Effect to fatten bass during guitar solo?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by ElScotto, Jun 12, 2005.

  1. ElScotto


    Jan 20, 2005
    Hi Guys - I have ended up in a 3 piece playing bass.

    Please suggest sounds/flavours to add while the guitarist solos?

    What do most 3 pieces do??

    thanks heaps
  2. I think it would sound pretty bizarre/distracting for you to turn on some kind of effect as soon as the guitarist takes a solo. Just listen to similar groups and see what the bassist does, lots of older bands recorded their albums 'live' so you can really hear what the bassist would do live.
  3. overdrive, maybe an octave...something jsut to thicken up your tone a bit and fill in that sonic space left empty when ur guitarist goes up for a solo
  4. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Keep the bass thumping. I am in the same situtation and even asked the same question. My solution has just been to play more. If the original is sparse, you have to fill in. Keep it simple but pumping.
  5. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Double stops are good--I use a lot of 5ths, a.k.a. power chords behind a guitar solo. Just making the line busier and moving around can help, too, but too much and you might end up stomping on the guitarist (this CAN be done on purpose to cover a really bad lead, though ;) ).

    Doug Pinnick used to use distortion a lot, and played 8 and 12 string basses, too. Geddy gets busier a lot, with help from Neil Peart, but Rush also changes feel completely for a guitar solo so you don't notice the lack of chording guitar. Just listen to what other power trio/single guitar bands do, and start trying it at rehearsal to see what works.
  6. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
  7. JPrisus


    Jun 8, 2005
    I like using a Boss OC-2 Octaver set for just a touch of both octaves, not enough to sound like two notes. Kinda fills things out a bit. Timmy C from Rage kicks in a full-on distortion to cover the ground underneath a solo, but his style of music calls for something drastic. If the solo break is the climax of the tune, then i say kick it up a notch without being too distracting. It might actually help the guitarist, give him a little lift to push his solo over the top!
  8. PhilMan99


    Jul 18, 2003
    US, Maryland
    There are lots of places to look:
    * Your speaker configuration: Lots of speakers will have a naturally "fat" sound.
    * Your bass: Hopefully you don't have a tinny bass like me...
    * Your strings: 'Nuff said
    * Compression: Many different types of compression (some with more color than others) - some compressors with "color" can really fatten your sound.
    * Distortion: I *don't* mean a Big Muff, but something like a SansAmp can simulate a nice warm tube amp
    * Amp/cabinet modeling: You can get a lot of "meat" out of cabinet/amp modeling like the Line6 Bass PODxt.

    I went with the Bass PODxt to "fatten" my sound. While the effects quality is mixed (chorus is OK, synth is useless, etc.), the amp/cabinet modeling (and some effects like the SansAmp) are *really* nice. Phat city!
  9. eldave777


    May 24, 2005
    When I was in a three piece I used a pedal by DOD called a meatbox. It sort of adds an extra sub sort of thing to it. Kind of an octave but not so pronounced. Very fat.
  10. SteveC


    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Judicious use of a POG (EH Octave Pedal - very nice) and depending on the song/solo, a little more active, although you can step all over the solo.
  11. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    What's your line up? Bass, guitar and drums or something else? If that's the case, it might work to play a variant of your normal bassline, incorporating ideas like a busier line (eg. play each note several times rather than once), chords, and drone notes (perhaps an open string or harmonics). If the drummer also throws in a bit more sound - perhaps splashing away on a cymbal or somthing - there should be plenty going on.

    An alternative approach would be to get the guitarist to apply some effects (or drones, chords, etc) to fatten his tone or, even better, get him to play less for the rest of the song so it doesn't leave such a gap when he switches to playing his solo.

  12. I'm also in that situation. mostly I change up a little bit the riff during the solo (playing a octave higher, chords). I also like Overdrive during a guitar solo if it's not sucking away the lows.
  13. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    They don't turn on a bass effect, that's for sure!!!

    In addition to the good advice given above, I'll add that simply playing closer to the neck with your right hand is the simplest way to get a fatter sound. I change right hand position constantly to control my tone during a gig to the point where I don't even think about it any more.

    You can also vary note duration, lengthen your notes during the solos, play more legato.
  14. listen to old van halen and sabbath. A lot of times they don't overdub rhythm guitars during leads. Geezer used to get a little busier during leads to fill space.
    I play in a trio, and I'll do the same thing. Change up your riff a bit.
  15. Petary791


    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    Octave and distortion i'd probably say.
  16. I play in a 4 piece band, but the singer just twiddles his thumbs and sings. lol

    What I do depends on the song, if its a heavier song, when the guitarrist sticks his solo, I usually throw on the Muff to fill the void, otherwise, pretty much what they've said, just thicken up the rhythm, accent notes better, keep it solid.

    I'm against busy fills when the guitar is soloing, as you can easily create a big fat mess of notes and not only that, you'll lose the groove you've been laying down before that part of the song. Its important to keep the Groove going in a 3(4) piece... the pocket is the most important part... if both you and the guitarrist start playing too much, the meaning is lost.
  17. toug


    Apr 12, 2005
    Rhode Island
    Superb advice. Especially with a 3 piece, a solo should be there for a reason. And unless you guys are a jam band and he solos seven times a song, all you have to do is keep grooving. Work with your drummer, see if he has any ideas for what he can do and then you can build off that.
  18. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    Make sure your guitarist knows how to solo appropriately as the only guitarist in the band.

    If he's the primary source of the upper register he will have to reflect this when making choices for what to play and what effects to use.

    I will "dig in" and take advantage of the volume boost and natural tube distortion as well as play busier lines to compensate, but it really needs to be a compromise between all members of the band if a solo's going to be thrown in.

    Think of it this way, if the bass takes a solo, who's going to cover the bottom end for you? Right?
  19. The Lurker

    The Lurker

    Aug 16, 2002
    I usually play with a healthy dose of overdrive on, so throwing in double-stops works easily for me.... Chorus is good, OD is good, fuzz gets in the way, and octave isn't much good for this exact application, IMO.

    Regardless of whether you use effects or not, you gotta fill in for the solos and keep things going.... nothing's worse than Van Halen syndrome, when the guitar goes off and the rest of the band just goes to sleep.