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Have coffee table bass, will lay it down...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by LesterBumpkin, Feb 28, 2018.

  1. LesterBumpkin


    Feb 1, 2018
    hey y’all,
    They say don’t judge a book by its cover, which I will mostly agree with.
    (But if someone wears a shirt with a swastika on it, I’ll have my mind made up fairly quick.)

    How often do y’all out there see or experience the vibe that if you have a boutique bass (figured top, singlecut, real obvious flash in that direction) you are going to overplay?
    I. E. Can’t lay it down if your life depended on it.
    I’ve had three different experiences

    1.- On my less eloquent days I straight up have overplayed or have to stay extra conscious to reign it in and play the song

    2. I lay it down and someone I’m playing with for the first time-
    (drums most the time -one of the few musicians who listen to us at a volume that’s actually discernible)
    comes and says “wow, sounds great.
    I expected something different when I saw the bass/your IG with you shredding a brecker transcription”

    3. Or no matter how much I keep it in the pocket and simple (on a cover band and play the exact parts from the record as asked) the band leader comes up after or calls me saying-
    “Hey man, playing flashy on the bass is really cool and all, but it’s just not appropriate. I know you’re a jazz musician so you’ll need some help learning this, but I need you to stop.” Add a few more paragraphs of this being over explained and you get the idea...

    So, thoughts on this?

    Is it 2018 and this is going away fast as boutique basses become more common?

    Or is it here to stay for a while longer?

    I definitely used to overplay, but saw the light and reigned it in seriously 5 years ago
    After some good advice from a friend, and hearing it in action on recordings.

    All the best!
  2. Wisebass


    Jan 12, 2017
    Lost in Space
    Hi Lester :)

    Tell him it' s the drummers fault! Oh, and play some Jaco covers!

    That should help! :D


    LesterBumpkin likes this.
  3. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music.

    May 3, 2009
    N.E Illinois
    The word "overplay" is usually used as a pejorative to genres that are more progressive than Classic Rock,Blues,Country.R&B and Punk.
    (I.E.Fusion.Prog Metal.Djent.)
    On the other hand,why would someone "overplay"in a genre that doesn't demand that style?

    Play what is appropriate for the music type.
    Being "loaded for bear" makes no sense when you're hunting for rabbit.

    Quit and play for a band that wants what you have to offer.

    Now at one point I had a seven string bass.
    Because I aspire to play things that use advanced techniques (read tapping)in my own private time
    I did not get it to "overplay" in a "non Progressive"band setting.

    Even so.
    The band I do get together with periodically is open to multi stringed "overplaying"
    It's just that I am not quite able to do it yet.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2018
    LesterBumpkin likes this.

  4. I think some types of basses lend themselves to overplaying more than others but if you play right with the kick drum you'll add punch to the band and no one will ever say you're overplaying.
    LesterBumpkin likes this.
  5. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    lost angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    Over the past decade of fairly heavy gigging, I only had one bandleader bug me about "just play a P-bass." And that was all about looks rather than sound/approach. Thankfully haven't had anyone comment my overplaying (well, except self-criticism, in which case that is my constant message to myself), the most recent comments from a couple of different keyboard players who have been auditioning saying, "holy crap, that sounds beautiful."

    In fact the only one who really cares about "the look" is me - once the downbeat hits, the audience doesn't give a damn, nor do the other musicians. I've finally just said, "screw it" and have my last "traditional" bass up for sale, whatever gig comes along will be covered by my three core instruments. And no one will notice but me...
    LesterBumpkin likes this.
  6. Vinnie Boombatz

    Vinnie Boombatz

    May 26, 2010
    LesterBumpkin likes this.
  7. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    Motown quote: "Jamerson, just play it the way it is written!" (or words to that effect).
    LesterBumpkin likes this.
  8. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music.

    May 3, 2009
    N.E Illinois
    Jameson gets fired.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
    Wisebass and Oddly like this.

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