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Guitar or No Guitar?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Alan Vorse, Oct 15, 2005.

  1. In the 17 years I have played bass, I have only occasinally been in a situation where there was no guitar player. In July, I left a heavy prog rock band I was in for 3 years. After briefly playing with another guitarist that flaked out on us, the drummer and I thought "how about NOT playing with a guitarist?"

    This is partially because the vast majority of guitarists around here are rock players, and that is all they can do. It became kind of limiting. We have a keyboardist now, and I find I can write things that would not have worked before.

    Also, it is very refreshing to not have to compete with Marshall or Mesa half stacks. I'm not totally anti-distortion, but with the loud fuzzy guitar gone, I have realized my rig sounds damn good!

    I'm not saying I will never work with a guitarist again, but I must say the last month has been some of the most fun I have had musically in a long time.

    Any similar experiences?
  2. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    As much as I hate to say it, you need a guitarist.
  3. sethik


    May 26, 2005
    Manchester England
    well we played 6 months without a guitarist. it was fun and i could experiment alot with my own sounds but for my songs and the way id written them we needed a guitarist for some things.
    ofcourse id say ride with it you know if it feels right do it
  4. Kelly Coyle

    Kelly Coyle

    Nov 16, 2004
    Mankato, MN
    You're hanging with the wrong guitarists.
  5. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    I personally like bands that don't have any guitar. Go for it.
  6. bluemonk


    Dec 17, 2002
    What kind of music are you playing, now? You would know if it sounds interesting or if it sounds like something's missing. I say, hurrah for an open mind! How has it affected your songwriting? Also, with the keyboard you could be creating sound pallettes or organ-like grooves or something which could really be unusual. As long as you're not trying to have the keys replaced the guitar... Who does vocals, if there are any?
  7. You got Drums, you got Bass, you got Keys ...
    you got what ELP had. How much more "prog" can you get.

    I'd suggest you go without guitar, and explore the possibilities.
    If a guitarist comes along (into Steve Hackett, Robert Fripp, Steve Howe, ect), then try guitar again.

    Good luck ... have fun.
  8. bassman314

    bassman314 I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process...

    Mar 13, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    How many Jazz trios are there of just drums, bass and piano?

    I don't see why you can't pull this off, especially with a Prog band.

    I know I've come up with some prog stuff that has more fo a keyboard in mind than a guitar... actually much of it sounds more like multiple bass guitars.. but meh.. *L*

    Anyway.. go for it!
  9. Kelly Coyle

    Kelly Coyle

    Nov 16, 2004
    Mankato, MN
    Actually, despite what I said before, me too. I'm in a sax-bass-drums thing, and it's fun. I think both things are true: there are tasteful, sensitive guitarists, and there's an awful lot of guitar out there so it's nice to have a break from it.
  10. after 4 years of playing bass, i was kicked out of my band for being an "@$$hole." i was a long time friend of another band that ditched their drummer cuz they liked my band so much (there was a guitarist in it that was already in my band, and then the bassplayer wanted in when i was out). for the first 6 months it was fun until we tried to go traditional.....we thought the songs that my drummer and i wrote weren't suited to a regular setup with guitar, so now i have distortion and i'm looking for another bassist so we can make something better than what most bands are doing today 2-2 1/2 years later
  11. As long as you have keys I cant think of a reason why it wouldn't work.

    The thing about guitarist that bugs me, most if not all learn how to be a lead guitarist but very few have a concept of what rhythm guitar is all about. They generally don't listen to what the other players are doing and step all over any other rhythm part.

    So having said that, maybe the answer is getting the right guitarist.

    Good luck with that. :D
  12. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I like guitarists, assuming they mesh well with your style. My guitarist and i go hand in hand.
  13. YES! That was a huge problem we had in our old band and with the interim guitarist, they care more about leads than rhythm and interaction. I agree with some of the posts here. I am sure there are many great guitarists out there with great tone, can lock in with the rhythm section and have the ability to play more than recycled blues/rock type lead playing, Its just that the scene here is pretty much indie or metal, so rather than wait for David Fiuczynski to relocate, I thought maybe a keyboard was the way to go.
  14. Exactly!
  15. bassman314

    bassman314 I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process...

    Mar 13, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    Are you dating your guitarist? :D
  16. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Greg Lake played a lot of guitar in ELP while Keith Emerson either played left hand bass or played bass pedals on the organ.