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Solo stuff... I hope you'll can help me

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by dreadhead, May 24, 2002.


  1. dreadhead

    dreadhead

    Feb 1, 2002
    Europe
    Hello! This is my fourth year as a bass player, and in the last years I've discovered the beautiful solo voice of the bass. I LOVE Stanley CLarke's tone, and I think he's my main influence. I actually use his plucking tecnique for solo stuff, and I must admit that I like the sound I get out of it... but I think I should improve my solo voice.
    What other tricks should I learn to open my bass to the great solo universe? ;)
    I often try to play in double-thump, but I'm not Marcus Miller... I'm not good to do it :rolleyes:
    I like slap a lot... in this period, I judge a bass from its slap sound and solo voice! In fact I was thinking about getting an Alembic bass... am I mad? Sure!:D
    Thanx to every one!
     
  2. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    Dreadhead, time to do some listening!

    Stan's solo playing is wonderful, but there's so much more out there that will influence the way you play... for starters, check out

    Michael Manring (Thonk and Book Of Flame are both still in print)
    Jaco Pastorius (his self titled debut has a couple of wonderful solo tunes, and some wonderful ensemble playing)
    Abe Laboriel (did a great solo version of 'Breakfast At Tiffanys' on his album Guidum)
    Michael Dimin- Big Droppins (some lovely solo arrangements of standards)
    Max Valentino (regular poster here, lovely solo album with some great bass tones)
    Victor Wooten (regarded by many as the main solo player around - whatever, he's done some very interesting tracks on his various CDs, my favourite being Yin Yang)
    and, if I be so bold, me... :oops:) - have a look at www.steve-lawson.co.uk and have a listen to some of the clips...

    Also, check out some upright players like Gary Peacock, Dave Holland and Charlie Haden...

    listening and absorbing is the key to broadening you horizons...

    cheers

    Steve
    www.steve-lawson.co.uk
    www.pillowmountainrecords.co.uk
     
  3. dreadhead

    dreadhead

    Feb 1, 2002
    Europe
    Thanx a lot for the council!
    I already know a bit of Wooten and Manring works... but they're still unreachable for my poor tecnique... I did listen to some Caron track... wow, I couldn't do that stuff even if I had 3 hands! :)
    I'll check Valentino as soon as you can, but I unfortunately live in Italy, where the musician (and the bass players) are NOT important at all... :eek:
     
  4. dreadhead

    dreadhead

    Feb 1, 2002
    Europe
    I'm just listening to your samples... I know that my humble opinion doesn't affect anything, but I REALLY like your music! I feel that you play with your soul in them. I also like your site a lot... it's simply and refined, like your songs.
     
  5. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    Dread,

    thanks for the feedback! I'm really glad you like the music and my site...

    To hear Max's stuff, check out his MP3.com page, which I think is www.mp3.com/maxvalentino - you can email him to sort out buying the CD... My stuff is available direct via my website, shipping worldwide.

    Th key with listening to other artists is not to cop their licks, so much as to have your mind opened up to new approaches, which you can then apply to your own playing. I can't do 90% of what Michael does (not least of all because he plays such a highly modified instrument!!), but his approach to solo bass has influenced me greatly...

    Feel free to use this forum as a place for discussion about such things - that's what we're here for! :oops:)

    cheers

    Steve
    www.steve-lawson.co.uk
    www.pillowmountainrecords.co.uk
     
  6. dreadhead

    dreadhead

    Feb 1, 2002
    Europe
    Yeah, thanx for your kindness! My sister also likes your music... and she agrees with you about your interests... :D
    However I was just thinking about getting your cd. I'll certainly use the secure server... but remember: I wanna your signature on my copy!! :)
    Just curious: why do you use Modulus basses? What do you think about Alembic, Benavente, Wal and Sei basses (sorry for the amount of questions!)?
     
  7. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    Dread,

    I'm more than happy to sign CDs - if you drop me an email to steve@steve-lawson.co.uk and let me know when you order it, I'll make sure I sign 'em before they get sent out...

    Why Modulus?

    Well my intro to Modulus was a bit random - the shop where I bought it happened to have one in, in a sale, and I then convinced the guy behind the counter to reduce the price even further til I could afford it. I just fell in love with it - the Graphite neck is really stable, the sound is clear and deep, the look is fantastic, the feel is perfect for my hands...

    when I came to get a second bass, I checked out their website and got in touch and was really really impressed with their policy on using sustainably farmed wood, and then I met them at the NAMM show in LA and sorted out a deal on a 6 string fretless, which it took me a year to save up for, but is perfect.

    as for those others - I'm having a Sei bass built at the moment - Martin Peterson is a total genius, a true craftsman and a very nice guy, and is making me a pretty weird bass, which I'll write more about when it's finished! :oops:)

    I've tried Alembics and Wals and neither feel right to my hands - not that they are worse, just different. Their sound isn't my sound and the feel and look doesn't do it for me. I don't know much about Benavente basses, so can't comment there...

    take care

    Steve
    www.steve-lawson.co.uk
     
  8. dreadhead

    dreadhead

    Feb 1, 2002
    Europe
    Well, I'm actually a Warwick player... but I'm going to change bass brand. I obviously already knew Jaco... but I forgot to say it! ;)
    My playing style (strange but true) is a lot influenced from the bass I play. When I get a Jazz bass, I get that nasaly tone that only Alder body can give... when I get a Warwick, I usually try to use its sharp-sounding attack to obtain a good cutting solo sound and a good slap.
    I must still find the "perfect bass" that fits my huge hands! :p
    I've noticed that you don't use slap in your songs... why? How could I get a good cutting sound without plucking near the neck (like I actually do)?
     
  9. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    finding the right bass for you is a bit of a quest - the only thing to do is try as many basses as you possibly can!!!

    re: slap - at the time when I was doing the first solo album I was just pursuing different things... the music comes first, and the techniques have to serve that - I come up with a texture, or an idea and then work with the techniques that are needed to get that sound. I've got quite a few tunes in my current solo set that use slap, but in fairly unconventional ways... I mainly use it for percussive parts rather than for usual slap grooves. I've got one sort of smooth jazz slap groove that gets gradually messed up as the track goes on, and that's a more traditional slap groove, but I guess I just don't sit there and think 'ooh, not enough slapping, better write something for that' - there's been no tapping on any of my stuff recently, even though I spent years and years working on that stuff at college... I guess it's all about focus - is it the music or the technique?

    peace

    Steve
    www.steve-lawson.co.uk
    www.pillowmountainrecords.co.uk
     
  10. dreadhead

    dreadhead

    Feb 1, 2002
    Europe