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Is It Guitar or Bass?

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by Bass-A-Nova, Jun 6, 2001.


  1. Bass-A-Nova

    Bass-A-Nova Guest

    Nov 2, 2000
    Cleveland
    Dumb question about (I'm sure) is an over-referenced tune in the world 'o bassists, but I gotta know:

    "Play That Funky Music" (Wild Cherry) - is the signature riff a guitar or a bass being slapped? I just realized the other night that I'd been trying to imitate/copy/steal what might be a guitar riff... There's a (possibly 2nd) bass in the background...
     
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well, the riff that opens the tune on it's own is a guitar, then the bass joins in with the low E along with the rest of the band. The guitar riff (on the right of my speakers) carries on throughout and is clearly in the "guitar" octave - it goes up beyond normal bass range in the chorus. It drops back in the mix during the guitar solo, presumably indicating that live this guitarist would stop the riff and play the solo - there's another rhythm guitar track mixed to the other side. The bass isn't in the background and is very loud on my speakers and clearly audible in the centre of the mix!
     
  3. Bass-A-Nova

    Bass-A-Nova Guest

    Nov 2, 2000
    Cleveland
    Cool. Thanks for the info, I'd been trying to slap/pop a riff that seemed to be incredibly fast - and had been wondering why the particular bassist never got more attention...

    OK, I better take the plugs outta my ears...
     
  4. Like Bruce said it is the guitar that starts it, the guitar players I play with are to busy listening to Hendrix and the such so when we play it I start it.

    The bass is also clearly audible on my stereo.
     
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Actually there is a similar-sounding line from the same era, this time clearly played on bass at the beginning of the T.Connection song : "Do what you wanna do" - you can hear it is in the lower bass octave and is a bit slower, but no less funky - in fact if anything more so! It has 3 or 4 great bass riffs in the song.
     
  6. Bass-A-Nova

    Bass-A-Nova Guest

    Nov 2, 2000
    Cleveland
    I'm thinking of that song that goes "go on and do it....just do it....just do it to you're satisfied" (insert innuendo jokes here) but I think I might have the wrong tune?
     
  7. Bass-A-Nova

    Bass-A-Nova Guest

    Nov 2, 2000
    Cleveland
    Gruff, I feel your pain. I'm trying to get MY guitar players to enter the world of soul and funk....geez it's a battle
     
  8. JimK

    JimK

    Dec 12, 1999
    BassANova-
    ...the bass ain't slapped on Wild Cherry's "Play That Funky Music"; Brad will back me up on this...;)
    IMO, the guitar is aping the bass figure; if you're in a band with ONE guitarist, tell him to play the 9th chords & stay outta yer pocket! ;)

    FWIW, we do this as an opening number in the NEW Country parody band I'm in(Root-5/2-beat feel over the choruses)...the band's leader asked me to slap the line. Go figure.
     
  9. JimK

    JimK

    Dec 12, 1999
    That's by B.T. Express, right?
    I've heard the T-Connection tune that Bruce mentioned, I just can't get it into my head! ;)
     
  10. I can back you up on that also.

    I also feel your pain, Bass-A-Nova, A little trick that I used on one of the two guitar players I play with. . . I met him through his wife that is a friend of mine, I loan her CD's a lot for her to play while he is around. I finally got him to listen to some Zappa, Belew, and Beck. The other guitar player knows only hendrix, hendrix is god . . . Blah Blah Blah. . . No hope for him.
     
  11. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    JimK, please tell me what a country parody band is. What I mean is...what kind of music is it and in what way do you parody country? I sure wish I could see your band play and think I would enjoy it.That really peaks my curiousity.
     
  12. Bass-A-Nova

    Bass-A-Nova Guest

    Nov 2, 2000
    Cleveland
    Yeah I've been hearing the bassline in the background (after careful research :)... I just thought I'd be cool by playing that "sig" riff on bass - but it's way too fast for me to slap it anyways.

    That idea on letting the guitarist's wife/sig. other listen to CDs featuring the likes of Belew et al. is great! I think I'll steal it! (the way I steal all my riffs...oops...)
     
  13. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well - to me, this is the real thing, whereas Wild Cherry are sort of a pale imitation - OK but not as funky and that guitar solo is just so "rock" it's almost embarassing. ;)
     
  14. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    This song is definitely on the short list for making crowds of all ages go nuts. It's one of those songs where so many have played it slapped that people think the original was that way, too;)
     
  15. Bass-A-Nova

    Bass-A-Nova Guest

    Nov 2, 2000
    Cleveland
    Also, it's one that every non-bassist friend will eventually ask you if you can play it, or at least when they ask "play something I might know" it's a lock they will recognize the riff. Alas.
     
  16. JimK

    JimK

    Dec 12, 1999
    This particular outfit is lead by the 2 DJs(one IS a musician, the other is the "clown")on the morning show; both are semi-celebrities around here(their pusses are plastered across many a billboard here in Hampton Roads; they don't take themselves too seriously, they're both pretty self-deprecating).
    Anyway, they will select songs & alter the words(could be about something political, something locally that's in the news, growing older, fatter, wife shopping too much, etc). I guess it's in the spirit of Weird Al's stuff(there's also Cletus T. Judd who parodies the New Country tunes...I've seen him on CMT).
    It's a fun gig, high profile, & they take care of me pretty good...& a lot of the "profits"(like cd sales: I'm in the LIVE band, the musician-DJ does everything on the cds)go to either The March Of Dimes or St. Jude's Children Hospital.
     
  17. Thirdstar

    Thirdstar

    Jun 7, 2001
    Houston Tx.
    you might wanna try some chord tapping to spice it up a little. play that opening riff either with or without the guitarist (bass solo!) when you open up the song. It's pretty easy to figure out and sounds a heck of alot better on bass than guitar anyway!
     
  18. Bass-A-Nova

    Bass-A-Nova Guest

    Nov 2, 2000
    Cleveland
    If we do it when we play out, I think bass only is what we'll do - all the audience (I believe) is listening for is the riff. I'm finding I can play the riff finger-style (no slap) and it gets attention....I up the treble a bit and back it down when we're done with the tune....