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!  
     
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

I love Solo Bass and this forum!

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by Flatwoundround, May 20, 2016.


Tags:
  1. Flatwoundround

    Flatwoundround

    May 18, 2014
    Hello everybody,

    Just wanted to say I love this forum and the whole solo bass concept. I am a traditional bass player in a band but over the last year or so I have been working on solo bass. Been working on tapping and chord melody but have not had the pleasure of doing anything with looping yet.

    So imagine you are at home and some relatives come over and say something like "Oh, I understand you play bass, can you play some music for us?" Of course in this type of a situation traditional bass line music probably is not going to cut it - imagine playing a James Brown bass line in a situation like this, probably just wont work.

    A few years ago I was not even aware of solo bass and I actually thought of switching to keyboards because I have this desire to perform alone for people. Of course Michael and Steve and Jeff Berlin and others have made me rethink what is possible.

    One question I have a preference for tapping, chord melody, or looping, or all three? Also, how do you develop thumb and finger independence for thumb and finger plucking? There are some youtube videos for guitar on this but not for bass that I can see, but I imagine it is the same principle so okay to learn from guitar videos on this?

    Thanks.
     
  2. BassFishingInAmerica

    BassFishingInAmerica

    Jul 24, 2014
    Years ago, I recorded an all bass solo CD. No looping. Drum machine only on one song. It was all tapping and chord melodies with 3-finger plucking (thumb, index, middle) Not sure exactly what you are asking, but while experience with this style on guitar does help, there are also differences. Independence between the fingers just comes with practice. I usually use thumb/middle for double stops, followed with the index. I usually don't tap more than 2-note chords; it just gets too messy sounding. Although, I will arpeggiate 3-note chords when tapping. I always use full bridge pup when tapping, for more defined notes. I also find that using varying effects are a must to produce a more full sound. These techniques are all a matter of personal taste. One thing I definitely understand is wanting to play something meaningful to an audience, without any backup from other instruments. I usually get some great ideas from other solo bassists on YouTube.
     
  3. Michael Manring

    Michael Manring TalkBass Pro Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    It's great to hear you're having fun with solo bass, Flatwoundround! In my opinion, having more technical approaches to bring to the table is a real advantage for keeping your music interesting.

    The fingerpicking approach most of us use on bass is very similar to what's used on guitar and I think studying the techniques used by great guitarists -- classical, steel-string and jazz -- can be very helpful. I like to borrow ideas from all kinds of other instruments!
     
  4. Flatwoundround

    Flatwoundround

    May 18, 2014
    Thanks Michael. I just finished a gig with my band and it went fantastic! I am on a super high right now as the gig could not have gone any better. So I guess I am sort of a traditional bass player playing traditional bass lines (this is a 70's Funk and R&B band where the bass gets to really shine a lot), BUT the solo bass is also something I love too.

    I just love how you and Steve (and victor and Jeff Berlin) have opened up the door for the bass to sound so good all by itself. I know I am biased because I am a bass player but when you guys play the classical finger style on bass to my ear it sounds better than a classical guitar playing and I think it is because the rich warm low end that we get from bass that the classical guitar lacks.

    Anyways I appreciate your tip on how to approach learning the fingerpicking techniques on bass.
     
  5. Flatwoundround

    Flatwoundround

    May 18, 2014
    Hi everyone, I am starting to really love solo bass more than traditional bass in a band now. I played a few small solo gigs for family and friends and it was a lot of fun. I also joined a meetup group of musicians where we all take turn getting in front of each other and playing solo, there are different types of musicians that show up for this and it is very very interesting and fun. I am mostly using two handed tapping with left hand on bass and right hand taps out double stops and melody. I seem to be playing a lot of latin type music for this as the syncopation sounds pretty rhythmic (girl from ipanema, tequila, rhumba blues, etc..). The meetup group that I mentioned is planning to play at nursing homes and hospitals and I am going to join them. There is so much more for me to develop with solo bass such as the thumb and finger picking style and some cool techniques on Stu Hamms video for solo bass. I am also starting to really enjoy playing with other musicians in a more acoustic type style (no drums but a Cahon or Djembe drum would be great) with acoustic guitars and harmonica and vocals etc.. I feel like a whole new world of possibility has opened for me and I no longer feel like I need to switch to keyboards in order to play interesting solo music.

    Just wanted to share my passion.

    Thanks.
     
  6. Flatwoundround

    Flatwoundround

    May 18, 2014
    I am getting better at independence with the tapping, for example can play a Rhumba blues bass line with left hand (slightly syncopated) and hit double stop chords with right and even play some melody lines in a different rhythm from the bass line.

    But I have not yet even started to get into the travis picking on bass part of the solo bass equation yet. I have not seen any instructional videos on how to develop thumb and finger independence on bass and I acknowledge it must be very similar to guitar but since I am a 4 stringer I gather I simply use thumb for E and A strings and index middle for D and G? Jeff Berlin seems to have this down very well on youtube where he plays the star spangled banner. I love having a sound where it sounds like a bassline and harmony\melody each one distinct and independant and I can do that on tapping but I am intrigued on how that can be done with travis picking.

    Do you have any ideas on a bass player can develop this? Should I just watch the guitar videos on how to travis pick and make adjustment for the 4 strings?

    Thanks.
     
  7. BassFishingInAmerica

    BassFishingInAmerica

    Jul 24, 2014
    When using thumb, middle, index, I usually will assign each finger to its own string (of course the thumb will be the lowest note of a chord), but don't stress that you can't use any finger on any string. There are no set rules. I would practice triple-stopping triads in as many positions as possible, then try to play varying patterns (T,I,M or T,I,T,M or T, M,I) one finger at a time. Another thing that works is thumbing the low note followed by double-stopping the two higher notes in the chord with index and middle, while switching between chords. Also, try to transpose songs to bass (try the first eight chords in Canon in D for practice) For thumb/finger style playing, I always liked Remco Hendrix on YouTube. Other than that, so much of it comes from experimenting. Just get creative with it. Hope this helps.
     
  8. Flatwoundround

    Flatwoundround

    May 18, 2014
    Thanks, some good tips. I will check out Remco Hendrix (assuming no relation to Jimi).
     
    BassFishingInAmerica likes this.

Share This Page