Bass-only songs that are crowd pleasers

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by fender4, Jun 17, 2003.

  1. fender4


    Mar 22, 2002
    There is a bar near my apartment that hosts an "open-mic" night once a week. I went last night, and honestly, I was pretty disappointed. HUGE crowd, but the music was boring and the audience really didn't seem to respond.

    I thought it would be fun to try it next week with some songs that could be pulled off solo (with me doing vocals and bass). Here's my first thought:

    "Some Kind of Wonderful" - Grand Funk Railroad

    I admit there would be a little humor involved since this song is not the typical open-mic song at this bar, but I think the crowd would respond. You gotta love GFR. Any suggestions?

  2. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Louisiana, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    I played Michael Manring's "Music for Armchair Funambulists" for a friend, and she loved it. She's not a musician, either. I don't know if you're at the point where you could play something like that (would especially be hard without a hyperbass), but try some of Manring's stuff. "Funambulists" is available for download on . Stuff that was written for solo bass would probably be the way to go, since most people don't just want to listen to basslines all night. I've done a few covers of full-band songs solo, and they've come out well.

    Edit: I played a recording of MFAF for my friend; thought I should clear that up. I can't play it, and don't have a fretless. Maybe I'll take a stab at it sometime, when I have a fretless.
  3. funkyNeohyte

    funkyNeohyte Guest

    Jun 8, 2003
    las vegas, nv
    three songs that sound good with just bass and voice that i can think of off the top of my head are:

    crash into me - dave matthews (may not seem like it, but listen again the bass holds that whole song down)

    give me one reason - tracy chapman (just a good riff)

    ain't no sunshine - bill withers (great improv capabilities)

    makes me want to holler - marvin gaye

    you'll have to forgive me, i am very new to the bass (7 weeks), so all the songs i mentioned have very simple bass lines (still working on the chops), but the lyrics/basslines of those songs work very well together. i may be new, but i know peanut butter and choclate when i taste it.
  4. Bryhey


    Mar 23, 2002
    Ft. Myers, FL
    Walking on the Moon - Sting and the Police

    (did a cover of that on my and my bass)

    Stand By Me - sounds great..easy bassline, and you can def. move up the speed if you want

    Wish You Were Here - Incubus

    Easy little number that is very poppy...

    those are the only ones that come to my mind at 2 am est...

    good luck

  5. g4string

    g4string Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX

    That Marvin Gaye is called "Inner City Blues", not "Makes Me Want To Holler". :bassist:
  6. funkyNeohyte

    funkyNeohyte Guest

    Jun 8, 2003
    las vegas, nv
    spaced the name for a second.
    been playing it for the last hour though.
  7. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    Stu Hamm - country music.

    Check out some of his live 'impossible' solos
  8. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    That's a great song - it won the award for 'Best Audience Response' at our gig last Friday :D (small jazz club in Central London)... it was the one they all started singing along with.

    There's no dead cert answer to what will work - it depends very much on who's in the crowd and what mood they're in; when we played the same venue, with essentially the same sets at the end of May, it was Maxwell's 'Ascension' that took the 'award' instead.

    What kind of tunes were being done by the performers you saw last week? Did you hear anyone shouting out requests? Did they look like an audience who would appreciate a solo bass arrangement of 'Freebird'? ;)

    Give it a shot with something you're confident on and let us know how it went.

  9. Funkster


    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    Another one bites the dust by Queen always goes over huge. Or maybe the Crunge by Zeppelin goes well for us and it's about 85% bass
  10. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Big Bottom - Spinal Tap

    Threee players, three basses!
  11. fender4


    Mar 22, 2002
    Good ideas, everybody! I think this crowd is pretty easy to please, so I might just pick three songs and give it a shot. I think it would go over well simply from a novelty standpoint. Good grief...they really needed some variety the other night.


    P.S. Maybe this will give me inspiration to learn that Stu Hamm stuff! Give me a few more years :bassist: .
  12. g4string

    g4string Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX
    "Linus and Lucy" or also known as the theme from Peanuts.
  13. Steeler's Wheel - Stuck in the middle with you.
    Stevie Wonder - Superstition.
    Lord Only - Versatile Residue ;)

    You can snag a lot of nice transcipts over at Look under the lessons and featured artists. There's even a transcription of Michael Manring's version of Purple Haze if you're feeling brave.
  14. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    I don't know any songs that go over well in crowds that are EXCLUSIVELY bass.

    You could give "Longview" by Green Day a shot though.
  15. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    Pulling from my own bands' setlists here:

    "Aeroplane" by Red Hot CHili Peppers is bass driven.

    So is "Treat Her Like A Lady" by Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose.

    Here are a couple other crowd-pleasers in which the bass part could be emphasized:

    "Play that Funky Music", Wild Cherry
    "Standin' on Shaky Ground", Temptations (and others)
  16. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Nirvana - Lithium
  17. Chilli Peppers - Higher Ground,Get up and Jump,Can't Stop...all that jazz:)

    umm,what else?

    Chic- Good Time

    Star Spangled banner to start it off...all that good stuff

  18. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    Anesthesia - Pulling Teeth. Cool little bass solo spot.
  19. ERMAL


    Jun 20, 2003
    San Antonio, TX
    How about "Fever" by Peggy Lee, Elvis,'s great with nuttin' but da bass
  20. Donkeybass


    May 13, 2003
    Odessa, TX
    A song that we have always played is

    Cake - I will Survive

    Its a fun little bass groove, and our lead guitarist doubles all of the trumpet parts. And I guarantee everyone will know at least the chorus!!