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What are they missing - What are WE missing?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Dave Castelo, Dec 24, 2000.

  1. Dave Castelo

    Dave Castelo

    Apr 19, 2000
    I saw a thread the other day, where the bassist(son) was asking his Dad(who is a guitar player) what an Harmonic was?
    He had no idea...that made me wonder...
    What techniques does a bassist have that guitar players don´t?
    and also:
    What techniques does guitarist have that WE bassist can´t do?

    Of course you can´t slap a guitar :D
    logically you can´t use popping
    i have heard tapping used in guitar playing
    we can strum the bass
    can they play hammerons-pulloffs?
    can they really play harmonics?

    ok please help, i´m a guitar ignorant (not a bass one ;))
  2. MJB


    Mar 17, 2000
    Well hammers and pulloffs are very common with guitarists. You can play harmonics on a guitar as well tho probably not done as much as on the bass. Six note chords are pretty common on guitar, don't know if any 6 or more string bassists are doing that or not as I only play 4 stringers and IME 4 note bass chords sound muddy, YMMV. Don't see many bass players using a slide tho I'm sure its been done. That's some food for thought I guess.
  3. Erlendur Már

    Erlendur Már

    May 24, 2000
    Actually I know about an acoustic guitarist that has slapped his guitar, and I think he´s a good slapper..it´s pretty weird, he´s probably one of the best guitarists in the world or something
  4. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    The whammy bar and the wah are much more commonly used by guitarists than bassists, but some bassists do use these devices. Cliff Burton put the wah to great use in "Anesthesia" and Dave LaRue has used a whammy bar which he had installed on his Specter basses. I have also seen Henry Rollins bassist use a wah. Bust, as I say, these are not as common among bass players. Bass players can install a Hip Shot D-tuner to drop their E string to D. I don't know if guitarists can install Hip Shot D-tuners on their guitars or not.

    Oh, another device more commonly used by guitarists is the Heil Talkbox. Think of Ritchie Sambora of Bon Jovi, for example. I don't know if bassist use the TalkBox or if it sounds the same for them.

    Guitarists also can use the E-Bow, kind of a hand-held electronic bow. I suppose bassists can too, but I don't think it is as common.

    Oh, one last thing I can think of more commonly used by guitarists is the capo which allows them to play a different position on the neck. I don't recall having ever seen a bassist use a capo, but I may be wrong on that one. I, myself, have never seen it, though.

    Jason Oldsted
  5. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Yeah, they have Hipshot tuners for guitar. I know there is one Eddie Van Halen Hawks, the EVH Tuna, it's installed into double locking tremelos.

    And Guitarists usually don't use octave dividers (at least the ones I'm aware of).
  6. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    The guy from Morphine used to play his bass with a slide, (A two string bass at that!!). Heard he died awhile back though...Bummer

  7. Dave Castelo

    Dave Castelo

    Apr 19, 2000
    i read that Steve Lawson uses one...
    i think the ebows are getting popular in the Bass Solo players (like Manring) because it adds more sounds.

  8. i can slp guitar,, i'll mess around with it of my bro's acoustic,, it more successful on acoustic, but it works ok on electric

    what abot the guy from blues travellor ??,, don't know his name very good a slide bass though,, using a bud bottle
  9. Cornbread


    Jun 20, 2000
    Lawrence, Ma
    Victor Wooten uses a sliding capo for some of his really high popping madness.
  10. Paul McCartney has used a capo on his bass to write songs. Victor Wooten's brother, Reggie, slaps on guitar. One thing you don't see very commonly on bass, probably due to difficulty, is half or whole step bends.
  11. furtim


    Dec 12, 1999
    Boston, MA, USA
    I dunno. I don't have much problems with half-step bends, and I'm far from God's gift to bass playing. They work best on the low strings, pulling towards the palm. The lower tension on the E and A make it pretty manageable, even near the 1-3 frets. A whole-step bend, though... that would take some pretty low-tension strings to pull off.

    One thing most basses CAN'T do that a number of guitars can is Tom Morello-style pickup toggling. Most basses don't allow for toggling pickups, while I think that alot of guitars do. I can't say for sure, I know nothing about those guitar things. ;)
  12. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    steve vai has slapped and popped on his guitar for a long time.

    i got my first ebow in 1988, at the namm show, which i promptly lost on a gig the next year. :(

    for some nice guitar harmonics listen to "red barchetta" and "hemispheres" both by rush.
  13. Someone already mentioned Reggie Wooten as a slap guitarist, for the record, he taught Vic to do the double thumbing. Also, the late Michael Hedges did a good deal of slapping on both acoustic and in his later period stuff electric (the Taproot CD for example).

    The E-Bow is getting a good work out from Michael Manring and has for over a decade. Also, as was mentioned, TB's own Steve Lawson, who's latest CD just got a favorable review in Bass Player mag (congrats, Steve :D). Oh yeah, I guess JT did it too, eh? ;) I keep meaning to get one myself, but haven't yet.

    Hipshot makes D-Tuners for guitar as well as bass (the tuning machine style ones, not the EVH gizmos for Floyd Rose style vibrato bridges). They come in several different styles, just as do the bass ones.

    Also mentioned already was the late Mark Sandman, from Morphine, as a slide bassist (with a 2 string bass :) ).

    Can't think of wah-pedal bassists, but auto wah players would include Bootsy Collins and a ton of other funk dudes from the 70's.

    Toggle switch basses are pretty much non-existant, and could be cool. There's an open area for someone looking to make new noise :).

    Several guys use vibrato arms on their basses, one mentioned was Dave LaRue, who had one on a Spector at one time. He now carries a Kahler-equipped MusicMan/Ernie Ball Sterling everywhere he goes. It's cool, and guess what....I got to play it :p neyah nehya nehya-neyha neyha ;)
  14. I've not heard of a bassist doing pinch harmonics (aka false harmonics). I've never tried it on a bass since I rarely play with a pick. Anybody here?
  15. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    jaco did that on the beginning of birdland.

    steve bailey does a really cool technique where he frets a note, touches the string with his plucking hand index finger at the halfway point between the fretted note and the bridge, and simultaneously plucks the note with his middle finger. it's a bit tricky, but it sounds great, especially on fretless, and especially distorted. :D
  16. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    One of my Christmas gifts was a large book of Pat Metheny charts to his best known music. The book mentions that Metheny plays fretless guitar on some of his songs. Admitting my ignorance, I didn't know there were fretless guitars, although I can think of no reason there wouldn't be. I guess I thought fretless was more common to bassists.

    Jason Oldsted
  17. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Yeah, I am working on that Steven Bailey thing that JT was talking about.

    Distortion helps the harmonics come out, but if you pluck hard you can get them without it. I can pluck major triads pretty easily by angling the index finger across 3 strings and plucking hard with the middle. Nice little way to throw in some non muddy chords on a 4 or 5 string, and great for accents on 5 and 6.

    Re: others using pinch harmonics, Les Claypool uses them a lot as well.
  18. Adrian Belew also used a fretless guitar for a while back in the 80's. Man, he did some WEIRD stuff, but very cool too :D. Fretless basses are considerably more common than fretless guitars though, just try to check a fretless guitar out at your local shop! ;)

    And Jason, I'm jealous, that was a WONDERFUL gift! I really dig Pat's stuff...
  19. guitar harmonics make me think of pearl jam's "yellow ledbetter" at the end of the solo the guy plays harmonics on the 12th and 5th frets.
  20. Geezer Butler
    Cliff Burton
    Jason Newsted
    Andrew Weiss (used to be in Rollins Band)
    Melvin Gibbs (as above, I think the wah'ed intro to 'Liar' is awsome)
    I heard Flea uses one sometimes as well.

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