Ambient/Post-Rock/Textural bass playing thread

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by ttasselm, Sep 4, 2013.

  1. lordradish

    lordradish Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2006
    Oh, where to begin....
    We're a rather eclectic group here, running the gamut from drony space ambient to I'm-going-to-rip-your-nerve-endings-out-one-by-one noise, modular craziness, Eno-esque bliss, and a billion other things that should probably be illegal. You'll get a different answer from everyone. Best thing is check out everyone's soundclouds, as we all post our stuff here quite regularly.

    As. to my personal influences, I'm into the mellower side of things. Robert Rich. Steve Roach. Martin Steurtzer. Just stick around, you'll get the vibe pretty quickly. Welcome aboard.
  2. JES

    JES Supporting Member

    The fretless baritone sounds great.

    I've got myself a Music Man Silhouette, currently strung with possibly the world's last set of 32.5" labella flats. Details about the instrument in this thread: Review: EBMM Silhouette Bass

    The string spacing is narrow for a bassist, but it was the only instrument I took with me to Germany for 5 months in 2017, and let me tell you, if you don't have any other instrument, you get used to the string spacing. My wife and I wrote some songs on it but never record. Two have been rewritten for our current setup and will be on the record we record at the end of this month.

    The Silhouette is a wonderfully made instrument. I especially like how Music Man handles the heel. My main complaint is that no matter what I do, the E string is kind of thuddy at that scale, and not in a pleasing way. The best I've managed is with Kaliums. I'm also not crazy about the pickups. There are a lot of options, but the only one I truly like is single coil, front pickup. That said, it's good enough that I haven't actually done anything about it. I've thought about trying out the A-A tuning but I'm not playing it much these days because of my hands. I can cover that range on touch guitar and it hurts less.

    I think the reason to have a baritone is that it's a super-unique voice. It works great solo because you get more range, and in an ensemble context because it takes up an in-between space. A short scale 6-string bass tuned A-A or A-B would, in effect, also work as a baritone. So if you are willing to go custom, that's probably the way to go. Just make sure you research strings first before deciding on scale length, bridge, etc.
  3. steubig


    Jul 17, 2001
    locustland, ca
    hi, welcome.

    i'm not really sure there's a "genre" in play on this thread. i mean, i've often said the title should also include "post-jazz"—and i'm sure there are others that could also be brought in.

    i think a lot of us came to this searching for something else (maybe i was looking for pedal information?) and stayed for the camaraderie, and information and sound exchange.

    as others have mentioned, there are a lot of niches being represented here; hell, some of us cross over multiple genres in our output.

    i think the underlying thing here is that we're all bass players looking for different modes of expression through different technologies, some of which have tenuous connection to "bass playing."


    in terms of your pedal query, i think it would be useful to know what you have and what *your* aims are.
  4. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008

    Everyone here has a different set of favorites, so I'm sure you'll get to see some variety in terms of what gets produced and listened to.

    Here's a sample of the kind of thing I was looking to do when I initially joined the thread. That project went on for a few years, and now I'm not part of it. These guys were influential and inspiring for what I was producing at the time.

    I did a lot of software-based production. Now I'm focusing on modular stuff. I'm not playing a ton of bass these days, but I still think like a bassist.

    As for pedals, reverbs and delays are going to be a big part of the game for more ambient things. Loopers and granular pedals are also quite popular. You'll find a wide variety of preferences and budgets, so specific pedal choices can vary quite a bit.
    RyanKinBK, dukeorock and J_Bass like this.
  5. saltymonkey

    saltymonkey Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2007
    Syosset, NY
    The Decade VI was a beautiful instrument. The 3 P90s with 5 way switching sounded great. It played effortlessly. I just found myself wishing I'd ordered it with a wider nut width for string spacing. I had it made with a 1.5" nut, The same as my short scale Decade 4. I should have gone with a 1.75" nut.
    RyanKinBK, dukeorock and steubig like this.
  6. steubig


    Jul 17, 2001
    locustland, ca

    thanks for that. you were using it as a bass vi sort of thing? (a low e might be a problem at that scale?)

    tbh, that instrument doesn't interest me per se. i thought it was an interesting and well-thought-out musical application. there are other folks i could've linked to. the guy who really floats my boat is cenk erdogan, who does all those cool eastern mediterranean inflections and also seem to have some jazz vocabulary.

    as you probably guessed, i'm into the unique voice—some of it reminds me of cello on the fretless . . .

    and the strings are the things i'm probably most concerned about, cause tension.

    since i'm gonna want to double on the same gig, i won't have the five months with that being the only instrument so i can learn to love it thing . . . and i want to do both pick and fingerstyle

    me, custom? bien sur.

    cenk erdogan (can't seem to find his e fretless baritone, but they're doing some interesting things, i think):

  7. ugly_bassplayer


    Jan 21, 2009
    Yep, another vote to adjust the title of thread. To what, I dunno.
    Certainly not adding too many genres that mean absolutely nothing.

    RE; tenor, higher register.
    Why not a piccolo fretless 6er??
    BEADGC one 8ve up.

    Bass players think….???? Wow, what’s next, lead singers hauling amps???
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021
    dukeorock and monsterthompson like this.
  8. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
  9. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    monsterthompson likes this.
  10. ugly_bassplayer


    Jan 21, 2009
    Fixed it for ya.

    Spectrum, Bob_Ross, JES and 1 other person like this.
  11. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    LOL. I clearly need to pop in with conversation that doesn't involve reverb...hahaha
    JES, steubig, dukeorock and 1 other person like this.
  12. dukeorock

    dukeorock Owner BNA Audio Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    Authorized greenboy designs builder/Owner of BNA Audio
    monsterthompson likes this.
  13. steubig


    Jul 17, 2001
    locustland, ca
    the thread title is probably what it is, it's not perfectly in tune with what happens here, but it keeps the riff-raff out (i JEST)

    "post-bass bass playing for now people"

    really, i'm pretty much there with you, as my idea of a baritone is pretty much a pic 6-string bass. a standard baritone guitar is B-E-A-D-F#-B (or the same basic thing going A-A); i'm thinking of doing B-E-A-D-G-C, fretted and fretless pair . . .
    ugly_bassplayer, emjazz, JES and 2 others like this.
  14. JES

    JES Supporting Member

    @steubig I think you're right that you should just go custom. Why not? Digging the Cenk Erdogan video. Are there particular records I should check out?

    There's a fretless guitarist name Jon Durant who's been collaborating with Stefan Thelan. It's a very interesting sound, but . I think there's some old Adrian Belew fretless guitar stuff too somewhere in my tape or vinyl collection.

    I had a Squier before the Music Man. String spacing was narrower, sustain was not good, and wasn't into the pickups. I cannot argue with pink though. We went for raspberry stain for my touch guitar. Should be ready in a couple weeks.

    What is post-jazz? Is that a thing?
  15. steubig


    Jul 17, 2001
    locustland, ca

    cenk records? not a clue. it was a youtube find when i was looking for fretless bari.

    i’ll check out jon durant.

    marc ducret is a bad mutha on many guitars who has also played fretless at times.

    dave fuzinkski also does fretless guitar; he tends to be a little shreddy for me.

    apparently “post-jazz” is a category on bandcamp and spotify. who knew?

    i tend to think a lot people i play with could qualify, but i was using it very loosely.

    it’s all very post-modern.
    RyanKinBK and emjazz like this.
  16. JES

    JES Supporting Member

    Nice. Lots to check out. I had a meeting cancel and went to Erdogan's website. The video you posted appears to be from Lahza. Most of his stuff is on Spotify/Apple Music. He's got one record on Bandcamp too.

    I like "post-jazz" but I also think of some of the most "out there" jazz I hear as just jazz or "experimental" (where the experiment is never completed). Post-rock makes more sense to me since it exists in relation to a rock idiom but is not rock, whereas theoretically, I think of post-jazz as something that ought to still be jazz because the whole point of jazz is to expand the definition of jazz. Help. Categories.

    Oh, and Durant can get proggy, but here's how I found out about him.

    This is making me want a fretless high register instrument.
  17. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    Yeah, I usually think the whole categories/genres/naming conventions thing in music is as much an obstacle to communication as it is an asset. In theory I should like "post-rock" and "post-jazz" but in practice I think both terms have already been co-opted to mean something other than what their literal syntax suggests, and I can't be bothered to keep track of all that extrinsic baggage when people ask What Kind Of Music Do You Like/Make?

    Maybe "neo-contemporary post-jazz" ...?

    That reminds me of the first Andy Summers/Robert Fripp album I Advance Masked
    ...a lot.
    steubig and JES like this.
  18. steubig


    Jul 17, 2001
    locustland, ca
    my "post-jazz" comment *for this thread* was based on the idea that a lot of us have experience in that world or come out of it and we're not purely "ambient, post-rock, textural" . . .

    i guess, to me, if one has to use it, "post-jazz" has to do with improv-based music-or music that comes out of that. a lot of what i hear from the "new norwegian school" (my name for it right now, for this purpose) is pretty indicative of it; i'm thinking of bands like huntsville and supersilent, etc. so are bands like caravaggio and some of the french band leaders like marc ducret and louis sclavis. jazz is a jumping-off place.

    hell, i've been doing improv bands that use drum machines or beat plates as their center since the 80s.

    "post-rock" usually just sounds like a flavor of rock music to me—that's not bad, just how i hear it/conceive of it.

    all the post-xxxx categories make as much sense as "alternate rock," which got pretty corporate pretty quick.

    i saw a podcast segment with adam neely (?) where they were talking about there being a lot of *fusions* of music these days. i think they're right, the things i like are bands that do stuff like prog/metal/electronica, shoegazer/hop-hop, folklorico/hip-hop, etc.

    and it turns out that jon durant is part of my extended social network . . . birds of a feather and all.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021
  19. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    ...or, in some cases, the "ambient, post-rock, textural" stuff is going on concurrently during the "post-jazz" stuff! :)

    I've gravitated towards the term "comprovisation" both because so much of the improv-based music I make and listen to is as much composition-based as it is improv-based, but also to disassociate it from the more traditional Jazz [sic] improvisation. The stuff that (I guess) I would consider "post-jazz" has a decidedly more European connection than an African-American connection; its lineage doesn't seem to follow the traditional historical arc of American Jazz (blues to ragtime to swing to blah-blah-blah), but rather imagines a jagged timeline that connects 20th Century modernist approaches to extemporization and experimental Situation/Process compositions and then intersects Jazz right around the time Ornette Coleman and Albert Ayler et al were casting off the yoke of "The Changes" (scare-quotes intentional). So yes, Jazz can be a jumping-off place...but sometimes it's a jumping-on place, and you've leapt to it by way of the Darmstadt School. Or via Harry Partch. Or Pink Floyd.
    RyanKinBK and JES like this.
  20. steubig


    Jul 17, 2001
    locustland, ca
    totally . . .

    there's a lot to unpack in there. and i totally get the delineations . . . but then you have folks like thundercat, kamasi washington and a slew of folks in england too (which i recently become aware of) that are doing a more post-hip-hop meets post-trane via azar lawrence (whaaaaatttt, my brain hurts from just typing that).

    and that jagged line has often been traced by folks like anthony braxton, henry threadgill, george lewis and roscoe mitchell . . .

    i've used "comprovisation" at times (and a lot of stuff i did between 1993 and 2009 (well even more recently) fit that, but it seems overly academic for this sometimes anti-academic guy . . . oy!

    yeah . . . so post-jazz ;)
    RyanKinBK, Bob_Ross and JES like this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jun 22, 2021

Share This Page