Altering your playing style based on the venue

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by sawzalot, Oct 2, 2017.

  1. sawzalot

    sawzalot Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2007
    Had an interesting experience this past weekend playing in a very large arena. While the first band was on, I noticed that I could barely hear the bass, it was all lost in a low-end mush. When I heard him playing on his own, I noticed that his tone was a little "soft" and his playing style was also very loose, plus there was a huge reverb introduced by the acoustics of the venue itself. Between the two it was impossible to make out his instrument in the full band.

    My bass tone is pretty focused, but the reverb in that venue was HUGE so I knew my tone wasn't going to fix anything. When we went up I made a point to play very distinctly and simplify my playing: I eliminated all fancy fills/etc and just tried to play simple and solid lines and lock up really tight with the drummer. I couldn't tell how it sounded out front but another bassist friend in the audience said he could easily pick out my lines, so I think the effort was a success.

    The point is there are things you can do in a small club setting that just don't translate to a big stage. So no fancy fills or anything, which was sort of a bummer. But, the sound company was pushing an enormous amount of power through the subwoofers and there is nothing like feeling a big venue shake like that... Anyway, cool lesson.

    Mushroo and bholder like this.
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    The only way I'll ever play a large venue is if they need a lot of people to leave quickly. :woot: Good for you! :D
  3. Yep, when in doubt, less is more.
    swooch likes this.
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