1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

I hate soloing and I have to do one for an upcoming gig!

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Stinsok, May 18, 2011.


  1. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    I have a big sub gig coming up in a couple of weeks. The band does a great cover up Blues Traveler's "But Anyway." What ever I do sounds like the country version, and I seem to fumble!
     
  2. Start by learning the melody... singing it, playing it..... backwards, forwards, up, down, all around. Know it like you know your name. Then start messing with it.
     
  3. Art Araya

    Art Araya

    May 29, 2006
    Palm Coast, FL
    Can't go wrong with embellishing the melody. Don't worry about trying to impress people, just make music.

    But I'd be hating this too...
     
  4. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    I mentioned just skipping the bass solo but I could tell they want to leave it in.
     
  5. ... also transcribe the solo from the recording.

    Use this as an opportunity to work on your weaknesses. That is how you will improve and progress as a musician. Always work on your weaknesses, and make it/them as good as your strengths.
     
  6. jaywa

    jaywa

    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    I can relate. My band makes me take a solo during "Orange Blossom Special" (I know, what are they thinking). I hate soloing, am not good at it and tried to beg off a few times but to no avail.

    After trying a couple of "melodic" approaches that failed miserably, I finally just said F it and now what I do is essentially a percussion solo on bass. I mute all the strings and thump one pattern with my thumb and the other with my fretting fingers and every now and then I unmute for a root note or chord to come out. Also I turn the visual factor up to 10, hamming the hell out of it which is totally NOT my personality. The whole thing is basically an "F YOU" to my band for making me take a solo but the funny thing is the first night I did it the crowd went nuts and I got high-fives on stage from the band so I guess I'll keep going with it.

    If all else fails, slap-n-pop. Doesn't matter what you play, as long as you slap-and-pop (in key), the crowd will think you're an awesome bassist. Oh yeah and make sure to move around and make "cool" faces, crowds dig that sh*t. Good luck.
     
  7. EddiePlaysBass

    EddiePlaysBass

    Feb 26, 2009
    Belgium
    True that!

    Do you have any idea of what to play as the featured solo? I used to play an upright solo on "Stray Cat Strut" with the rockabilly band, but the original was an easy walking bass solo so I could just copy that :)

    My current blues band has already indicated they want me to "play something funky sometime". I wish I was funky :(
     
  8. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    For this gig I have some big shoes to fill. The guy I am subbing for is really, really accomplished. I just happened to have one of their shows recorded and downloaded into my bass trainer. That helps, but I am still struggling.
     
  9. jaywa

    jaywa

    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    If you really feel you need to cop the regular bassist's solo note-for-note then fine and I wish you the best, but I think you'd be better off doing your own thing. It's not like they're gonna fire you or anything... :p
     
  10. kuys

    kuys

    Jun 29, 2010
    I add solos/fills in pretty much everything I play even old boring ass root/fifth radio rock from the 90's where the bass player never leaves G C D E.

    I've found that if you find the key and listen to the normal song progression a bit you can just run up and down the harmonic minor/major scale and it's gangbusters. Doesn't always work but I've found it works most of the time and if it doesn't work just play around till you find something that works. Being on beat means more than being in key in my experience.

    I agree with everyone else, get a good feel for the chord progression then play around till you find something that works. Don't be afraid to improvise on the spot. Don't over think it; just play.
     
  11. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Remember that a solo is not for you--it's for the audience. Play what they want to hear (and smile while you do it). :)
     
  12. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Great point...

    I've done 'solos' that were basically rhythm section breaks that kept the dance floor filled with just bass and drums.

    I've done actual solos that bored people, and some that really got them going. Oddly, the more technical the solo, the more bored they were (except for the bass geeks). But, a solo that still moves the groove along is hard to fail at. Once all I did was play the same groove as the song, minus the guitars and the crowd went crazy over it. It also helps to ham it up because some people hear with their eyes.
     
  13. Jeb

    Jeb

    Jul 22, 2001
    USA
    Yeah, me too. The drum solo is the most tortuous thing, but the bass is a close second. Especially if its not musical. I mean think about all of the technically proficient chops that a player can flawlessly execute to show off his/her prowess on the bass. It can be downright annoying in the context of a solo. Something like that solo on Sade's Smooth Operator comes to mind as very classy and very musical. To me anyway.
     
  14. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    I don't mind "breaking it down" and improvising a little, but that's still within the safety of me and the drummer rather than the spotlight being on me.
     
  15. Vakmere

    Vakmere

    Sep 6, 2007
    Philly
    Pre record the line you want to play from the cd on a looper and then have the drummer play to it. Worked for Millie Vanillie for a while.
     
  16. anonymous122511

    anonymous122511 Guest

    Dec 28, 2010

    If I was you I'd stay on this side of the struggling fence regardless of what that involves. I'd rather hear a hard groovin' bass "solo" that was just the bass line with all the instruments laying back than a flail-fest where the groove goes away.
     
  17. omnimutant

    omnimutant

    Dec 14, 2009
    Phoenix
    Just remember if it sounds cheesy as hell to you, the crowd probably thinks it's great. :p
     
  18. LiquidMidnight

    LiquidMidnight

    Dec 25, 2000
    Bobby Sheehan was an incredible player. Man, there must be something with having "Sheehan" as your last name that makes you a killer bass player.
     
  19. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    I made it through. I played something along the lines of the melody with some variation and different runs at the ends. Got some love for it, but I still don't like taking solo's.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.