Bassist in Nirvana

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Rick Martin, Jan 9, 2002.

  1. I saw Nirvana on an old SNL rerun. The bass player had his axe hanging way down near his knees. Both of his arms were nearly straight. His right hand was using a pick and his left wrist was so far straight that his thumb was way up over the fretboard. He sounded OK to me, but that type of position sure looks like a hard way to go. I suppose that guy must be used to it. I wonder if he is fretting notes with his thumb too.
  2. When your playing bass lines that simple...
    you can almost play them with your feet.

    Other videos show the Krist with his bass at crouch level and sometimes higher. It depends on how much he actually has to play.

    Goofing off = Knee height
    Seriously playing = higher.
  3. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Style? You call that style? That has nothing to do with style. It's called poor technique. Any player who actually tries to play like that for extended periods of time is going to do one of two things:

    1. Injure him/herself
    2. Never be able to develop into a good player
  4. 1. He injured himself... but that's because he tried to catch his bass with his face :)
    2. I personally think Krist is a "good" player. He's not fantastic, but Nirvana didn't call for fantastic basslines. But they fit Nirvana perfect. Excellent basslines for begginers to learn.
  5. red-hot-bassist


    Sep 18, 2001
    i agree with basegeetar, it's not about taking over a song it's about maing the overall sound good, and some nirvana songs have good basslines, lovebuzz?

    and the riff for negative creep is amazing
  6. *ToNeS*


    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    must we get into this debate about Krist's crappy bass lines yet again?
    search engine, people, it makes the world go 'round and 'round ...
  7. I dont like him I thought he was rubbish. I dont like Nirvana either. so their, plus i dont like the basses he played with. The only time I ever admired the guy on the Unplugged thing they did in NYC for MTV. He was good in that.

  8. "you can almost play them with your feet. "

    HA HA HA!! Thats a pretty funny picture that I get in my head from that ...

  9. lo-end


    Jun 15, 2001
    Anyone who holds a pick wrong deserves no respect.
  10. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Nirvana fans-
    Is it true John Patitucci ghosted the bassline on "Heart Shaped Box"?
    That tune has a 'heavy' bass vibe(in other words, I would be shocked if KN played/composed the part. Sorry).
  11. the bassline for lounge act is a very cool part and it fits the song perfectly.
  12. punkfunkfreak


    Dec 16, 2001
    mr moustache is a good riff to learn,(especially if u decide nt to pick it) lets you know if ure playing with the bass to "far out" if you get what i mean.

  13. I've read some serious rubbish in this thread.
    Where does it say that basslines must be complex to be good? Krist Novaselic's basslines suited Nirvana perfectly. Plus, it was Krist who come up with many of Nirvana's melodies. He also has some great, even McCartney-ish melodic basslines, check out 'Lounge Act' and 'Come As You Are'. Please tell me how a complex Jaco type bassline would suit something like 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' or 'Lithium'? Most of Nirvana's songs are simple, that is ther charm. Its much harder to come up with something that is simple, yet original and very deep, then it is then just to show off to see how complicated you can make a song.
    What do you mean 'hold a pick wrong'? There is no wrong or right way, whichever way works for you.
    Well then, they must be crap. :rolleyes:
  14. downstairs


    May 13, 2001
    Pasadena, MD
    I really like Nirvana, they are my favorite band, and the main reason i started playing bass, i find that the basslines are really good for the music they play (quoting many people there). Krist even made a nice little bass solo in the song "been a son". And most of the time krist didn't play the bass extremely low, but it look like that because he is about 6'7" or something huge. I mean, just because he uses a pic and has a different technique for playing (he might find it comfy to play like that), dosen't mean he is poorly skilled. oh yeah, the song "about a girl" has a catchy melody for playing.
  15. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I didn't comment on the quality of his playing. Rather, I believe that young players try to play like their heros. Obviously, there are some players around here who play because they liked the way he looked or sounded.

    It's not a bad thing to have a "bass hero" and pick up the instrument because of that. But, for those who try to emulate their hero by stringing up their bass down near their knees, they're asking for trouble.

    I doubt that people who choose to stay with the bass guitar truly aim for mediocrity. But, I do believe that if you play with the instrument strung up around your knees, you'll never achieve more than that!

    It's your choice. I won't interfere with that. But I will have an opinion.
  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Shouldn't this be the other way round!! :rolleyes:

    I mean if you took the bass from someone who was 5' 8" and put it on someone who was 6' 7", then it would be up around their neck - not down round their knees! If you were really tall, you would have to get an especially long strap to make it hang round your knees! "Normal" ones would look higher not lower!
  17. downstairs


    May 13, 2001
    Pasadena, MD

    He did have a really long strap, but there was a longer distance from his neck to his waist, then his waist to his knees, he'd look like he was playing lower than he actually was.
  18. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    Because he always crouched?
  19. No, if you have a look at Krist's physique, he has extremely long arms and legs. So while the bass is hanging very low, look at the position of Krist's arms when he is playing, they are in a comfortable position, probably the same position as most other bassists arms when they play, but the bass has to be lower to make room for his arms. If the bass was any higher, he would look awkward.