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Subtle playing.

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Cammy511, Oct 15, 2013.

  1. How do I do fills and runs without making them so flashy? I would like to do them in a subtle manner in order for me to enjoy it and to fill some space that needs to be filled without being "LOOK AT ME". Any help?
  2. hsech

    hsech Work hard. My Social Security needs a raise.

    Jun 27, 2012
    Central Iowa
    I think you answered your own question by doing them in a subtle manner. Body language and volume make the fills "flashy".
  3. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    It's not clear to me that you really know what you're asking, without challenging your assumptions a little. Either that, or I'm completely misunderstanding the question. :meh:

    It seems to me that fills and runs are inherently flashy, to one extent or another. Although you can always play them with a more subdued tone, and/or with a less aggressive attack, the best way to make them more subtle is simply to play fewer notes. :eyebrow:

    I have no idea idea of the genre(s) of music you play, nor of how much of your musical space legitimately "needs to be filled". But I will say that, with the bass most particularly, "less is often more". A skilled player will often know how to say far more with the rests than he could ever say with the notes.

    If you've never done so before, I would suggest that you take some time to ponder and meditate on that concept for awhile. Then come back to your musical dilemma - and find out whether you still see it the same way as you did before. :meh:

  4. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    In practice, turn your bass up way too loud, and practice controlling volume with your fingers/touch.

    Gain an ease in playing that will make any fill or run just be a little "something" instead of a big "everything."
  5. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    Note choice rather than speed can be just as cool when doing a fill and adds something harmonically that can stand out without being flashy.
  6. Jhengsman


    Oct 17, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    As a band you decide when it is your turn so your fills don't flash as they conflict with the other musicians fills and runs.
  7. eddododo

    eddododo Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2010
    Look up the band Snarky Puppy. Mike is the brains of the operation, and in terms of dynamic, subtle, meaningful bass playing, he is my hero.
  8. eddododo

    eddododo Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2010
  9. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    Donno your genre - it would help improve the relevance of responses...
    But if you like anything jazzy (or maybe even if not, for the purpose of this illustration...) get a copy of John Klemmer's 'Touch.'

    I've always liked it, and revisited it lately because I remembered I liked the bass lines. Now that I'm really paying attention, there is _a lot_ going on.

    If your more metal-y, I'd suggest Iron Butterfly. Lee Dorman's lines were fluid, melodic, and never in the way. For pop - Hejira.

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