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Two Bass Players?

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by paulears, Apr 9, 2014.

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvhelIbUlXc

    A 1970s concert in Japan with the Carpenters. They have two bass players. Considering how busy Carpenters arrangements are, with guitars, strings, steel guitar and loads of other stuff - which would a live show have two bass guitars? Very odd!
  2. LakeEffect


    Feb 21, 2013
    Dumpstaphunk pulls it off, but their bassists have two fairly different styles, little ego and a great understanding of how not to step on each other. Check em out!
  3. Milk


    Sep 16, 2013
    Montreal, Canada
    Ned's Atomic Dustbin had two bassists. There's other bands out there. I just forgot the names.

    Well there was that Peter Hook and Andy Rourke project, Freebass, but it really sucked.... and I love both these guys.
  4. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Banned

    Jan 20, 2011
    I was in a band w two basses--the other played clean; I played fretless, heavily distorted.
  5. billgoodwin


    Mar 28, 2011
    the Dirtbombs - (one of many projects by Mick Collins) has 2 bassists (at times).

    now defunct group Sing Orpheus (Jeffery Sebelia of Project Runway winner fame) had two bassist and no guitarist.
  6. There's a few threads on the topic. It's fun, challenging.

    Alain Caron & Michel Donato



    Various quartets, sinfonietas and what not all with nothing but bass...

    BassPlayer Live always manages to get a bevy of bassists up on a single stage.

    [5th String Element]
    Bassist 1: One two Tah-Dah mul-ti-bass.
    Karen Carpenter: Yeah.
    Bassist 2: One Two Mul-ti-Bass.
    Karen Carpenter: Yeah, multibass, the audience knows we have multibass. One Two Da-Dah. This is my band.
    Bassist 1: Mul-ti-Bass.
    Karen Carpenter: We're so happy to be here in Japan. You know how it is. We threw together a band with two basses, sparks happen...
    Bassist 2: Mul-ti-Bass.
    Carpenters: Yes, the audience knows the band has multibass. [turns to audience] Anyway, we're going to play a medley of old hits for you, hope you like it...

    I thought maybe the Carpenters were trying to emulate the tic-tac Nashville bass sound, so I checked out the vid.

    The main bass player puts down his bass, picks up a sax. Additional keyboard player picks up a bass to keep the bottom together while bass 1 solos on sax. After that he just keeps it strapped on, waves it around (no playing) and sings some BG vox. I didn't see/hear bassist #2 playing whilst #1 was holding down the bottom end at any time. #2 starts playing again when #1 switches yet again to sax. Later #2 takes over while #1 makes like a flautist. It's like serial monogamy...

    Instead of hiring a full band, the Carpenters hired multi-instrumentalists. So, the Carpenters were just keeping there bassist(s) covered.
  7. Deano Destructo

    Deano Destructo Music Man/Upton addict. Hasn't slept since 1979. Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2000
    Seattle, WA.
  8. At Motown, Jamerson would occasionally play a line on upright and then go over it with his P-bass. They also tried some two bass sessions with Jamerson and Babbitt, however, the sound came out too mushy. Could have been a mixing problem, or it could have been overkill...
  9. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Yep, I've done it in a number of bands over the years, different approaches each time too.

    A few well known acts that have dabbled, off the top of my head:

    Miles Davis
    Willie Nelson
    Talking Heads
    Pharoah Sanders
    Ornette Coleman
    Gary Burton
    Sun Ra
    Willie Dixon
  10. Two basses makes as much sense as two guitars, two drums, two keys, etc. etc. Certainly, bass is designed and suited for covering the low end, but the only thing precluding a multi-bass ensemble on stage or recording is convention, and some small adjustments to style and EQing.

    Consider Lightning Bolt, a two-piece where the bassist's technique is similar to that of solo classical guitarist: plucking the low strings while picking out melodies on the higher strings. There are other, similar bass-drum duos (the Japanese duo, Ruins is one) that do the same thing.

    Speaking of Peter Hook: with New Order, Hook's lines were pretty much exclusively melodic, letting the band's synths fill out the low end(his technique was similar for Joy Divison, but JD's traditional rock lineup meant he still filled the traditional bassist role, regardless of his style. New Order is where he really go to cut loose and do new stuff and it's why he's one of my favorite bassists and partly why I love New Order as opposed to liking Joy Division). New Order had a big impact on EDM and Hip-hop and these genre's experiment a lot of multiple basslines.

    billgoodwin also mentioned the Dirtbombs, where one bassist acts almost like a rhythm guitarist, banging out fuzzed out notes that almost sound like chords while the other acts more like a traditional bassist, holding down the groove. It's actually kind of an ingenius way to imitate the fuzzy, noisy quality of old Nuggets-era garage rock bands.

    Black Eyes were a art-punk 5-piece DC band with two bass (and two drums), and their approach is similar to EDM and Hip-hop acts (and New Order, by extension). One bass plays a line that's more melodic that's punctuated by the second, either for emphasis or counterpoint. It's not everyone's cup of tea but Black Eyes were a great band.
  11. tony doubles on a lot of guitar- but is still a badass on bass.

    their full-time bassman (i forget his name) is seriously a badass bass player. dude can groove like nobody buisiness.

    on the "two bass player" topic, mike frost and chuck alder did a recording called "the deep" here on long island around the late 80s early 90s i believe... two six string basses and a drummer- without that recording i wouldn't be the musician i am today! if it's at all available you should try and check it out.
    MikeFrost likes this.
  12. Spent

    Spent Supporting Member

    May 15, 2011
    Upstate NY
    Burn Guitars was just basses.
  13. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    on this one we have the one bass overdriven through the mesa d180, and the other bass going through the multi fx into the peavey

  14. Doctor_Clock

    Doctor_Clock The Moon Machine Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2013
    Brooklyn, NY
  15. In the 80's I have seen a concert of Stanley Clarke + Jimmy Earl. Good memories!
  16. Staccato

    Staccato Low End Advocate

    Aug 14, 2009
    Chicago and EWF made it work while playing on the same stage at the Greek Theater!
  17. Noonan


    Oct 27, 2011
    The Groove Trolls of Athens GA had 3.
  18. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player Banned

    Nov 13, 2009
    Somewhere on the Alaska Panhandle (Juneau)
    Endorser: Plants vs. Zombies Pea Shooters
    The Beatles (a.k.a. The White Album)
  19. Molotov. Mexican rock band. Great stuff. 2 basses almost all the time.
  20. The Trammps did Disco Inferno with two bass players. One guy is in the front with a J, the other is in the back with a P.