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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by sam lipsett, May 4, 2015.
bass ideas for playing lead on bass and only 4 strings
play lots of notes?
not a well worded question.
I dunno, play nude?
Errrr play Rush,the bass IS the lead.
Do a forum search for "Royal Blood" and (spelt in full) "Death From Above 1979". Concentrate on the Effects subforum, they should be more receptive.
I wouldn't worry too much about finding the Goldilocks bass for two-piece band rock: play what's most comfortable to you.
My advice is to be open to experimentation with strings - they're relatively cheap to try and have a significant impact on tone and of course matter a lot subjectively feel-wise. I'd do lighter strings if I were you, easier to bend. Try putting together a custom .040 .055 .075 .100 from online string stores that carry singles - in other words, thinner strings (especially the D which is usually the tautarse of the bunch in commonly available sets), except the normallish E.
[EDIT: even going .035 .050 .070 .095 might be worth trying and fun.]
[EDIT2: in the same vein (less tension), also consider short scale (~30" length nut to bridge) basses. Try a couple if shops near to you have them: if you like one, look for opinions here on that specific model and end up getting it, slightly beefier gauges like .045 .060 .080 .105/.110 might work just fine.]
[EDIT3: speaking of short scales, I know you said "only 4 strings" but how about a Squier VI or another Bass VI-type instrument? I use a discontinued OLP MM5 Baritone strung E to E and it's fun for days.]
Anyway, free bump and good luck.
Listen to Bernard Edwards' work on Chic, Sister Sledge, Sheila & B Devotion, Diana Ross albums. That is how you make a four string bass the lead instrument.
Capitalization and punctuation?
I second the effects forum suggestion. I play lead bass on - wait for it - a stock precision bass. To me, lead bass is more about getting the EQ/effects/amplification right, rather than the bass itself.
Also, consider a looper and a synth/midi keyboard pedal (Roland or Moog). It really fills in the bottom end when you're playing leads up high. Both a looper and pedals take some coordination. The looper needs some practice at setting up loops and getting the timing right. Pedals can screw you up if you don't practice with your bass.
As far as leads, get a good octaver and various distortion and overdrive. Some delay/reverb can also bring a fuller sound.
Along with that, there are various vocal harmonizer effects that will help you bring a bigger sound too.
Has anyone tried to achieve a similar effect to Mike Kerr's bass/fake guitar using a Pitchfork instead of a POG2? I understand the limitations that this implies (the POG2 being so much more versatile), but I am thinking of complementing my Boss PS6 with either (Pitchfork or POG2), and before buying I thought asking the community wouldn't hurt.
Pitchfork doesn't have a second out (dry signal) like the POG. You would have to but a splitter to split the signal prior to the Pitchfork, then put a mute switch (TU-2) on the bass signal path.
I do something like that already. My chain starts at the Big Muff Pi, which splits the signal. The dry goes to a Pitchblack tuner (which acts as a bass mute), and from there to the amp. The fuzzed signal goes to the Harmonist, which I'm thinking about replacing with the Pitchfork. The Harmonist's octave up, even when blended to 100%, sounds too chorus-y, if you know what I mean.
I used to play "lead bass" in a really heavy drums and bass project. I used lots of fuzz as well as an occasional wah, stayed pretty busy notes wise, lots of chords too. My drummer was amazing, a far better musician than myself, and we ended up sounding pretty full. Both the drummer and the bassist must break a little from traditional roles in order to have a full, complete sound. Having said that, if you're playing with more than just bass and drums you shouldn't need to get too drastic, just make sure you eq to shine through the mix.
Not a very specific question. I haven't done any bass-only stuff like Royal Dead, et al, but I was doubling my bass for the cover band while we were down a rhythm guitar. I created a mega mute pedal in one of the long skinny pedal cases. I had two switches for each of the inputs. One was a standard toggle on/off mute but the other was a press to hold. Made things a lot easier than double tapping to mute the standard or octave up signal for quick fills.