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Two bass players in a band

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Andre3000, Jun 20, 2014.

  1. Andre3000


    Jun 20, 2014
    Wroclaw, Poland
    Well, I've just met some nice guy (yeah, he's got 6-string too) with some experience, I just wonder if I could use him.

    Present band situation:
    2 guitars + bass (drums/voc too)
    Drop C# tuning (bass tuned down to G#)
    Guitars are distorted, bass too
    We are playing melodic metalcore stuff

    I wonder if I could go into more sub-bass stance (playing octave/5th down the casual bass)
    Any bands you know use that band setting?

    PLZ help meh!
  2. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Fort Worth, Texas
    I've never seen a band with two bass players, but that doesn't mean there hasn't been one. It is difficult enought when you have a keybard who is too busy with his left hand. That can create some knee deep mud and really offensive clunkers. (treble notes clink, bass notes clunk)
    I did hear an album several years ago that was done by a bass player tracking parts on different basses - upright, electric upright, solid.
  3. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    That sounds like it is going to get real murky real fast. Most multi-bass setups I have seen have one bass playing in the upper register.
    DreamError and Shovel like this.
  4. The only way I could see it working is the two of you splitting the fills and playing in different registers.

    I was in a jam session not too long ago with another bass player who couldn't comprehend my above suggestion.
    It completely went over his head and his reaction was to fill every note with his lines.
    His amp was twice as loud as mine and he took advantage of that.
    After three unheeded requests I packed up my gear.
    The point being that without coordinated cooperation it will never work.
    On the other hand, if the two of you work together you can actually have a great learning experience on using different parts of the fretboard you've never touched before.
  5. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    I sort of played in a band with two bass players - the piano player had an overactive left hand - and it was a mess both in terms of rhythm and chords since neither of us had the skill or will to arrange songs to make this work. The band eventually broke up, not because if this, but I was glad I didn't have to share the bass space any more.
  6. DreamError


    May 30, 2014


    +1 on different registers. One of you could do the whole "octave below guitar" thing while whichever of you has the amp with the most headroom plays the lower register stuff.
  7. Not sure about heavy music, that is already down-tuned, but check out Dumpstaphunk, two basses, very funky interlocking lines. Usually one guy is lower, finger style, the other higher, slap with effects.
  8. AciDBatH666


    Feb 13, 2008
    Lafayette, LA
    This album might give you a little to think about. I've never really listened to it (actually just searched it on YouTube and found the whole album there).
    Acid Bath's bassist (Audie Pitre) put together a band in the late 90's with two bassists called Shrum.
    Here's their full album

    And if you go to Audie's wikipedia page, you can see the Shrum lineup descriptions.
    Timm Grimm likes this.
  9. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    these guys have ONLY 2 basses. make your own conclusions i guess

    mkfanforever58 and keyofnight like this.
  10. LowEndWooly


    Sep 3, 2013
    I was actually just thinking about this a couple days ago..

    I was wanting to try something out where I would play a synthy bass.. you know, octave pedals, You're Doom fuzz, Wonderlove EF, Vintage Microtubes, boosts, The Depths, Bit Commander.. stuff like that, then the other bassist would play more normal lines.

    In my head, it would work. It would just be hard.
    thabassmon likes this.
  11. Here's a 90s band with 2 bass players.
  12. somegeezer


    Oct 1, 2009
    It works nicely in a similar way to having tw guitars. One doing rhythm, another doing lead. Two basses down low gets muddy really fast. More so than two guitars would.
  13. Ritchie_Darling

    Ritchie_Darling Bass @ AZ Supporting Member

    May 22, 2006
    Impulse buyer...
    I kind of did this once. I joined as a band as lead vocalist. But, wanted to incorporate my bass into the mix as well. Their bass player came up with the solution. He played bass, I played piccolo bass. Not on every song. Just a few. Sounded good!
  14. keyofnight


    Jun 3, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    Even if you play in the same register, two bassists in one band could do some interesting things with timbre and rhythm. I, for example, prefer a high treble/midrange sound. I also play a five string with a low B string—the extra treble makes the lowest notes (E and lower) stand out. I think my sound would compliment a bassist who likes to play with the tone rolled off—and vice versa! In fact, you can harmonize in the same register if your timbres are different enough and you coordinate enough.

    But even if you're in the same register and have the same timbre, you might get some cool stuff. Sometimes when you run your bass through a distortion and played an interval/double stop, the two notes will interfere with one another. I'm sure you've heard it…that really awesome grindy "WAHWAHWAH" sound you get when distorted notes harmonize or make dissonance together. Imagine if one bass plays the top note of the interval through distortion and the other plays the bottom note through distortion too. What kind of crazy stereo interference would that make? I think it would be awesome.

    Also! Think of all the cool crazy staccato syncopation you might do with another bassist!
  15. Rockin Mike

    Rockin Mike

    May 27, 2011
    You could play with counterpoint and harmonies.
    A chord that sounds muddy on one bass guitar becomes thick and beautiful with a separate bass for each chord tone.

    If Spinal Tap can get away with it, so can you.

    Yah I know the "i" in Spinal is supposed to have an umlaut. Sue me.
    lgrankin likes this.
  16. somegeezer


    Oct 1, 2009
    Actually the N has the umlaut and the I has no dots at all.
  17. Rockin Mike

    Rockin Mike

    May 27, 2011
    ^^^^ winner
  18. Andre3000


    Jun 20, 2014
    Wroclaw, Poland
    Thanks for attention and your time!

    I'm doing research for a next day. You could ask me what I want to achieve?
    Well, I want to achieve really solid, stable, balls-kicking, complete sound without mud (I hate it).
    Good idea could be also accenting a different rhythms of polirhythmic sections of drums!

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNFMpePMji0 <-- Check it out someday, that's kind of music we play.

    Thanks for help low-end bros!
  20. Marial

    Marial weapons-grade plum

    Apr 8, 2011
    I'm in a band with two bassists. Feel free to pm me.

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