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Stupid question i know....

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Nazmyth, Mar 10, 2003.

  1. Nazmyth


    Mar 10, 2003
    ok im very new to TB but just a question that will be easily answered... i have been playing guitar for about 5-6 years (im 19) but i want to widen my musical approach and i want to pick up the bass... yet i need some info about the bass ok here it goes:
    whats the purpose of the bass in a practice/live situation?
    4 or 5? i like to play fast hard detuned stuff, such as coal chamber, slipknot, mudvayne (well that was with guitar)
    also i would appreciate any infomation on the side that would be helpful in the long run
    rock on :bassist:
  2. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    First of all, this is the wrong fourm to be asking this in, I belive.

    So you want to pick up bass huh? What is the purpose of bass in practice/live situations? what,,,are you kidding? The name sorta says it all, friend. It's to add depth and fill in all that space those wimpy guitars can't. I don't care how low you tune your guitar, it's not going to hit as low as a bass. Go to your car stero, or whatever, and suck all the bass out of it with the knob(or whatever it is).......sounds like utter crap doesnt it. Thats why bass is there. Lets see,,,,from the bands you mentioned,,,,,all your probably (Except for the mudvayne) going to do is bash root notes. and , while fun to play in a band format, VERY boring to play alone while you are just practicing. All you HAVE to do to play bass is play the root of whatever the guitarist is playing, in the right time. But bass is alot more than that. It's a link between drums and guitar. you can be playing notes, but play with the drums, and it gets alot more complcated. No bassists I know (Except for a very small minority) play root notes all the time. Someone smarter will be along to help you in a while i'm sure. I fyour playing REALLY detuned stuff, say, like beyond a low "C" ,I would get a 5string, or a 5 string set to slap on your 4 stringer.
  3. Nazmyth


    Mar 10, 2003
    well i figured this would be the right forum because of the management and performance...i dunno like i said im new so i figure ill pick up the jist of how things go around here so i appolgieze... with the guitar i used baritone tuneing that list of bands is what i liked to play on guitar *cant really hear the bass on any of them* besides mudvayne and a lil coal chamber...see i told ya it was a stupid question but like with alot of the bands i listen to you cannot hear the bass much because its drowned out by low guitars and drums... but thank you for clearing up the linkage thing... however root? :confused:
  4. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    Hi there Nazmyth,

    Since this is related more to bass playing in general and not so much management/performance, this should be in General Instruction. I'll move the thread there.

    Have a nice day :)
  5. stephanie


    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    Hi Nazmyth, welcome to Talkbass. :)

    The bass generally serves as the 'backbone' of the band; in the bands you speak of above, I would say it's the driving force in the music. But there is so much more to the instrument. Just check out the Ask the Pros forums right here on TB. There shouldn't be a limit to what the bass can do or the purpose it serves (I'd say the purpose depends on the situation).

    As for not being able to hear the bass, it seems the longer you are playing the bass the more your ear becomes accustomed to hearing it. And before you know it you'll be learning songs by ear!

    So what other information are you looking for? Stick around TB, do a search. There's lots of stuff to be learned. :)
  6. Nazmyth


    Mar 10, 2003
    ya i was listening to the song under my skin from mudvayne closely and i noticed when the guitars cut out about 3/4 of the way thru *only bass drums and singer* that it still had that umph.. crazy stuff... well by info i mean general stuff like what kind of bass for what kind of situation... ur suggestions, strings, pickups, finger or pick? sry but i just wanna get the feel of wat the bass is all about...
  7. Personally I think that if you did'nt know what the purpose of the Bass was before someone had to explain it to you then you should'nt be playing bass... It's the white filling inbetween the oreo period.
  8. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA

    I didn't know what bass was until I tried listening for it, and this is what he is doing. Jeez, don't bang him because he asked a simple question and showed interest in Bass playing.
  9. Hi Nazmyth and welcome to Talkbass.

    The bass can have a number of different functions in different musical situations. Its most common function is that of providing a link or bridge between the melody and rhythum. The bass, along with the drums provide the foundation of the music and establish the pulse and feel of the music.

    One of the best things that you can do to learn the instrument is to invest in taking some lessons from a good bass teacher. They will be able to help you to discover the nuances of the instrument and teach you about the different roles that it can play in different musical situations.

    Good luck, once you get into it, you will find that it has a lot to offer musically.
  10. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    The truth is, the bass doesn't actually have any musical function - it's really an instrument for failed guitarists to use to get girls.

    And it doesn't work, really.
  11. krebsik


    Oct 9, 2002
    Czech Republic
    i think Nazmyth here is not asking that question because he doesn't really know, so why generalizing and saying "if you don't know what the role of bass is, don't even touch it"??

    everyone sees the role of bass in something slightly different. personally, i think it's up to the bassist to make people move - when they're waving their bodies with you, then you know you've just hit it right :) groove is everything.

    moley: nice joke :D :D ;)

    bye everyone, have a wonderful day
  12. play bass for a while, and you will hear it always. after i played bass for a year its all i really heard in music.

    as for root notes, these are very simple to do.
    seeing as you are into metal/hard rock, the guitarists will mostly be doing power chords. if the lowest note of the power chord is a G(3rd fret, E), then thats all you play. the low G. as said before, this is very very very very boring, especially if your practicing by yourself. but, practice makes you better, so you dont have to play root notes any more.
  13. Nazmyth


    Mar 10, 2003
    well thanks for all that replied it really helps thanks...but i mean to say that someone should not take interest in a instrument due to not knowing its sole purpose in a band situation is just errm not very intelligent i mean how many bass players out there actually knew the multiple things accomplished with a bass without actually going at it? i know with guitar i didnt know all the things i could do with it intill i had at it... no offense or anything bro but thanks for all that replied
  14. I'm not saying all the things you can do with it... You did'nt even know it's purpose... What it's job was... I don't even know ALL the things you can do with a bass.. But I know that it holds the band together... All I am saying is that if the only reason you want to play bass is ... Nevermind...

    I was'nt saying "Don't pick it up"

    I was suggesting that if you did'nt know it's function then maybe it's not the instrument for you.... I just would've thought that by 19 you would've known what a basses purpose in the band was... that's all... It was'nt ment to be taken as a person attack by anymeans so no need to get flustered...:bawl:
  15. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    Ah, misunderstanding. I still love you.
  16. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Nazsmyth, I've played in "detuned" bands like the ones you mention. Even though you say you cannot hear the bass, it is actually adding a density and heaviness to the total sound. If you were at a live concert of one of these bands, you could actually feel the low frequency vibrations of the bass through the PA system. If the bass were to suddenly stop, the difference in sound would be notable...thinner, weaker. You'd realize the bass sound had dropped out, even though you were sure you couldn't hear it.

    You ask the function of the bass...strictly speaking it provides the ointment that greases the pure rhythm of the drums (and or percussion) with the melodic function of the rest of the band. The bass, so to speak, is part rhythm and part melodic. Depending on the player and the style of music, it can be more of one than the other. Whichever it is, the bass can change the character of the music. Just try playing a lovely melodic bassline with a Limp Bizkit song...see how the music changes character.

    In music such as you mentioned, the bass often "doubles" the guitars. That is, it plays the root of each guitar chord and pretty much stays right with the guitars, which is why you may think you don't hear it because it isn't really distinguishing itself with fills, or solos or counterpoint or a melodic or walking line distinct from the guitars.

    If you listen to other styles of music, swing, country, jazz, pop, reggae, latin styles, etc., you will easily distinguish the bass because it is not following the "melody" note-for-note and a bass player who does that is considered to be not doing his job.

    You asked what kind of bass you should get and I would say for starters, what kind of music do you plan to play for the near future? What basses do those bands use? We had a rule in the heaviest band I played in...no Gibsons...no Fenders. Ibanez was the guitar of choice in that setting. Read the metal magazines or Bass Player and learn what bass your preferred bassists play. (You may not be able to afford their exact bass and sound rig, but get a facsimilie.)

    You may know, but I will say it just in case, that you need different sound equipment for a bass guitar than a guitar. You need bigger speakers that move more air because of a bass's lower frequencies. Basses cost more than guitars, the sound rigs cost more and the strings cost more.

    Other side info,,, unlike guitar, you may pluck your bass with a pick or with fingerstyle or you may even "slap" it in a technique called slap and pop. You can also use some of the techniques you already learned in guitar, string bending, hammer ons, pull offs, tapping and you can use some of the same effects such as distortion, wah, digital delay, reverb or others.

    Good luck and let us know what bass you do buy and how you like it. Come here with any questions you may have once you start your bass sessions.
  17. That's:bawl: PollyBass.... That.. means alot :meh: ;) ... BTW Nice Guyver picture... I've always liked the Black Guyver better though...
  18. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    3 was cool, but 1 was uber sexy.........

    Also, just as Bop mentioned, you'll have more of an impact live, where people can FEEL the lowend of a de-tuned bass. they most of the time suck the hell out of it when you go to record though.
  19. Nazmyth


    Mar 10, 2003
    sojhen let me ask you a question what was your reason for picking up the bass? cuz i have a idea of what u were going to say, and ive heard it before. now imma tell ya a story i started guitar like most 6 string standard e then i dropped to c# then i dropped to baritone tuneing... notice somtin? i keep goin lower...i meen dont get me wrong i love to play the guitar...but i can only go so low without me ending up with 6 bass strings on my little fretboard *not to be taken literally* well as for me not knowing its purpose, ive been in a few bands but the person that played bass was not... hmmm coordinated? and over the loud drummer i couldnt really distinguish its purpose is all...most of my playing is rythm based i like low end sound so i decided to pick up the bass... for me and me alone i could care less wat everyone else around me thinks... hell if they had their way i would just be playing guitar so please sojhen you do not know me so dont jump to conclusions about my reasons to play the bass? i know what u mean though and i respect ur opinion... just thought since u started at some point you would understand that im just someone that wants to learn to play the bass just like you were and everyone else.
  20. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Nazymth, you should be aware that a bass isn't just a guitar with lower frequency strings, even a six-string bass. The main difference would be that for the most part, basses are played one note at a time. There are exceptions, of course. Sometimes a bassist will play two notes at a time. And, yes, it is possible to play some chords, but for the meat and potatoes of basslines, only one note is played at a time. Keep in mind, too, that a bass player is not a rhythm guitarist either.

    So for a guitarist to switch to bass, he will have to make some adjustments in his approach to playing. In other words, he will have to learn to construct basslines which are suitable for the type of music he plays. It would behoove him to learn how chords are constructed, so that he will know what notes to choose and not be imprisoned by the root note. At the VERY least, know the root, fifth, octave of a chord. Better yet, know the difference between major and minor chords and know when to play a third or a minor third.

    Another thing as a bassist, it is your responsibility to have good timing. Every one in a band has to be responsible for timing, but it really stands out if the bassist is off.

    Nazmyth, you and I have something in common. I was attracted to bass guitar because I preferred that deep sound. If you are gravitating toward the low end, you might make a really good bassist. You say your buddies want you to play guitar, but also the bassists in your band have been inadequate. Good bassists are much harder to find than good guitarists. Why not give bass playing a shot? If you have the talent, you will always be an in demand player..