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"Forced" bass solo request...

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Panther, May 4, 2005.

  1. Panther


    Dec 9, 2004
    Nova Scotia
    Just wondering if anyone was ever in the gig situation where you heard cat calls for a bass solo (albeit, drunken requests), or the singer suddenly prompts you to let loose, but you are aren't into that sort of thingy?

    I love to do my thing during the song, but when it's all eyes on me, I tend to have a mental freeze, and I've never really practiced the instrument like that (but I am getting into it to push myself)...

    How have you dealt with it?
  2. Folmeister

    Folmeister Knowledge is Good - Emile Faber Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    Tomball, Texas
    I have been there. I usually end up doing the worst, most haphazard excuse for a solo imagineable (in my opinion).
  3. daofktr

    daofktr irritating, yet surly

    Feb 15, 2005
    aurora, IN
    i haven't been heckled yet, TG, but i've been asked to solo when i wasn't into it.
    when they look at me with that look, if i don't wanna, i just do a subtle shake of my head, and they go 'oh, okay', and then we're fine.
    now, i must relate the following. i got the chance to sit in on one song in a big name club in nashville a year or so ago. they were kind to me and played 'all blues', which, thankfully, i had heard before. :D
    we were cooking along, when the frontman turns to me... :eek:
    i wasn't about to say no, but i didn't have the greatest confidence, either. so....i did something or another that mostly fit, i guess.
    i survived, didn't get booed, and got some compliments...polite ones, but hey, i takes whut i gits!
    that whole thing taught me that:
    1) i'm not God's gift to soloing,
    2) i don't need to be, but i should work on it more, jic, and...
    3) i should, and can say 'no', but 'yes' ain't a bad thing, either.
    it's all your comfort level, not theirs. like you, i love to put myself into what i'm playing as a groove instead of being the 'bass god', which i'm not (and i play a 7!!!). :D
    however, that doesn't preclude me playing something that isn't boring, or expected.
  4. WillBuckingham


    Mar 30, 2005
    I'm all about soloing. You guys should listen to Jaco's solo on "Havona" (track 6 on heavy weather). Start with the melody to the tune, or something simpler (Jaco's is a Prokofiev quote), and go from there. No need to jump into solo with eye-popping technique or anything.
  5. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    I experience the exact same thing almost every gig.
  6. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    Typically, with humor.

    "Bass Solo!!!"
    Step up to the mic...look pitiful....
    "I'm not feeling the love"
    "But we want a bass solo!"
    "I am....uninspired. Maybe later"

    You can run that schtick all night long and get more entertainment milage than you'll ever get from a bass solo.

    Build it to a point where it become a running joke then when the "big solo" spot finally arrives....get a drum roll and play like, one note and make a huge deal out of it.

    If you gotta suck, ya gotta suck with style.
  7. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    I love that.
  8. HiFi


    Apr 20, 2002
    Southern California
    Been there and it wasn't pretty (from my vantage point). The crowd started calling for a bass solo between songs, but I wasn't into it at the time. I started doing some slapping and screwing around for about fifteen seconds. The crowd thought it was okay I guess. I would have preferred a set piece with a solo within the piece but we didn't have one at the time.
  9. I believe jason newstead did it the best. they where just jamming on stage, James suddenly said 'Jason, impress the F**k out of me.' and jason simply stopped playing. The crowd laughed, and james said he was impressed, exelent work.
  10. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    What I find tricky is when you're jamming away with the band, holding down the groove, and then everyone turns round and expects you to solo (which means most of them stop playing, abandoning you to your fate!). That leaves the twin problems of:

    a) Getting your head from 'hold down the groove' to 'singing over the top';

    b) Stopping the song from going flat as you take the engine out from the engine room!

    I've found that a good solution is often to keep the groove going and just throw in a few extra notes or fancy tricks, pulling 'solo faces', stepping forward and generally being a bit more demonstrative. It won't neccessarily be the best solo ever but it will keep the continuity of the song.

    I also find it much easier playing in the context of The Elusive Teeth (next gig - May 12th!); the songs are generally fairly carefully constructed, with times for the bass to take a leading role scripted in, so we're all prepared for what's going to happen.

  11. ONYX


    Apr 14, 2000
    LOL! I've done that a few times!!
  12. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    Yeah, despite the fact that I am pretty much clueless in the solo dept. I can for oh...maybe 10 or 15 seconds be impressive as hell if I have to be.

    I've tried it both way's and if you can put the ego aside, the joke works better.
  13. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Some friends of mine invited me to sit in with their band, we'd jammed a few times so I thought I knew what I was in for. This gig was at the biggest local club, and suddenly the two guitar players just walk off the stage in the middle of a tune. I solo tons in my jazz group, but this was surf music. No worries, they want 5-10 minutes of wanking, I can do that. :cool: I made the drummer take a solo too.

    When the guitarists came back on, I went up to the nearer one and started tapping on his guitar, figuring he'd look good with his pants around his knees as well. Now when I sit in with those guys, I bring my slide and go for way over the top.

    I've never really practiced the instrument like that (but I am getting into it to push myself)...

    I'd try this at home for a while, personally. Do it until it's second nature, then bust it out in public. It's all about having fun, no?
  14. Rapscallion2112


    Apr 21, 2004
    I go to my friends bands shows with my bass because they're always telling me i should come up inbetween bands and play....so i'll bust out my bass and my loop and do it up.....its usually pretty fun....sometimes its rather drab though...i guess it depends on the day you catch me at a show...

    but i usually have fun with it...
  15. I get solo's all the time with these guys I play with. This is not gigging out mind you, but just jamming in a music room during 40+ people parties and calling out key changes and stuff on the fly. I never know what's going to happen next. I have gone over the top, under the bottom, and every where in between. I am no pimp when it comes to the bass. Usually my efforts are less than desirable. Keep that in mind. Someone had a nice camcorder in the room one night and I was a little drunk at the time and I got called out for a solo. Everybody but the drummer stopped playing. I hit four or five notes, grabbed my beer, slid it up the strings, to my mouth, pounded the beer and went back to what were were jamming on. Lamest solo ever, but everyone thought I had so much style about it that it comes up everytime the people at the party are together. Go figure... it's even on tape somewhere.
  16. Mickey Shane

    Mickey Shane what goes here?

    Feb 23, 2003
    Denton, Texas
    Spoken like a true musician!
  17. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    The first step in learning to solo on a tune is to learn the tune's melody on the instrument you're playing. A lot of people will be satisfied if you do just that.
  18. MazeMouse


    Jan 27, 2005
    I don't solo as much but I just tend to freak out more as the song goes along.
    My drummer has some excellent feel for bashing away during bridges and chorus while playing softer during verses (let the singer take it away)
    So I generally play the 'standard' thingy during verses and then start to freak along with the drummer. Just using dynamics can get some great audience responses. And last time I did it I didn't even notice my both guitar players had stopped playing to let me solo. I just went over the top on the groove without actually doing much of solo work. Just like Wulf said: "
    I've found that a good solution is often to keep the groove going and just throw in a few extra notes or fancy tricks, pulling 'solo faces', stepping forward and generally being a bit more demonstrative"

    And if all else fails... throw in some lame ass excuse for a slap solo. Anybody not playing bass in the audience will stare at you in awe (while you cringe)
  19. supermonkey


    Mar 15, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    I try to be ready for solos if they come up. It's all about phrasing, for which (as was said above) knowing the melody is key.

    Depending on the style of music you're playing, I think it's also potentially helpful to have 1 or 2 little solo bits in your bag of tricks. Say, for instance, the guitarist(s) break string(s) -- and when DOESN'T that happen -- then it's handy to have something to pull out. A stand-alone solo piece, something you can play and sing on your own -- whatever, just to fill that down time.

    I amassed a few of those when I was young and much more "shred-focussed", so now I keep Little Wing and Somewhere Over the Rainbow on tap for emergencies.

    Comedy is one thing, but I totally dislike just farting around on the bass onstage. I feel like I either need to play something worth hearing or not make any sound at all.
  20. MazeMouse


    Jan 27, 2005
    Wrong topic

    You should go here

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