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Does your bass play you?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by dougjwray, Apr 7, 2006.

  1. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    We've all experienced the phenomenon of picking up an instrument other than your customary one and being inspired to play in a different style...
    You pick up a Hofner and suddenly feel like playing some McCartney licks.
    You pick up a Fretless Jazz Bass and suddenly feel like trying some Jaco ideas.
    But... keeping in mind the time-honored jazz goal of "finding your own voice", is this a desirable event, or does achieving "mastery over your instrument" rule out letting an instrument "play you"?
    In other words, can any of us imagine Geddy Lee picking up a Precision Bass with flatwounds and suddenly feeling inspired to channel Duck Dunn? Or vice versa?
    Do you select an instrument to match your voice, or does the instrument dictate? Does that Hofner liberate you to play like McCartney, or force to play like him?
    Just a philosophical discussion for a Friday. I have my own opinions on the matter.
    Anyone else?
  2. WHenever I pick up a bass I have noticed that the first thing I play is something by the person who I am inspired by on that bass. Example, P-bass i'm playing some Jamerson, any fretless, Ill try to throw dow some Jaco, ay hollow body i try some reggae, the only bass i dont have soemthing i usually play is a jazz bass.

    Afterwards thou, I tend to try to find somehting to play on it that is my own and my own style.
  3. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    1) I seem to remember reading that McCartney bought that Hofner because it was the only electric bass hanging on the wall in that store in Hamburg.
    If we could travel back in time and place a Sadowsky or Ken Smith right next to it just before Sir Paul walked in, would he still choose the Hofner on that fateful day? Did that bass create the McCartney Beatles vibe, or did the vibe require the Hofner?

    2) Someone once remarked that John Coltrane would've been "inadequate" as a session musician, since he was incapable of sounding like anyone else. No jingle house would hire a musician who made you think "Hey-- that's John Coltrane!" instead of focusing on the car, chewing gum, laundry detergent, or whatever.
    Of course, we would think "Inadequate? No, overqualified!"

    This is the stuff I'm talking about.
  4. anonymous278347457

    anonymous278347457 Guest

    Feb 12, 2005
    I dont really think this happens to me....when ever i pick up any bass, i almost always play bombtrack. I seem to have a very strong link in my brain between bass and bombtrack by rage against the machine.
    its probably because it was the first song i ever learnt
  5. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    "In Soviet Russia, bass plays you!"

    Somebody had to do it.
  6. Don't_Fret

    Don't_Fret Justin Schornstein

    Dec 10, 2003
    I find I sound like myself on just about any bass I play. My F Bass and MTD (on the way!) just make it feel more natural.
  7. morf

    morf Banned

    Feb 17, 2006
    I play Day Tripper first, always. First thing I learnt, comes naturally on new territory :D
  8. DougP


    Sep 4, 2001
    yeah, i always play my stuff. i dont many other peoples songs though.
  9. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    cool thread. my fretless ive had the longest so i play it and i make my voice on it. But, my fretted jazz i just bought so it's still playing me right now. After 3 years of straight fretless playing this whole fretted thing is still a learning process for me. I'm getting it down now, but i still haven't found my fretted "voice" yet. I'll keep groovin' till i do
  10. fixed it for you...it was the only left handed bass he could find without having to have someone make a custom, which he couldn't afford...but the point remains, if he would have walked into a different store and found a lefty fender, i would bet you he would have made that one famous. Actually i remember reading an article about how paul always wanted a fender, but he couldn't afford them!
  11. bassist15


    Mar 6, 2006
    I read somewhere that McCartney said he always wanted to play a P-bass but felt he was never good enough or talented enough to play one. He did play tons of Fender Jazzes thought. On alot of the White Album im pretty sure he played his Jazz on that. On the 10 most wanted basses on teh Fender website theres a pic of him playing a JAzz

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