Do You Routinely Play Above the 12th Fret? Are You a Traditional or Modern Player?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by gjohnson441496, Jan 3, 2015.

  1. gjohnson441496


    Dec 14, 2014
    I'm just curious as to how many electric bass players routinely play above the 12th fret? I consider myself to be a traditional bass player as I don't slap or play bass as if it's a lead guitar. However, playing bass as if it's a lead guitar as well as slap/popping the heck out of it are very popular videos on YouTube. I am not against these styles of playing and some of my favorite bass players are fantastic. I can listen to Billy Sheehan play all day and I really dig his Niacin stuff. Victor Wooten is actually another inspiration for me even though I don't play that style of bass.

    Just wondering how many bass players still consider themselves to be traditional and do you think this modern style of playing will continue?
  2. I use above the 12th fret for accents and fills mostly- unless I am doing Real Me by the Who. I do slide up and play a fill in each song there though. (I play 70s rock covers).
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  3. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Almost every song in My bands current set list has bass work above the 12th. It's Classic Rock but the Cream of the Crop stuff.
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  4. Absolutely! Playing jazz you are called to solo practically on each tune, so...
  5. Dan Knowlton

    Dan Knowlton Sometimes you're the dog, sometimes the tree Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2000
    Palm Coast, FL
    I do, for fills only. Too many instruments and voices to make it effective most of the time.

    Dan K.
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  6. I'm usually below the 12th fret, since we are 3pc classic rock type band I tend to try and fill in the low space as much as possible. So mostly fills and accents but I usually get up there a little bit in most songs
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  7. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    Bottom dweller with the occasional detour above the 12th just to get a rize from my bandmates.
  8. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    central coast
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    Sure. Even if you play "traditional lines" there are useful notes up there. Has nothing to do with "lead guitar" but rather different colors available. E.g. F on the 13th fret of the E string sounds different than on the 8 th fret of the A.
  9. I'm more of a traditional player But traditional shouldn't mean "dull." I play whatever the song requires, but the stuff I play is mostly in lower, thumpier territory.
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  10. I like to play that low rumbling noise that makes women's knees quiver. Better than a bottle of pink gin.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2015
  11. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    Often while soloing, rarely while "laying it down".
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  12. 48thStreetCustom


    Nov 30, 2005
    Constantly. That's where chords sound best.
  13. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    I consider myself traditional, finger style, can't slap worth a... ...but my playing has been improving quite a bit since I've been concentrating on playing all over the neck. Sometimes all at once. :)
  14. bass_case

    bass_case Maintain low tones. Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2013
    Miami, FL
    Well, I'm way too old to be a modern player, but not too old to take a solo or play upper partials (e.g., a high 3rd-7th) on top of a low B or E. Gotta be the master of your entire instrument.
  15. Too old to be modern? It takes decades to become young... really young!

    red_rhino likes this.
  16. I don't think I'm a traditional or modern player - If I'm anything, I'm a classically trained player, so I tend to pride myself on my technique. I do finger style, thumb, slap, but never play with a pick. Never felt the need and don't really like the sound. I do play up above the 12th for both fills and solos, both in popular and jazz genres, but I concentrate on the bass line being the most important bit. Yes, it can be embellished with fills and whatever else I like, but it's consistently the most important part of my playing.

    More importantly, I think bass playing - like all music - is constantly evolving. People like Victor Wooten are pushing the envelope of what is possible. It's not right for us as bass players to be shoved to the back and to be told that we only learned bass because it was easier than guitar or some other idiocy. Every instrument has it's virtuosos and the bass is just as important as any other instrument. Maybe as bass players, we can be both solid and sparkling. Only ego maniac gui****s will disagree with us.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2015
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  17. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Nope, ain't no money beyond the fifth fret. Besides, I play bass not guitar.
  18. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    I do sometimes play above the 12th fret on bass, and quite often on guitar.
    Although most of my bass excursions up there are at home noodling with nobody else around.
  19. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    Westchester, NY
    I sure do.

    I consider myself a bassist. I'm not sure about modern or traditional thing, I just try to lay it down no matter what I'm doing.
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  20. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    I play above the 12th fret fairly often and am tending to do so more often. Not sure what this has to do with classic or modern. Watch the string section of a symphony orchestra as they play music from the dawn of western music. They will play above the 12th "fret" a great deal of the time. It has nothing to do with how modern you are and everything to do with how comfortable you have become with using the full range of your instrument. People who view the BG as occupying a specific space in the sonic spectrum of a band will say in that space, up near the nut. People who have moved beyond that will use the full range of the instrument and gradually stop complaining about the keyboardist's left hand!
    Imaginary Pony and dieselman like this.