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How do I get our Bass Player to play bass like a Bass Player?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by 51PRI, Sep 19, 2019.

  1. 51PRI


    Aug 7, 2014
  2. Stumbo

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

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    Since you play bass I suggest home recording your songs with the bass part you want. If your bass player gets it, great! If he doesn't, well...
    coilcbl_RT, pcake, GregC and 26 others like this.
  3. RockDoc


    Jan 5, 2007
    Option 4 (the Talkbass Option): Fire the drummer!

    On a more serious note, probably your options 1 and 2 are more realistic and viable than option 3....
  4. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    lost angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    it totally depends on the individual. Some people are not only open to change but actively looking to take constructive critique (which is different from criticism) and grow. Others are willing to change but for whatever reason can't - usually because they aren't willing to put in the work. Often there are fundamental gaps in their playing that need to be sorted out. Others are totally fine with where they are and not interesting in changing.

    I've quit playing with some guys because they were in the latter group. It really is up to you to figure out which camp they are in and move accordingly. Every situation is a bit different.

    btw, I've also lost some friendships because of this. So if you're serious about your vision for the band then you need to be willing to suffer repercussions.
  5. JohnArnson


    May 28, 2019
    I would suggest you sharing your issue with the man in question actually being responsible for playing the bass, finding a way to let him know the issue you got with his playing in the nicest possible way, who knows, he might actually be perceptible to your critique and willing to work on changing the way that he plays.

    One thing is for sure, ranting about it behind his back won't solve the issue whatsoever.

    As you can see I disagree, option 3 would be the ideal solution, and some people are actually willing to take critique if it is given in a constructive way.

    The way I see it option 1 and 2 would be less ideal compromises that won't really fix the actual issue.

    Also taking it up with the man in question personally would be the right, mature and grown up way to handle this situation.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2019
    coilcbl_RT, RodRy, Dunyet and 3 others like this.
  6. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    lost angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    The line about syncopation and drummer struggling means either the bassist or the drummer (or both) don't really have it going on. I like to use syncopation and some drummers eat it up, others try to chase me which then isn't really syncopation. If they do the latter, then I play straighter until the gig is over, then pick my course of action ;-)

    A band is a group conversation and set of negotiations. It can happen organically, or it can be dictated. Depends on the players and personalities involved.
  7. RockDoc


    Jan 5, 2007
    The OP's comment that "I have tried making suggestions about parts that he could play, but he doesn't take them very well" seems (imho) to not bode well for option 3 (which, I agree, would be the nicest outcome).
  8. JohnArnson


    May 28, 2019
    That's not sharing the actual issue with him, that's dictating what he should play, without giving him the real reason why you do so, not the same at all.
  9. Stumbo

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

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    Seems to me your bass player thinks he's in a jam band so he plays whatever he feels.

    You, on the other hand, are trying to write songs based on jams and want solid bass parts to support your "writing".

    Time for a band meeting.

    If you can bring a recording of a sample of what you want it will be easier for you to make your point. Also, record a rehearsal to you can give counter point to your example.

    Good luck.
  10. dagovna659


    Mar 2, 2011
    New Jersey
    Since you can play bass, ask the bass player to use his bass to show him the parts you need him to play. You can also find out if your drummer has a solid foundation or just plays jerky jerky because a solid drummer will make a bass player play what he's supposed to play. Just my thoughts.
    iruyle, osonu and allanmac00 like this.
  11. Stumbo

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

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    The drummer should keep the groove and when the bass is not grooving stop the jam and demonstrate the groove you want and ask him to play it.
    coilcbl_RT and chupacerveza like this.
  12. jchrisk1

    jchrisk1 Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Northern MI
    Has he heard himself on the songs? He may not know how he sounds. Maybe record some get togethers and have a listen back with everyone. Then attack!

    Not really, but you get the idea.
    RodRy, 51PRI, BobDeRosa and 3 others like this.
  13. thewildest


    May 25, 2011
    For some reason I can’t read the OP’s text like the rest of the posts, and looks stripped of all formatting. This happen to a friend of mine and he was ostracized by his crew.
    myopia, gebass6 and thetragichero like this.
  14. bherman

    bherman Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2009
    Grand Junction, CO
    You mention that you don't play out alot - that may limit your options since it may be hard to recruit a better bass player. Personally, I wouldn't be interested in a band that doesn't do much. Also sounds like he's not likely to be open to suggestions. Kind of a tough situation to be in. Wish that I had more suggestions.....
    51PRI, garp and chupacerveza like this.
  15. Play him some recordings of a bass player and drummer grooving and tell him that's what you're hoping for.
    funkytoe, 51PRI, garp and 2 others like this.
  16. 2tonic


    Dec 22, 2015
    Tell him that the music you write requires a bass part played like "this", then show him the part.

    Warn him repeatedly.

    Fire the drummer to show the bass player you mean business.

    Seriously, ask him what bass players he likes. Check their stuff out for compatability. If it's lacking, suggest he listen to some bass players you like, and try to emulate their approach.

    Then fire the drummer..:D
  17. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    @51PRI - Quick question: is your bass player self taught?
  18. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg , Conquest Sound
    Maybe he just doesn't have a good sense of timing. Maybe he lacks confidence or experience. I would try to spend some one on one time with him for a month or so and see if he improves. If not, you know what you have to do.
  19. 74hc


    Nov 19, 2015
    Sunny California
    Who in the heck posts their text as an image?
  20. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    If he hasn't listened to you yet, he isn't going to. Live with it, or get a real bass player.

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