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Demystifying Metal styles, how to make fingerstyle playing heard in Metal

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by pablomigraine, Nov 8, 2007.


  1. Creede

    Creede

    May 15, 2015
    It's kinda a shame. I was really hoping for a followup from the OP, but alas, there is none. I guess life isn't all about Talkbass and Metal for everyone. Anyway, I do have a question about technique. Does anyone use the Gary Willis technique to play metal? I personally enjoy prog metal and jazz fusion, so I'm learning it to play fast lines that are also interesting and intervallic, but I was wondering if people used it in more simple forms of metal. It's not all that common so I wouldn't be too surprised if no one here or anywhere used it, but I am curious.
     
  2. I have a Gary willis gwb35 with ramp, I can see how it would work but would need to play lines akin to Sean Malone from cynic I think... I used the ramp to to play normally floating thumb style with a super light touch but now I play in a metal band where the fretless doesn't fit and combine slap /pop with fingers so couldn't use a ramp anyway...

    Keen to hear how you use it though... And I'm opposite from most people in this thread, I dislike treble and fret clank though acknowledge it is good in certain styles.
     
  3. Creede

    Creede

    May 15, 2015
    Fretless metal bass is one of my favorite sounds, but yeah it's a bit more nuanced. I prefer the smoother, warmer tone to trebly clank by a long shot, so much so that I can't listen to some technical death metal because of the bass tone.
     
    theunknowndude likes this.
  4. Obese Chess

    Obese Chess I'm Your New Dad Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2005
    Portland, OR
    I've picked up Alex Webster's books but haven't flipped through them recently - what practice techniques are you using for getting your playing really clean and solid during really fast passages?

    I've got to keep up with these two knuckleheads ;):


     
  5. Hmm practice slowly and a lot with three fingers? Then can play quicker without "forcing it"... Play with a lower setup too if that helps?
     
  6. Obese Chess

    Obese Chess I'm Your New Dad Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2005
    Portland, OR
    Yeah, I can only get so low without buzzing, but that's definitely been helpful. I know I need to lighten my touch as well, it's just that some of the passages are REALLY tricky (as you can probably gather).
     
  7. Basically just keep practicing to a metronome at half speed while taking extreme care to get each and every note out cleanly. This is the best way to figure out the easiest finger pattern. Often, the first way to play something that springs to mind isn't the best way, and you keep flubbing it when playing it at speed. Once you relearn it, you're good to go.
     
  8. Resonance129

    Resonance129

    Feb 15, 2011
    Georgia
    Wow, great post. Some of this, I knew, but most of it is new to me.
    Thanks for posting such a thorough explanation.
     
  9. Rimbaud88

    Rimbaud88

    Sep 3, 2014
    CZ
    Is a bass even needed in metal music? All you can hear is just kick drum and two totally distorted guitars which is an ambient where the bass dissapears.
     
  10. Razman

    Razman

    Feb 10, 2005
    Orange Park, FL
    Blasphemy! You must not be a real bassist, but a guitarist trolling as one on TB!! :spit:

    :D:D:D:D
     
    theunknowndude likes this.
  11. Depends on the band some bass players refuse to be buried some just put up with it. It seems there are bands headed in this direction but it all really depends
     
  12. Rimbaud88

    Rimbaud88

    Sep 3, 2014
    CZ
    I didnt mean to offend but in difference with others music genres, for me the bass in metal has not as important role as in prog rock, blues or jazz.. That´s one of the reasons I stopped listen to it. But be sure that I wish I had a different point of view because I love the bass as it is in all aspects.
     
  13. Rimbaud88

    Rimbaud88

    Sep 3, 2014
    CZ
    and for sure. If you can recommend me some contemporary metal bands where the bass ego doesnt suffer I will welcome it!.
     
  14. Razman

    Razman

    Feb 10, 2005
    Orange Park, FL
    None taken, but in the band I'm in the bass holds a crucial role.
     
    theunknowndude likes this.
  15. Bands with crazy drummers and two guitars that don't let you breathe I could see this... Since losing our second guitarist I actually think we have
    Ditto... I think mostly once you start having two guitarists the role of the bass player / mix can change a lot... my first band was classic thrash with two guitarists and got bored quickly, my current band with just one guitarist we give each other a lot more space. I get a few bass only intros, play the melody when he rings out chords, add lots of subtle effects to bring out different parts of the song... sure 80% of the time in just holding the low end and rarely playing above first 5 frets but even that stands out in the mix and serves a purpose.
     
  16. Rimbaud88

    Rimbaud88

    Sep 3, 2014
    CZ
    :thumbsup:
     
  17. SerratedBass

    SerratedBass

    Nov 4, 2010
    UK
    Endorsing Artist: Warwick Bass Guitars,
    Check out Havok, Nick's bass really stands out in the mix
     
    Rimbaud88 and Rickter like this.
  18. Rickter

    Rickter

    Nov 30, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    This is probably the third or fourth time I have come back to the original post to re-read the technique breakdown. It's funny how through my own trial and error prior to reading the posting I was already moving toward doing most of the hardware based suggestions. Nice to get the confirmation that I was moving in the right direction. Thanks again to the OP for posting this. No doubt it has helped many whom love the genre and want to make an impact in it.
     
  19. eh my last major 4 piece metal act was certainly guitar featured. But I enforced the dynamics with the bass.
    I actually started off with the approach of playing simple as possible. With no pedals. Which it turns out is a great way to cut through 2 heavy guitars.
    Sometimes its just about power not flash.
     
    BlueAliceOasis and Razman like this.
  20. Band I am in has a crazy drummer and one guitar player but I am doing guitar work almost on a bass to act like a second guitar player such as decrepit birth style stuff while holding down the rythm, counter points, other melodies or wherever I am needed. Works out great bass sits pretty well in the mix
     
    theunknowndude likes this.