Bass Quartet

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by rawgreenbean, May 8, 2005.

  1. rawgreenbean


    Dec 27, 2003
    So a bunch of guys I know want to make a bass quartet. It sounds great in theory- but we're not exactly sure how to do that. Have any of you guys pulled off a bunch of basses playing together? What suggestions do you have? Any songs that would work well?
  2. dodgy_ian


    Apr 9, 2001
    Newcastle, UK
    quartet hey, well i've been some bass duo stuff but not any quartet work. i wd say it'd be ace to take some bach quartets or summat and re-arrange them for basses! I'e been doing some bach inventions and they sound great! Bach translates well onto any instrument so i reckon you cant go too wrong starting there!

    I'm guessing you'll need some basses with slightly extended ranges? Prob just one with a low b and one with a high C would do they trick!
  3. pklima


    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    I do three on a regular basis... sometimes three basses plus bassoon or trombone. I write out a melody, chords and maybe a harmony part and we just pull the arrangements out of our ### as we play, like a pickup jazz combo would. We don't decide who's going to play what and often start off by pounding out a riff in unison, then we wander off in different directions. I play double bass (mostly bowed), the other two guys play electric basses with distoriton so that helps separate things. We all use 4-strings in standard tuning but if you can having various tunings/stringings/ranges would help.

    The music is either original slow old-school-death-metal riffs or covers of simple minor-key jazz standards or classical pieces. What style are you thinking of aiming for?
  4. lethifold


    Mar 19, 2005
    It could work, but is there not a chance that it would sound very muddy? Don't get me wrong, it's a great idea, I just think that 4 bass instruments as the only music is flawed
  5. a. meyer

    a. meyer

    Dec 10, 2004
    portland, oregon
    There is a good deal of double bass quartet music out there as well. Check for starters.
  6. No relation to me. It shouldn't be that muddy when they all go through different amps.
  7. My band Tribalistic Dayze, has just recently added a second bassist. The complaint was that I tend to play my bass like a guitar. I do have to say It's true. I play a 4-stringer. so we added a 5-string to carry the bottom. We don't play any classical we accually play all originals. If you play in more than one register there is no reason that it won't work. If you all play in the low register even a fifth can sound bad. say low B and F# has a really muddy sound, but if you change the interaval from a fifth to a 12th it gets a little cleaner. The greater the ineraval the cleaner the sound will become. Also the higher the register your're playing in the closer the interavals you will be able to play cleanly. I've been learning stuff like this from the Ted Greene book Single Note Soloing for Guitar. But theory applies to all instruments. I started on clarinet/bass clarinet, worked my way to guitar and ended up on bass. I like the bass instruments best BBb Contra Bass Clarinet was my favorite in the clar. family. Bass is fav in the String family. multiple register is the key to the sound. you're looking for. :bassist: Rock the Basses
  8. pklima


    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Yeah, narrow intervals can sound muddy. They can sometimes be used to good effect but shouldn't be overdone. Playing in unison also shouldn't be overdone... it sounds huge but if you do it a lot you might as well have one bass and a really big amp.
  9. pklima


    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    By the way I've heard that the Finnish black metal band Barathrum who generally use two bassists have sometimes used three or four on stage... I doubt they had much in the way of fancy quartet arrangements, though.
  10. Time Divider

    Time Divider Guest

    Apr 7, 2005
    Big bottom, big bottom
    Talk about bum cakes, my girl's got 'em
    Big bottom, drive me out of my mind
    How can I leave this behind?