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Other fun instrument to play, except bass?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by LinusKarlsson, Jan 14, 2018.

  1. I'm the bassist in a trio that plays kind of psychedelic, progressive, jam based rock music. The other two guys plays drums and keyboard instrument (mainly Hammond organ) respectively. We have been talking about getting some new and fun instruments to play along with to broaden our sonic palette and expand our jam sections. The keys guy have a bunch of different synths, a mellotron, a Pianet and some other stuff. He also plays flute. The drummer has been bringing some percussion instruments to rehearsals. But what about me? What could I get into?

    Guitars are out, the principle of this band is "No six strings allowed". The synth and keys parts are covered. I already have a couple of FX pedals (delay, chorus and other) to play around with while playing bass. I have been thinking about Theremin, especially the Moog Theremini. I already have a cheap Theremin that I have used a bit, but it's hard to control volume and pitch on that in a live situation.

    Do you guys have any suggestions?
  2. Oddly

    Oddly Unofficial TalkBass Cartographer! Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.

    Low Whistle.


    And, if it's good enough for Tom Waits...

    "Pitchfork(Online Music Magazine): Do you have a favorite sound?
    Tom Waits: Bacon. In a frying pan. If you record the sound of bacon in a frying pan and play it back it sounds like the pops and cracks on an old 33 1/3 recording. Almost exactly like that. You could substitute it for that sound."

  3. vibraphone... hand pan ... steel drums...
    BBQisgood likes this.
  4. Haha, that bacon thing reminded me of Pink Floyd..

    Harmonica could be something. Would sound cool through some effects, I guess.
  5. Acoustic356


    Jul 3, 2014
    Chapman stick
  6. dxb


    Dec 25, 2016
    Play your bass with a bow.
    bobba66 likes this.
  7. dxb


    Dec 25, 2016
    For pure fun, nothing beats a ukulele. If you like your fun with a side of frustration, I'd recommend a lute.
  8. dxb


    Dec 25, 2016
    Oh, also maybe get a thumb piano (also known as a kalimba or a mbira).
  9. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Everything about bacon is the best for everything.... including the sound.
  10. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA

    giphy (2).
    DaDo625, djaxup, Davbassdude and 9 others like this.
  11. biguglyman


    Jul 27, 2017
    Rochester, NY
    I play harmonica too and got one of those Bob Dylan "mandies" things to hold it. Lots of fun on songs like Last Dance With Mary Jane and Roadhouse Blues etc. Takes some practice though...
    LinusKarlsson likes this.
  12. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    OK, back to serious.....

    The problem in most bands is that when the bass drops out you kind of lose the foundation of the music.

    But if this band is a true hippie musical journey kind of thing or the synth players don't mind using more left hand (and none of them mind using more left hand) that could free you up to mess around on something else.

    Here's an in the box idea. (Sometimes outside the box just doesn't work.)

    How about an EUB? I have been going back and forth over getting one myself. I'm a horrible upright player but if I had one I could practice quietly I think my technique could improve. It is a great visual for the audience because it just looks different from both an electric bass and a traditional upright.

    Also, I just got a lap steel as a Christmas present. It is a lot of fun to play. And if you guys are doing ambient stuff nothing says ambient more than a lap steel with thick reverb or delay in it. Not sure if that skirts your no six strings rule....
    DaDo625, design, BBQisgood and 4 others like this.
  13. Well, the Hammond player has both a left hand and some fat pedals to play with, so loss of bottom won't be a problem if I would like to play with something else for a while.

    An EUB is not really my thing, to big and bulky and to hard to get the intonation right. Fun instrument, though. A lap steel would be something. I have never played one before, let alone seen one for sale, but I will keep my eyes open.
  14. You already have a Theremin and presumably know how to play it? So getting a better Theremin is definitely an option, since you have a head start on a difficult instrument.

    Although you already have synths covered, synth foot pedal controller might be useful for allowing to play a synth part while keeping your hands on your bass.

    Other instruments...I was at an electronic music show and a guy was using a harp (an actual harp, not a harmonica) with some kind of pickup on it and effects run through it. Pretty cool.

    I also used to know a weird local guy who drove to DC from Alaska in a rusty Datsun hatchback carrying his electric dulcimer that he invented (or at built) himself. It was a hammered dulcimer and he had wound his own single coil pickups for it. Guy could play any pop tune cover on it and used to busk on the street in Alexandria, VA. Kind of an odd dude.

    BTW, what is your keys guy using to emulate a Mellotron? Or does he have a real one? Curious for my own sake.
  15. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    Hurdy gurdy.

    Before you laugh, watch this

  16. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    But I don't understand how a prog-rock band doesn't have a 6-string bass...
  17. AztecViking

    AztecViking Supporting Member

    Oct 12, 2010
    EndlessSummerVille, CA
    Something like Moog Taurus pedals where you can play both bass and higher pithced synth tones with your feet. :thumbsup:
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
    bobba66, Omega Monkey, 4001 and 3 others like this.
  18. Five String

    Five String Supporting Member

    An insrument other than a bass? What other instruments are there?
    fretlessguy and jamro217 like this.
  19. 9Thumbs


    Jul 3, 2013
    Near Boston
    Agreed, there can be no reason for a bass player to play anything else, unless, of course, you happen to be a heretic.
  20. WHat can I get into?

    Pedals my friend. Get some pedals.
    DrummerwStrings, Stumbo and BassBrass like this.

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