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Style, tone, technique

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by MODELL, Oct 31, 2003.


  1. MODELL

    MODELL

    Aug 30, 2001
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I don't know if this is in the right sub forum, but: I am now playing bass and singing harmonies in an acoustic duo. I play my fender jazz and the other person plays an acoustic guitar and sings lead. We are doing everything from Bill Withers to Rem, mainly classic rock, folk, and blues from the 60's, 70's and 80's. I would like some comment on how to approach the bass playing for this situation. This is the first time I've ever played without a drummer. I wonder if my tone or playing style needs to change. Previously, I've always played in rock and blues bands, fingerstyle and with my eq set concave (- mids). Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
     
  2. genesis6891

    genesis6891

    May 29, 2003
    I have a fretless jazz and play jazz and fusion, and I aim for the Jaco tone for everything :p Lots of treble and plenty of mwaaaah!
     
  3. jtauban

    jtauban

    Oct 28, 2003
    Good electro accoustic guitars tend to have nice low frequencies and a lot of medium and high frequencies. The voices in your duet will also occupy that range (mid-high and high).

    What you can aim at is to complement the band's output with some nice low frequencies, and I would definitely cut down some highs from the bass, so as to make room for the voices and the guitar. I've done a lot of recordings with the same formation, and I really thought the best sound was achieved by separating the sources with a good equalization approach; many bass player tend to play with a lot of high frequencies (the bass sounds more full BY ITSELF), but it is a typical approach in studios to roll down some high frequencies as to make room for the rest!

    So that's for the sound. AS for the style, make sure you "click" rythmically with the guitarist. If both of you have a strong internal tempo and you can connect it, then you can really groove!

    You can also add some sort of backbeat ( on the 2 and 4 of each bars) with your right finger tapping some muted strings. I like to do that when I play without a drummer.

    Good luck!
     
  4. MODELL

    MODELL

    Aug 30, 2001
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Thanks for the advice. We are jamming tomorrow. I will try to roll over the highs a little and focus on the rhythm. I might try out an acoustic electric next weekend at Guitar Center.


    Thanks
     
  5. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    In that situation, I'd probably make a hyperbolic curve with a graphic EQ with the bass and low mid boosted and a little but of cut on the treble. Play low notes, but if you go up, go up the neck instead of go up strings. I find that the G on the 15th fret of the e string is more round sounding than the zinginess of the open G or the G on the 5th fret of the D string. Keep it low and groovy, try flatwound strings.
     
  6. MODELL

    MODELL

    Aug 30, 2001
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I totally argree with using the low E and A strings for higher notes above the 9th fret. The sound is much fuller. I don't know about flats though, I've never even tried "half rounds". I've used D'Adarrio XL 170's since 1989 when I started playing bass.
     
  7. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    If the D'addarios work, use 'em. Flats are expensive to experiment with only to find your old strings worked just as good, if not better for that style of music.