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Playing Less vs. More in Black/Death?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Nyarlathotep, Dec 1, 2006.

  1. "With"

    10 vote(s)
  2. "Under"

    7 vote(s)
  3. I'd use both equally

    25 vote(s)
  1. Nyarlathotep

    Nyarlathotep Banned

    Feb 5, 2006
    West Coast of Canada
    OK so it might seem weird to be posting about black/death in the technique forum, but WTH!! LOL!

    Basically I've been listening to a lot more death/black stuff and I've noticed two distinct types of bass playing: "With the guitars" and what I'll call "under the guitars"

    "with" is playing right along with the guitars, note for note, includeing tremolo picking. "under" is where the bass plays at the beginning of a tremolo series but not any more until the guitar changes notes.

    Which do you prefer?

    E ---------------------------------
    B ---------------------------------
    G ---------------------------------
    D ---------------------------------
    A -----------------1-1-1-1---------
    E -0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0---------3-3-3-3-
    G ---------------------------------
    D ---------------------------------
    A -----------------1-1-1-1---------
    E -0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0---------3-3-3-3-
    E ---------------------------------
    B ---------------------------------
    G ---------------------------------
    D ---------------------------------
    A -----------------1-1-1-1---------
    E -0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0---------3-3-3-3-
    G ---------------------------------
    D ---------------------------------
    A -----------------1---------------
    E -0-----------------------3-------
  2. PrimusNut


    Mar 23, 2006
    Nova Scotia
    I'd say both. But you also have to be creative, throw in some fills at times to make it more interesting.
  3. BullHorn


    Nov 23, 2006
    Listen to stuff like Atheist.

    On the other hand, there is Death. The bass just plays what the guitars play, except for when Chuck solos. But their lines aren't mindless powerchord/rootnote banging, so it's fun. :p
  4. If the guitar is tremolo picking, the bass is tremolo plucking, and the drummer is hitting those crazy 16ths on the double-kick, there is simply no room to breathe.

    I like Death/Black Metal, but the newer, more extreme stuff seems more like an endurance race. What ever happened to using space; just listen to a Reggae bassline to marvel the effect space has!

    I vote "Under".
  5. Christian Waiau

    Christian Waiau

    Jun 16, 2005
    las vegas/maui, nevada/hawaii
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, Aguilar, Darkglass
    i dont now about leaving THAT much space... but maybe half the amount of notes?
  6. tr68gt

    tr68gt Acme Corporation Beta Tester

    Aug 2, 2006
    Naples, Florida
    Most of the time I don't play right with, but rather at an off beat that accentuates both instuments, still locked with the drummers and/or other percussion.

    But, other than that, I have no idea what I'm talking about. I'm still developing my own style with and without the rest.
  7. Nyarlathotep

    Nyarlathotep Banned

    Feb 5, 2006
    West Coast of Canada
    Thanks for the replies!

    For now I figure I'll work on my speed. I can always slow down, right? :D

    Another (kinda related) question: What kind of pick would you use for tremolo picking on bass???

    I find the heavys (1.14mm) don't work at all. Been experimenting with thins (0.5mm), and it seems to be working better...
  8. I tend to be a "with" guy (why the hell else did I learn to sweep on a bass?). Good to use both though.
  9. 905


    Jul 23, 2006
    Personally I would try to find some sort of compromise, alternatively get some octaves in there, but if I had to choose I'd pick
  10. MammaryVest


    Oct 18, 2006
    Stoneham, MA
    There is no "style" for the genre, it all depends on the song. If someone comes to you with a riff, you have to try a bunch of different things to see what sounds best, regardless of what it ends up being technique-wise.
  11. Nyarlathotep

    Nyarlathotep Banned

    Feb 5, 2006
    West Coast of Canada
    1st off Cryptopsy = :cool: (and not only cus they're canadian :smug:)

    2nd: It makes sense that live, busy bass would suck.

    Been listening to a few more albums and I've noticed some variety on the newer stuff, especially within songs. Getting chaotic for riff fill/transitions but with the actuall main body of the riff being supportive. Am definatly going to try that approach on my next project...

    Seems to work :D
  12. Fathand

    Fathand 21st Century Distortion Man Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2005
    I usually play about half of notes what the guitarists are playing (e.g 16ths -> 8ths), when there's a tremolo riff. My sound is pretty dark and I play with my fingers so fast tremolo sounds a bit mushy, less notes = more air in the mix -> the whole sounds a lot more precise.
  13. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    No reason to choose a preference, is there? Serve the song, that's what I always say.
  14. soontobedead


    Jul 14, 2005
    i think that the greatest thing since sliced bread in the death/black metal bass technique world (say that 5 times FAST) is harmonizing and countering, not just doubling. It's nice too when the guitar players orchestrate the riffs AROUND your playing, but lay off a bit so you can pop up sometimes :bag: .

    Listen to the chorus of Death's "Nothing is Everything" off of the Individual Thought Patterns album.... THAT IS THE EPITOME OF TECHNICAL AND CREATIVE BASS PLAYING (it's Steve DiGiorgio, so it's a no brainer). :bassist:
    Sean Malone from Cynic and Roger Patterson/Tony Choy of Atheist (and the latter from Cynic and Pestilence, too) are great at doing this.

    Play slower, double or play faster.... but don't stick to the roots... it will give your band a much more technical, open approach... and you won't crowd that much the mix and/or mess up live either.

    PD: you lucky canadian bastards... get all the greatest tech death metal bands x_x
  15. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Both is the best way of doing things. If the drummer is kickin' double bass, I say tremolo stuff is the way to go in most cases. If the drummer breaks into something......... basically listen to the drummer, it's your job wheter you like it or not. :d
  16. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Too much hip thrust
    I'd say it depends what the drummer is doing.
  17. Nyarlathotep

    Nyarlathotep Banned

    Feb 5, 2006
    West Coast of Canada
    I imagine that applies to most genres :D
  18. All_¥our_Bass


    Dec 26, 2004
    For uber fast stuff I play under. More counterpoint based-stuff, not just roots. Plus I'm so selfish in one way...
    I always strive to be clearly heard, not just by the band but by the audience as well. So I adjust my parts to taste to make sure I can be be heard and help the song out at teh same time (don't worry, I know when to back off too).

    If it's slower (not the usual in black/death) I'll play with, but sometimes I'll use a harmonization as a way to mix it up.
  19. Ha that pretty much settles it I guess!

    edit- I do try and follow the kick drum if the drummer plays something relatively straight; if they do something obscure then it all depends on the riff.
  20. beat me to it

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