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playing lead bass

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by edh, May 13, 2003.

  1. edh


    Apr 2, 2003

    i am sort of a newbie here and was wondering if anyone had any recommendations for info regarding lead bass style of playing (i.e. books, web sites, songs, etc.). any info on the matter would be greatly appreciated. thanks much.
  2. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    There's no generic 'lead bass' style - it depends on the genre you're in.

    One avenue to pursue is instructional material for other instruments that traditionally take more of a 'lead' role. Read, experiment and adapt.

    Of course, if your ambition is just to be in the spotlight, perhaps you should consider being a guitarist or vocalist instead of a bassist :bassist: :meh: ;)

    Maybe you could say a little bit more about the styles of music you want to work with?

  3. To me there seem to be two types of lead bass:

    Firstly there is completely solo bass. For this the man to check out is Jaco Pastorious, especially on say Teen Town. Another amazing solo bassist is Victor Wooten, check out Classical Thump.

    The second type of lead bass there is, is a bass line which carres the melody, but is still backing up the other musicians, and the vocalist. IMO the best example of this is on Love's first album, especially on songs like Can't Explain and Hey Joe. The bassist is Ken Forssi, and he has a very melodic style of bass playing.

    Also listen to any jazz walking lines. The bass emphasis the melody, but also provides a backing to the soloists.

    I know that's a bit of a generalisation, but I hope it helps.
  4. I often jam with a drummer and because I am the only instrument that can make melodies I am the lead and from time to time the guitarist or trumpet player or whatever starts giving me some room to be lead. I have found it sounds best when you balance melody and groove. When in these situations I generally keep the emphasis on the root and chord tones but play with a lot more sycapation, I do not limit myself to one measure phrases, and throw in a lot of scale tones.
    I disagree with the dogma that bassists cannot be lead, it just isnt done as much because its harder to have a melodic bass than a trebble instrument. I think that it can be very interesting to have a bass upfront. If you have a guitarist or pianist playing chords than a bass can make the melody. A very good example of this is Ron Carter's "Piccolo" which features Carter playing the melodies, which although a Piccolo is higher pitched it is still a bass clef instrument.
  5. Ben Mishler

    Ben Mishler

    Jan 22, 2003
    San Jose
    Les Claypool defintley plays a brand of lead bass with Primus. If you want to check them out, may I please recomend Frizzle Fry. Its a great album.

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