1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

"Rocking Out" ?? (And Singing While Playing)

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by OysterBoy, Aug 10, 2005.

  1. OysterBoy


    Sep 19, 2004
    Ontario, Canada
    I've really just been wondering how the heck some people are able to really rock out with their instrument and still play well. I dont mean mild movements; I can "dance" around with bass, no sweat; but I cant figure out how they actually swing their gear around and play well.

    I've also been wondering if there's any way to train to sing / talk while playing bass. As it is, I can't even answer peoples questions while Im playing bass, I just can't. Any advice? I've been jammig with a friend for a while, and we both have this problem, though me to a larger extent.
  2. xshawnxearthx


    Aug 23, 2004
    new jersey
    well, when going "nuts" you do lose a lot of the tightness, but depending on the style of band it doesnt really matter because good stage presence is better then being tight(in most situations)

    that being said, its hard to find a good half way mark.
  3. it should come with time and practice. once you get your lines down to where you don't even have to think about what you are doing, then you should be able to talk/sing while playing.
  4. LeftyLB70P


    May 4, 2005
    Athens, Ga.
    Oyster, it is all about practice (as is always the answer when it comes to any "how do i ...." questions).

    As was said, the more you practice a line and get it programmed in, the less you have to concentrate on it. I typically move from 'need to concentrate' to 'moving fits the groove' to 'bigger movement' to finally 'automated mode'.

    Don't get me wrong, I think that you need to concentrate on your playing but performing is more than just the music (not sure thats how it should be but that is how it is) and putting on a good show matters.

    Find things that work for you (I have long hair so the whole 'head banging' thing works well for me. However the whole 'bouncing' up and down thing just doesn't work for me) and literally practice them. Sounds goofy, looks goofy, hey guess what - it is goofy!! But crowds respond to a good show (and while I agree that some 'slop' gets introduced, when I have a crowd pushing me, there are times that I find musical magic and it all comes together) :hyper:

    Sorry for a big reply but I have had to ask the same question and now have developed fairly firm opinions on the whole 'performance' issue :bassist:
  5. OysterBoy


    Sep 19, 2004
    Ontario, Canada
    Thanks for the replys.

    The thing is, I have most of my stuff down pat, like, no concentration required; I just cant get my mouth to open. And when I do, my playing goes out of time. Ill practice with "yankee doodle", singing the words to it. Simple enough song.

    EDIT: I'd have to say my "idol" for this is Jon Gallant of Billy Talent. His lines aren't overly complicated, and neither are his movements, but he really does have alot of style and sense of rhythm.
  6. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    I think you find most bassists that "rock out" suck.
  7. OysterBoy


    Sep 19, 2004
    Ontario, Canada
    True enough; but SOME "throw", especially where the line comes to a closer, is just awesome.
  8. it comes with practice

    when i first start playing a song i have to concentrate on it alot, after playing it for a bit i can usually talk/shout because its becoming second nature, ive never been one to just about like a tit tho :p
  9. Intrepid


    Oct 15, 2001
    I've seen some bassist that move all over the place and don't skip a beat. Usually there doing something simple like balling it out on the root, but you'd think they'd hit another string, miss the string or something.

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Staff Member Supporting Member

    Check out Jason Newsted's live performances he has got it down. :bassist:
  11. Bob Clayton

    Bob Clayton Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Philly Suburbs
    i notice that i play better when i play with my fingers rather than a pick when i "rock out"... may not work for you, just my experience.

    as for singing and playing. just practice... play along with songs you know. start with back up vocals because they tend to have less melody than the person singing lead. again, maybe its just my experience
  12. OysterBoy


    Sep 19, 2004
    Ontario, Canada
    I have never used a pick to play, and I can't see myself needing one. I can get the same kind of "puck" sound that a pick gives just by playing closer to the bridge, so no need for me, heh.

    The yankee-doodle thing seems to be working.. but only for that song :p. I'll just keep at it. Thanks
  13. johnbegone

    johnbegone Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    I pick bass, rock out, and sing. Everything just comes really naturally though, I think that's a very important point. I've seen way too many people try to fake rocking out, and it's just very unnatural, which just kills me to see. I don't know any secrets to rocking out hard and still playing some decent bass, I honestly just practiced in my room with some CD's. At one point last year I got offered to fill in for a friends band who is notorious for rocking out crazily, especially their bassist. So there was a lot of pressure on me to do the same, which I had never done in any of my other bands. I just went for it at the show and it was the most fun I've had playing bass. Therefore when I started my new band, our focus was around energetic rock music so we could rock out.

    As far as singing and playing.... I have no idea man. A ton of people have asked me about this, and I'm sure there is a way to train yourself to do it, but I've just always done it with no problem. I've been writing some pretty complicated stuff lately, for example vocals on down beats with bass playing offbeats, stuff like that. That stuff takes me awhile to get down, lots of practicing. But regular playing and singing is pretty easy. Don't worry about trying to talk and play at the same time, that's actually a LOT harder than singing. Because think about, singing is to the same rhythm as your playing, so you don't lose time. When you try to talk to someone it can throw you off completely. You'll get better at both if you just do it though, trust me. Good luck to you.