what to do when guitarist switches to lead

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Corbis, Mar 12, 2005.

  1. Corbis

    Corbis Guest

    Feb 19, 2003
    Wamego KS
    Sorry if this a dumb question or if this has been posted before but I didn't know what to look under exactly.

    I'm play in a 4 person band with 3 person instrumentals. Our style iI guess would be hardcore punk/screamo with a pinch of metal. My situation is when my guitarist switches from rythm part to a lead line there is a huge drop out. He'll go from mid-rangey to really high parts then back to again.

    It usually works out when he's playing rythm I'm doing more of a busier line then when he goes solo mode I try and move to calmer line (Basically sticking to the root of the chord the other guitarist would be playing)

    I was wondering what I could do to try and fill in that gap to make it seem like theirs a rythm guitarist when there's not.

    Note: For a while I tryed using a Marshal Guvner pedal during his lead parts but to me seemed like it made the bass sound out more then it should have.
  2. xan


    Sep 10, 2004
    Perth, Australia
    if i have understood your question correctly, my advice would be to try to get hold of an akai unibass. it will make your bass sound pretty close to an electric guitar and it tracks very well apparently.

    also you could try playing around with boosting your mids and trebles.
  3. Try to get a fuller tone, whether by raising low mids or something or changing technique (playing fingerstyle at the neck gives a bassier tone). I don't think rhythm guitar emulation is really required. You can also try playing doublestops or chords to make it sound fuller.
  4. You'll notice most every bass overdrive/distortion unit sucks the bottom end out of your sound. Exactly the opposite of what you're trying to do. If you want to keep the song together during a lead break in a rock song, work a line on your E and A strings below the 7th fret.
  5. I would suggest either a SansAmp Bass Driver D.I. (for use as either a volume boost to fill out the sound, or as a tube overdrive) or an octave pedal. I couldn't recommend a specific octave pedal (as I have only ever tried the EBS and found it didn't track well enough for my liking), but can recommend the SABDDI to "fill the hole" as I used mine in a three piece band when the guitarist used to solo. I used to vary my settings to between songs so I could either do the clean boost (in Living Colours "Love Rears") or tube overdrive (in U2's "The Fly", Smashing Pumpkins "Today") during guitar solos, but with the new programmable SABDDI, you could designate each sound to one of the three switches - I WANT ONE! :bassist:
  6. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    I play in a metal band under simillar circumstances (only 1 guitarist) and have become quite adept at filling in gaps. Certainly its important to have a strong full tone, but even more important is what you do with it.

    First it helps to have a strong understanding of theory so you know what "chords" your guitarist is trying to play over. Make sure you write basslines that really define these chords. Roots alone will not cut it, don't be afraid to add in 3rds and 5ths and 7ths to flush out the background. You don't need to be flashy but you do need to be more active than just root and 5. Nail those leading tones (especially on the V), and use non chord tones to give your lines flavor and definition.

    Polyphony is your friend as well. When the guitarist drops into solo mode you lose a lot of notes, so you need to pick up the slack. Double up your notes wherever you can, but avoid intervals like 5ths and octaves because they lack color. Favor 3rds and 6ths instead, or whatever you feel are the key intervals for a chord (ex: the tritone between the 3rd adn the 7th of the dominant 7). Its also good to know the basics of voice leading so you can make each note in your line really stand out.

    Its a lot of work doing bass well in a single guitar band, which is one of the reasons there are so few bands with only one guitarist. But if you take the time to really get inside your songs is a blast and really rewarding. Nothing like ending a gig and having people ask you where the sampler that was playing the second guitar part is hiding :bassist:
  7. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    Do a Geddy: a busier line plus an ample helping of midrange EQ. A filling, nutritious part of a complete power-trio breakfast.
  8. FireAarro


    Aug 8, 2004
    And a lot of triggered synth stuff :bag:
  9. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    A lot of effects can be useful in this kind of situation but I'd advertise against getting one until you can fill the gap (or deal with it for the good of the song) solely with your technique. You MUST be able to hold a song together regardless of the situation. That's the root purpose of a bass player IMHO.
  10. Yeah, what he said!

    the thing i love about the sansamp BDDI is that it doesnt give you a crappy tinny/trebbly sounding overdrive, you can play about and get an amazing rumbly growl if you want :D
  11. BassGod


    Jan 21, 2004
    I'm in a three piece, and use these pedals when my guitarist solos:

    Marshall Guv'nor II
    Electro-Harmonix Big Muff

    Both sound great.

  13. keb


    Mar 30, 2004

    Well, I'm talking more 70's Geddy before he turned into a MIDI cyborg in the mid 80's.
  14. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    I agree with Kurt Berglund, in most situations it is better to play more, not less to fill out the gaps. Also try shifting into a higher register now that you don't have to stay clear of the rhythm guitar's range any more.
  15. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    octave pedal also helps to fill out the sound