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It's impossible to sing and play the bass...

Discussion in 'Music [DB]' started by TheorboPlayer, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. Hi,
    I'm wondering if someone take already the challenge to transcribe that song so "clever" :)
    Of course singing and playng DB or theorbo is my main source of worries. Any idea how to improve ?
    Best regards
  2. The song on youtube

  3. MenoSalsa


    Oct 16, 2012
    Tucson, AZ
    I went to see Kristin Korb at a clinic and she said to just start super slow and the coordination between singing and playing the bass will follow.
  4. etoncrow

    etoncrow (aka Greg Harman, the curmudgeon with a conundrum)

    Thanks. Enjoyed the youtube video. If your inquiry has a modicum seriousness one thing that helps me play my EUB and sing is a headset microphone. It gives me one less thing to have to think about.
  5. Let's say I would like to play and sing that song, I am wondering if the bass score exists somewhere...
  6. MenoSalsa


    Oct 16, 2012
    Tucson, AZ
    Transcriptions are fun to do.
  7. I agrée but at the moment I do not have any keabord to help me. So any help is welcome !
  8. MenoSalsa


    Oct 16, 2012
    Tucson, AZ
    Online keyboard?
  9. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    How to improve? Just like you improve with anything else, practice, practice, practice. :D
  10. jdepriest


    Sep 20, 2005
    Waynesburg, Pa
    It may be out of print but Jay published a book of his songs. They were all vocal lead sheets, so it was missing his bass part. But with the correct chords given your transcription should go faster.
  11. Thanks for the info.
    I'm testing the software Transcribe I believe I can do it even without a keyboard
  12. Michael Eisenman

    Michael Eisenman Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2006
    Eugene, Oregon
    Transcribe is good; I mostly use Amazing Slowdowner because it's available on iDevices.

    When I transcribe, I usually use a fretted bass, so I don't have to worry about intonation. Maybe you can use your theorbo.
  13. Thanks Michael for the suggestion.
    Usually I do not use theorbo for that because it is at 415hz and strings and frets in a mesothonic tune. Also the gut strings become instable if you change the tune.
    Maybe Transcribe as the fonction to change the height of the note...
  14. Your original question had to do with singing while playing the bass. None of the responses seem to address that point, so I'll give it a stab.

    I also find it very difficult to sing while playing bass. I've been taking singing lessons for a couple of years now, and feel better about it, but still struggle. I'm a true amateur, so take this for what it's worth.

    I think the two main difficulties (for me at least) are
    - Singing 3rds & 5ths while playing roots. (With a guitar or piano, you're playing chords, so the note you're trying to sing usually is embedded in what you're playing)

    - Singing off the beat while laying down a steady rhythm

    For me, putting the difficulties in words helps, because I can then work specifically on the problem. There are many exercises out there to help you ID and sing 3rds, flatted 3rds, 5ths, etc., and with training and practice anyone can do it.

    When singing, I usually can't play complicated rhythm patterns, but I usually can find a pattern appropriate to the song that allows me to sing and play bass at the same time. Likewise, I will look for bass line tones (notes) that will help key me into the melody tone I am trying to sing.

    I don't know if this helps or not, but it's how I approach singing while playing bass. I'm still taking lessons, and I still hate my voice when I hear it recorded or on the PA. But I try to quantify exactly what I don't like about my voice, so I can work on it. (Right now it's depth and articulation, & my teacher's been giving me pointers to work on)

    There are plenty of bass players out there who also are good singers that probably have better tips than me
  15. low2groove

    low2groove Tyranis 4 / Lower Groove Guitars

    Jan 21, 2007
    Like I tell my students that ask the same question.

    You have to be very comfortable with either singing or playing to pull something like that off. You can't be struggling with both singing and bass playing and expect things to work out fine. One thing has to already be part of you, especially on complicated songs.

    Look at thew Geddy Lee story. Rush went in and recorded their first album and if you know how tracking is done in a studio, for the most part you don't sing and play at the same time.
    They completed the album and when they went into rehearsal for the tour he found he couldn't sing and play what he had done in the studio at the same time. They postponed the tour and Geddy took like a month of solid practicing before he was comfortable doing both things at once.

    Good luck!
  16. As exercise I use early polyphonic vocal music (e.g Palestrina, Victoria, Desprez, etc). I learn sing the Ténor part and I play the bass part with DB.
    That music is not difficult but the voices are completely indipendents.
    I agree that the main point is that it is important to know more than well each part before try to sing and play
    Best regards
  17. jdepriest


    Sep 20, 2005
    Waynesburg, Pa
    these are all good tips but the OP was talking about this song. It's Impossible to Play the Bass and Sing
  18. low2groove

    low2groove Tyranis 4 / Lower Groove Guitars

    Jan 21, 2007
    if you're talking about the video I just watched. The guy is not singing, he's basically talking.
  19. I've done !
    Not a transcription of the bass line but just the cords progression. It is something like :
    |F7|Em7 A7|Am7b5|D7| etc
    I can send the whole grid if someone is interested on it.
    I've choosen this song as exemple because I believe it is false "easy" song.
    Try it, you discover that it is very difficoult to maintain the groove, the lightness of the song (if you sing and play of course).
    What Mr Leonhart do is quite sophisticated and I like it very much
  20. I'm watching the full vid here... OMG this guy is amazing... reminds me of Tom Waits bassist on 'Nighthawks'...

    thanks for the first link.

    edit: my dad plays bass and sings without issue, and yet I'm hopeless at it... backups are all I can really manage..

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