1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Country Bass tips and pointers

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Jazzkuma, Jul 4, 2012.

  1. Jazzkuma


    Sep 12, 2008
    I have a performance coming up and I am being asked to play some country (both electric and acoustic). I have never played country and I have no idea who to listen to for this stuff.

    Could anyone here experienced in country give me some pointers?

    Also what kind of tone is often asked in country? My main bass is a smith but I have access to P and J basses, not sure if that makes a difference.

    I don't really listen to country either, so I am not sure what to listen to for this.
  2. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012
    I don't partake in country music, in the words of John Cleese ...
  3. Jazzkuma


    Sep 12, 2008
    I see, so im guessing no 3rds, 7ths, and no chromaticism? It sounds like a root+5th exclusively would be the most traditional approach.
  4. funkybass


    Oct 19, 2006
    If you are talking about old country, root-5 with diatonic walkup/down. Newer country is pretty much pop with a little twang.
  5. Country is root five with chromatic runs to the next chord.
    More than that will get you fish eyes from the other guys. Your job is to lock in with the beat and call attention to the chord changes.

    Root on 1 and 5 on 3 will do just about all you need. Now if it is new Country - new Country is like Rock and here 8 to the bar and fuller chord tones come into the picture.

    The lead electric or pedal steel will handle the lead breaks. Root five and chromatic walks to the next chord, if there is a drummer lock in with the kick drum.

    Check out this video Look on the right hand side of the screen for some more Country songs.

    As to the tone, it all started with a stand up double bass, I use some foam rubber at the bridge for that sound. Don't worry about tone the first time out, you'll figure out what is best for the band you will be with.

    Have fun.
  6. Take plenty of caffeine pills (Vivarin, Stay Awake, etc.)with you. And if you're feeling rrreally adventurous, some *crack/*cocaine or *methamphetamine.

    *NOTE- These items are to be strictly used for the sole purpose of staying awake during the gig.
  7. Jazzkuma


    Sep 12, 2008
    cool, thanks a lot, those videos and comments help!

    I guess I will be hanging around the root-5 for a while haha.

    They are actually playing both old and new country, so ill take the pop approach for the new stuff.
  8. Lync


    Apr 13, 2004
    New country is all over the place with great bass playing. Better listen and practice.
  9. Jazzkuma


    Sep 12, 2008
    That would probably go something like this :hyper: :bassist: :confused: :bag:
  10. WilliamJames


    Mar 2, 2011
    Seller of Hand-Knit Strap Pads
    I play almost exclusively country. Folk, bluegrass, southern gospel and classic country/western. All similar to play. I play 90 percent upright.

    Root-five with chromatic runs will work for about half the songs you encounter and sound great. For waltzes, I play the root on the first beat then slap the neck on the next two. Add the run of your choice in between chords.

    A lot of country songs are shuffles where a walking bassline is appropriate
  11. Jazzkuma


    Sep 12, 2008
    i will bump this thread really quick. What is preferred for country? round wounds or flats? or both.
  12. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    Root - Five and a lot of walk ups and downs. Beer helps
  13. old school is flats, but a lot more recent stuff uses rounds. Both sound good to me and I use both in C/W.
  14. Jazzkuma


    Sep 12, 2008
    thanks thats all i needed haha, i guess ill take two basses.
  15. Any strings work for country. It all depends on what style. I'm playing in a outlaw/old school type band. I started using a P with flats switching with my DB for certain songs. Now I ditched the P and am using my Ibanez with rounds and my DB. People might not think it's traditional, but it works for me.

    With rounds I can pluck the more modern songs or mute and thumb pluck the more traditional ones as needed.
  16. Marial

    Marial weapons-grade plum

    Apr 8, 2011
    As long as you get the feel down bass/strings is less important, though you probably want to avoid the treble side of things. Keep your tone mellow and work on the feel. Hank Williams, Waylon Jennings, George Jones, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Buck Owens, Dwight Yoakam... The list is endless regarding who to listen to.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.