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Guitarist wants to play boring bass lines

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Ric5, Jun 4, 2014.

  1. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I grow organic carrots and they are not for sale
    Coolhandjjl, Shimmi and hrodbert696 like this.
  2. Ha, he just worried that you are stealing his thunder!! I think it is important to be able to do both at the right times, staying in the pocket with the drums(pedalling through) and walking all over the neck.
  3. Savage_Dreams


    Jan 8, 2007
    honestly, i enjoyed your fills far more than the guitarists soloing. keep it up! but then i play with a band who totally supports playing like entwistle & sheehan so its easy for me to say that!
    BboogieXVII and Johnny Crab like this.
  4. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    You actually sound pretty good on that tune. Some other songs might benefit from a "less is more" approach, but you don't play Cream without the bass player jamming a bit.

    However, your guitarist suuuuuucks, and his tone suuuuuuuuucks. I cannot stand hearing someone play a bunch of wacky licks over the vocal. That's what the spaces in between are for.

    Sent from my iPad using TalkBass
    metalhead398 and huckleberry1 like this.
  5. aprod


    Mar 11, 2008
    That sounds like Jack Bruce. Has he ever heard Cream? I don't think he gets it. That style of playing is great for that song but if you are doing that in every song than he may have a point.
    marmadaddy and twocargar like this.
  6. mike77rios


    Oct 28, 2012
    Play what you hear in your head. You'll never go wrong that way. If the 6 slinger can't take it, find another one, they're a dime a dozen remember?!?!?!
    codycon96 likes this.
  7. To me it just sounds like two guys trying to out solo each other. I'm all for expanding the bass lines, or even trading solos, but it has to at least interact.

    Whether or not the guitarist's tone sucks or he's garbage at soloing, he is the focus. However, every musician should be adjusting accordingly to each other, playing off each others' lines. You want to play repeat high notes on the bass, that's fine. Then the guitarist needs to adjust to you being in his sonic space, and do something different. And vice-versa.

    I listened to a live performance of Cream doing "Crossroads" to compare, and if anything the bass lines aren't particularly doing anything drastic, maybe a few high notes with chords here and there. He's giving a vast amount of room for Clapton to solo.

    Basically, it's not a matter of playing boring lines, it's about not getting in the way of the lead soloist. Certainly, the bass playing is impressive - and you're asking advice from a very biased forum, it just doesn't gel to me. Like two people from different bands are playing the same tune.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2014
  8. AaronVonRock


    Feb 22, 2013
    Agree with the above post. Bass and guitar sound like they are stepping all over each other around the :30 mark. Why not trade off and get some "back n' forth" dynamics going?
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2014
  9. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I think you need a new guitarist. Or a new band.
  10. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    Well, for Cream pretty much anything goes, that sounded quite a bit like what I do on that tune. Sometimes more is more. :)

    Generally speaking though, I think it often serves the song better if you don't step too much on other people's solos, or the vocals, it just sounds a bit uncoordinated. Save your riffs for when there is more room for them. Less is more in this regard, and you'll be considered a better bass player if you surprise people with tasteful licks and runs where they fit, rather than shred a whole song.
  11. pklima

    pklima Commercial User

    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Karoryfer Samples
    I'll take "boring" over "interesting" any day, but if you want boring bass then you should also have boring guitar.
  12. Thing1


    Feb 24, 2014
    It did walk on top of the guitar solo a bit at times, but overall I think that was some gnarly bass riffs. If he wants you to calm it down a little in the solo I think that would be okay, but I don't see any problem at all with you throwing in sick riffs like that during the verses or chorus.
  13. mattyb5000


    Apr 17, 2014
    Boston, MA
    Agreed. You're playing some very nice stuff in there, but more than anything else it sounds like you aren't listening to each other. You need to "pick your spots" when to play that kind of stuff. If it ends up clashing with what the guitar is doing, as it often does in the example you gave us, you need to dial it back a bit.

    All that being said, get yourself a new guitarist. He blows. :)
  14. +1 to what most others have posted.
    The bass sounded good overall, but the guitar and bass were stepping on each other's toes mainly around 0:34. Get your guitarist to open up some holes in the music for you instead of trying to hog all the space and be sure you both give plenty of space to the vocals.
    Groove Doctor likes this.
  15. callofcthulhu


    Oct 16, 2012
    Sounded perfect to me.

    All of you guys saying it sounds like they're stepping on each other, have you ever listened to Cream?
  16. AaronVonRock


    Feb 22, 2013
    Just like Cream. I remember reading an interview with Jack Bruce saying that we knew his time in Cream was coming to an end when he once stopped playing in the middle of a song during a show and Clapton and Baker didn't even notice.

    Or was it Clapton stopped playing and the other two didn't notice? Anyway, you get the idea.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2014
  17. Yeah, and while the individual pieces may be complex, they still fit together. Listen to this live cut, the instruments don't go ape over top the vocals, when Clapton is soloing, Bruce's part still fits and complements the guitar. Clapton goes high, Bruce stays low. Clapton trills, Baker fills. Clapton Goes High again, Bruce goes high too, without getting in the way of what clapton's playing. They're listening to each other and the parts all fit like Lego®.

    Anyway, critiques aside, I enjoyed the OP's version of Cream's version of Robert Johnson's classic "Crossroad Blues", 'cause frankly I can' t play that well. ;)

    I forgot to say in my previous post, the title of the thread is "Guitarist wants to play boring bass lines", so let 'im, say I, and you the bass player kick butt.

    + previous 2¢
    = 4¢ ... make it a nickel, adjusted for inflation. A plugged nickel, devalued by the somewhat anonymity of the Internet, makes this post worth...

    SeamzKing and mattyb5000 like this.
  18. Honch

    Honch Guest

    Sep 7, 2006
    It is a Jack Bruce-ish (Creamish) kind of tune. Great playing from bass though. Hard rock and vintage blues-rock, especially some metal genres requires the bassist just to play 8ths on the root note or following the bassist. No or little room for variation. I used to use these "jam-tracks" with bass practice vol 1 on iTunes and Spotify just to get the picking fingers STAMINA up to speed. The riffs and chord and changes are stiff and dull as hell, and it's only for warming up. After a while it started to wear on me a bit, and produced m own "stamina" warm up excercises in Band in A Box. Still 8th notes root note following the guitar. But a little more chord and riff variations. It did give me advantages over other kinds of playing. Whenever there was a jam/cover badn sit in situation where one of these tunes were called for, I didn't have to reach for a pick, and could keep tempo up with speed all the way through without struggling or sounding contrived. Though, in front of any audience, I had to hide one or two yawns on my face by turning the back to the audience, and then pretend again, that I am a happy camper playing it. ;-)

    Nevertheless I like the bass playing way way more than the guitar playing! Bass lines varies much more that the guitar. I think, as others has said already that in ONE tune (or two) you can keep on playing like this, and on others keep it in the pocket and "dumbed down" bass lines. That kind of rock is supposed to be like that. No syncopation in sight for light years, and no breaks, markers, accents, fills, or threwing the 8th dotted notes out of tempo. That can turn tedious after 2 tunes as well, so one needs to break it up. Mix and match. GO FOR WHATEVER. If the guitarist can't take it, then split from the band, or hire a new gun.
  19. Honch

    Honch Guest

    Sep 7, 2006
    More often than not, Cream didn't at all, at no time during their brief career.

    "Clapton also felt that the members of the band did not listen to each other enough. Equipment during these years had also improved; new Marshall amplifier stacks produced more power, and Jack Bruce pushed the volume levels higher, creating tension for Baker who would have trouble competing with roaring stacks. Clapton spoke of a concert during which he stopped playing and neither Baker nor Bruce noticed.[19] Clapton has also commented that Cream's later gigs mainly consisted of its members showing off.[37]"

    AaronVonRock likes this.
  20. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Everybody in cream pretty much hated each other, and that colors a lot of how they talked about it since. It may have gotten to the point that they stopped listening to each other, but they didn't make the music they did without ever having done so.

    I thought the OP' s playing was great. He outlined the chord structure, laid down a groove and drove the song. I totally disagree with the notion that bass is" supposed" to be an invisible background thing just because it's bass.
    tbz likes this.

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