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How to approach "solo" album?

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by DDXdesign, Sep 24, 2004.

  1. DDXdesign

    DDXdesign formerly 'jammadave' Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    I've done a CD with a band before, and I've done the literal all-solo thing (some dance electronica) from writing, playing and recording each track up until sending it out for mixdown and mastering, but this is a new bird for me.

    This time I'm doing a "solo with guests" type album. I want it to lean toward albums like I've heard solo bassists do, but it's not going to be a chops record. Mainly because I have no chops :meh:

    It'll be mainly original stuff written by me, but I'm putting one or two covers on it, just for fun. If people want to buy it, I'll have to look at licensing and stuff I know.

    But at any rate:

    - If it's not "just bass" is it still "solo bass"? (I'd think so, i.e. Vic Wooten's stuff)
    - If it's not a chops record, does it count at least for "here's me as a decent bassist"? (i.e. Geddy Lee's solo record, albeit he was already known as a monster bassist)

    I guess I just don't know how to approach the whole thing - how to package it in my mind;

    it's going to be a bunch of songs, in various styles, in which I play bass. I'm not playing big ol' bass solos, really, but it's my music so it's a "solo" album. I'm also going to be doing the keys and drums (via machine, mostly, but I'm decently human at it) as well as some of the vocals, with the occasional guest musician doing any of the above stuff.

    I'm happy to be inspired like this, I'm way burned out on trying to find a band.
  2. The difference between Victor Wooten when he's on his own versus when he's playing with the Flecktones is basically in who leads. On his record, he leads; with the Flecktones, Bela leads. Having gotten as far as meaning to purchase one of VW's albums (but not actually having done so) I'm guessing there are at least one or two instances of him actually playing unaccompanied. That would be solo. Other than that, he's the leader of the band.

    So to a degree this is going to be "you as decent bassist", but it's also "you as bandleader", "you as project manager", "you as producer", "you as songwriter", "you as conceptualist/visionary", or any combination of the above.

    It's good to reflect a variety of styles to show that you're versatile, but too many styles might make you look a little like you couldn't decide on a comfortable space, or like your material is not always cut from the same cloth, neither of which is very well looked upon, usually.