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Anyone here join a band where they weren't the bass player? How did you manage?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by SuperDuperStar, Dec 12, 2005.

  1. Anyone here join a band where they weren't the bass player? How did you manage not being the bass player? I just joined a band as a singer and this is my first project not holding down the low end. The bass player is good but I find myself watching him and listening to what he is playing more than anyone else.
  2. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Banned

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    I was drafted in to sing for a band...I soon left however. I felt my hands were empty on stage, I wasn't grooving. And the bassist was pretty crap too, I ended up quitting after thinking "I could do so much better". The whole thing dissolved soon after.
  3. same here, its weird being on a stage and not playing bass. makes me feel naked
  4. I played guitar for a short side project once. It was definitley weird to be doing something other than bass with a whole band. I did have a hard time dealing with the bassist's tone, mostly, but I tried to tune it out. A Deville 2x12 can really make you forget about how everything else sounds! Unfortunately, the group sucked, me included. It's hard to play guitar while standing, since I sort of hold the bass down with my thumb while I play. Not an option while picking.
  5. If you are a decent vocalist, then I would imagine you would fair pretty well. OTOH, if you are lousy, I suspect your tenure will be short.

    I play bass, guitar, steel guitar and dobro. One guy I play with plays guitar, bass and keys, another plays drums, guitar, bass and lap steel. We mix and match and recruit others as needed. Don't get stuck with one instrument.
  6. cdef


    Jul 18, 2003
    One of my bands I've been in and out of for many years, in various capacities. Played bass originally, then quit in disgust because I was being told what to play by non-bassists. Rejoined on guitar, played that for about two years, but moved back to bass when the slot became vacant. Etc., etc.

    It's been good practice learning the internal workings of all those (200+) songs from more than one perspective. Since the band has turned out to be a very long-term proposition, I've been able to coach subsequent guitarists and show them certain chord inversions, right-hand rhythms, etc., that are sort of required if the songs are to sound right.

    In the early '90s I got the call to play 12-string Leslie guitar behind a lady singer/songwriter. The bass player, also female, was one of the most solid musicians I've had the honor of working with. She was "between basses" at the time, so I said she could borrow mine, and she liked it. It was educational to hear my own axe in the hands of someone else each night, played through different gear and with a vastly different technique. I twigged a few things just watching what she was doing. The gig lasted for about a year, and I enjoyed it. Getting to sing backup was fun, 'cos it's pretty easy to do playing rhythm guitar. I felt like I was John Lennon. It did take a few nights for my bass ears to adjust so they would naturally tune into the guitar range on stage. At first it was like, "Is that me playing?".
  7. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Yeah it feel wierd to play music, and not hold down the low end. But, it doesn't mean I don't have fun doing it.

    I get to play electric guitar about once a month at church. The rest of the weeks I play bass. The folks there really seem to dig it, but I wonder what they would think if they knew the only time I ever play the guitar is at church.

    A couple months ago, I got to lead worship once a week, and involved me singing and playing the guitar. That was fun, but it took a couple of weeks to get used to singing and playing guitar as opposed to bass. Something to do with the right hand motions. But all in all it's easier to sing and play guitar than bass.
  8. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    I played percussion in a band once. The bassist was a flat out BEAST, so I was cool with it. I don't think that I could do that now. I have to have a bass in my hands.
  9. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    I played drums for a southern rock band while I was between bands. It was cool, I had given up drums years before to play Bass, and now I was back where I started out musically. I enjoy the interaction of the Bass and drums, and since I play both I get to see both sides of the coin in that respect.

    I also sang briefly with a modernish rock band (think Pearl Jam, STP etc......) while they searched for a new singer.
  10. trog


    Nov 8, 2003
    I played guitar in a group once, and it felt mightily wierd. The bassist wasn't very good, and his tone irritated me to no end. I found myself listening to him more than to myself.

    ... Yup, bass for me.
  11. Rapscallion2112


    Apr 21, 2004
    I auditioned for a Zappa tribute group on bass, eventually i was being told to do more xylaphone and vibe. parts....

    eventually told them that "man, playin this stuff is fun, but im a bassist, not a percussionist"
  12. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I pray one day that I can just sing in a band and not play bass and lug a big-ass amp around.
  13. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    I played lead guitar in a band about 27 or 28 years ago.
  14. BassChuck


    Nov 15, 2005
    I played French horn for years with various symphony orchestras. I found myself hanging with the bass section 'cause they seemed cooler than the rest of the brass section. Most played BG and a lot knew jazz so we had a bunch to talk about. And besides the bass section had the best weed in the orchestra.