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how to play with a guitarist without sounding like a copy?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by bra5am, Jun 28, 2007.


  1. bra5am

    bra5am

    Nov 21, 2006
    I want to jam with a friend of mine but whenever I play with a guitarist I tend to always copy one of his fingers from all his chords, and repeating. Any tips on how to mix it up and keep a steady beat at the same time?
     
  2. This was a problem for me once. It felt like he was pretty much just playing and I had no real creative input.

    The way I solved it was to get a drum machine. To change things up, I'd start the drum machine and then I'd play along with the drums while he improved over top of that.
     
  3. myhot4

    myhot4

    Jul 11, 2006
    Sydney Australia
    Knowing your scales would be the way to go. followed by knowledge of how chords are formed. learn these TOOLS one at a time, coz you will not learn them overnight. Then over time, you will know them like the back of your hand, and play the correct riff/fill right in the pocket.
    I'm not a big fan of Drum machines, but I prefer the metronome.
     
  4. elpelotero

    elpelotero

    Jun 16, 2006
    here's an idea. have him simplify his riff down to only the basic chords. also tell him to minimize his strumming so he's basically only hitting each chord once or twice.

    then YOU fill in the rest
     
  5. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    Start thinking in terms of counterpoint. Listen carefully to the part the guitarist is playing, then try to imagine in your mind the most natural, rhythmically contrasting bass part that emphasizes the beats that his doesn't, while still supporting the guitar part harmonically.

    MM
     
  6. a real easy way to get into counterpoint is for the bass to start the groove...the guitarist comes in, doubling the bass...after 4 bars....KICK THE GUITARIST IN THE GROIN!!!

    he'll start playing counterpoint and it will sound just fantastic...ESPECIALLY if he's standing in front of a microphone! :D
     
  7. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    Good one!

    I can think of two things:
    - 1) I might be detecting a 'bad attitude' of sorts. There's nothing at-all wrong with exactly, unwaveringly repeating a few bars of simple, simple bass line! ..Depending on the style of song or whatever. That's the time you can put full attention to extreme pocket - immaculate groove!
    - 2) One thing that really helps for making a bass arrangement (I hope you're talking about 'coming-up with a bass arrangement', and not 'improvising'..) is to learn to play the melody of the song too! Then when you're playing the simple, first-pass root-note bassline (keep in-mind that probably even the BEST pros do a FIRST run-through of a song-part playing 'all-roots' - just to get-a-grip on the key and progression and whatever.), you can picture where the melody notes fit into the pattern you're fretting. It's easy then to picture when you have a chance to 'grab' a note out of the melody, to throw-in with the 'simplified' part.

    Joe
     
  8. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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    Feb 24, 2021

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