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I'd like to know your honest opinions on this quasi-improvised bassline

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by Alvaro Martín Gómez A., Apr 3, 2009.

  1. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Hi everybody.

    Yesterday I received in my e-mail several files with studio recordings of songs from my rock band and another heavy metal band that hired me for recording the bass parts for their then new material like two years ago (well, I think it's still "new" since it hasn't been released yet).

    Right now I'm listening the files and maybe I'll ask for your opinions about the tone on the metal recordings, but first I'd like to show you one of the creations of my band's guitar player. I recorded the bass part two weeks ago, and I only got to hear the song like two hours before the recording session because my studio time was assigned on the spur of the moment. I only had time to write down a basic chord chart and some brief ideas. No pre-recorded or written bassline. The composer allowed me to play whatever I felt fitted the tune.

    This is not the first time I enter a recording studio, but most of the times I've done it before I already know what I'm going to do before doing the job. I think this is the first time I record a bassline without enough preparation. The thing is, one of my biggest frustrations as a musician is my lack of improvising skills, so I don't feel confident about doing that. After hearing this particular tune I feel fine with some things I did, but I feel that others would be very different if I had more time to plan what I was going to play. The composer told me that he really liked what I did and I think that should be enough for me to be happy, but anyway I'd really like to know what you think about this performance: Good? Bad? So-so? Few notes? Overplayed? Adequate? "in-the-pocket"? Erratic?

    Of course, this is not a one-take recording. There are many punch-ins, and most of the notes and rhythms were created "on the fly". What I like is that I feel that some of those spontaneous ideas truly reflect my style of playing, but someone might say something like "hey, if that's what your style tells you to play, you should reconsider it". I used my fretted Bongo 5-string plugged directly into the recording console. Don't know if this is the final mix since I haven't had time to be present at the mixing sessions.

    The lines I played for the metal band were carefully planned and it's the recorded tone what doesn't convince me at all, but that's another story. Again, I'm still listening and maybe I'll ask for your opinions on that as well. Right now I'm interested in hearing what you think about this recording as a result of sudden creativity (mostly). Thank you in advance! Here's the link to the file:


    P.S.: I suggest you to use a headphone set for listening.
  2. spc


    Apr 10, 2004
    South of Boston
    Take this stuff with a grain of salt...
    Are there going to be vocals or is it going to be an instrumental? I definitely think you could have played a bit more. You start out with kind of a busy feel, I love the little riff and the section that follows, like :16 to :32. Then it sort of feels like you decided to lay out a bit. Is that where vocals are going? I really waited after that first little break
    :)32) for you to sort of get back into it. I spent the track waiting for you to jam a bit.
    That's all I can really add.

    Thanks for sharing and being open

  3. gribuski


    Aug 7, 2002
    Nashville, TN
    So I listened to it twice: once to get a feel, and a second time with a little more critical ear....keep in my personal preferences. But you did ask. :)

    I think it's pretty good, especially for a part you didn't have a chance to really develop. I'm surprised how good the Bongo sounds good plugged right into the board. And there's a couple of spots where you drop really low, and its fits nicely.

    I think it's a little "notey" in the intro. I think it would be best to let the guitar play the melody out some before playing over it. Cool lines, just not right off the bat.

    If you're posting it for opinions, you're probably second guessing yourself, and honestly you don't have anything to worry about.
  4. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Thank you for your comments, guys! :) (and keep'em coming!) It's an instrumental tune. The intro line was one of the "brief ideas" I could write down before the recording. Actually, most spots in which my playing sounds "busy" (or sort of) were not so improvised (but not so practiced either. Just written as a guide). For the rest of the tune I preferred to be prudent instead of trying to play lots of notes that maybe would had to be fixed later.
  5. dmrogers

    dmrogers Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2005
    Eastman, GA
    I listened to the song and really liked it. I like the approach you took toward the song. The bass parts sound nice and relaxed but you didn't overplay.

    You had just enough fills and runs in the song to make it solid. I have never been a fan of over playing. I see the bass as a part of the foundation, and the foundation should be solid. Your part was solid.

    You did just fine. Nice tone too!

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