1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Telling me which bass to play?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by aaronhutson, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. So I got called to sub for a band tomorrow night. Its a praise and worship band. I am pretty good friends with the guitarist and know some of the other guys from around. Anyways, They asked tonight if I can play a show with them tomorrow night. No rehearsal or anything, just me reading charts and following the singer. I figured it wouldnt be a problem since I have been doing that kind of thing for years. So I agreed. I play with other p&w bands (which are all more successful, even though thats not what its about). But its just a show up, get a setlist, play gig.

    After I agreed, he asked that I not play the bass I have been playing almost exclusively for the last several months. My fretless modded wishbass. First he says its because the fretless sound wouldnt sound good for what they are doing. Problem one is that I have done this for longer than all of them and have done more with it than all of them. If anything, the warm sound is better for this music.

    Then, he says its because its a distraction and he doesnt like distractions. Well, I could understand if it was legit that the crowd wouldnt focus on worship and only focus on the bass, but its not that special. And, I have never had that problem in the many shows I have played it in.

    If it was a legit problem and he had been a little more reasonable about it, I would probably be a little peeved, but understand. But from what I am catching onto, also from knowing him very well, is that he just doesnt like the bass and doesnt want to be seen on stage with it because he thinks it is "cheesy".

    It is my go to bass that I am most comfortable on. I havent played with frets in months. Not that Im worried that i wont be able too or anything like that. Thats not the issue. The problem is that they already ask me to not rehearse, not have a set before the show, and not play my favorite, most comfortable bass. He even specified which bass they want me to play.

    Am i wrong to be a little ticked? They need me so that they can play the show. So should they be picky with what I play? Even if it sounds the same or better?
  2. ForSix


    Jul 22, 2008
    He must think you have an intonation problem.
  3. spaz21387


    Feb 25, 2008
    Portland oregon
    say the others are in the shop getting modded or something? bring the fretless
  4. livinitup0


    Dec 22, 2011
    Nope... You're a gun... Play what they want you to play.
    In my jazz group we play a lot of funk and other non-walking bass stuff... I wanted to play my fretted on those but the BL wanted the fretless sound on everything... It's his band (literally... His name is in the band name) so I do what I'm told, keep him happy and guarantee money in my pocket every week.
    Also... its not going to make THAT much of a difference in the overall sound.
  5. Lee H

    Lee H

    Nov 30, 2011
    Redding CA
    I wouldn't do it...
    They are asking a lot of you, just to show up and pull off the gig to begin with. To specify which of your own instruments they want you to play, is asking a little much
  6. Smallmouth_Bass


    Dec 29, 2005
    Well, what bass does he want you to play?
  7. Well yeah i understand that i am just a gun, but with that being said, I am the only REAL bassist involved. Their normal player is a guitar player who has a bass. Or the guitarist I talked to, who doubles on bass and is decent, but its not quite his forte.

    And that was my arguement when he said it wont sound right. To the untrained ear it will sound exactly the same. Even he cant actually hear a difference unless I slide up the board. He just tends to not like my tone because I favor the lows rather than the clanky highs. He is all about having a clanky jazz tone. Which is sometimes appropriate, but I dont want people associating that tone with me. You know?
  8. Well I get these sort of calls all the time. And anymore its no biggie. I know the standards and can read and follow just fine. Its just the fact that they called me and specified which bass.

    Smallmouth- They asked that I play my peavey bxp import. Its blue translucent, nothing special. But Im thinking about throwing a pair of bright blue strings on it before the gig. I was hoping to wait until I have time to setup the bass to the new strings and whatnot, but it may just be worth it to show up with the specified bass and unspecified strings.. Ha.
  9. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I'd like to get Lowner's perspective on this.
  10. Chazzz


    Jan 27, 2006
    Spokane, WA
    +1, plain and simple. Music is in the ear of the beholder, regardless of whether you like the lows and some other frontman likes the "clanky jazz tone." The untrained ears won't shun you because they think your bass sucks. Play good lines and they'll love it. Show up with a Jazz and call it a night. Or take a pass on this one.
  11. Excuse my dumb, but what does that mean? Ha.

    Edit: Oh you meant the girl that posted something similar awhile back. My bad. Took a minute to register.
  12. I'll admit. The guitarist is one of my best friends. But he doesnt like anything thats not vinage, or vintage looking. He has never liked any of my not so normal ideas or gear. So thats probably where its stemming from. Im probably wrong to be ticked. But he is somewhat of a gear style snob and wont try anything else. Im probably just ticked because he didnt come out and say its because he doesnt like the bass and blamed it on other things.
  13. You want to be a valuable sub? Make the band happy. You want to be picky and grumpy when the band has a special request? That's your perogative, but a valuable sub you will not be with that attitude.

    Your call.
  14. NightTripper


    Oct 20, 2011
    If they're paying you, I'd just humor the bandleader and play what he wants.

    If you're just doing them a favor, then it's pretty much your call I think.
  15. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    If you played in my band, I would not tell you which bass to play, any more than I would tell anyone else what to play.

    Awhile back, I suggested to our guitar player that he should "try out" his strat on the Jimi Hendrix song he loves to play, because then he would have a whammy bar, and he could play with the same tone as Jimi.

    So he did.



    And then he went back to playing the Les Paul, because that's the axe he feels good about playing. And me?

    I never said another word about it.

    I asked him to try it, and he did me the service of doing so.

    That was enough.

    He's lead guitar.

    I'm not.

    I would tell your friend something that I can't post on talkbass, and which certainly has no place in a praise and worship band.

    But that's just me.
  16. This one is just a favor.
  17. NightTripper


    Oct 20, 2011
    Ah, well that's pretty cool of you. If it were a friend of mine, I guess I'd just play the bass he thought would work better for the sound he wants. Unless he was being a jerk about it.
  18. klokker


    Jan 7, 2009
    Steele City, NE
    I have a P&W gig. They tell me where to stand, when to sit, what songs to play, and have total control over what I sound like. We get weather reports from behind the window during rehearsals. I just do what they tell me to do.

    They can tell me when to play.......but they can't tell me what to play or what bass I'm going to use. There's a boundary there that's understood, as there should be. Bring whatever bass you feel like.

    I get comments once in a while, especially if we're doing straight ahead rock about the 5 string I play. They would prefer the P bass 4 banger. Actually, they're right but I'm not bringing two basses for a 5 song worship setting.

    As low on the totem pole as I am they would never tell me which bass to bring. Bring your bass, play it well and you'll be fine.
  19. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Play what they want you to play. If they're paying you then they're calling the shots.
  20. PBnJBassist


    Mar 8, 2011
    Dallas, TX
    If there's money involved, play whatever they want and call it a day. It's just one night - shouldn't be too hard to sweat out. Besides, getting out of your comfort zone will help you out in the future. Just go in the gig with the sense that your bass is broken and you need to play with this... "other" bass that you're not-so-used-to. Again, it's just one night. If it kills you, then... um... whoops?


Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.