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What tone for this set up?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rob_the_bassist, Dec 9, 2006.


  1. Hey guys, I was thinking of a bass/sax/drums trio. what tone do you think would fit best to compensate for the loss of piano? would this trio even work? (playing jazz combo stuff)
     
  2. Madness

    Madness

    Jul 27, 2005
    Madison, WI
    Hell yes it would work. I think it would be awesome with a fretless, but otherwise I would say use a low tone, and focus on the low range.
     
  3. i was thinking either my fretless or my upright. what songs or artists would you guys reccomend to pick up on? i was thinking about some ray brown stuff when the trio played with moore (Except no piano) or some vincent herring.
     
  4. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    I played regularly in a tenor sax/drums/bass only trio (with a fretted electric!). It's wonderful, and is a great way to really improve the accuracy of your playing (i.e., to make sure you walking lines truly represent and outline the exact chord required).

    To me, tone is not nearly as important as the way you approach the trio. Some would start 'compensating' for the lack of a chordal instrument by playing more than usual, using a ton of double stops or chords, etc. I actually found the opposite to work the best..... simplify and just nail the time and the exact chord structure of the tune.

    Regarding tone... obviously, you would probably want to go on the 'fat' side of the tone spectrum than a totally 'bridge/burpy' tone, but that's a very minor thing.

    You will obviously be soloing a lot. To me, in that very sparse context, I find solo's that are anchored very tightly to the chord structure go over better with the general audience that a more 'pure melodic or modal type approach', which works great with good comping, but can quickly 'lose the audience' unless you are REALLY good at it.

    Finally, to keep things interesting, we worked very hard at mixing up the tempo's and feels (straight ahead swing, samba, two beat, ballad, etc.). It's very important to vary things from song to song, since there is less stuff going on to keep the audiences interest.
    Hope that makes sense. It is a proud achievement IMO to do four hour club gigs in that type of trio setting and keep it interesting for the audience.
     
  5. Wilbyman

    Wilbyman

    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    I think upright would fill the sound out more and give the audience something to visually center on. In addition, there are alot of percussive things you can do on upright to give the impression of a drummer (especially when you're doing latin stuff) that don't come out as well on electric.
     
  6. funkinbottom

    funkinbottom Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2006
    Northern CA.
    I play in a (bass sax drum) trio. I play my jazz bass using a variety of tones. Alot of Jaco type tones. There is a great sax bass drums trio called LIVING DAYLIGHTS. Heres a link
    Peace

    http://www.jessicalurie.com/daylights.html
     
  7. fretless Bob

    fretless Bob If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.

    Nov 27, 2005
    Harrow, London, U.K
    oh it would work for sure, actually it is my favourite musical setting to be in (even though i dont get to be in it often) and as long as the drummer is real good and can fill space without getting in the way then it would work great.

    about tone, i just use the same tone i always use and then just tweak it a little to add a little more low end than i normally do just to fill out the bottom a little more (but not too much) the whole thing about this setting is the space that is available for everyone to have fun in so you have to be aware of that.

    so if it was me and my Fodera it would be almost all on bridge (maybe like 90%) and then roll of the passive tone a little bit, but that is all subjective really isnt it.

    why dont you have a listen to some of the tracks on "Shadows and Light" with Joni Mitchell, Jaco, Michael Brecker, Don Alias, Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays. most of the album is the full band but there is a couple of tunes (dry cleaner from des moines and goodbye porkpie hat) that are just Jaco, Brecker, Alias and Joni and you can really hear how well this can be done.


    Dave
     
  8. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member


    +1 all the way... I wish I had that option available to me:crying:
     
  9. Wilbyman

    Wilbyman

    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    The caveat is that it really isn't the instrument, it's the player!!!!

    I mean, would you call Jaco or Dick Smothers for the gig?
     
  10. Joeonbass

    Joeonbass

    Dec 9, 2006
    Guildford, UK
    It would definitely be different without the piano, but might sound quite nice and interesting, I would recommend focussing on the low, cut out most of the high and nearly all the mid.
     
  11. wow! thanks alot guys, i forgot how reponsive this forum was:D. i'll do my research and test some stuff out next weekend with the drummer and sax
     
  12. fretless Bob

    fretless Bob If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.

    Nov 27, 2005
    Harrow, London, U.K
    actually i would disagree with you there completely and say that Electric would work much better, but then i guess all of this is subjuctive again really, i think a lot more energy can be achieved playing on an electric.


    Dave
     
  13. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Well, the electric sure works.... I did probably 50-100 gigs with a sax/bass/drum trio or sax/bass duo with electric. However, there is just something about the big bloom of the DB that just seems to fill out the ballads in that very sparse setting. However, solo-wise, I think I'd give the nod to the electric... more articulate and clear for soloing in that setting.

    However, Will hit it on the head... if you are swinging, solid, and really nail the song structure, the instrument is relatively unimportant!
     
  14. Wilbyman

    Wilbyman

    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    Ask this question of 20 bass players and you'll probably get as many opinions, that's fine with me...it's really all about the player, his/her abilities and the sound he/she achieves. But as a doubler (I probably consider myself "equally good or bad" on them) I would grab my upright 10/10 times for a drummerless jazz gig. Ken is right, the bloom and natural compression of the upright just can't be beat for taking up sonic space.

    Edit: I think the soloing aspect is a toss-up. I don't think either one has an advantage sonically, it's whatever you're best at.
     
  15. fretless Bob

    fretless Bob If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.

    Nov 27, 2005
    Harrow, London, U.K
    i guess maybe i should of said if it was me i would much rather hear/be using in a setting like this but i guess it all depends on what you have in mind musically, and really it is the player and what they can do with the bass and how they can control the setting that will determine what will and wont work.


    Dave
     
  16. Wilbyman

    Wilbyman

    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    +1 to all of that Dave! However... I'm not sure your Fodera would be good for that kind of a gig. You'd better send it to me so I can formulate my opinion. :D :hyper: :help:
     
  17. Zebra

    Zebra

    Jun 26, 2005
    There's a band around here that uses that same setup. The bassist uses a tone with a lot of bottom and highs too. He also plays a lot of chording and double-stops and pulls it off perfectly.
     
  18. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    I think a nice full range fretless would be great in that setting. You could hold down the bottom and be able to say something when soloing. Fretless has a lot more experessive elastic vocal quality to it, and in that setting it wouldn't be crowded by a pile of other instruments.
     
  19. fretless Bob

    fretless Bob If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.

    Nov 27, 2005
    Harrow, London, U.K
    yeah sure il send it right over... just as soon as i recieve that check :D


    Dave
     
  20. what type of sax, if it is a bari, then you probably want to steer clear of real "ballsy" tones, if it is a soprano, you want to do the opposite
     

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