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Guitar player too bassy

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by mingusitis, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. mingusitis


    May 11, 2012
    Our guitar player has his bass cranked up to ten on his guitar and when we play it is complete mud. I've asked him to turn it down but he appears offended and some how never gets turned down. Also as if nobody else in the band can hear the mud because they don't back me up. Am I wrong in assuming a guitar player shouldn't be playing in the low range when playing with a bass player. Shouldn't even touch the root/ top string...
  2. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Yes, you are a GROUP you need to EQ as a GROUP, his bass heavy EQ might be great for him at home but there is a bass player and a kick drum, he should stay in his range. Ask him if he mixes his stereo that way and enjoys how it sounds.... because he might :(

    Your are probably wasting your time though, this guy seems like a gui**** so he probably won't get it. I like many others here have been in that situation, it only ends when you leave the band and find a guitar player that knows how to play with others.
  3. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    I feel your pain. I stand next to a lead guitarist who runs a 50w 4x12 half-stack even on bar gigs and has so much bass turned up you feel it in your legs. I'm constantly reminding him that we have a bass player and can he please roll off some low end. Thank God I'm on IEMs or I would be deaf by now.

    We also run our own sound from stage so I pretty much have all his low end rolled off in his channel. That way at least the bassy-ness ends mostly at the stage and doesn't muddy up the house mix too much.
  4. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2006
    I hate it when guits do that in a band situation.

    Also, keyboard players with a heavy left hand, especially in octaves.

    There are times when the above situations are good, but not when "blending" with a band.

    I've been told that Keith Richards has only 5 strings on his guit for some tunes (the low E is missing). Can anyone else confirm this.
  5. High pass filter
  6. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    There are plenty of situations where it works just fine to have a guitar play in its lower register along with the bass. The Beatles' Day Tripper is the first example that comes to mind, though there are literally probably a million others. How well it works depends on many factors, including the EQ of both the bass and the guitar, but there is no hard and fast rule that a guitarist can't use his lower register when playing with a bass player.

    (By the way, when referring to guitar strings, refer to them by pitch, not by how far they are from the floor. The "top string" is the high E string. The "bottom string" is the low E string.)
  7. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    I've been playing with a dude like that. Great guy, creative guitarist, but he cannot figure out how to eq his sound for a group. He likes a thick sludgy sound, but can't grasp the concept of sonic space.
  8. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    The problem is that there are too many James Hetfields out there and not enough Nile Rogers'.
  9. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    It's frustrating but the more professional approach would be to make sure you are heard instead of trying to change the sounds of all the other musicians. The James Hetfield example above is perfect. Instead of telling Metallica the guitars have too much bass, they adapted the bass sound to complement the guitars. So long story short, turn down your lows and discover the amazing cutting power of mids. The mix will thank you.
  10. recreate.me


    Apr 2, 2010
    I have had that same issue. It took years and a lot people in the crowd commenting on it to get it changed. Now he finally understands.

    It literally took recording an album and hearing the songs back for him to say "Is that what i sound like? Thats to heavy" and then re-recording all of his parts with new eq.

    Good luck
  11. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Aug 12, 2005
    Willow Street, PA
    Beta tester for Positive Grid

    So many times I've said to guitarists that they need to EQ for the band, not just themselves. They don't get it.

    It's so much more fun to play with people that understand where their instrument sits in the mix.
  12. DannyNFLD


    Aug 20, 2011

    gui**** LOL
  13. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Cali Intergalactic Mind Space - always on the edge
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    Make some rehearsal/gig recordings that demonstrate your point.

    Alternatively, bring a couple of cabs/amps to rehearsal and max it out. If they tell you to turn it down, tell them that this is my new rig and I need it too cut though the guitar's loud bass tones.

    If they don't get it, be prepared to move on.

    Good luck.
  14. Run flatwounds, boost your mids, and play on top of him ala Steve Harris. :) :)

  15. Duckwater


    May 10, 2010
    USA, Washington
    Take his role
  16. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    Does he also play through a sealed 4x12 cabinet?
  17. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Cali Intergalactic Mind Space - always on the edge
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    +1 and louder, too.
  18. Ewo

    Ewo a/k/a Steve Cooper Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Huntington WV
    Yep. And have the ears to hear separate instrumental parts in the mix, not just a mashup of everything.
  19. Geroi Asfalta

    Geroi Asfalta

    Aug 23, 2011
    My gui**** and I are on opposite ends of the spectrum from where we should be. He likes a thick, bassy sound for his guitar, I like a twangy, trebly sound on my bass. When combined, I get alot of high on my bass and he gets alot of low on his guitar, I think it makes for a cool overall sound. Pump your highs and mids and you should be albe to swim out of your mud soup.
  20. NWB


    Apr 30, 2008
    Kirkland, WA

    Crank up your hi-mids and treble, then play power chords on your upper register.

    When he complains, tell him that's the sonic space that he gave you to work in.

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