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Do You Play Lead Bass?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by nonsqtr, Nov 12, 2003.

  1. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    How about it? Fretless or fretted? Studio or live? If you're in a band, do you get any bass solos? Or melodic lead lines with the rest of the band supporting you?
  2. I've always played 'lead bass'. I never realised it was wrong. I spent SOOOOOO much time playing verse -> chorus -> repeat that I quickly stepped up and had my say. I'm no virtuoso... just a rock & blues hack that likes to hear and play bass solos.

    In a cover gig, I stick to support with a lead break once or twice per show.

    I prefer fretless, but my fretted bass is mycurrent 'most used'.
  3. sunburstbasser


    Oct 18, 2003
    Leader here. With my last band, I did Jaco's "Portrait of Tracy" or the opening to Vic's "Classical Thump" every show. I also had the occasionaly in-song solo.
  4. In my metal band I have some lead parts, but the guitars are still really thick and technical. They are mostly heavy slap riffs that simply add spice to the songs, and they usually don't last too awful long.
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    In Jazz - everybody solos and bass solos are basically a requirement - although I have seen the odd gig with none.

    I solo every time I play Jazz - but I wouldn't call it "lead bass" - it is a bass solo!
  6. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    I think this is a darn cool thread and should definitely be revived.

    Last night, I played a school coffee house gig (7 mins per performer). I did my set, then the next was the "Starfleetniks", two of my friends did beat poetry to this Bilbo Baggins thing while I provided a backbeat, and next (and last set, for me) was a female singer/songwriter type friend of mine and I doing DMB - Crush. In my own performance, it was mostly a couple slow melodic tapping things and this short diddy that was the first thing I ever wrote (after having been revised a billion times, of course ;)) so that was clearly lead bass. Beat poetry was of course just rhythmic supprot for the guys up front, and DMB was a bit of both. I was playing my fretless for that one, and there's one part in the song that's a Csus2 chord (everything but the main line in the song is improvised in the song) where I break out of rhythmic support and actually double this vocal slide-trill that she does. There's also an instrumental break where I peaked in and out, so for the song it was really a mixture of both. The answer is that I usually end up playing lead bass, because honestly, I've never had much of an opportunity to do anything else. The only time I play with other people right now (I'm joining my first band in a month) is when I occasionally jam with a drummer buddy of mine (Graham), the beatnik thing that was just for that coffee house, and the DMB thing that we put together the day before. In the drum and bass thing with Graham, I do kind of a vic-thing in that I do something rhythmic throughout the jam but still maintain a melody, but not in that I do it exceedingly WELL by any means ;), so I'm kinda forced to play lead bass for that which is the only time I play with other people on...well, I suppose an irregular basis. Every other time I play bass it's by myself, hence, "lead bass".

    Holy run on sentence, Batman!
  7. I like to play lead bass. But noone likes it at my Church so I always get told to play more like a bass. :(
  8. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    I play lead bass, I guess. Just about every song I write is either written on bass or written around bass. A few of my songs have a bass solo on them (Sicarii), and some are nothing but bass and voice (Excerpt from the Apocrypha).

    So far everything is on a fretted bass, but judicious use of a whammy bar and distortion makes up for the out of tune-ness the fretless would inevitably have. :)
  9. ironmaidenisgod


    May 20, 2004
    I improvise,but when I do the guitar player tries competing and goes out of tune.

    We lost a good guitar player a week ago.He wants to further his studies and is quitting the band. :crying:.Hope him well.
  10. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Well, there is a difference between lead bass and a bass solo. Lead bass is more like a... well... I don't know. It's sunday and I had a gig last night, I'm tired. Leave me alone.

    Uh... you get the point...

  11. Bad Brains

    Bad Brains Inactive

    Jan 7, 2004
    Detroit, michigan
    I don't feel i'm ready to be in a band yet, but when i am, i'd probably fall into the catigory of "playing lead bass".

    I wouldn't want to be a band where the bass player isn't used like so many bands. I don't want to just "be there".
  12. adam on bass

    adam on bass

    Feb 4, 2002
    New Braunfels, Texas
    Endorsing Artist: GK, EMG and D'Addario
  13. neptoon

    neptoon Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2000
    Palm Bay, FL
    god no...i suck

  14. KeithPas


    May 16, 2000
    I solo quite a bit in the fusion group I play with since our guitarist has been unavailable for several gigs. I don't solo too much in the cover band that I am in, it just doesn't seem to fit in the context of our shows.
  15. neptoon

    neptoon Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2000
    Palm Bay, FL
    indeed you do...you and tony handy get your magic on, man...i saw HD Fusion play about 2 and a half years ago or so right after i got up here...good stuff! is tim bertsch still playing guitar with you guys? he did some guitar solos on the project i'm working on right now...awesome guitarist...
  16. I play lead bass in a couple of songs, also I have a bass solo at most of our gigs. all with distortion and wah of course. (Still lookin for a whammy pedal if anyone can help me out?) :bassist:
  17. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Right now I do my best to be mild mannered and solid on my current country gig, but at home I let my inner slap demon run free on the little ditties I record on my computer, several of which have been posted here on TB. :)
  18. I wouldn't consider myself a lead bassist, I prefer the guitars to take the limelight. I like bass solos in heavy metal, though, as long as it's distorted. Otherwise it comes off as progressive-sounding, to me, at least.

    Being a fan of fast heavy music, I've recently found salvation in using a pick. It also makes climbing scales on the upper end of the fretboad alot easier and quicker, plus I can play artifical harmonics ALOT easier now. So I'm gonna see how fast I can get at soloing, then maybe I could keep up with the guitars. :hyper: :bassist:

    Just for foolin around though, I wouldn't do it live or on an actual recording. I'm a little more reserved when it comes to those scenarios.
  19. KeithPas


    May 16, 2000

    Hey neighbor how's it going? Thanks for the kind words Neptoon. Yes, Tony is a great drummer and he is alot of fun to play with. Tim is still playing in the group but he is temporarily persona non grata at the Emerald Queen which is our main gig right now (long story :crying: ) Tim is a great guitar player and we all miss him greatly at our shows, but it does give me more of an opportunity to stretch out a bit and solo more often. What is the project that you are working on that Tim is playing on? Are you still in a band? Let me know when you gig around here and I'll drop in.
  20. neptoon

    neptoon Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2000
    Palm Bay, FL
    right on...i'll have to let you know when we get something scheduled...the project that tim was playing solos on is called seven against thebes (7AT.net), which is just a studio project...the guitarist/writer was paying tim like 50 bucks per solo or something like that...he was going to pay me to write bass parts, but i told him i would do it for free...lol...my other band, signs of life, is suffering from 'new-drummer-itis' so we're trying to get our set back together...
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