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how to play "lead" bass??

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by nate 0 jt, Jun 26, 2001.

  1. I read a BP article a while back on Mike Gordan of Phish. He described playing "lead" bass. I dont quite understand, could someone please inform me? Thanks a lot

    Nate M
  2. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    I think this refers to more of a melodic, contrapuntal style. Lines act more like a countermelody than a solid, simple bassline. You've got to have a solid grasp of theory, harmony, counterpoint, improvisation, style and groove to pull this off. Listen to Blues Traveler. The bassist for this band played very much "out of the box".
  3. agyeman

    agyeman Member

    Mar 6, 2001
    Peter Hook from Joy Division (also new order) was like a lead bass player. In Joy Division, he played a lot of melodic stuff on the records. He played the bass like a guitar, more melody than rhythm.
  4. brewer9


    Jul 5, 2000
    He was actually referring to the heavy weight of the instrument.
  5. agyeman

    agyeman Member

    Mar 6, 2001
  6. Captain Awesome

    Captain Awesome

    Apr 2, 2001
    Lead bassists... they don't call 'em heavy metal bassists for no reason.
  7. furtim


    Dec 12, 1999
    Boston, MA, USA
    For playing proper heavy metal, you need a bass made of depleted uranium. Sure, it may slowly kill you, but after a gig, you can use it to blow up Iraqi tanks.
  8. brewer9


    Jul 5, 2000
    a little plutonium always helps too.
  9. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    See also: Steve Harris
  10. purple_haze


    Jun 29, 2001
    London Town
    check out cliff burton on early metallica recordings.

    and anything by primus.
  11. furtim


    Dec 12, 1999
    Boston, MA, USA
    Or Geddy Lee, for that matter. His basslines for Rush may not always be considered "lead bass", but Geddy surely knows how to think out of the box in a rock context and create rather complex lines while still maintaining that rock and roll bite. This is especially true of the later albums and of his solo work.
  12. Cat


    Apr 5, 2000
    Penn State
    depleted uranium is no more harmless then iron or aluminum. it is quite dense though. that's why they use it for tank shells :)

    cat-a bass playing nuclear engineer
  13. wynnguitars


    Jun 20, 2001
    You can play lead on the bass in sections where the rest of the band has made a space for you (which rarely happens) but like Pacman said you have to have a grasp on the theory and harmony aspect of what your playing.Even though your soloing you have to keep time as well as be melodic and your still soloing over chord changes so your note choices would have to fit the particular chord you happen to be soloing over.Hope that helped.peace.
  14. all you do is like most guitar players play like hell even if ti does not fit the song
  15. bggeezer

    bggeezer Guest

    May 25, 2001
    bit of a contradiction in terms my friend

    there is nothing wrong with the odd fill or break
    or even advanced bass lines like geddy or flea play
    (or pastorious)etc

    but remember what your "job" is.......to hold down the bottom end and groove with the drummer creating the rhythm . All music starts with the rhythm.

    a song without rhythm is like icing with no cake
    just a splodge on a plate!

    keep on rockin
  16. bggeezer

    bggeezer Guest

    May 25, 2001
    i sounded like a pompous patronising git in my last posting, sorry.
    you play your bass any damn way you want too
  17. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    What I do is get the rest of the band to actually hold a groove if I want to depart radically from a line I'm playing. It will never work, for example, if you play with some noodler of a guitarist who can't groove at all. (I would find a better guitarist in that case anyway.)
  18. *ToNeS*


    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    at the warehouse studios where our band practices every week is an ad up outside on the wall by another band, which reads as follows -

    (... okay who was the smarmy moderator who got rid of my highly amusing quotation?? :mad: )

    i believe someone got a little irritated with a frustrated guitarist and this was his reply... i must have laughed for hours until i realised that i totally overplay as well and should probably bend over and receive my dues :p the moral of this story ? bass is a rhythm instrument. RHYTHM I SAY ! lead bass ... pssssfffftttttttttt :D
  19. Rockinjc


    Dec 17, 1999
    Got to hold the Groove! If you can play melody at the same time, and people like it, why not do it?

  20. A Rock

    A Rock

    Mar 18, 2001
    New Haven, CT
    i think justin chancellor uses good melodic riffs

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