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How do YOU play (Texas) country?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by DaleyKD, Jul 5, 2016.

  1. DaleyKD


    Oct 19, 2010
    Anna, TX
    I was volunteered to play a gig coming up in August for an amazing guitarist (it's actually quite intimidating). I haven't played bass in about a year (or any instrument for that matter) and have been practicing for the last week to try and get a bit of my chops back.

    The guy I'm playing for does country. Here's the kicker: I've never played country, nor really listened to it. I don't know if this is considered older country or Texas country. My wife says more like 90s country.

    I've been tabbing the tracks all weekend, and one thing I found: I can't quite tell which octave the bassist is using. I'm used to praise & worship, and living in first position, preferring the lowest strings.

    I'm playing:
    * MIM Fender P-Bass with SD Quarter Pound pups
    * Flatwounds
    * GK 700RBII
    * DIY 210 cab

    I feel like I'm losing quality of tone on the low E string. A and up sound nice.

    So, how do YOU play?

    * What position on the neck? (0 - 4? 5 - 9?)
    * Which octave?
    * What gear?
    - Guitar
    - Amp
    - Cabinet
    - Etc
  2. svtb15

    svtb15 Inactive

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig. Q+
    You're over engineering it. JUST Play what feels right. If it feels right and is tight with the drums.. Thats all that matters. Play for the song...

    I do country gigs and sessions as well as Metal , Praise and Worship, semi jazz etc etc...
    Sometimes i play a Jazz Bass or a P bass, ,Maybe a 5 string or a 4 strings. sometimes Flats, sometimes Rounds.
    I do dial my Tone Control back a little bit,
    I may play a 210. a 115.. or both...

    Just learn the songs. Chart them out if you need to.. be aware of the arrangement. Dont be afraid to ask the leader guy questions of how he would like to approach each song in general.. That will let him know that you want to do a good gig..

    Just relax,, Dont over think it.. Its not rocket science.. So enjoy.. have fun Learn the material , chart it out and don't worry about the gear.. Just as long as it works and sounds supportive. You;re good
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2016
  3. MoeTown1986

    MoeTown1986 Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2010
    SoMD (Mechanicsville)
    90's Country is really fun to play. Most 90's country songs have repeating walking bass lines. If you're in doubt just play root notes and 5th's. That works too!
  4. DaleyKD


    Oct 19, 2010
    Anna, TX
    Hah. Kirk, good to hear from ya. You set up this P-Bass in fact!

    Considering I'm a software engineer by trade, it's not uncommon for someone to say "you're over-engineering it." That's good to know.

    I just didn't know if there was a common playing style for this. Glad to know that you say there's not (I greatly trust you!).
    svtb15 likes this.
  5. svtb15

    svtb15 Inactive

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig. Q+
    I think if we are unsure. Then i would tend to play it simple.. You'll do fine..
  6. Just as Blues moved into Jazz ole time Country moved into Rock. So it's going to be major key most of the time with a I-IV-V7-I progression maybe a couple of ii's or vi's thrown in ever once in a while. New Country is just simple ole rock and role with walks to the next chord.

    Yes to root-five and chromatic or diatonic walks to the next chord. Don't get fancy, anything beyond that - fish eyes from the guys. Some Country bands will have a drummer, however there is a lot of Country played with out the drummer - so you are the beat master. Which means the director is who you lock with. Perhaps the director's wife as she may be the real leader of the band.

    As to tone - I use flats and foam for that upright sound. Call up some of Scott Groves videos for how to play some licks for Country and then help yourself to some of the videos of the 90's.

    Scott Grove Guitar Walking Bass - Bing video

    23 Country Songs From The '90s That You Still Know By Heart

    Then for kicks here is ole Hank and Cold, Cold Heart.

    video, hankl williams, cold cold heart - Bing

    Country is danceable.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2016
  7. plus a thousand.
    MoeTown1986 likes this.
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