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Old me vs. new me - dilemma

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by NoBueno, Jan 27, 2017.

  1. NoBueno


    Dec 9, 2014
    Melbourne, VIC
    My old band is reforming after a 2-3 year hiatus to record our old songs we had written, and likely play a few shows for old times sake.

    Since the band broke up, I've dedicated myself to becoming a "better" bassist (ie more restrained, focus on the groove), and now I have to decide whether to stick to my origina,l busy basslines, or simplify it and nail it home with the drums.

    Our style is poppy funk-rock, so the bass is quite dominant in a lot of the songs, but I don't know whether keeping my original lines, or writing new ones is more of a disservice to the original songs.

    Should I record them as they were then? - or as I am now?
    Any thoughts would be appreciated!
  2. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Be you now. All of you have changed somewhat. So all of you will play at leather slightly differently.

    Just don't make it a full-time bass solo, even if you have the ability. ;)
  3. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    Record whichever one is best, new or old.
  4. b/o 402

    b/o 402

    Jul 14, 2015
    DC & RVA
    Definitely now that you've improved, do them the way you feel them now. Your band will let you know if they like your old arrangements better.
  5. IMO - nail it home with the drums.
    steamthief likes this.
  6. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Next step to improvement: Do what the music demands. If the original lines had been done by another player, you'd have to play it that way.
    Bob_Ross likes this.
  7. noagreement


    Oct 12, 2006
    Yo Philly!
    +1 for doing it as you play now. Reworking the parts sounds like it could turn out to be an exciting and rewarding effort. I personally love hearing old recordings of how I previously played parts compared to how they evolved years later.

    You "voice" changes over time, just like everything else.
  8. Thumb n Fingers

    Thumb n Fingers

    Dec 15, 2016
    I'm not a fan of note for note replication. It doesn't feel like musicianship to me. It feels like imitation. Heck, I don't think I ever play a song note for note the same twice. But I definitely keep the intent in the bass line, but I'll accentuate and "fill" differently all the time. Depends on a lot of things. I'm not sure that I can nail it down to anything specific. Mood, the atmosphere of the gig, the energy being created when you're playing with others, what the need of the song is that particular time you're playing it, what the drummer is doing...

    Not to be all existential, but I look at a song (covers, originals, whatever) as a living, breathing, emotional thing, and you are translating it for the audience. It might say one thing one time and something else the next. Play what you're feeling when you play it. Otherwise I feel like I'm telling a lie or mechanically going through the motions. Just how I tackle things, I guess. But I've never been accused of conforming to the norm.
  9. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    There's nothing inherently wrong with busy basslines.

    However, if they lack groove, do a busy but groovier version of them.

    I don't subscribe to the old you/new you thing. You may be older, wiser and more refined in your playing, but you are still you. Respect your past. It's a part of how you got to where you are.
  10. steamthief


    Jan 25, 2006
    Mentone Beach
    Since you describe a funk element in the songs, nail it home with the drums and let the bass lines breathe. In many of my funky favorites, the space is as crucial as the notes played in making the bass line groove.
  11. Herbal


    Jul 10, 2016
    Can you ever really return to being the player you were?
    COLDGLU likes this.
  12. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone Banned

    Feb 23, 2011
    Record both as demo rehearsals with full instrumentation, and listen to the demo's a lot of times until you have decided which versions of your bass lines that would probably serve the songs best.

    I guess that would be my best advice.
  13. Polfuste


    Sep 10, 2010
    South France
    Let the past where it is, and be the one you are in this present moment.
  14. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    Let the past factor in.
    Either all of you have grown in various amounts and everybody would like to give the old songs some refinishing or the others want to keep it the way it was.
    Take the original line as a base and then add a touch of the new you here and there without completely rearranging everything.

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