Bassist on Black fretless stuff

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Jerry J, Mar 18, 2004.

  1. alotabass

    alotabass Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2005
    New Jersey New York
    With a 5 string this is not an issue at all.

  2. bstringrandy

    bstringrandy Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2004
    Jacksonville, FL
    As another data point, check out the Black Velvet cover done by Melissa Etheridge.

    It's in Eb as well and very cool!
  3. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    That's great, but I play a 4.

    It's never been an issue with this song though cause I've never been in a band with a female singer, so it's never been part of our show.
  4. alotabass

    alotabass Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2005
    New Jersey New York
    Do you know which one of her CDs this is on. I would love to hear it.

  5. john_g

    john_g Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    Oh Im not going to be replaced thats for sure. And since we have TONS of other songs that require different tunings (according to the singers range), a half step up should be no problem. Moot anyway because my singer already said she can do it in E, and since we are playing another song right after this one that will require the fretless and normal tuning, I wanted to spend the least amount of time tuning on stage as possible. It has nothing to do if I can play it in Eb or not...just practicality.
  6. bstringrandy

    bstringrandy Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2004
    Jacksonville, FL
    Not sure which album it was on. I pulled it off of iTunes or Limewire awhile back. :cool:
  7. JTE

    JTE Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    I think the title was just her name. I bought the cassette when it came out so we could learn the song. The rest of the album was putrid, just awful. Reminede me immediately of Keith Richards' description of a lot of albums in the '60s. He said they (including eary Stone's albums) were "... the hit single and ten tracks of $#!&"

  8. I hope nobody in the band suggested everyone tune down for one song. Talk about a momentum killer. If that is what it comes down to, then you'd be better off playing it in E (or even the D option someone mentioned, the only tuning change is the bass E string - that's fast), or just shelving the song.

    Well, it is an option.....just a bad one. ;)
  9. john_g

    john_g Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    That was my initial thought too, and really only because its a half step up and we have a very good singer. If it was in D or something like that I would just detune no problem. But to make four other people switch guitars or retune in the middle of a set for a half step? Momentum killer for sure.

    Anyway, enough of this sidetrack and back to the topic.
    Skeezix likes this.
  10. ZonGuy


    Sep 2, 2007
    I had to pick this song up for a XMAS gig and I started out thinking it was a detuned fretless 4, but I wound up learning it with a Warwick Thumb 5 fretted in Eb. I remember the choice of left hand fingering was important to nail the slurs. I also remember the tuning was a little off Eb on the opening, which made me even more convinced at the time that it was a detuned fretless. Suprised to see it was a synth.

    BTW..when I got to the gig (no rehearsal) we did it in E per the guitarist's request.
    Skeezix likes this.
  11. countwebula


    Nov 4, 2009
    Hello fellow bassists, apologies for the late posting but I just stumbled across this thread.

    I can confirm 100% that the bass on Black Velvet is a sample of a fretless bass. It was played by the producer Dave Tyson. I believe it was an Akai S900 Sampler

    How can I be sure? I played the bass guitar on the record, appeared in several videos and toured with Alannah in the late 80's.

    BTW the bass referred to in the Black Velvet video is a foam green Warwick -- that bass was not used in the recording.

    On stage I used a hip shot on the E string to deal with Eb issue.

    ChaZam, bdplaid, Jerry J and 4 others like this.
  12. jerry

    jerry Too old for a hiptrip Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    Thanks for that, and welcome.
  13. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    Very cool info, indeed! Welcome to TB countwebula.
  14. Cool of that guy to drop in and comment.

    I played in a band where there was a high turnover of players (bandleader was very difficult to work with). He took all songs that were in flat keys and moved them up or down a half step, just in case a new player couldn't hack playing in Eb or Bb, it would be easier for them to play in E or A.

    So we did this song in E. When that line came up, I went to the bridge PU on my Fender Marcus and hit a chorus pedal with a pretty thick setting to imitate the synth/"fretless."
  15. theduke1

    theduke1 Supporting Member

    Dec 22, 2010
    Sussex WI
    Can anyone who plays this song tell me what the notes are in the triplets?
  16. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Key doesn't matter - they tuned to E flat. I played it with a band that decided to do it in the original key - thank dog for my detuner.
  17. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    Central Ohio
    Cool thread. This is an awesome bass groove, and only on TB would the cat who played the studio part post up.

    I haven't had the pleasure to cover this tune in a while. But, I have covered it with 5 string and 4 string basses with the HipShot. In fact, I've used the HipShot detuned to both Eb and D; so, my fingering recollections are somewhat all over the place.

    But, this is what I hear and play:
    The opening hook is a slur from the flat 5, A, to the Ab to start the descending minor third resolution. That passing tone A becomes the target for those triplets which descend chromatically; and I play 1st(F#-B-(B ghost)) 2nd(F-Bb (Bb Ghost)), leading into the opening hook A-Ab-Bb-Eb. Just to be clear, the triplet figures are descending 5ths.

    Hope that helps.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2017
  18. slagheap

    slagheap Suspended

    Dec 23, 2011
    great to read this. i never gave much thought to the production stuff, but i worked on the line a lot - i think i nailed it, as they say, note for note, lol. it is a cool line, more to it than immediately meets the ear!

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