Doubling at jams

Discussion in 'Bluegrass [DB]' started by TDAN, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. TDAN


    Dec 15, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    How many bluegrass bassists double on other instruments and what do you double on?

    I have had a chance to jam with more bassists lately and have really enjoyed the opportunity to pick up some licks and hear other playing styles. It is good to give you hands a break and I enjoy listening to the tunes but get the itch to play pretty quick.

    Would love to be a solid rhythm player and back up the group on something else. Seems like is always room for another banjo/mando/etc
  2. If another bass player shows up (rare) I usually start singing, which encourages the other bass player to let me play my bass so I'll quit ruining each verse and chorus!
  3. LEUllman


    Jul 4, 2008
    Portland, OR
    I play old time, so it's clawhammer banjo for me. But once you start playing bass at a jam, no wants you to stop, so I try to start on banjo and them go to bass once things get hopping.
  4. rusag2


    Oct 22, 2009
    Los Angeles
    If another bass is already playing when I show up, I usually have a guitar with me and play very quitely on the outskirts, learning what I can from better players. Sometimes at an outdoor jam, we'll have two (or even three) basses playing at once. Typically, I know the other bassists and I play very strict I V stuff so I don't step on anything they're doing (or the other way round).
  5. Doley50


    Sep 4, 2005
    Depending on the size of the jam area, I find if there is another bass player it is pretty easy to go to another area and get a jam circle going, Players will follow you if you have a bass.
    If the room is to small to start another jam, I will usually bring my fiddle, maybe my guitar.
  6. I brought my ukulele to the last jam of my bluegrass band.
  7. FishstickFender


    Mar 24, 2010
    Rhythm guitar, a bit of mandolin, and singing. Sometimes I'll just switch off tunes with the other bass player.
  8. Steve Swan

    Steve Swan

    Oct 12, 2004
    Burlingame, California
    Retailer: Shen, Sun, older European
    In all my years of playing, the two bass jam has only worked once. It was a magical bit of communication with the other bassist and I. I don't expect it to happen again in my lifetime.
  9. I play dobro and am just starting on bass. At a jam yesterday there were a mando player and a guitarist who both played bass as well (though I was the only one who had brought a bass), so we switched off throughout the afternoon. Worked out great for me, as I desperately needed a rest after playing 45 minutes or so...
  10. Bass Doc

    Bass Doc

    Dec 1, 2010
    Charleston SC
    Bought a Gold Tone Resonator Bass Guitar (looks like a Dobro). I set up opposite side of the jam from the upright Bass player. Figure its a "different instrument" so no conflict. No one has complained thus far, and I'm still playing "Bass".