bass performances. For a listen of a solo piece, go here:
    http://www.billthebuddhadickens.com/bytes/index.html and click on "Chordal Improv." This was recorded about 17 years ago or so and is an improv, but you can easily hear how bass can go solo.