The most fun instrument to play with?

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by TaySte_2000, Aug 7, 2003.

  1. TaySte_2000


    Jun 23, 2001
    Houston, TX
    I was just wondering what everyone finds the best instrument to go with solo bass to make it none solo bass or what every you would class it as.

    I thought any extended range instruments like Steve's Sixer would go well with a violin as one would finish the other would carry on in terms or range, or maybe flute.

    Oh Steve I should be getting the Ragatal CD by early next week i'll put a little review up when I hear it. First cd i've ever bought with out hearing anything on it and just on your say so. So I hope it's good :spit:

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    That's an interesting question and I cannot give you just one answer, but I would like to suggest that a surprising combination that I rather like is Bass and Vocals. Light singing over a solo bass piece, melodic singing , ever reading poetry or something like that, I find that to be a really neat combination.
  3. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK

    if you're working with a musician who's sensitive and listens well, you can get a great noise duetting with a spoons player. The instrument is less important than the shared understanding of what it is you're trying to do. I've duetted with piano, keys, sax, flute, elec guitar, acoustic guitar, violin, cello, percussion, bass, pedal steel, midi-vibes, steel pans, hyperbass, beatbox, and whatever weird stuff Rick Walker pulled out of his bag last time we were playing in Santa Cruz. The key to any of it working or not working was the connection between the musicians, not the instruments. Some combinations are harder than others to make work - like two basses - but if the musicians are listening, and throw away preconceived notions of their role within the piece and istead use whatever armoury of techniques and ideas they have to make music that matters, it'll work whatever you're playing... :)

    In looking for collaborators, I try to find people who I get on with, who are up for trying new musical ideas, are going to stretch me to play in new ways, and who have a strong sense of fun and adventure about the whole thing. That's what made the album with Jez, and my forthcoming CD with Theo Travis work so well, and why playing duets with Mr Manring is one of those rarified musical delights where a particular piece can be funny, inspiring, moving, challenging and interesting all at the same time!

    I will say that certain instrumental combinations take more time to settle in, but are still worth pursuing. The duets I've been playing and recording with BJ Cole on pedal steel guitar have been a lot more difficult to get happening than the stuff with jez or michael or theo, but the glimpses of magic that we're getting show that the process is going to be more than worthwhile. The difficulty is that the steel has such a dense full sound, and so does my solo rig, that we need to find space for eachother... The last bits we recorded were magic, so it bodes well for any future gigs and recordings...


  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I think this is the key - so I've mentioned before about the Jazz Summerschool I attend each year and how the tutors play random duets of free improvisation.

    So - at the last one (end of July)names were picked from a hat and you got a random combination of two instruments - no time, no pre-determined chord changes - just start playing .

    The ones that stick out in my mind were the odd ones - so Trumpet and Trombone was incredible and drums and percussion was very humorous and exciting!

    But as Steve says - what made the duets interesting was how the two players listened to each other and reacted to what the other was doing - fascinating to watch as well as listen to! :)

    PS - so there's about 20 -30 potential collaborators, Steve - any one of whom would be excellent and very responsive partners in musical duos! ;)
  5. Michael Manring

    Michael Manring TalkBass Pro Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    I also agree that it's more the "driver than the car," as they say! And Steve is the Mario Andretti of duet bassists! Bruce's workshop sounds like a lot of fun and great way to train folks to listen.