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Stupid question, what do you all play for a sound check?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Tim Cole, Oct 28, 2002.

  1. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    I know this a stupid, and pointless question, but last weekend when checking the bass through the PA, there were some hecklers in the audience (probably musicians, or maybe wannabe's anyway) yelling, slap it...lets hear the funk! Normally I just run through a scale or 2, or do something else simple, I just don't feel the need to try to impress anyone in sound check. The band I am in also leaves very little room to get too crazy with the bass lines, I normally just sit in the pocket working with the bass drum. Some day when people start saying I am a lame bottom feeder, I may break some louis johnson out on them though for giggles :)

    My theory I have learned throughout the years of playing: "Just because you CAN, doesn't mean you SHOULD."
  2. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    1. Why does everyone equate slap with funk? This is lame. Bust out some Jamerson on them, let them know where the funk comes from! :)

    2. I usually just play something improvised with the drummer.

    3. This is the PERFECT kind of thread for the NEW forum! :D :D :D
  3. beermonkey


    Sep 26, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    Because most people are dumb? :D

    I usually play something I was listening to on the way to the gig.. which could be anything from a Zappa tune to Weather Report to The Who to Led Zep or a head to a jazz tune, something purely improvised... whatever. I just wind up playing whatever comes to mind as soon as the sound person says, "bass!".
  4. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Play something that relates to your set. There's no point launching into some wild and impressive sounding slap opus if that's not what you'll be doing with your band.

    I'd suggest thinking about the songs you're doing and working out a number of snippets which give a fair representation. Give the soundman some indication of what to expect ("most of the time I'll be doing this... sometimes I'll pull out this kind of thing... or play up here").

    The purpose of the soundcheck is not to prove that you can play (that's called an audition ;) ) - you're simply making sure the system works for the signals you're intending to send it later in the evening.

  5. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    RE the hecklers I would ask them to stop as I'm working. I would point out that I dont heckle them when they are dishing up fries with the Big Macs.
  6. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    Yep..I just play a little with the drummer. I slap about 3 notes a night, so there is no need for me to go all Flea during the soundcheck.
  7. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    The songs that will be played. Doing anything else is a waste of time.
  8. IMO it's really important to play how you normally play during soundcheck. Chances are the soundman is not familiar with your tunes so if you get slap-happy during soundcheck he will adjust your eq accordingly which won't yield the best fingerstyle tone.
  9. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Uhhh, an open E...
  10. the theme song to Friends.
  11. Improvising with the drummer, usually. It's not normally anything like the stuff we play, but we've never come across any decent soundmen anyway, so it doesn't really matter. If they can get the bass through the PA I usually consider it a success :p.
  12. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    Are you talking about MY soundcheck or the BAND's soundcheck? The two are pretty different.

    For MY soundcheck, I'll play things that I know like the back of my own hand and incorporate different techniques. That way, if something sounds "off", I'll know right away, as opposed to the middle of the set.

    For the BAND soundcheck, I agree with others - play the stuff you're going to be playing. For the same reasons.
  13. to soundcheck / eq the mains - a well produced cd, 2 of our standards are robert cray: strong persuader, or steely dan: 2 against nature

    to soundcheck the bass - something simple like the chorus to 'some kinda wonderful' or basic blues

    to soundcheck the band - 'can't get enough of your love' or 'pearl necklace'

    we like to keep it simple.

  14. m.. scales.. or something improvized using slap, harmonics , etc..
  15. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    I play a few harmonics...on harmonics: its become such a habit to hit harmonics at the end of my riffs or in-between songs, almost involuntarily my fingers just sort of do it.

    also I run up and down the neck a bit...maybe playing scales maybe not...depending on what I'm feeling :D

    I usually don't slap though...unless I am trying to get a specific slap tone for a certain song...same with tapping.
  16. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Anything, from a snipet of a band song to some random improve. Sometimes even a mixed up cover, like taking some Beasties boys and inserting the chorus from a Jefferson Airplane song.
  17. Les Claypool's "The Awakening" (well most of it, still having troubles with it due to lack of practice of that song).
    It's perfect because it uses a few different techniques, gets those fingers moving and sounds great.
  18. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Huh. Never really realized it 'til now - I've got a weird little riff that I play that I more or less scooped from my bagpipe playing father.

    I must have listened to him play this riff a million and a half times during the time I played in pipe bands with him over the last 20 years. He was a pipe major for many years and when tuning his and others players' pipes, he would pull the chanter off and blow this little riff right into the reed to see what kind of tone the reed was putting out. Being a pipe band drummer, we spent a lot of time sitting around waiting for the pipes to be tuned!

    I do pretty much the same thing when dialling in my tone/volume in practice/rehearsal and gig settings - and in the guitar shops.

  19. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    We often play the opening number at sound check, plus one or two of the songs we should have practiced more... :)
  20. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Oh - yeah, as a band, we play one of the easier tunes from the first set - both as a sound check and as a warm-up.

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