any singing bass players out there?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Pesticle, Jul 29, 2002.

  1. i am in a punk band and i can sing rather well.. i got this wierd greenday voice thing going on but im not much at playing and singing.. is there any way to get better at singing and playing, you know, like some effective way of practicing this?
  2. what i do if i have problem is i just play the line to whatever i am singing over and over agin until its stuck and i keep looping it and start to sing over it, i dont know how much thats going to hellp it matters on how long you have been playing and what kind of bassline you are playing
  3. the main problem i have is timing everything right :/ it always gets whacked out because i miss a beat or whatever
  4. Dude, I sing and play the bass too....Unfortuantely, I am a MUCH better vocalist than bassist at this point.

    I personally find it easier to be guitar/vocals as opposed to bass/vocals. Maybe I'm wrong. My reason is that with bass/vocals, you have to make up 1/2 of the rhythym section (sorry guitarists; rhythym is more important than lead), and you have to keep time without hearing the bass player (i.e. you have to do the bass parts yourself). With guitar, the background rhythym is being laid out for you but the bassist and drummer, so it is easier to hear the timing.

    I guess both of us just need more practice. :D

    Good luck Pesticle. :)
  5. good luck to you too, chris :D .. anyone else sing and play thats willing to give me some words of wisdom?
  6. StrudelBass


    Jul 6, 2002
    I use to sing, then I let my drummer have my microphone for one day and my singer/guitarist chooses him over me. :mad:

    Hate those losers...

    Anyway what I did was learn the bass part without even looking or thinking. Then just sang the part.
  7. Zirc


    May 13, 2001
    Los Angeles
    It's hard to do if you aren't root note bashing, which is why I don't sing.

    Try just practicing it over and over.
  8. heh stupid guitarist... oh well anyone else around here sing?
  9. Play less..............sing more.

    That means you can usually play fewer notes until you are comfortable. You may realize that you can play less when other people are singing as well.
  10. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    I sing backup in both of the bands that I am in. Not quite the same as singing lead.

    However, in my originals band, I have started singing one of our ballads. It has a fairly complex bassline, including tapped harmonics. Right now I am having to simplify the bass part and concentrate on singing properly. But I have started to add some of the bass parts back in, and in a few weeks, I hope to be singing lead and playing the bass line the way it is on the recording.

    As Lefty said, practice, practice, practice!
  11. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    As StrudelBass said learn each part individually, then try to put them together. I also find it helps to slow things down and then build up to speed.
  12. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    It's good to be able to play the bass line and sing the vocal line apart but the magic is how you put them together.

    Often the vocals will start somewhere off the beat whereas the bass is on the beat - for example, the bass plays on 1 and the vocal starts on the &.

    If you know you can do both parts on their own, how about recording a section of one and playing / singing a section of the other against it? Also, if you're covering a song, listen very carefully to the original. What exactly is going on? A lot of songs are easy to busk after a few listens, but if you concentrate you can spin it round and round, hearing more of what's going on each time.

    It would also be good to record how you do at fitting the two together - if you've fallen into something that suits you and it sounds right, why not stick with that?

    Just a few ideas...

  13. SCH


    May 3, 2002
    San Antonio, Texas
    Years ago I used to play guitar and sing lead, and it was a snap. I started playing bass a few years ago and thought it would be easy to sing lead again. Wrong!!

    Singing lead while playing bass is one of the hardest things I've ever done musically. As everyone else has said, you have to practice a lot. Here's a couple of things I concentrate on when I'm learning to sing a new song:

    (1) Have the lyrics completely embedded in your brain. If you have to think too hard about the words you're going to have problems.

    (2) Keep the bass part as simple as possible (especially at first).

    (3) Don't rush the beat. My anxiety comes up a bit when I'm singing and I have a habit of pushing the beat too quickly. Listen to your drummer and lay back on the beat as much as possible.

    (4) If you lose your place on the bass in the middle ot the song (it happens from time to time), keep on singing and rejoin with the bass at the easiest point for that song. The song might sound a little funky without your bass for a few bars, but if you stop singing while you're fumbling around trying to re-ignite your bass you are in for a major train wreck.

    People who think it's easy to play bass should try singing with one some time. I recommend Sultans of Swing. It took me a month to learn to sing and play that sucker!
  14. all i do is just practise the song with your band so you get the sound of everything until you know it REALLY good. then get your guitarist or whatever to play quitely so you can figure out how to put the lyrics in. once you memorize the basslines and the lyrics so you need not to think, just put them together. its all good...
  15. pigpen02


    Mar 24, 2002
    I'm not very good at it, but i've been improving. One thing that helps is writing sympathetic parts: vocal melody and bass parts don't have to be totally out of sync. Think Sabbath's Paranoid, that's a good example.
  16. lneal


    Apr 12, 2002
    Lee County, Alabama
    Geddy Lee's answer in an old BP mag interview.

    It takes time. I sing harmony and some lead vocals, but even after all these years I still get myself tied up in knots sometimes!

    "The hardest thing in the world to do is sing and play the bass."
    Glenn Campbell, on his brief stint with The Beach Boys.
  17. I suck at singing. However I'm good at playing and singing. I just cannot sing in tune or key or whatever. Anyway I listen to the song if it's a cover that I'm doing. Otherwise I kind of adjust the instrumental to the vocals or vice versa. Just play the bassline over and over like negative said then start singing.
  18. TheLastMinute


    Jun 23, 2002
    I play and sing in a local CT band called my hopes dashed. Its wicked hard at first but the more you do it the easier it gets, as with all things. So just keep on practicing. We just had a show this weekend actually :) . It was so rad. Good Luck.
  19. sleazylenny


    Jun 20, 2002
    Mpls, MN
    I've been singing and playing for quite awhile. Time is what it takes. Start simple. Do songs that require less bass concentration, riding the root. Anything that has real even divisions ( quarters or eigths on the beat).

    Learn to sing the song without the bass in hand to the point where you don't have to think about what the lyrics or melody are.

    When I have to learn something where theres a lot of "rhythmic collision" between the bass and vocals ( it's the rhythms that trip you up, not the melody), I set my metronome slowwwwww and work out the kinks that way.

    Keep at it! We singin' bassists are a valuable commodity. I've beaten better players out of a job because I could sing. And I'm not even THAT good!
  20. thanks alot guys.. im happy i got this kind of input :D
    i guess im gunna keep practicing... if anyone else has an idea to practice i think it will help a bunch of us alot so keep em coming. feels good to know i'm not just retarded and it is a challenge for alot of us bassists to sing :p