Bass in a 3 piece band?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by yamark, Jul 27, 2009.

  1. yamark


    Jun 6, 2009
    Lancaster, KY
    Well, last night, our lead gui**** quit. We are right in the beginning of a long string of August/September gigs and an album release. We have tentatively decided to go three piece.

    On to the question at hand.

    The other guitar is actually very laid back and has a small ego compared to other guitarists. He is actually quite good and would never admit it. He also has pretty darn good Jay Farrar/Neil Young type vocals. The drummer is very tight and tasteful. My bass style is at times very melodic and I like to support the vocal changes along with locking in with the drummer.

    What can I do to help fill space during solo work?

    Any particular bands I should listen to who were 3 piece to get a good example of bass work during solos?
  2. mokkat


    Jan 22, 2008
    John Mayer Trio. Pino Palladino does a great job of doing tastefull fills :)
    RandM and Wfrance3 like this.
  3. coully


    Jul 20, 2009
    Have a listen to Joe Bonamassa live stuff plenty on YouTube), also Jeff Beck e.g. appearance on Clapton's Crossroads 2007, anything by Cream or Free (e.g. Mr Big which you can also find on Youtube) - doesn't matter if the style isn't exactly your bag it's the sentiment that counts!
  4. Our lead gets paid, the rest of us do it for fun. So if we are doing a freezy, nursing home and such, he may not be with us. When he is not there we just do not have a lead break. The vocalist handles all the solo melody work - singing each verse. Everybody sings on the chorus. Works better than you might think.

    Just a suggestion.
  5. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    Listen to what guys in trios do and figure out how to assimilate it to fit your situation. I love playing in trios because it really allows you some sonic space to -

    1) do more to define the tune harmonically (double stops, etc.)

    2) utilize different sounds/effects where appropriate

    3) solo! Your guitarist is going to get sick of hearing himself play all the solos - lobby for doing some of your own and develop a voice.
  6. 9mmMike

    9mmMike Would you happen to have a cookie for me? Supporting Member

    James Gang?
  7. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    A $30 DR-100 Behringer reverb pedal might help, too. Amazing how a touch of reverb makes the bass sound more full. It's not right for every number, but it works pretty well for many of them. I have the DR-100 and it works great.
  8. uethanian


    Mar 11, 2007
    8 string bass?

  9. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Right idea... not sure if the right tool, though, unless the material is lot of driving 8th notes. An octaver (with the high octave dialed in enough to be noticeable but not so much to be obnoxious), would yield a similar effect yet be more conducive to a wider variety of styles. And will cost a lot less than an 8-string as well.
  10. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Inactive Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Guitar solos are over-rated. Tell him to stick to rhythm.
  11. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Agreed. Enjoy the space. Too many bands play too many notes. Someone mentioned John Mayer, listen to his song "Gravity" for a great example of a song having space to breathe. Early Police and early U2 would also be great examples of bands who carved out nice places for themselves despite not having a "lead guitarist" in the traditional sense.

    It sounds like your band is doing originals, so it's not like everyone who listens to you is going to wonder why that lead isn't there on "Sweet Home Alabama." This is a golden opportunity for your band to redefine (or at least, refine) your sound. Once you get used to the space and freedom of not having to work around two guitarists, you may never go back to a four-piece.

    Not to mention, you've each just gotten yourselves a 33% pay raise on every gig!
  12. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois
    I started a thread on this topic: how to make a three piece band work, musically. The thread is about posting links to audio/video clips of TB member's three piece bands and to comment about how the musicians managed the "empty" space.
  13. UncleFluffy


    Mar 8, 2009
    Head Tinkerer, The Flufflab
    Nomeansno? Motorhead? ... er ... Rush?

    A really tight 3 piece is a beautiful thing.
  14. WarriorJoe7

    WarriorJoe7 Inactive

    Mar 12, 2004
    Syracuse, NY
    12 string

  15. Get one of these...
    Bondobass likes this.
  16. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    All of this! ^^^
  17. What about the Who? sure, 4 guys but instrumentally a 3-piece...
  18. shackled


    Jun 25, 2009
    Western NY
    Nirvana on Bleach! :bassist:
  19. I've been in three piece bands most of my life, and the rest are fours with a designated mouthpiece. I have found that following the guitarist in the musical spectrum is the way to go. If they are playing high notes I try to stay in the middle and so on. That way it never sounds hollow. Good [email protected]
  20. LilRay

    LilRay Commercial User

    Dec 27, 2007
    Between my Roscoe and Leather
    Owner: Cockeyed Cow Custom Leathercraft
    Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble Pre 1985 (added keys). One of the Best three piece bands of all time.
    To achieve this IMO Everbody's gotta step it up and "dance" with each other(ie; drum fills/pickups, bass fills/chording, guitar rhythm/lead fills . It's not easy but three good musicians can pull it off and have a baaaad sound. And as an added bonus, three pieces sometime get booked more often being smaller bands/less expensive for customers.

    God Bless, Ray