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Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by madman4string, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. So. My current lineup is myself on bass / vox, guitarist, drummer, and singer.

    We tried doing the power trio thing for a minute, but good grief my hats off to those that play and sing AND pull it off. So, we auditioned some singers just to move forward faster.

    We decided to have them come in, 10 song list (I mean it's just lyrics), one rehearsal and a cd to listen too for timing. Then bam...backyard party shows for about 30-35 people. See how they do live.

    First guy. Good vocals. No stage or timing presence. I mean bad. No movement. Got lost on like half the tunes.

    Second guy. Decent range, good timing and great performer. He's lasted about 5 months now. But, I gotta send him packing...

    So, here's my dilemma. I know a really good bassist who needs a gig. Is it feasible to do two bassists, or should I just front the show and let him play?

    FWIW, I have no issues just singing. Just fishing for thoughts on dual bassists...
  2. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    If you can front and play bass, it would seem that your problem would already be solved, no?

    In your shoes, I'd be inclined to just front the band. If you want to pitch in instrumentally, maybe think of yourself a a vocalist/utility player. It's a lot easier to sing while playing keys, guitar, or percussion.
  3. IF I could play everything we want to play AND sing at the same time, it would be a non issue. But alas, I can not yet.....
  4. Runnerman

    Runnerman Registered Bass Player Supporting Member

    Mar 14, 2011
    Keep working on it and it WILL come. We lost our rhythm guitarist/backup vocal a year and a half ago and I had to pick up backup vocals. I did not think it would ever be possible with the bass. I have played guitar and even drums in the past and had no problem with vocals. But the bass is something otherworldly when it comes to combining with vocals. It has to be totally independent from your playing. You can develop it if you force yourself. Every new song we write or cover I still have to struggle until the new groove is burned in my brain. But when it is there, it is there and it's incredibly rewarding when it happens. I know this isn't your preferred direction and maybe you don't have time right now.

    The other thing I would ask myself is, do I really want to give up the bass? Once you make that choice it will be hard to go back.
  5. HockeyDawg


    Oct 12, 2012
    I play and sing for one of my bands. I wish it was rhythm guitar instead of bass because it's very easy to hit a chord, sing, hit another chord, etc. You don't have to add much, just some thickness to the guitar parts.
  6. You don’t have singer.
    You can sing/front, but then you’d be unable to play bass.
    Therefore you now have a singer, but don’t have anyone on bass
    You know a bass player.
    Therefore you now have a singer/front & a bass player.

    You don’t need 2 bass players.........ever.
  7. Space Pickle

    Space Pickle

    Apr 15, 2013
    tell us the drama that got the singer fired

  8. Not really drama. More of a lack of effort. He started bringing a guitar, thought it was ok to play it and try to sing, it wasn't. He'd forgot lyrics. Not just a word, but entire verses.
    I'm not trying to be harsh, because as I stated previously, it's a hard thing to do. Play and sing. But he was brought in to sing. Period. He's been told to put down the guitar and sing many times.
    Practice that all you want on your time, fine. But not at rehearsals. When it starts to impact the band as a whole, no, no, no!!
    He hasn't responded to the request. Still doesn't know a 6 song list I gave him 2 weeks ago.
    Final straw though was three days ago. I find out he's been working with another pal of his on a project.

    Mind you, I'd have no issue with a side project if he did his homework and showed up ready to go with us.
    Heck, I'd probably be willing to let them use the studio to mix it. But, when you can't put in the time on the work you're brought in for...time to go. Now he'll have all the time in the world for his own thing. Minus our gear of course.:D
  9. MattZilla


    Jun 26, 2013
    My vote:
    Try two bassists. Could be great for making choruses HUGE. If it works- great! If not- oh well, just sing or werrrrrk on thumping and singing simultaneously.
  10. Two bassists! Two bassists!
  11. pklima


    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Look up the Japanese band MARIA. They had two bassists without sounding weird, though they both sang and both were cute girls.
  12. Gaolee

    Gaolee Outta my way! I'm caffeinated! Supporting Member

    I thought it was two divas you didn't ever need. Maybe us bass players are actually latent divas.
  13. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    I think it would be really difficult to make two basses work in a cover band unless you put some serious effort into creating arrangements that used both. If it's a jam band or an originals band, that would be much easier to do, just stay out of each other's way. But two basses both trying to synch the same bass line on a song would be muddy and excessive. Unless it's "Big Bottom."

    Have you thought about taking up guitar? You might be more service to the band as a rhythm guitarist/singer than as a second bassist/singer.
  14. The drummer and I have had the conversation about me possibly picking up the 6 stringed instrument. My greatest fear is that I'll be banned from TB for life :eek:

    But I think my better option is to just sing and look into some rhythm guitar or keys perhaps.

    Bringing in the new bassist tomorrow night for a run through. Will see how it goes.
  15. itchyfingers


    Sep 17, 2013
    3 words: Ned's Atomic Dustbin
  16. pklima


    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    If you can play keys, try it on a few songs, absolutely! Two bassists could be a lot of fun especially if you both sing, but keys are the best choice from a practical point of view.
  17. If you can front the band when not playing bass - just front the band and hire a bass player for now until you can do both and or find another front, or maybe your twin front/bass that you can trade-off with.
  18. HockeyDawg


    Oct 12, 2012
    My band tried the two bass thing with no gui**** and it woulda worked if we found the right person. Most bass players thought it was weird and those that wanted to try just mimicked what I was playing and it was pure mud. We even tried hiring a lead gui**** to play bass but he couldn't find the time, so we're just a two piece.
  19. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    I've done it once, just a jam session where the other guy they invited showed up unexpectedly (after saying he wasn't coming). It worked out pretty well - basically when one of us went high and melodic on the neck the other stayed low and played the pocket, and then every so many bars we switched.
  20. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    The two-bass thing can work (esp. if one is an ERB), but each bass needs to have a role in a thoughtful arrangement. Compared to bassing in a trio, this usually means more (and more carefully arranged) rhythmic complexity. That wouldn't seem to make it any easier to front the band while playing bass.

    Since the OP needs to front the band for now, and since he has trouble fronting while playing bass, adding a second bass wouldn't seem to be a solution to his problem.