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Songs Don't leave Headroom for Great Bass Playing?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Obsius29A, Feb 22, 2004.

  1. Obsius29A


    Dec 20, 1999
    Huntington, NY
    Hey all- I've been talking to some bass players (I play bass but am not as good as what I hear for this project) recently about getting together to record some material. One of the responses I got said "Cool tunes, but I can't imagine being able to play anything but the root notes." I was wondering if I could get some feedback from you guys to see if you feel like these songs don't leave any room for creative bass playing.

    The songs we're talking about primarily are on here:


    "Dormire" "Splintering" "Mudslide" "So Long and Sorry" and "Stuffed Toy Sea" are the ones we are focusing on.

    Thanks for your advice, everybody.
  2. I know what you mean. I use to think the same thing.

    Keep in mind all elements of the song, rhythm, melody, harmony. Try to use the melody as well as the harmony. Also use a couple different ways to go from chord to chord, or note to note.

    Just try to keep things interesting.
  3. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Wrong forum - moved. :meh:
  4. Obsius29A


    Dec 20, 1999
    Huntington, NY
    Actually guys, I'm not the bass player in question, I'm the feller who wrote the songs. I'm curious to see if anyone here actually can hear any basslines for those tunes- if I'm looking to change my approach or techniques- it's just from a songwriting standpoint.
  5. monkfill


    Jan 1, 2003
    Kansas City
    A good bass player will play what works best for the song. . .

    These bass players you talked to are either:

    (a) Whining because the song calls for a simple, reinforcing line and they don't get a chance to show off on the bass

    (b) Not imaginative enough to come up with something "interesting" that still fits the song.

    Maybe they are saying your songs are too complex, or that maybe the instrument you wrote the song on is trying to do too much.

    I wasn't able to listen to the songs, some sort of conflict with my browser, but

    Say what you have now is just a guitar or piano part and a vocal part. Maybe the guitar/piano part can be "broken down" to where the bass plays part of it, a keyboard plays part of it, and the guitar/piano just plays a portion of what it originally did. For example, maybe the bass plays the melody of the chord progression and the guitar drops back to play some other fill or texture. . .

    Ask these bass players to be more specific. Do they feel the songs are too complex, or are they just not interested in playing a "simple part"? There's nothing wrong with playing a simple bass line if the song is good and simple is all that is called for.
  6. Hey I liked those tunes, some really good stuff, and i don't think they are really root note songs, really digging splintering at the moment.

  7. bassmantele


    Jul 22, 2003
    Boston MA USA
    The operative words - "I can't imagine".

    The boneheads you're dealing with suffer from a lack of creative imagination. Simple as that.
  8. Don't_Fret

    Don't_Fret Justin Schornstein

    Dec 10, 2003
    First of all, that's some good music you've got there. A little creepy for my tastes, but still good music. If I were your bass player I'd ask if the songs you have there, specifically "Splintering," were going to stay in the form you have there, with just the acoustic guitar. If it was going to end up having drums and electric guitar and what have you my choices would be different. Musically it seems like one could go either way. Root notes are certaintly an appropriate choice, but there is definitely room to stretch out a little bit. It's all really up to the player.

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