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Soloing question

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by BassplayerBrian, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. BassplayerBrian


    Apr 23, 2008
    Is it possible for a bassist to get as much power over an audience as a horn player? As I bassist, I definitely dig bass solos more than horn solo's but I love to play for the people, and I can't honestly say I've heard a bass solo grab a crowd like some of the horn(especially sax) solos, and I'm fairly certain its not for lack of seeing live music, as I see it every tuesday, wednesday, and thursday, and on occasion fridays and saturdays, and for all the times I've spent at those jazz clubs, I haven't seen a bassist reach out and grab the crowd like that.

    Do you guys have any input on this? I really want to be able to play to the crowd(like say a tenor sax) while it still sounding like a bass solo, I was hoping maybe some of you would have an idea about how to do it.
  2. paganjack


    Dec 25, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    don't know how to put this...
    i'm not sure it's possible to do that all the time. you can play with as much energy and gusto as you can...but even so, most people just don't appreciate the awesomeness of a solid bass solo. it's the cruel fate of the bassist.
  3. Another brilliant thread!
  4. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    As a bassist I'd rather listen to a sax solo 9 times out of 10. There are very few bass solos that grab me the same way a killin sax solo does. Truthfully those solos are not the ones that sound like a sax solo on bass. In a recent interview Branford says something like "if you wanted to solo like ___ you should have played ___." While there is defintely lots to be learned from transcribing sax solos you have to find what makes bass special.

    Or so Branford and Eric Revis (his bass player) would say.
  5. brivello


    Jun 27, 2008
    I doubt you would find this helpful, but check out Esperanza Spalding....she sings her solos while she plays them....its...mind blowing, to say the least. She is a great bass player too.

    again, probably not going to help. unless you happen to be a female with a great voice.....
  6. BassplayerBrian


    Apr 23, 2008
    After thinking about it I'd have to agree with that statement, however, I really want to find out how I can grab an audience like that on bass.(yeah its probably gonna be hard, but even still I'd like to find out how :cool: )

    Well... I play sax too, and i most certainly don't want to play horn solo's on bass, just to find out the magical tricks to making bass grab the audience!(I can't be the only one lookin for this!)
  7. lofreek


    Jul 19, 2004
    St. Louis MO
    Just because so many classic jazz recordings have everyone getting oh so quiet during bass solos does not mean that we all must continue to do that. Make the piano player walk bass, have the horn players do background riffs, and have the drummer do more than just lightly tapping on the high hat. The dynamic range of the bass is somewhat limited compared to a trumpet, so doing more with the arrangement behind bass solos is important to counteract that 'ho hum it's a bass solo' syndrome.

    I personally enjoy soloing over a denser background, by far.
  8. Yeah man......get a few strippers out in front too!
    I wish someone would have told Red Mitchell all this ****. It would have made his life much more meaningfull.
  9. Bottoms Up!

    Bottoms Up!

    Aug 14, 2008
    They key is to play what the audience knows... try quoting a melody they know. It wil get them to sit up and understand that the instrument can be melodic and build from there. Use repetition of a single lick to make sure they get it. Also remember... its what you dont play that speaks volumes...
    Also..check out any Marcus Miller solo.. you will see elements of all these things.. Very melodic, recognizable to any person and conviction for days!!!
    It can be done! Think about it like this... You take the bass out of the song you got a pretty week song and the audience knows it. Take the song away and leave the bass player and you grab their attention.... Just make sure you speak with them not at them!
  10. BassplayerBrian


    Apr 23, 2008
    Wow, lots to think about in that, I'll definitely look into it!

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