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define "bass solo"

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by hanx, Apr 25, 2009.

  1. my mate is the bass player in a hair metal band. He reckons he has a "solo" in one of their songs, i reckon it doesn't count. At least one, possibly both, of the guitars are still playing, and the drums. He thinks it still counts as a solo since the bass is most prominant. I think a solo is supposed to be well... solo, maybe some simple drums but certainly no guitars.

  2. I define a bass solo to be when the bass is providing the main melody during a certain part. Usually an instrument that is soloed is louder in the mix and is prominent over the other instruments at that time. Just my $.02
  3. RedLeg

    RedLeg Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2009
    Kaiserslautern, Germany
    Nov Shmoz Ka Pop?
    most bass solos are played solo (so low) no one even notices them:). However a solo does imply that the other instrumentation will "get out of the way" of the soloing instrument; otherwise it sounds like a really complicated bass line that everyone else wished they could have heard more of, but instead sounds like gobbledygook.
  4. Kuchar


    May 31, 2006
    i think there can be guitars, just depends what the guitar is doing
  5. Korladis

    Korladis Banned Supporting Member

    I actually have two bass solos in one of my band's songs. In the middle, the guitar goes clean and I go on distortion and play fairly loud. The second solo is at the end and both instruments are clean, but I'm doing a melody whereas the guitarist is just playing arpeggiated chords.

    A bass solo is like a guitar solo. It can be accompanied or not, but the bass the main focus at that point in the music.
  6. PBass101


    Jul 3, 2008
    The bass plays when a guitar solo's, doesn't it?

    Why should guitar players stop playing just because the bass player is playing a featured part?
  7. I would say something like this
  8. rarbass


    Jul 3, 2008
    The soloist is simply more prominent, anything else happens to be background at that point. If the guitarist is soloing over the bass solo, doesn't count.
  9. Stickk


    Sep 2, 2008
    I hoped that I would never see that solo again. Why'd I click the link?
  10. Fourboardplayer


    Dec 19, 2006
    Off the cuff examples of bass solos:

    1. The Beatles' "Come Together" (the opening riff is really a thematic hook AND a groove element during the verse)
    2. Aerosmith's "Sweet Emotion" (the intro and in the middle)
    3. Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl" breakdown bass solo in the middle
    4. Tom Petty's "American Girl" at the intro

    Off the cuff (without cueing these songs up) I believe these songs, and countless others, demonstrate bass solos with the rest of the band playing underneath. The solo's are, of course, structured and not-improvised, but they ARE solos.

    I look at it this way: if I was a trombonist in a big-band and had these exact same riffs, I'd have to be standing up playing the riffs while everyone else sat. That's a solo. (This is kinda tongue in cheek).

    Basically, when the bass gets that melody/theme/motif riff and no one else in the band is playing that melody/theme/motif, then IMO that IS the solo.
  11. ErebusBass


    Feb 20, 2008
    Madison, WI
    Does the bass stop during the guitar solo?
  12. nothumb


    Sep 20, 2006
    9 times out of 10 i'd define it as a bad ****in idea
  13. Wow!!! Sometimes I wonder how these guys get these gigs like that. I guess image is more important than talent, at least in Michael Anthony's case.
  14. well everything else stops for the drum solo in in-a-gadda-da-vida
  15. Fourboardplayer


    Dec 19, 2006
    This could be described as just one kind of soloing...
    ...but it's more live show theater. And cynical side of me just calls it wankin' off.
  16. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    yeah, because after all, in guitar solos, everyone stops playing but the guitarist.

    no? :eyebrow:
  17. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    Yeah, thats one song, now, think of the countless guitar solos in rock music.:rolleyes:
  18. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Are you seriously saying that THIS is your yardstick for comparison?

    You picked a single,30+ year old song that's not really the arbiter of anything as what you judge and define a solo by?
  19. PegLegG


    Apr 26, 2009

    Hey all, I'm the above mentioned "mate...in a hair metal band." I agree that when it comes to bass solos, the guitars usually drop out for at least a bar or two, but in this case they're playing the same repetitive riff that can be soloed "under" (its quite treble-y, so the bass part stands out under it, if that makes sense). The classical definition of a solo was that it was the only instrument playing, but these days it usually just means the soloing instrument is brought to the front of the mix.

    for drum solos the guitars kinda have to stop or it will sound more like an extended drum fill rather than a proper solo, as drums can't play melodies that sound distinct when played against a rhythm guitar part...but that's just my opinion
  20. excane

    excane Banned

    Aug 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    A few wrong notes, played with grace and refinement.

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