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ASKING for bass solos???

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by unbridled, Mar 18, 2018.

  1. A good solo whether on a piccolo, a bass, or a zither is a good solo.
    And a good soloist on any instrument can connect with an audience, and bring a crowd to its feet.
    This usually means thinking a bit out out side of the (bass) box, thinking as a total musician, as opposed to just a back up bass role, and dumbing oneself down.
    I agree many bassists have a hard time with solos, because that bassist must actually take the time to learn to construct a solo, learn what makes a good solo, know the entire fingerboard and play to the room (which may mean up above the dreaded 2nd octave part). A solo is also not just a bunch of rumbly fast notes.
    And I'd much rather hear a good bass solo, than some guitarist who only know how to Wank.
    Wisebass, ElGoodo and JRA like this.
  2. Miker27607


    Jan 3, 2015
    Raleigh NC
    I love the bass, and have been playing since I was in 7th grade, but man I do not like a bass solo. Even hearing a genius like Geddy or Jaco or even (gasp) John Entwistle can get tedious. I do like how John Paul Jones would add little licks into his bass lines, but after a few seconds, I'm ready for other instruments...
  3. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    just take a solo. good luck expanding your horizons/chops. :thumbsup:
    Wisebass likes this.
  4. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    Still confused about how you are commenting how he automatically assumed he wanted me to sing because no one asks for bass solos anymore. Is this about a vocal solos, or bass solos? Or both?

    Anyway, he's violating a basic principle -- When you ask someone to do something, make sure you wait for an answer. I always ask someone if they are willing to do x before I ask them -- unless clear judgment shows me they would say "yes" if simply asked to do it without getting permission first. For example, the keyboard player who is the best in town and has been playing jazz for 20 years. It's a no brainer he'll do a solo if called upon mid-song. Now, a new guy just learning the standards, I'd ask him first out of courtesy.
  5. dbase

    dbase Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    South Jersey, USA..
    I had to learn the bass solo in Sade's "Smooth Operator" .. Wasn't too hard, I got thru it... but please, no more bass solos, it draws the audiences attention to me.. I like to play in the corner out of sight. . ;)
    cchorney, mikewalker, Panther and 2 others like this.
  6. Mdrummey


    Oct 18, 2015
    Nashville, TN
    Have fun taking a solo. Nothing wrong with it all!

    You don’t have to be Hadrien Feraud to connect with the audience either. You can even just play the exact same bassline to the song sometimes!

    Id recommend watching some videos for inspiration. Jimmy Johnson is a favorite of mine. He always plays something that is melodic and tasteful.
    juggahnaught and unbridled like this.
  7. Tom Howland

    Tom Howland Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    I don't need to take a solo......But if they want one, then I'll dam well give them one. Relax and have fun. go with it.
    unbridled likes this.
  8. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    A crack piano player with 40 years of experience told me he thinks "bass solos are so the audience can return to their conversation". I do notice that people who really appreciate jazz listen to bass solos, particularly if you can get the tension and release going, but it requires a really good drummer to complement what the bass player is doing. And a lot of listening.
    Bassbeater likes this.
  9. dan1952

    dan1952 Commercial User

    Jun 27, 2012
    Anderson IN
    Artist Endorsement with Supro Huntington Basses / Owner, Dan's Music, Inc..
    Yup, other than maybe trading fours, I don't want to hear bass solos. Not JPJ, not Ray Brown, not Jack Bruce, no one, thanks!
    SpyderX and Bassbeater like this.
  10. Bassbeater

    Bassbeater Guest

    Sep 9, 2001
    People are always asking for things they don't really want or need. I consider playing a bass solo in anything but a jazz environment something like musical suicide.
    Miker27607, Urich_jr and unbridled like this.
  11. jeffb28451

    jeffb28451 Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2006
    Leland NC
    I was playing in a classic/ country band when bl told me to solo. I still carried a big board, I I hit the
    Envelope filter and did a “Bootsy” riff best I could. That ( neither event) ever happened again.
  12. unbridled


    May 26, 2005
    Endorsing Artist-Compton Compensated Custom Bridges (for Gretsch 6ers)
    I'm talking about mid-song. No biggie.
  13. DavC


    May 17, 2005
    Tallmadge , Ohio
    do some George Benson type riffs , singing / playing together ... then 'take it away' BL ..
  14. MichelD


    May 19, 2014
    Just do the same thing I do: Play exactly the same line you do during the song, only louder.
    mikewalker likes this.
  15. alembicguy

    alembicguy I operate the worlds largest heavey equipment Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    If you think a bass solo is boring or not needed or that's when everyone leaves to get a drink then by all means stop playing them cause obviously you are doing them wrong.
    bkbirge and aprod like this.
  16. aprod


    Mar 11, 2008
    I didn't know so many bassists are afraid of solos. How can you call yourselves musicians if you can't solo? Ya'll need to shed.
    Wisebass, Passinwind, ElGoodo and 2 others like this.
  17. Bassbeater

    Bassbeater Guest

    Sep 9, 2001
    I'm not afraid of my competence to solo, I'm afraid of the decision to solo as it affects the audience experience. I'm not there to serve my own ego.
    ElGoodo likes this.
  18. ElGoodo


    Nov 27, 2017
    Austin TX
    I never used to play bass solos. If the BL asked for one I would just shake them off and pretend I didn't understand what they were asking for. IMO, it is never really a good idea unless you are named Stu, Stanley or Victor.

    Then I started playing as a duo with an acoustic player/vocalist that doesn't solo at all. Now I find myself playing little melody lines where the electric guitar player would normally be playing the solo just to liven it up and fill in the space. She holds down the rhythm and it gives me that freedom. It is actually pretty fun as long as I don't over-play it. It is definitely song specific though. Like if I am holding it down on Blue Bayou, I don't even think about it. I just lock it down on the groove and she sings a tasty little melody line where the guitar player would normally play a solo.
    Bassbeater likes this.
  19. Medicine Man

    Medicine Man

    Apr 10, 2015
    I'll take some solos. The question is, who's gonna hold down the pocket while I do.
    Bassbeater likes this.
    baSfo, mikewalker and Bassbeater like this.
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