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Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by The Juice, Oct 19, 2019.
You're taking this too literally. They'd never come out and say it plain.
I think it's a lot harder to exercise Adam's level of restraint on the instrument, that's real dedication and discipline. He sounds great on those songs, totally agree with you on the tone too.
I would not call a root style bass player unskilled. Like saying a pop/slap bass player is very talented. Leave the lead stuff to the lead guitar. Do you want the guitar playing the bass part?
I actually simplified one of Clayton's lines (Electric Co.) without knowing it, because at the time I didn't respect him enough to even check it out thoroughly. And I do love his line in Exit, which is about as simple as it can get. And I like Gary Garry Beers' line in New Sensation. I just couldn't live playing stuff like that only.
How do you feel about the other stuff happening in the OP's post? The part about not expecting or wanting any creative input, or others determining his place in the mix with no mids...
I'd like to think we can all add something to an ensemble and have enough ears to be able to eq ourselves, but maybe that's just me. I hope not.
[QUOTE="pappabass, post: 23200502, member: 73391" Do you want the guitar playing the bass part?[/QUOTE]
When I'm playing slide bass leads I would be fine with that actually. But I already have another bass player to handle it in many cases.
As far as I understand it, Adam Clayton is not exercising restraint, he just doesn’t have the technique to play a lot. I’m not putting him down, he’s the right bassist for the job.
The real “problem” is that traditional rock and blues-based music is a primitive guitar-based folk music. As such, the instruments tend to have limited and specific roles and parts. In the 70s, boundaries were pushed, and different types of arrangement and instrumentation were tried. IMO we are not in a time when there is much exploration in the instrumental part of rock-derived music, except in some flavors of metal.
When I'm playing slide bass leads I would be fine with that actually. But I already have another bass player to handle it in many cases.[/QUOTE]
Slide bass leads? Is that as awesome as it sounds? Any links?
What informs your opinion?
I'm not a big U2 fan, but I am a fan of Adam's basslines; I think they're beautiful, usually perfect for the songs, and he's 100% locked in with Larry Mullen Jr. It's clear to me that thought and technique went into them. The Edge is making so much noise all over the place, you have to have something simple in the bass register. Same as Eddie Van Halen with Michael Anthony, and there are good reasons why a lot of early metal basslines (Ian Hill for example) are just pumping eighth notes on the root of the chord. The role all of these guys are filling is providing rhythmic weight to the harmony - forward momentum of the chord structure, and a clean floor for the higher register instruments. That's the sound they're collectively trying to make. It seems to have sold some records.
I personally find it hard to not add fills. After 37 years of playing, I see that that's a big part of why these guys are professionals, and I'm a 49 year old technology sales rep with a dad band on the side.
I'd love to hear you perform some of your original compositions. You're probably huge in whatever genre you play in, right? Have we heard of you? [EDIT: never mind, I just found you on Reverbnation. I haven't heard of you. Nice playing, but why aren't you a whole lot busier in some of those Jazz tunes? Because you are creating space. Exactly my point.]
Here's an old one, although it not really represtenative of the way I used slide in gigging jam bands for 35 years or so. I've since sold off that bass and had a new purpose built one made about a year ago that's a lot less brash and can cop dobro and/or pedal steel vibes a bit more readily than the old Bean. I retired from gigging a couple of years ago but still do hope to get some recordings done with my Friday night Bluegrass/Americana jam crew soon.
Been the same way with drummers for years. Jeff Porcaro is probably the best drummer no one ever heard about. Lot's can be said about Steve Smith which reminds of a quote of his...
I was at a clinic with Smith, and during the Q&A, someone asked why he plays the way he did with Journey. His answer was simply "Bread and Butter."
I was once replaced by such a stereotype. My theory is that some guitarists feel threatened by challenge of an interesting bass line.
Cool. Not something I'd listen to every day (I'm much more blues/bluegrass/Americana) but I appreciate anything new, novel and still musical.
Musicians (cough! guitarists) who believe the bass should be in the background musically, as one put in, stagnate and have a revolving door of bassists. Some exceptions would be U2. They must be very good friends plus their music is lyrically driven. I mean c'mon! If that guy was to suddenly leave the band would they call it quits because they can't replace him, like Led Zep? I don't think so. Even the Stones replaced Bill Wyman.
I actually did it as a goof on a former very prolific poster's comments on fEARful cabs being "polite." My current direction with the slide is more Derek Trucks/Ben Harper inspired, and the last time I took it public I sat in with an open mic house band and did a Beatles tune and a few other soft rock-ish things. They called me up in lieu of a lead guitarist for their feature set, and there were several really good lead guitar players in the house. As with anything out of the box, you need the other people on stage to buy in, and the house band bass player was more than happy to play the supportive role. BTW, I don't see this as being all that novel, Phil Lesh was doing it back in the mid-60s.
I'm of a mind that the bass/drum team is the critical backbone of any band. I didn't spend my life learning scales and chord structure to be relegated to roots and quarter notes. If they don't want an assertive bassist that locks up tight with the drummer and drives the band, I walk away. If I see their YouTubes before the audition and they're lame, I cancel. I make it clear that the audition process is a two way street, that I'm auditioning them as well.
I wasn’t trying to personally insult either you or Adam C. My opinion is informed by an interview I read where Bono said that when they first got together, Clayton couldn’t play at all. They didn’t know why things sounded bad until they realized he wasn’t playing the right notes. Maybe Bono was exaggerating, or the interview was fake, and I’m sure he’s hugely improved since then. But I stand by my bold claim of thinking that I might recall reading something like that somewhere. I think.
I think his 8th note riding style is perfect for the band and sounds good. I would not call any of it beautiful, more workmanlike. But that’s what’s called for in that style, anything more would be distracting. I was just saying that Adam has the right amount of technique for those lines, and play them well. If he has much more that he never uses, then I would stand corrected. But after all it’s just an opinion from a nobody.
And I was in no way meaning to imply anything about my own skills, believe me. All my comments were purely about what I like to hear as a listener, and I do enjoy U2 in small doses. As far as my playing, I do in fact try to use space as best I can. I’m a work in progress, as are we all. I sometimes play too much. Or too little. I sometimes fail because my technique isn’t up to realizing something I heard and stupidly went for. Sometimes my ear just isn’t good enough to find the right thing to play. I do play fewer fills than I used to. According to TB wisdom, that is a good thing, but I go back and forth on that. Unlike Clayton, I have not found that perfect blend of technique/style/genre. I doubt I ever will even come close, but I keep plugging along.
Yes, that is what "Bono" has said. However, "Bono" is a singer. By his own admission, when they started he couldn't play guitar and he still can't. He writes the lyrics for U2 songs. Contrast with Adam Clayton who has taken piano lessons starting at a young age, is self taught on guitar and bass, in the break after Zooropa went to NYC for formal training, and is a sought after bassist for other projects. Clayton and "the Edge" write the music.
So, consider the source.
In that case the song has to really really shine on the point and stress the story telling
Maybe Bono works on the Boss's Principle that anything he doesn't understand or have to do is by definition easy.
Phil Lesh was a trumpet player before he hooked up with the Dead. Paul McCartney was a guitarist who had never played bass, didn't own one and couldn't even afford one when Sutcliffe dropped out. Good musicians can be quite fluid on instruments. Assuming Clayton was a good musician with both natural talent and drive and a pre-existing understanding of music, he probably could pick up bass quite quickly, so I too doubt that Bono's opinion means much. (Besides which, the man bought a first class ticket to fly out his favorite hat; I cannot take seriously anything the man says.)