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So...Who Enjoys A Bass Solo?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Fat Freddy, Nov 24, 2017.

  1. Fat Freddy

    Fat Freddy Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2016
    Albany NY
    The question came up in another thread and I thought it might make an interesting, hopefully not divisive, thread....

    Personally, I think that bass, and for that matter, drum solos are generally detrimental to a piece as they break the flow of the song or tune and sometimes are so long and off topic that you can forget the piece of music that was supposed to have been being played....

    What say you?.....
  2. Depends on the artist:

    Billy Sheehan, I could listen for an hour

    Frank Feranna, please stop!
  3. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I don't mind solos as long as they are short and sweet. Anything over a minute and I quickly lose interest. Don't care who the bassist is.
  4. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    As long as it's "so-low" I can't hear it, I'm good! Har har!

  5. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Seattle WA
    I got no beef with any instrument taking a solo, though it generally needs to be short and sweet. I grew up with songs that regularly include great guitar solos, and some of them can gladly go longer as long as they're hitting the right notes >

    Hell, even a good long drum solo can keep my attention >

    But you didn't ask about guitar or drum solos. Honestly I can't think of many bass solos that really grab me, but this 'song' is one of the reasons I now play the bass (they have the 40 second song 'Basically' listed here as an intro to 'N.I.B', but on their s/t release it's its own song.) >

  6. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2008
    Hillsdale, Portland
    Some genres, like straight ahead jazz, require them.

    I like a good solo, playing or listening
  7. Fat Freddy

    Fat Freddy Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2016
    Albany NY
    Require them?...
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  8. One of the Ramones' rules was "No Solos".

    Disclaimer: Since it's already been done twice, don't go bashing their musical talent :bored:
    They were the first to be called Punk Rock, after all!
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2017
  9. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2008
    Hillsdale, Portland
    Requires, as in piano, Sax and guitar have soloed, and the BL looks over and growls that you, bass player and drummer should trade fours in last verse.

    Expands the range of sounds, adds another voice to the soloists, and I think, in my experience is expected by the other players. Show us what you got kinda thing....maybe requires is a bit strong
  10. BurnOut

    BurnOut It's The Billy Baloney Show Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2015
    The Natti
    Stu Hamm always did a cool solo when he was with Satriani. I never understood the drummer in most every band getting a solo, or anybody else unless you are a known virtuoso. Terry Bozzio yes, the guy in a bar band no.
  11. AaronVonRock


    Feb 22, 2013
    I prefer blood solos.

  12. AngelMoncada


    Oct 4, 2016
    I usually make the joke to my musician friends that "Bass solos suck!"
    Of course, when speaking in generalities, you have to assume that there are some exceptions such as a Hadrien Feraud, or Jeff Berlin caliber soloist but, for the most part, I stand by that premise. Someone mentioned straight ahead jazz, and I know it is part of the tradition and all but, to me, double bass solos, generally speaking, are the worst in this context. It just can't be heard very well. It is either you aren't heard or the band drops out and the song loses all forward motion. When it comes to drums, I think they can be badass, as long as the drummer is in time, whether it be trading fours in a band, or just staying in time during his solo.
    glennreid, mrcbass and Fat Freddy like this.
  13. AngelMoncada


    Oct 4, 2016
    Jimmy Branly is BA. Skip to 1:00 mark.
  14. squidtastic

    squidtastic Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2013
    Totally depends on the style of music. In pop (rock, funk, country, etc.), I agree with you that drum or bass solos usually disrupt the flow, and the flow is pretty much the point of popular music. In non-pop styles, though, I'm happy to hear a bass solo as long as the player is good. I'd be outright disappointed if a band had, say, Patitucci on bass, and he didn't solo.
  15. squidtastic

    squidtastic Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2013

    Tee hee :D. Dude is a monster, though. He was doing some stuff over clave that was making my brain hurt.
  16. squidtastic

    squidtastic Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2013
    And since I mentioned Patitucci, here're a couple of his solos.

    From way back. Love how he and Chick play off each other:

    Here's old man 'Tucci (see how he slides his glasses up during his solo) decidedly not breaking the flow during his solo:
  17. JACink


    Mar 9, 2011
    This is the first song I ever listened to that made me take notice of the bass as an instrument and not just a fill. The drummer and the guitarist aint half bad either...

    J_Bass, cactus1 and jfh2112 like this.
  18. AngelMoncada


    Oct 4, 2016
    what can be said about patitucci that hasn't before? lol. beast.
    J_Bass and squidtastic like this.
  19. Can't stand bass solos but I'm not really a big fan of anybody doing a solo. Quite like instrumentals, but they are a different thing than a solo. At the recent Alice Cooper gig he had 4 guitarists !!! Every one got a solo !!! Totally OTT.
    Thanks to them playing Halo of Flies bass player Chuck Garrit got to shine so didn't need a solo spot :thumbsup:
    the harp unstrung likes this.
  20. StayLow


    Mar 14, 2008
    It'll depend on the tastes and musical sophistication of the individual listener and to some degree the collective audience. Otherwise it's like asking if I like to hear a woman talk. Depends which woman and what she has to say. Is she improvising some genuine and challenging ideas of her own or spewing trite rehearsed innocuous phrases? Depends on the tone of her voice. Depends if it's in person or recorded.

    A lot gets lost once a PA is involved. Same as in the example of a woman speaking - is she whispering in my ear, talking out loud in a small room with just a few people in it listening intently, or am I 80 rows back with 2000 self-absorbed a-holes holding their phones in the air between she and I?

    The Peter Criss solo posted above is unlistenable to me. It's just a guy practicing his rudiments. It says nothing other than "My ego needed a boost and the guys needed a bathroom/booze break." For the sake of showmanship? Maybe, but I consider it an insult when I'm paying for tickets. And I'm a huge rock/metal fan.

    Playing competently, even proficiently, writing good songs, and being able to express something in a solo are all very different skills. For this listener, I'm into the solos heard at "free/avant jazz" type shows late at night in small venues. Sublime passion and beauty on display. Or beastly ferocity. True artistic expression and communication. Incredible technical skill is obvious without it being part of, or entirely, the subject matter.

    As for bass solos specifically, those are usually the least interesting to me. Fretted electric bass I mean. It depends on the player though. Fretless electric or preferably double bass has the advantage because it usually precludes a skilled player with expansive musical vocabulary and something to "say" that's worth considering, and not pandering to a large audience of yobs. It's also a more expressive instrument given it's acoustic and there's bowing that can be done.

    I've written the above with actual solos in mind - only one person playing, even for an entire solo set of music. If it's a "solo" as in playing a few bars of melody while the band vamps then it's usually tolerable but not what I'm there to hear unless it's a very high-caliber player and band, though even then it depends if they're truly on fire or just punching the clock. One long bending note from John Scofield is worth all the shredding notes John Petrucci has ever played, so like most things "it depends".
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2017

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