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black gospel bassist

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by philwill1, Nov 16, 2002.


  1. philwill1

    philwill1

    May 11, 2002
    Clinton, KY
    Hey all, are there any black gospel bassist out there on the forum. I play in small black baptist churches. And I am looking for help on some old school traditional congregation songs like "Pass Me Not" "Down at the Cross" and stuff like that. There are tons of great bass players in church who no one knows and have not been heard. If there are any on the forum give me a holla. Would love to her from you and to get some pointers from you. Also love quartet and contempary gospel players too.
     
    Gospel Bass Player likes this.
  2. bassmanjones

    bassmanjones

    Feb 23, 2002
    Boston, MA
    I played in a Baptist church in Nashville for a few years. To be honest it's where I really learned to play. For the old stuff I mostly just did a lot of blues things (walk ups/downs, etc.) since the old gospel is just blues with a lot of talk about God. :D
     
  3. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Maybe you could explain something to me, guys - I see these fine gospel/religious bassists in "Bass Player" magazine and they have massive volume amps, like the biggest SWR's. And they use wonderful basses, like F Basses.

    Are they trying to send people to "The Maker" with volume???

    I would think you wouldn't need high end gear in a church, but, obviously, I'm mistaken. :confused:
     
  4. SuperDuck

    SuperDuck

    Sep 26, 2000
    Wisconsin
    Why WOULDN'T you think that? What should they play, washtub basses? :D (I bet a washtub bass would look good with cocobolo top...hmm... ;))

    I'm not seeing your logic/point here.


    BTW, post #2222. Sweet.
     
  5. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    Those guys that you read about in Bass Player are also playing very large venue gigs. They actually tour and play large concert halls and things of that nature.

    You don't need high end gear in a church or anywhere you play if you really think about it. Right? ;) But alot of those gospel cats are phenominal bassists and I would imagine some actually get endorsement deals as well.

    According to the beauro of labor statistics 2 out of 3 working musicians are employed by churches. (thats just some food for thought on the stats)
     
  6. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Duck - See Cassa's post. It explains it to me very well. I was raised in the Catholic church and sang in the choir.

    We didn't "rock" at all!!!
     
  7. witness

    witness Supporting Member

    Jan 31, 2002
    Arizona
    I am a black gospel bassist, but in my church and many of the churches I've been to, we don't do those older songs so traditional anymore, its definately a different flavor to the music in these times, the words are still giving God praise, but the music is a combination of all different styles, hence the words (Gospel Music) is form.

    Roc
     
  8. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    I used to have to endure many a Catholic Mass. I always thought the music at them was (and not to be rude), but very lame and overall boring. Where as its supposed to be uplifting and cheery. I havent been to a Catholic Mass in years now, but a few people Ive talked to said that they are starting to go the live praise band route like many other churches have.
     
  9. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    NO douby, Cassa. Most of our stuff was Gregorian chant, (or as we called it, "Borebore-ian chant").

    Handel and work like that was a relief.


    Check out Jeff Rader's rig and his basses. He plays mainly in his church and his gear stable looks like something some A-1 rock star would have!!! He's got megawatts!!!
     
  10. joseph moore

    joseph moore

    Nov 24, 2001
    waldorf, md
    I play in a majority black church. Gospel music has changed so much, that I use several different styles to play. From walking bass lines,jazz ,or otherwise,to slap-pop. Being that we don't use printed music, I go totality by ear. Church bass is a great place to train the ear. I also stand behind the drummer. When regular songs are played we give the keyboard boys their space(they told us they have the most important instruments in gospel)but when the shout comes on, the spirit flows through us, we take over and shut them down!
     
  11. Benbass

    Benbass

    Jan 28, 2002
    Kansas
    I hope this won't offend any one, but I think that if you're playing for God then you should be giving it 100%. You should be using the best equipment available. Practicing as much as possible so that you'll sound your best. I consider it an honor to be able to play in Church. I don't get paid for it though I hope that one day it will be a full time paying gig. I don't have any endorsements, but I do own one very nice bass. Which I paid for out of my own pocket and it didn't affect my tithing any.

    I don't think it's a sin to have nice things(God blessed Solomon with an abundance) as long as you recognize that in the end it's all God's to do with as he chooses. I don't know why christian music can sometimes be a lower art form these days. A lot of the great classical music and some of the most well known art works were created in honor of God. Well I hope you have enjoyed my sermon :D And I wish I could help with the original thread question.
     
  12. SuperDuck

    SuperDuck

    Sep 26, 2000
    Wisconsin
    Oh man, I know how that goes. When I was young(er) and regularly went to my Catholic church, we had the same kind of worship. When they instituted the new "rock" band at the 10:00 mass, it cause quite the uproar.

    Currently I'm playing bass at this non-denominational church, and while it's nice and all, I find myself going to Mass on Saturdays. I find Mass a lot more fulfilling. I understand what you were saying, though, those kind of rigs would seem a tad out of place. I've seen some of these big, production-type services, and, man, they go all out! Full multi-media, top of the line sound systems, etc. Quite a difference from the 50-100 person Mass. :D
     
  13. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    One of my friends has the nicest F bass collection I've seen. He's also a Gospel bassist. He's on the F bass website.

    I guess the thing you have to keep in mind is that the people you see in BP aren't limited to playing small gigs... they're pros who play to huge crowds, like some other pros do (if they're lucky;)). Given that, I'd be surprised to see anything else. Most of these players are at the top of their game.
     
  14. BassLand

    BassLand

    Mar 20, 2000
    Lost Angeles
    Hi All,

    A fitting topic for Sunday morning. I will leave home for church in 20 mins so I will try to make this brief. When I worked for Tobias Guitars in the 80's, we attracted a lot of the gospel crown of bassplayers thanks to Andrew Gouche and Freddy Flewellen. Freddy was the first bassist who used our instruments in gospel. Freddy worked for James Cleveland and for a time Andre Crouch. Gouche wrote the theme for (the name escapes me) the gospel comedy starring the guy who played George Jefferson on the Jefferson. This show also starred Clifton Davis (who wrote a hit record by the Jackson 5, sorry more trivia than necessary). Anyway, Gouche took over the Andre Crouch bass position. Fgom these two guys a lot of other gospel guys HAD to get t Tobias bass...

    I had never really played too much gospel when I was back east (I did a tour of the south with Virginia Reeves and the Reeves singers and a couple of gigs with Linda Hopkins). My main problem with gosple when I was playing it back then was it was too traditional. I wanted to play modern stuff but it had not happened yet. Gospel (IMO) had to change to get with the young people, to get them to come back to the church. I really marvel at how bad (in the good way) some of the young gospel players are today and how the bass is at the center of it IMO. It was not too different with really old school gospel. You had those 16' organ pipes growling back then.

    These days I play in the Pasadena Church of Religious Science, and we play less traditional and some jazz.
     
    Gospel Bass Player likes this.
  15. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    I'm not offended by what you said, but I think that if you're jamming for Jesus, then he wont care if you have a $6500 Fodera Emporer Bass, with an XST 4x10 set up or a $100 piece of junk rogue run through a Gorilla amp. I do agree with the practicing as much as possible bit of it though. Although I dont think God cares if you hit a few bad notes either.
     
  16. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    You just described my first setup, although a Rogue would have been a better bass. And it sounded less than godly...
     
  17. jazzbo

    jazzbo

    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    You should be giving 100% regardless of whom you're playing for.
     
  18. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Well, I imagine Heaven's a pretty tough "room."
     
  19. Understatement of the year. Jaco, Entwistle, Hendrix, Jamerson. The list goes on!
     
  20. Benbass

    Benbass

    Jan 28, 2002
    Kansas
    I don't think God is so much concerned with the price tag on our equipment either. I was simply saying that we should give our best in terms of equipment and playing. If someone's best is a Rogue bass run through a gorilla amp then so be it. I've seen guys that sound better on a Rogue than I do with the Fodera.:D I just need every advantage I can get!! I'm glad to see these type of threads popping up.