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Why are so many bassists afraid to go high?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by paniak17, Jul 16, 2004.

  1. So, Why do we? I and proud to say i am not afraid to go high on my bass, if i play my bass line and octave or two higher, it makes a more distinct sound for the musically challanged audiance, and i think they notice you more. After restringing my bass(see other threads by me) I have found that playing high is awesome. No wonder why people like guitars so much. I am a Bass player and will never pick up a guitar in my life, I despise them. But a band does need a rythem section, anyway im just wondering off while typing. So anyway, Why do so many bassist just stick to octave or two under root notes or basslines?
  2. Muzique Fann

    Muzique Fann Howzit brah

    Dec 8, 2003
    Kauai, HI
    Hey, I smoke everyday!

  3. i was woried that posts like this would come up! :p
  4. I dont think it fits in with most styles of music. It can be hard to hear the bass if everyone is playing loud.
  5. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    I play in a higher register when I "feel" the songs needs it.

    About getting high, well, let's stay on topic. ;)
  6. I've pretty much designated the lower 12 frets for regular bass grooves and the upper 12 for soloing (not on purpose; it just happens to fall that way most of the time) especially when I'm doing tapped solos, melodic runs, and chords. I also use alot of higher pitched false harmonics in both my regular grooves and my solos.
  7. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Sometime ago, in the '70s-
    In a Downbeat interview, Mingus commented how bassists were playing so high they oughta think about playing the cello.

    In a recent Bass Player, there a transcription to "Day Tripper". If you're familiar with the tune, you'll know it's played somewhat 'up'. Maybe it was was Will Lee's comments about the tune...anyway, it's believed McCartney played the line/figure somewhat 'up' because he figured it would sound better out of a car's speaker.
  8. We're not allowed to.
  9. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    I'm not sure that the question is really one of fear or bravery. ;) I think it's more about staking out a claim on a piece of the sonic spectrum. As soon as you shift up to the upper register, you not only leave the low end vacant, but you immediately begin competing against electric guitar(s), acoustic guitar(s), cymbals, vocals, strings (potentially), horns (potentially), etc. If you want to be heard, you may not have much of a choice but to stay down low.
  10. I'll be damned if we're not allowed to!! The first person to tell me that I can't play the top half of my fingerboard will get a punch in the face with a complimentary kick in the balls :spit:
  11. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    I've heard you play.. You should be afraid to go high :p

    Spelling police: You misspelled "Rhythm"
  12. yes im familiar with it, i play it on the 12th like a guitar, but mccartney does it around 7th, so he can move down a fourth instead of up one. I dont consider 7th that high.
  13. I see the same thing, but it's more that bass players are afraid to *solo*...I go to a lot of jam sessions and I'm always asked - 'You want some?' My answer is always 'Of Course!' I mean, you're going to take one, right??

    Anyways most of these bandleaders/jam sessions hosts/hostesses say that the bassists who get up there almost *never* want to solo. I think that's absurd. Yeah, bass playing is about holding it down; that doesn't mean you can't step to the front once in a while. Pretend you're Wayne Shorter or something. ;)

  14. damn straight.
  15. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    I think soloing doesn't have anything to do with range. Because of the tonal qualities of the lower notes, you need to formulate your ideas differently than if you are playing high, but soloing doesn't mean play high. Bass has a unique place in the sonic spectrum that noone (except piano) can touch. I find it exciting I try to find a way to make that work. Does that mean I don't ever play high, no, but I know that the low end belongs to me.

    On a different note, it's nice to find a drummer that understands... they can then tune their bass drum accordingly.
  16. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA

    Lighten up Francis :D

    I play a 6 string and play on the C string a bit. Is that the same as going up high? I mean, its the same notes without all the going up high stuff.
  17. high to me is anything above the 3rd octave of G we have, you decide.
  18. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    bassmanbucko is not allowed to play the top half of his fingerboard . :D
  19. DAMN YOU TO HELL!!!!!!!!!!!! lol

    I wouldn't really do that to someone, but I would definitley make sure they don't tell me how to play my bass again.
  20. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Wow, I did a double take when I saw the thread title.

    I'm not afraid to get high, what's he talking about?

    Oh yeah. Doh. Penalty beer. :)