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Make a band with 3 kinds of bass without guitar

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Renzo92, Jun 11, 2018.

  1. Renzo92


    Jun 11, 2018
    Hi, i am new here. And i need some advices. I have a plan to make a jazz instrumental band (smooth jazz, fusion or bossa nova), but is it possible if the formation are only drum, keyboard, regular bass, piccolo bass to replace rhythm guitar (chords/strumming), and tenor bass as lead? no guitar at all. I never see any band formation like this, usually they have two basses and 1 guitar like wayman tisdale, julian vaughn, michael manson, and also nathan east (sir duke). i wanna try to replace the rhythm guitar with piccolo bass. How it would be?
    Thank you
    Ellery likes this.
  2. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Welcome to TalkBass!!!

    If everyone knows his/her job, it could be a fun project. It would take special players to take in the job of other instruments on bass. But if you find them, you'll be good to go.
  3. Zero experience here, but curious. So, following this thread now.
  4. Renzo92


    Jun 11, 2018
    Thanks mate,

    Yes it required special bass players on it, but i still wondering if rhythm guitar can be replaced by piccolo bass or not? I think piccolo bass sounds almost the same with guitar or baritone guitar right?
    funkinbottom likes this.
  5. Renzo92


    Jun 11, 2018
    Thanks mate, i hope this thread would be a great idea for every bass players :-D
    instrumentalist likes this.
  6. If it did, there would be no reason for a piccolo bass to exist. There are a few piccolo bass fans around here who'll tell you it has a sound all its own.
  7. Renzo92


    Jun 11, 2018

    I found a bit reference from youtube. But not a jazz group. Kamikaze ninja
    squidtastic likes this.
  8. Renzo92


    Jun 11, 2018

    They are bass player and couple as well, lol
    twinjet and PauFerro like this.
  9. Nohrellas


    May 11, 2016
    That's exactly what came to mind when I read the title, piccolo bass and either a bass with additional high strings or just tuned a few strings up. A bass VI could also fill that role.
  10. Renzo92


    Jun 11, 2018
    Sure, i have a custom bass VI. That's really nice for playing lead or rhythm. But sometimes the string spacings are too narrow for pure bass player like me, Lol. So now i am using 5 strings bass for lead (note: i am 5 strings enthusiast) with the same range as bass VI (0.90-0.25) tuned high c. That's great. Bass VI also good for guitarist.
  11. Space Pickle

    Space Pickle

    Apr 15, 2013
    “tenor bass” is a funny name
  12. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    It's totally possible. I do it now except no tenor bass. We have a trio - - 3 basses (one person - myself), drums, and piano, and that's it. I play piccolo, upright, and electric. I invested in an Alesis Micron keyboard that our KB player uses on the Jaco setting for left hand bass when I am soloing on piccolo and playing my original heads to songs. The electric bass and piccolo are mounted on microphone stands using and MBrace that screws into the microphone stand on which my electric and piccolo basses are mounted. This allows me to move freely between instruments within the same song.


    We do exactly the same style of music that you are planning as well, except most of it is original. Works great, but it's a lot of gear for me to haul, that is all.

    See the thread on unusual combinations I will post here in a second where I use a single powered mixer for me three instruments that goes out to my Eden 1X12" cab. A separate line out goes to the house mixer. This config reduces hauling 3 amps and combo amps down to 1 amp and cab for those times you need backline, or don't have a house system.

    Unlikely Combination for small Jazz gigs....and line outs

    Would love to hear your stuff.

    I don't see the point of tenor bass as people confuse the piccolo with a guitar as it is -- and the piccolo makes a better lead instrument given its range than the tenor bass would. Plus the keys hold down the chordal requirements. But hey, maybe you are on to something I'm not seeing. Fact is, this is my favorite band of the 4 I run. The name of my group is Jazza Nova (new Jazz)...my avatar at the time of this posting.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
    Plutonium244 and Renzo92 like this.
  13. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Can you? Yes. Is it likely to appeal to the masses? I don't think so. Is it a great set up? No.

    1. Keys and pic bass in same register, playing similar parts.
    2. Tenor bass too low for primary lead instrument.

    If I were to consider that, I would not have a keyboard. It opens room for the other musicians, and gives you a more unique presence for marketing. Call the band "Bassic Jazz" Third Bass", or something like that.
    PeterH, Jazz Ad and Munjibunga like this.
  14. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    It depends how you play it. If you play it with a pick, I can't hear much difference between a piccolo bass and a guitar. But if you play it with your fingers in the plucking hand, then it has a kind of plunky sound that I can hear immediately -- in a good way. Not like a banjo, but a sound all of its own.

    Also, a fretless piccolo bass is even more distinguisable from a guitar. The increased fret spacing of a piccolo bass compared to a guitar makes it more possible, in my view to, to play chords and single notes than on a guitar. Even Pat Metheny, who used a fretless guitar, said it was really hard to play it in tune. Fretless piccolo bass players have an advantage over the guitar in that respect.
    Renzo92 likes this.
  15. Not jazz but Girls Against Boys and Neds Atomic Dustbin both did it. I think GVSB did it better ;)

    Wood and Wire and IPA like this.
  16. Renzo92


    Jun 11, 2018
    Amazing! You already made it when i still planning mate.
    I agree, so many lead bass players using piccolo as lead instrument. But in this point, i want to use my piccolo as rhythm. Because in my oppinion, piccolo bass would be more friendly to hear when we are strumming on it . It would be better than tenor bass (high c) to play on chords.
    So i decided to make my high c bass as lead. 0.25 string gauge is very nice to play lead. Sometimes i called it sub piccolo. Lol.
    That's lighter than regular high c which is usually 0.35.
  17. Renzo92


    Jun 11, 2018
    But need keyboard to play background strings.
    Actually it just the same as general band formation like, lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass, keyboard, and drum.

    But i change the guitars to be all kinds of bass. For instance lead guitar to high c/tenor bass, rhythm guitar to piccolo bass, bass, keyboard, and drum.

    Yes, tenor bass is too low, i think so. but i often hear nathan east and michael manson used tenor bass as lead. And they are amazing
    PauFerro likes this.
  18. Renzo92


    Jun 11, 2018
    The vocalist should be play bass as well, that's the point mate, haha. You can see wayman tisdale. Two basses and guitar in one band. Thanks so much for sharing, what a badass band
  19. Renzo92


    Jun 11, 2018
    Brian bromberg is one of my favorite bass player. He can play chord and like antonio carlos jobim and change the vocal to lead bass using his acoustic piccolo bass on his album in the spirit of jobim. And it's 4string!!!
    chuck3 likes this.
  20. Renzo92


    Jun 11, 2018
    Haha, funny but that's the fact. Alright then. Let's say Tenor bass guitar lol

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