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"Folk" Accompaniment and other thoughts

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by Platypibri, Jul 22, 2005.

  1. Platypibri

    Platypibri Technician, Kaman Music

    Jun 28, 2005
    Riverside, CA
    This really could be for anyone, but since it is a solo bass question.....
    With Bass Guitar being such a relatively young instrument, do you see much potential for Solo Bass explorations for those who might not have your virtuoso technique? For example, Bob Dylan's (or even Jack White's) validity as a guitarist is seldom called into question although clearly exploring the "mechanics", for lack of a better word, of the instrument is not the intent.
    Do you see Bass Guitar as a fertile instrument of accompaniment for the Singer/Songwriter genre? I love to hear (or read) your thoughts.
  2. I heard a solo male singer accompanied on an acoustic BG, and it sounded good.

    I am also working towards a bass-only accompaniment of some of the quieter, contemplative songs that are sung in church. Nothing to show for it yet though.
  3. Burg


    Nov 29, 2001
    Great question, i've been thinking about this a lot recently.
    There are loads of pianists, guitarists singer-songwriters that play and sing unaccompanied, but to my knowledge, there aren't any bass players that do this. Why?
  4. Widener


    Nov 21, 2004
    Aptos, CA
    That's pretty neat! It works.

    As for a more folk approach, I think there is definitely room for that. To summon the folk guiltar type qualities, I'd think there'd have to be a strong sense of rhythm, probably some strumming involved. Add some dense folk chords to the mix, ones with lots of extensions and inversions, and make the vocals really catchy. I can see this working really well. It makes me wish I could sing!

    It would be interesting to see how the record industry and radio would respond. Would the fact that an artist sang and played solo bass be a boon or a drawback? It would be one thing if some established pop musician did a hit track like that, but for a new artist? It's a fickle business. Maybe there are already bass/vocalist musicians out there, and they just haven't gotten any exposure. I'm hoping the internet can be the great equalizer here.
  5. Michael Manring

    Michael Manring TalkBass Pro Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    There are several amazing singer-songwriter bassists out there these days! A few that come to mind off the top of my head are John Lester, Seth Horan, Laura Love and Jud Duncan. There are lots of other talented folks out there and I hope you guys will add others to this list. Please check these folks out! Not only are they inspiring, but our support might just help encourage the music business take the bass a little more seriously and that could translate into good things for all of us!