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My Guitar Player Says

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by lazyi, Jun 28, 2005.

  1. lazyi


    Feb 14, 2005
    Hong Kong
    Until about 3 months ago, I played mostly root notes. I started practicing more and trying new things, triads, arpegios walking bass lines etc.. and lately my guitar player has been telling stop playing that fusion ****. Anyway, we are an original band I am really getting into playing bass, not that i am any good, but I want to push my self and try different things. So he was happier when I just played the root note only. Anyone else experience this kind of crap.


  2. Mike Money

    Mike Money In Memoriam

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    tell him to deal with it, and if he wont, quit. but if it genuinely sounds bad, stop doing it. :p
  3. bertbassplayer

    bertbassplayer Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2000
    DFW, TX
    I know what your talkin about, I'm a trained classical and jazz player so I have a tendency to play that way, however sometimes its better for the song if I just sit there plucking away at root doing 8th notes.

    While it might be easy to say "Yeah the guitarist is a prick becuase he won't let me play the way I want to." Sometimes they are just trying to make the whole thing sound good... becuase truely most rock and roll fans don't want to hear a whole buch of moving bass all the time.
  4. Couplea thoughts here...

    First, without knowing the music you guys are playing, it's entirely possible that a steady root note is the way to go for it. There are ways to put a little flare into even that during bridges, chord changes etc. but if root thumping is what the music calls for, my suggestion is DO IT.

    And then be an active participant in getting some new music that challenges you to use the new skills you are learning. There's a lot of rock and roll music that isn't just AC/DC style root note pounding, but while boring for the bassists - even that is a driving sound that wouldn't sound right if you were walking and doing anything remotely flashy.

    Cliff Williams has made a very nice career off of that, and sometimes the simplest basslines are the most demanding because often it's harder to keep perfect time doing the same thing over and over and over than if you get into some kind of comfortable pattern that guides you through a rhythym. At least it's that way for me.

    If you just hate that style, and that is the band's sound and you can't get them to do a wider variety of sounds, then you probably ought to look around. You won't grow as a bassist if that's (roots) all you play with other bandmates.
  5. Listen to pro bands that play the same style you're playing. If they're hanging on the root all the time, 1/8 notes, 1/16, whatever, that's what you should shoot for, what's appropriate for the music. But if you find lots of examples of what you're trying to do in songs in the same vein as you're making, show them to the guitar player and tell him to pound sand.

    If you want to branch out into more complex bass lines, you may have to quit, get into a band playing the kind of music that features the kind of bass lines that move you.

  6. Surprisingly enough there's not a lot of the "quit your band" stuff that I thought would be flying here...

    You actually may be trying to do too much stuff, or doing things at inappropriate times. This is where actually listening to everything going on is a big part of being a musician in a band. You need to hear what all the other instruments are doing to decide whether what you're doing is enhancing the song or if it's muddling everthing, messing timing or just sounds like noodling.

    Take all advice into consideration, stand back and look at the song as a whole.

    Good luck!
  7. adisu

    adisu I admit it, I'm a "user"

    Apr 8, 2005
    I say keep the roots and maybe a few adds (but not walking bass) if it's what needed for this band style.
    See whats best for your band Genre and play it.
    No matter in what band or what style you play ,You should always think how to serve the song best as BG player (sometime bass Solo can do good for a song mostly if it's jazz or fussion and if you know what you are doing).

    At the same time practice by yourself all the other stuff and maybe find yourself a second band which play other style...funky or more open rock and do all your stuff over there.
  8. nasaldischarges


    Jun 11, 2005
    use triads or arpeggios or other related musical note patterns as FILLS. you may also want to try various patterns of root note, such as the gallop. something i also like to do sometimes is take the root note and play it with no set pattern, but play it in a way that feels nice for that song.
  9. nasaldischarges


    Jun 11, 2005
    listen to Iron Maiden's song Number of the Beast for an idea of what i mean by where to put fills in.
  10. barebones

    barebones Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2005
    Denver, CO
    If you love playing bass, you're always going to be working on broadening your playing "palette," i.e., learning scales, arpeggios, etc., to make your basslines more interesting to your ever-improving ear.

    That said, however, you should always put the song first. Be willing to admit that while you may have come up with a bassline that showcases your part a little more, perhaps it just isn't right for the tune. I think doing this will depend more on the development of your ear and instincts, rather than your technical ability.

    Now, to open another can of worms here, your vision, your ear, your instincts, et al, will not always match up with those of your bandmates. There will be times when you just know a certain line is better for the song than what they might want. If you have a good working/creative relationship with them, they'll probably learn to trust your instincts. If not, get ready to dig in your heels and battle it out!

    Or just quit. It's a lot easier for a bass player to find a band than it is for a band to find a bass player.

    Good luck!
  11. Intrepid


    Oct 15, 2001
    I'm guessing he didn't expect these sorts of reactions. I'm guessing he wanted us to rally against those retarded guitarist. Needless to say, if it sounds like crap, it sounds like crap no matter how many notes you're throwing out. I'm going to guess that since you just now started stepping out from root notes that you're not the best bassist in the world.
  12. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    Overplaying is worse than underplaying.
  13. KPJ


    Oct 2, 2001
    Methuen, MA USA
    Oftentimes the most difficult lesson for any instrumetalist to learn.
  14. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    There are songs where I "Eat S$#%T" and jsut play pumping quarter notes on the root through the entire song. Get's people's booties shaking on the dance floor, but I'm bored stiff when doing it. Sometimes, you MUST do it for the song, for the groove. When that happens, you are a MUSICIAN, not just a BASSPLAYER.

    Think of the band, think of the song, think of the audience, and try to focus on the FEEL of what you are playing when that happens, not just how many notes you are playing or how busy you are.

    Also, listen and play along with the radio as much as possible. After awhile, you'll start getting an internal instinct as to what types of bass parts are appropriate for certain situations and styles.
  15. Broach_insound


    Jan 25, 2005
    New York
    If it goes good with it he shouldnt have a problem , maybee you just need more practice
  16. All_¥our_Bass


    Dec 26, 2004
    The good news is that my guitarist doesn't have this problem or use lots of distortion, he also cuts the lows and mids so I am not blotted out. He lets me play what I want as long as it sounds good, which it doesnt take a long time for me to find a nice tune to go with chord songs. But usually we all just sorta put our two cents into stuff and get very cool sounding results.

    Bottom line is. There are nice, (good)bass/player appreciating, guitarists out there-just gotta find 'em.

    Rock on and dont change your style just cuz he doesnt like it.
  17. Mark Wilson

    Mark Wilson Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Toronto, Ontario
    Endorsing Artist: Elixir® Strings
    Just do what Geddy does.
    Bravado- Play straight 8th notes, then after the last chorus rip out a 32nd arpeggio!

    Well not quite 32nd, but still.

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