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Am I over-thinking it?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Peace Cee, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. Peace Cee

    Peace Cee

    Feb 9, 2011
    I am in a skilled funk band. "Skilled" meaning that the players are all serious, we practice (band or self-study) often, and gig in multiple projects. We play prog. funk, have been together for a year, and are becoming well-received. (Think Lettuce meets Yes meets RHCP)
    The guitat player is the arrangement guru. He was raised on metal and then "discovered" all types of music. He is unique and very good, chops wise
    Well, we do pretty well, and it is pretty easy to play bass for him because he has great feel and plays many notes (so I don't have to). However, every so often, he will create an idea and will write the bassline. He has never played a bass, so he writes these busy riffs and wants a lot of lockstep guitar/ bass lines. I like counter melody on the bass, but I am always open. Moreover, I accept the challenge(s) and it helps me think in a different way. However, I sometimes think that his basslines are a little show-offish. They have little to do with "bass playing", and too much doubling, to me, can be amatuerish.
    Do I put my foot down and continue with the "bass according to me" approach? Or, do I keep trying his ideas and shut up. He loves my playing and I love his, but sometimes, admittedly, my ego gets in the way. Also, he has this "If it aint really hard and complex" approach, it ain't worthy. But, I sometimes feel that it is a little insecurity on his part. (and too much Mastadon)
    Any thoughts?
    Anyone been there?
  2. JakeF


    Apr 3, 2012
    Do both.

    Does the audience like it?
  3. topo morto

    topo morto

    Mar 22, 2010
    Have you tried talking about it/writing the lines together? Seems like it should be possible to incorporate both your ideas and maybe come up with something stronger that either of you would on your own.
  4. Technotitclan

    Technotitclan Lurking TB from work

    Mar 1, 2012
    Rochester, NY
    My guitarist does this on occasion. He used to do it a lot, I just talked to him honestly about it. I told him that he is great at guitar and appreciate his input on bass but that because he has limited experience with bass, and it shows, that I will use his bass as recommendations to built off of. He was happy with that and we have been using that system for a while now.
  5. hernameisrio


    Sep 27, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
    Yeah...split the difference, even if you're just subtly/sneaky changing things slightly and then asking what he thinks. If you make it seem like his idea, all the better! I've been using this strategy with a couple of my projects and it seems to kinda keep everyone happy.
  6. qervo


    May 18, 2011
    No matter what you play , you have a responsibility to stay in sync with the drummer. Many guitar players don't pay attention to drums . I say keep the groove and put his show off licks in where it counts.
  7. Fiset

    Fiset I do a good impression of myself Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2007
    New York
    One of my projects is an original instrumental, guitar-based project and the arrangements tend to be on the prog side. The guitarist has sick chops and he often writes very complicated bass lines for the songs he writes alone. Even though I always have the final say on what to play, I always take it as a challenge to learn those complicated bass lines. There is no doubt that I have become a far better bass player because of it not to mention there is nothing like nailing complicated parts live.
  8. Peace Cee

    Peace Cee

    Feb 9, 2011
    Indeed. I have broken from some "me" patterns in the process. Plus, other projects that I play in think I'm cool:bassist:
  9. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    Agree to everything and then do what you want.
  10. JoeWPgh


    Dec 21, 2012
    I would take his lines, and then simply play bass. If what he proposes sounds too complicated and 'show-offy' simplify it down to the core idea and salt it with some of his other ideas - as well as your own. The key, especially in a funk band, is the groove. Ditch everything that doesn't further the groove.