How often do you cut loose?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Joe Nerve, Apr 26, 2005.

  1. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    Can you play better, or should I say "flashier" than you do? I pretty much come from the school of playing for the song, and showing off has always been a no-no because it always annoyed me when other people did it. Once in a while we get into jams on stage and I totally cut loose giving everything I've got (and yes, showing off a bit), but other than that I pretty much just do my job as best I can.

    Oh humble me.....

    What's my point?

    I like cutting loose!

    I want to do it more!

    I don't think I have a single recorded sample of anything I can do that would impress me if I heard someone else doing it. I've got some nicely written lines that I'm proud of, but nothing super flashy....

    Hmmm.... I believe I am thinking out loud again. Damn that brain of mind that keep it's mouth shut.

    What are all your thoughts on this stuff, ay?
  2. Nemesis


    Apr 24, 2005
    I have the luck, that my band allows me to cut loose very often. After the Flecktones we are the band with the most bass solos ;-). I bought a six-string therefore.

    Well, I get more and more into this groove thing, i.e. there`s no need for me to solo. Playing a good walking line or bass groove is much more rewarding. So, my way is vice versa to you.

    I`ve been playing for about 2 and a half year and I`m lucky that I´m in a state, where my technique allows me to play a lot of the thinks I`m thinking about. But, listening to people like Maceo Parker or Bill Evans opened my eyes for a more musical approach in my solos, i.e. not to burn, but instead to kind of reinvent song`s melody.

    That`s my opinion, but you`re right: shredding is cool.
  3. Koushaku

    Koushaku The artist never sleeps, only dreams

    Mar 10, 2005
    Albany, NY
    When people ask me why I decided to play the bass I say, "Because it's like playing lead guitar the entire song."

    That's not saying I play the bass with cheap solos and leads like a guitar :smug: But I feel I can do more than just hold down the rhythm, so I lock in with the drummer's rhythm, then once that's down, I go to town fitting it fills and sometimes all out solos as long as they fit.

    If it bothered people I wouldn't do it so much...but my bandmates(my band has two guitarists and they never play the same thing, there's always a lead guitar going somewhere) they always enjoy my playing, and get a kick out of watching me improvise a complex fill and/or solo. In fact, they love to tout me as the best bass player in my area(no, I don't claim that, I'm forever the student trying to perfect my craft and will always have a difficult time placing myself next to my bass heroes). But it does help raise the self-esteem.

    I usually groove in a song the first couple times we play, but then I get that itchin' feelin' in the back of my noggin that says, "Play Play Play that funky line as if you were a bass junky." <--I think I just made that up, but it works. :hyper: and I go on to push the envelope of what can be called bass playing(seriously, I don't think that highly of myself! I mean it, it just sounds that way!)
  4. Petary791


    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    I get a bass solo every gig... so yay!
  5. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    I play for the song. When we are working on new material I will play around with the bass line before I settle on something but most of the time what I play is all worked out.
    I would be lying if I said that I was comfortable soloing and playing all over the place so I won't lie. I enjoy laying down a fat foundation and digging on my tone. I like mids. :D
  6. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    I tend to cut loose at a couple times: during long intros/outros (ala Cliff on Bell or Steve D. on The Philosopher), during interludes (Live version of Master of Puppets), and to a lesser extent under guitar solos (ala Geezer on most early Sabbath songs).

    When I don't cut loose: At the very begining of a song where we need every ounce of bass to get the energy established, and anytime there are vocals (mostly because I sing...but its generall a bad idea to try and compete with the vocal line for attention, that's where 99% of the audience's focus is going to be anyway).

    The best way to work out what to do when is to just tell your bandmates "I want to expiriment with some more upfront bass lines" at rehersal and jam freely through the entire song. You'll figure out real quick which parts you like to step forward during.
  7. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    I just do it in my school jazz bigband without warning. It's not good to do it too often though. The drummer likes it when I break off of the low end for a bar or two and improvise stuff an octave higher then go back to the regular bassline. It sounds cool too, I don't try to make it very noticable, but everyone likes it. I still get bass solos (except this year, we dont have any songs that are bass solo compatible, but when we play songs from last year, I still get to solo.)
  8. remo


    Jan 15, 2005
    I never really go for the flash stuff, it doesn't suit the music we play.. BUT... the drummer can't hide his big cheesy smirk when I substitue a low C for the normal 3rd fret C.. It's just balls deluxe down there!
  9. WillBuckingham


    Mar 30, 2005
    For me, not being able to play what I feel like playing seriously inhibits the pleasure I get out of playing. I'm a bit selective about who I play with and what genre I'll play (which is probably holding me back in terms of getting gigs). But I don't see the point of playing in a situation where you can't play what you feel, unless its just for the money or whatever . . .

    I guess it goes without saying that if you always want to play upper-range solo stuff you might be on the wrong instrument . . .
  10. Deadworks


    Dec 13, 2004
    St.Louis, MO
    I pretty much just lay the basic line of the guitar part wtih a few embelishments in our older stuff. Now that I'm quite a bit more comfortable on bass I've been writing more parts independent of the guitar line.

    Being a three piece there's sometimes I just have to double the guitar lines to thicken the phrase out, or at least in my mind I think I have to, I'm still pretty inexperienced with bass. I know I could put a bit more flare on my lines but sometimes its about what you don't play over what you do so overall I tend to keep my lines very simplistic.
  11. FenderHotRod


    Sep 1, 2004
    Hell ya! Cut it loose joe. If you don't your cheating yourself.

    The biggest thing that I keep reading latley that is really irritating is the whole less is more. If you can make the line more interesting then do it.
  12. chilipepperflea

    chilipepperflea Guest

    Apr 13, 2005
    East Anglia
    i personally belive cutting loose is the way too go, ok make the lines interesting, and you cant like every gap on the song, it wont be as good and will get boring, but it definatly makes it fun and great to listen and watch, specially if your bandmates and digging it as well..

    ...just watch the red hot chilis for example...absolutly brilliant...
  13. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    All the time... tastefully.

    Well, Usually when I play jazz or funk with these people in my area, we usually flash it up. It's not corny wooten slapping where it's just a bunch of ghost notes, just tasteful soloing and grooving. I love vic, but honestly, a lot of the time he needs to tone it down a little.
  14. Bardolph


    Jul 28, 2002
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Of all the listening to bass players I do, I find that the ones that just hold a solid groove, no matter how simple it is, sound much better than the ones that do tons of fills and embellishments. I do a lot of playing in different settings, and I'm sure if I flaunted my chops whenever I got the chance lots of people would notice me more and think I'm better than I really am. But I choose not to. I'd rather just be a solid player, even if it means not getting noticed by anybody outside the band. Flash is cool when the song calls for it, but it totally ruins the song when it is done too often or too extrme.
  15. My bar band does a fair bit of flash. I think, generally, people like it. It's when you start sounding like Yngwie in every song that people get bored with it.
  16. I never get bored of Steve Harris on Iron Maiden's first two albums...those fills are great examples of letting loose just enough on a well-constructed song to impress and aid the music.
    He did write/compose most of them anyways.
  17. I personally play in a lot of bands where musicianship is part of the show. So, I get to go flash every so often.

    I'm working on relaxing during those moments, because often I feel the (wrong-headed) need to play harder at those moments.

    I used to not take bass solos because I sucked at bass solos, and felt most of the bass solos I heard sucked.
    Some did not, though, and between that inspiration and encouraging bandmates (that also know how to play behind a bass solo), I just kept taking bass solos until now, I sometimes do not hate them.
  18. Oh man..same with me. Though I am always willing to take a solo. Oftentimes the better ones come when I try to relax and just go with it instead of being edgy or playing harder.

    The "So What" in my sig has a small bass solo in it...before the tune I had planned to play a much more involved and busy solo with a lot of energy to pump up the mood...but when it came to it out of the pianos playing I was like f it...just play and let the music direct the energy.

    It works a lot better and if you do it that way you tend to fumble up less, I find.
  19. captainbeardo


    Mar 11, 2005
    I think everybody should cut loose, footloose. You know, kick off your Sunday shoes. :D
  20. bassjus


    Mar 30, 2004
    I do at practice, but during shows it's very rare. Usually at practice I'll just go crazy for laughs. I really liek to just listen to my other band members and groove out. I'll most certainly throw out a few "flashy" fills, but they are in good taste.