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suck it up and solo?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by jomahu, Aug 30, 2007.

  1. jomahu


    Dec 15, 2004
    Bos, MA
    i don't like playing solos. is that weird?

    everyone else in the band takes solos (a lot of them - we kinda border on weird jamband vibe), and there are some songs that feature solos from everyone. so of course, they want me to take a solo. but i've never been a solo player. i hated taking solos when i played drums, too.
    it kinda gets annoying when i tell everyone days and weeks in advance, "don't look at me for a solo during our set, i don't want to take one." Yet still, onstage, everyone is looking at me and i have to shake my head. to me, it just looks unprofessional when it happens on stage.

    i dunno, i think i know what role i want to play as a bass player in the band, and solo-taker isn't part of it.

    again, is that weird? should i suck it up and solo?
  2. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    I feel the same way as you do, but I am starting to think that "suck it up and solo" might be where I'm headed.....
  3. rockwarnick


    Jul 29, 2006
    Rockville, MD
    no man. dont solo. the way i see it, if you dont want to solo and you try to force out a solo, a good musician in the crowd might be able to tell. solos are one thing you really should not do if you dont want to. i think you should feel it rather than force it.
  4. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    I'm not a fan of soloing myself. Once in a while the guitar player will point at me after he gets done with one, and I really have no choice at that point. All in all I guess it's good to venture out of my comfy safe pocket once in a while.
  5. NKUSigEp


    Jun 6, 2006
    Bright, IN
    That ain't weird at all. It sounds like you know how you want the tune to sound and everyone else is trying to give ya their input mid-song when they look at you to go.
  6. Bass solos=great conversation starters.
  7. gre107


    Dec 25, 2005
    Just play and enjoy! Doesn't have to be fancy just has to groove!
  8. rockwarnick


    Jul 29, 2006
    Rockville, MD
    haha thats messed up
  9. Silas Martinez

    Silas Martinez

    Jan 17, 2007
    Denver, CO
    Depends on the solo context. My band says they love to have me solo .... But I'm not really soloing. I'm just playing the groove, typically against only drums, or just on my own. Maybe I'll add a little bit more fill, but nothing hugely noticable. If anything, when they say its a bass solo, its part of the break, and I'm mainly focusing on grooving as hard as I can.. In a tune like brown eyed girl or love shack... I mean .. can't really call those parts bass solo, can you? and yet, there are definite bass featured parts.
  10. if you aren't too into soloing you should still give it a shot, just run some scales or something, doesn't have to be too complex
  11. maryhyphenbeth


    Jun 19, 2007
    Sticking to the groove sounds like the way to go. Are your other band members going wild with their "solo"? Does that, then, require you to have to do some crazy solo to keep things matching? What if you just kept it sublte but grooved it out as hard as you could? Guess it depends on your genre, but I don't see why they should make you do something you just aren't interested in.
  12. CelinderMotoMan

    CelinderMotoMan Banned

    Apr 4, 2007
    Flint, Mi.
    At the start of your solo, give the band the sign to break it down, tell them twice if you need to(make sure that the audience sees you do this) and once the entire band is at a quiet level, proceed to play a very sparcely a one or two note lick (think BB King), play the same lick over all of the changes and toward the end of the solo build your intensity level with the band. I love doing this when everyone elses solos consist of trying to play as many notes as they can and as loud as they can, I play as few notes as possible as quietly as possible. Solo over and you have made a meaningful point.
  13. T-MOST

    T-MOST Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2004
    NJ via NYC
    It's been my experience that people don't want to solo because they don't feel they have the chops to pull one off. Ok, work on the chops and I bet you will begin to feel differently when the solo chops start to come. I have never met anyone with decent solo chops who didn't want to take one.
  14. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    I hate bass solos for the sake of showing off.... like the typical Michael Anthony, Gene Simmons stuff to the Vic Wooten, Billy Sheehan, etc "lets stop everything and stick the bassist on stage alone" stuff.

    That said, I love bass leads / melodies that are part of artistic expression and add to the song.
  15. All_¥our_Bass


    Dec 26, 2004
    Most bassists would kill (well almost :D) to have their band ask them to solo. But if you don't feel up to it, that's okay too. You shouldn't do things you feel really uncomfortable about.
  16. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    Our band plays a relatively wide variety of music. I am comfortable soloing when we play some styles of music, but in general, I don't consider myself a soloist, nor do I crave solos.

    We've reached an agreement that when our leader gives me the nod, the rest of the band keeps on playing and I am free to deviate from the standard bass line how ever I like. This works very well for me because I am most comfortable staying "in the pocket" (Leland Sklar and Rocco Prestia have been a big influence in my fingerstyle playing - ever hear Rocco take a solo in the traditional sense?).

    When we're playing dance music and I get the nod, I watch the dancers and try to influence the way they move in response to what I'm playing. On a good night (e.g., last Friday), the dance floor can get very "friendly" and I have a lot of fun (when the ladies feel frisky, the guys tip better).

    My guess is that 99% of the audience wouldn't know a good bass solo from a bad one; when it's your turn, have fun and try to resist the temptation to overplay.
  17. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Rule number one of music: When the man says "Take it," you take it! Nothing is more embarrassing to a bandleader than to hand it off to someone else and that person refuses. I think all bassists should have a rudimentary knowledge of how to solo just for such occasions. You may never be asked to solo ever, but if you are, you should be ready for it. Yes, I know this flies in the face of the "never draw attention to yourself" ethic that pervades Talkbass, but so be it.
  18. jomahu


    Dec 15, 2004
    Bos, MA
    methinks you're right. i play in a band of berklee students/grads, so i always feel like i'm not good enough.
    also, since everyone in the band are good at soloing, i kinda like to say what i need to say in the groove. which is my other worry - overplaying in the groove.

    i just need to hushup and practise. :)
  19. vbass29


    Jul 30, 2007
    Warrington, PA
    I totally agree with you on this one. For me it goes back to starting on classical (Bass is support very rarely lead) and then moving to jazz standards with a teacher who's belief (and I totally agree) its my job as the bass player to keep the groove and let the rest of the band go off, drummer included, when its time for solos.

    :D Again I agree, and I refuse to suck it up and solo with our band. Even doing walking type lines for a solo really wouldn't fit into our music (generally - except when we cover "Who Knows) and even when it does, I'd rather keep the groove and let our drummer, who loves and is awesome at soloing, do his thing.

    When everyone does what they want, and no one is forced to do otherwise, it makes our band sound the best.
  20. Jeffrey A-Bomb

    Jeffrey A-Bomb Drink Coffee & Destroy Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2000
    Silver Spring, MD
    Amen to that..

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