walk help

Discussion in 'Rockabilly [DB]' started by avondawg, Mar 24, 2007.

  1. avondawg


    Mar 17, 2007
    Hey Bob I can relate to the job of switching from standard bluegrass songs to some of the country stuff with a bunch of different chords and progressions. Before two weeks ago i had only played the "simple" bluegrass standards 3 or 4 chords etc. Now the guy I'm playing with is doing some pretty "wierd" stuff, one particular song has six chords and he also does a lot of his songs in sharps, he seems to like the F# a lot.
    A few years ago I played a festival with a small group called The Spinney Brothers, man what a treat ! They're excellant musicians and almost always do the old standards, being partial to the Stanley Bros. Sometimes when I'm practising this new (to me) stuff with 100 chords in one song, I yearn for the good ol days.

    I can't imagine playing so hard that my bridge gets knocked over ! if anything like that happened to me on stage I'd likely have heart failure.

    Hey Steve, have you ever heard a bluegrass bassman take a lead break in s song?
  2. Hey Steve, Thanks for the encouragement :) . At home I've been playing along with a classic country Ray Price CD .... been havin' fun trying the walking bass with "Crazy Arms" and "One More Time." Do you have any other suggestions for that good ole country walking sound that I could try?

    As far as bluegrass goes, I totally agree about "not forcing stuff" and not getting "flashy." Last nite we had a garage jam with 6 players ... a few country songs but mostly bg. I pretty much stuck with root-5 on the 1 and 3 beats except for those pesky fiddle tunes ... Black Hairy Possum, Salt Creek, Red Hair Boy, etc. For flashiness I only moved around the octaves up to the 7th "fret" and varied between open strings and closed notes. I have to confess that I did hit the flat-7 leading to the 4 chord a couple times .... but I don't know if it was an accident or on purpose :D . I had a great time .... 3 hours flew by ..... kept pretty good time .... didn't piss anyone off .... ah, the simple pleasures of life :p .

    By the way, I dig your G.A.S. comment in your profile:
    "G.A.S. List: When you have a New Standard, why want anything else??"
    Man, I would like to hear and play one. I'm quite certain I want one ;) .
  3. bluegrasscat


    Aug 9, 2006
    yeah. steve hit it on the head. "DONT TRY TO FORCE STUFF INTO THE MUSIC" I'll forget and try adding some flash and realize, and say "OH THAT WAS NOT GOOD!" i wish i could turn off the thinking part of my brain and just use the playing part of it!!

    Bob! i know what you mean by pesky fiddle tunes!! they are tough at first( and i struggle with them but am gradually learning them! i love when a fiddler gives me stinkeye for missing a note!!

    this is one of those off track questions!! Has anyone heard of The Infamous Stringdusters? .damn good bluegrass band. i've seen them live and they are awesome!! i dont know where that came from!! oh well
  4. avondawg


    Mar 17, 2007
    No doubt I've posted this in the wrong place but anyway - I'm really curious what you guys think about a DB taking a lead break (solo) in a song ?
    And don't kick the dawg for stirrin the pot.
  5. Gufenov


    Jun 8, 2003
    In bluegrass, I've seen too many that detract from the song. Most are a flurry of low notes; sometimes combined with slaps and usually accompanied by body gyrations that suggest the player stepped barefooted into a fire-ant mound. :hyper:

    Usually the melody is totally lost and the audience doesn't get it back for another verse or two. I've seen a few good ones, but usually I'm more impressed with tasteful runs and occasional fills that complement the other instruments in the group. That's just MHO.
  6. bluegrasscat


    Aug 9, 2006
    I think it is totaly fine!! i think there should be at least two or three(well maybe 2?) if they can make it sound good! of course... people dig it and i think they look forward to hearing them, the bass is also a instrument. Why let the others take all the shine!! nothing bettr than hearing a good bass solo!
    but that is me!!
  7. avondawg


    Mar 17, 2007
    Well, I thought my question about a DB taking a break in a BG song would bring more agitated responses - soo much for stirring the pot! you guys too laid back to get PO'd ? Just kidding.

    When I first started thumping the ol bass i talked to a professional player who had won the Bass Player of The Year award a the Eact Coast Bluegrass Show. His advice: don't ever let the band put you in the back where people can't see you. You're a major part of the group and if you stop playing the bottom will fall out of the whole thing. Also, don't be afraid to let your bass stand out with the other instruments, you have just as much right to take the spotlight as the banjo, mandolin or guitar. BUT he emphasized, make sure you know what you're doing and where you're going before you take off on a break or you'll catch more than the evil eye after the show ! In the "old days" it was common for the bass player to be stuck way in the back of the stage, almost out of sight and it was generally understood that he play only a straight bass with no fancy stuff. No wonder some of us have a complex ! I hadn't really thought much about this subject until I heard this guy take the break in a couple of songs and later watched a jazz player on TV doing a song and a mind-boggling solo. So if they can do it why can't we ? When we get good enough, that is - which I doubt I ever will be ! So that's my opinion !
  8. ColonelZulu

    ColonelZulu Not Impressed By Those Who Flaunt “Authority” Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    Most of my good soloing is done when everyone else is playing...then I spaz when they hand it to me.

    I do 3-4 solos in a three-set show. Most of the time, it's in a couple of tunes where I have a little ditty rehearsed. Once in a while, my singer will go "take it Johnny..." and I'm totally unprepared. I've learned, if I'm ever caught unprepared, don't panic, just continue playing the line if I can, emphasize some pedal notes with doubles and triples the next time through, then add a little more and a run-down or up to take it back to the line.

    But, I really prefer to have the breaks rehearsed. If I'm going to get a solo, I want it to count. So I'll incorporate a familiar melody from a tv theme, or a comercial jingle...but spice it up.

    I'd like to get to the point where I can pull something out of my butt with no warning.

    I mean literally...crowds love to see you pull some hidden item out of your rectum during a show.
  9. I tend to agree with you. Not to say that it can't be done but it takes someone very proficient to do something meaningful on a fast tune. Another problem is that the space allotted for a break in most bluegrass tunes is only a few bars which doesn't give you time to develop much of an idea. The crowd might enjoy it, but it isn't very satisfying musically.

    I think the bass has tremendous potential on a slower tune by stating the melody with some embellisment. I think too many b'grass bassists try to stand out by doing the things you mention, BUT how often have you heard a bass solo on a bluegrass or country ballad? I think we should strive to stand out by playing MUSIC rather than by doing aerobics.

    The problem I ran when trying this was that if I ever lost my place I sank like a rock with a large hole in it. Not to say I don't practice breaks but I try to approach a solo with a outline rather than a detailed plan--then improvise in the gaps. Sometimes it sounds like severe uncontrollable flatulence but when it works, it is cool.

    Sounds like something out of Stephen King book.
  10. avondawg


    Mar 17, 2007
    Thanks for all the great responses on the DB break question. I posted the same thing on another bass site and got much the same response - except for the farts and rectal things. You guys have trouble with gas or something ?!!!!
    Thanks again!
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