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Bass Solo, Run Away!

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Bobby King, Mar 1, 2008.

  1. Bobby King

    Bobby King Supporting Member

    May 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    --------BASS SOLOS-------

    Jazz band w/upright -- everybody stops but the piano player vamping lightly, the bassist goes way up the neck with a lot of badly intonated poopity poop poop formless twiddling, with optional grimacing & grunting. Bar chatter goes up.

    Hybrid blues-rock w/Rickenbacker -- bassist going off on extended noodling (also in the high register and sounding like pop-pop poopity poopity poop, only much louder, maybe with EFX). Guitar player can't count to 12 and steps in to attempt drunken riff-based call & response pissing match. Drummer rises to the challenge. Organist goes to the bar.

    Funk w/exotic wood plank -- Band drops out except for drums, bass solo sounds like small-screen version of Normandy Invasion, lots of chattering machine gun poppitypoppitypoppitypoppity SLAP. Not as prone to high register noodling though. Mid-neck assault and slightly back-bent posture, right hand/thumb to appear as a flailing blur. Don't attempt to look serene and spiritual doing this unless you are Vic Wooten. Can sound like angry chattering squirrels throwing nuts at a tin roof..... unless you are Vic Wooten.

    Classic Blues w/ Fender P -- There are no bass solos. Don't. Exception: One real slow showpiece grinder at the end of the set...keep the sludgy bottom groove while the rest of the band backs way off so people can marvel at the thick pelvis pushing thump AND the absolute lack of definition in those 30-yr-old BBQ sauce & nicotine - crusted flatwounds. The audience loves to cheer for the quiet kid on the non-flashy instrument. Once.

    Trad. Bluegrass w/ Kay upright (say "string bass" or "doghouse") -- only once per night, and the rest of the band just plays lightly the downbeat chords for each section, the bass player keeps playing the same 1-5 pattern finishing up with a slightly flashy and attention-getting three note ascending run back to one. Pentatonic minor is a hanging offense, eighth notes are edgy.

    Country w/Peavey -- No solos. Ever. Bluegrass is the country version of jazz (chops-focused), if you want a solo go there. Roots are deep, keep them there. Fifths always work in country. Maybe if it's a loose night you can play a solo in "mama don't allow", but it better be the normal boogie-woogie arpeggio. Extended chords invite flying bottles. Keep it Dorian.

    Nu-punk-grass -- hippie guys with fiddles and mandolins and kilts and dobros and dreadlocks and overalls with no shirts and the bass player is a young college symphony guy who met the banjo player at a party and they shared a hand-rolled cigarette and the most amazing tri-tone arco ragas entered the cosmic flow, maaaaaan.......

    Coffee-house w/fretless boutique bass -- Sensitive Singer-Songwriter takes break from introspective lyrical navel-gazing and gives bassist an entire spaciously empty verse in a landscape of pastel wanderey DADGAD-tuned acoustic guitar. Bassist - rip thru some pseudo Jaco Manring cliches - furious Phyrgian fretless smeary honks, growls and noodles, sliding chords with pointlessly overdone clusters of harmonics. Sounds like angry cows in a rainstorm.
  2. envika


    Nov 27, 2007
    Bronx, NY
  3. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Ahhh...so nice!

  4. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    Great read. I love cartoons in prose!
  5. pbass2


    Jan 25, 2007
    Los Angeles
  6. IconBasser

    IconBasser Scuba Viking Supporting Member

    Feb 28, 2007
    Fontana, California
    dude... amazing!!!

    I've actually heard instances of each of those that really does sound like the above description.
  7. Needs to be stickied.
  8. Metal: Wah pedal and fuzz with the gain turned all the way up, psuedo-classical arpeggios played sloppily?
  9. sir juice

    sir juice

    Sep 11, 2006
    London, England

    + enough so that this can get noticed and actually happen
  10. cloren


    Nov 15, 2007
    san francisco
    haha, angry cows in a rainstorm- I can only WISH my bass soloes sounded as awesome as that description
  11. Foxworthy925

    Foxworthy925 Guest

    Feb 24, 2007
    Bay Area, CA
    Genius! Haha, that really is brilliant. Thanks.
  12. Bobby King

    Bobby King Supporting Member

    May 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    What kind of bass? ;)
  13. XtreO


    Jan 2, 2008
    Stupid comment about Cliff, who was no doubt a more accomplished and far more original bassplayer than you will ever be.
  14. Illbay


    Jan 15, 2008
    Houston, Texas
    That's a classic right there!:D
  15. Illbay


    Jan 15, 2008
    Houston, Texas
    Wha...??? :confused:
  16. acleex38


    Jul 28, 2006
    I'm trying to count up how many of those entries I've been guilty of in my life. Or lacked the chops to even aspire to.
  17. JimB52

    JimB52 User Supporting Member

    May 24, 2007
    East Coast
    Bobby King,
    This is a great list. I printed it out and brought it to work and all the musicians and guys in the audio dept were roaring.
  18. Hahaha..you missed the point. Did you read the rest? I don't actually think that, I'm just making a stereotype..never mind. I guess it would have to be with his Ric (is that what he used to record that album?)
  19. ryco


    Apr 24, 2005
  20. Bobby King

    Bobby King Supporting Member

    May 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    I can't take credit for writing that, it came to me in an email from a friend (drummer :) ). I'm just sharing the love.

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