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acoustic playing

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by r05c03, Sep 19, 2005.


  1. r05c03

    r05c03

    Jul 21, 2005
    Lafayette, IN
    I have recently started playing with an acoustic guitar player and that is occassionly joined by other such a accordion player (no drummer). It seems like the role of the bass in this setting is less about locking in with a distinct rythm than providing melodic backing. Any opinion on this?
     
  2. Unchain

    Unchain I've seen footage.

    Jun 20, 2005
    Tucson, AZ
    I agree, simply since there is no drummer! The bass needs to not only be the melodic background, but the rhytmic too! Whatever sounds fine really though.
     
  3. abaguer

    abaguer

    Nov 27, 2001
    Milford, NJ
    I would not sell short the rhythmic element in this situation. I do this playing a lot with upright, EUB and even electric bass and I worry less about melodic playing (since there are already two melody players) than with providing an interesting part for the band to hand their stuff on. Whether it's a blues riff that needs doubling with the guitar, a traditional two, a walking feel, or some latin rhythm; the feel of the bass becomes more important to me than making a melodic statement. There's always room for melodic playing within the context of the music but I guess my point is that I approach acoustic playing more from a feel and rhythm perspective than a melodic one. After all, I'm the bed. :)
     
  4. r05c03

    r05c03

    Jul 21, 2005
    Lafayette, IN
    Yeah thanks. I generally do a little of both. It just seems like given the speed of the music and the type that when I am strictly rhythmic I am bumping on roots and 5th which is boring and not challegening or stretching my playing. There is not yet a call for a latin rhythm feel which would be fun and walking is limited so far in our song list. I have tried walking lines with a few and unfortunately always find that root-5t provided the better support. Still open to more discussion.
     
  5. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Listen to other music in this style. When I joined the 'Teeth last summer, my first move was to get my ears round recordings of similar music - in that case Pentangle was a good reference point.

    If you check out the .mp3 and .ogg files on the music page, you'll be able to hear what I'm doing with the band a year down the road. The most recent couple of sets are probably the best ones to listen to - they're not the greatest recordings but they were done during the holiday period so it was just me and the vocalist. He plays guitar on most of the tracks although there's one (Midnight from the most recent Ruskin House set) where it's just bass and vox.

    There's plenty of stuff that's just roots and fifths or even just root notes and a bit of rhythm. That then gets a bit of 'decoration' but I'm generally trying to support rather than dominate the song. Finally, I do get my little moments of glory - taking the melody or playing a unison riff with the guitar. Most of all though it's fun - I get to be creative and the rest of the band provide a very supportive environment for trying out new ideas.

    Have you got any recordings of what the guitarist is playing?

    Wulf
     
  6. r05c03

    r05c03

    Jul 21, 2005
    Lafayette, IN
    The dude does mostly covers at this point. He has some original stuff but we have not worked on that stuff yet. We get together once a week to hack out a few more songs. I think the bass I work out is pretty good, simple, but fitting. Our current list of down pat songs are. I have some home recording stuff, I will have to do some of that sometime soon.

    Dylan:
    One more cup of Coffee
    Simple Twist of Fate
    All Along the Watch Tower
    Don't Think Twice

    Greg Brown
    Who Would a' Thunk it

    The Smithereens
    Wall of Sleep

    White Stripes
    Forever For Her

    Meat Puppets
    Climbing

    Little Feat
    Willin'

    X

    Fourth of July
     
  7. narcopolo

    narcopolo

    Sep 12, 2005
    richmond, va
    listen to bob dylan - baby blue
    that's the best example possible, imo
     
  8. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I've found recording (via MiniDisc) has been invaluable in developing my lines. I'll jam around and try various ideas (also taking suggestions from the rest of the band). As one or two start to gel, I'll capture a recording, which I can then work on at home.

    That means that, come the next rehearsal, I'm starting with a polished version of where I'd got before rather than three steps back having forgotten most of the ideas.

    Wulf
     
  9. r05c03

    r05c03

    Jul 21, 2005
    Lafayette, IN
    Yeah, since we are doing mostly covers I down load versions of all the songs (I don't have CDs with all those songs on them) and practice them between the times we actually get together.....Then he usually changes the key on me...but that is relatively easy to deal with if you are famililar with one version of the song.
     
  10. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I thinking more of listening to what you and the guitarist have done with the music and building on that rather than working off the "official" versions... although I can see that will be a bit different if you're doing virtually all covers.

    Wulf