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Your Unique Style

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by ben_the_bass, Jul 25, 2007.

  1. ben_the_bass


    Jul 12, 2005
    Describe how you play your bass; any certain techniques, tunings, new approaches, philosophy, anything! I want to hear what bassers are doing these days :bassist:
  2. Yngwie 4String

    Yngwie 4String Banned

    May 3, 2007
    Auburn Nebraska
    I try to be as by-the-book as possible. I basicaly just play with traditional fingure jogging. my main stand out is that Im very very fast with my fingures, I can play faster with my fingures than most people can with alternat picking. I play chords a bit diferently too. I play them like claypool does; strum with your fingures. My tone right now is still in the works. I use a lot of high and midtones. nothing to remarkable but thats how I play. btw Im fast really really fast.
  3. I play 95% fingerstyle in bands, but I like slapping and chordstumming as well when just goofing around. My musical style is a mix of blues, funk and jazz. When playing in a band, I usually do the less is more approach, and try to play about half of the notes I want to play. When I do the supporting chord-root thing, I try to bring out the rhythm as much as possible, like that one song where Larry Graham only plays one note.
  4. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Banned

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    I just try to play honestly and open-heartedly.

    I'll use whatever it takes, slapping, tapping, chords, fingerstyle, harmonics, the tools don't matter. I just try and convey the emotion that music evokes in me through my playing, and if I feel I'm doing that reasonably well then I'm content for a while!
  5. WickedBassy


    May 31, 2007
    I could really go for some chicken fingures right now!
  6. I play two completely different setups and styles:
    my ibanez eda90 strung up DADGC. I play 95% with a pick, and I aim for a mix between Tool and Chevelle type tone. I LOVE IT!

    my fender custom jazz bass - I play mostly fingers on this baby, with the upper mids boosted, the bass a little boosted and the treble rolled off. I'll also use this style for my fretless I will be getting soon.
  7. the_fonz


    Nov 27, 2006
    Kane, PA
    i often play the D and G strings using the claypool type strumming, but usually just one string at a time. it gives the notes a really nice tone.
    i slap a lot. mainly because i can slap about 4 times as fast as i can play any other way, so it helps for speed
  8. acleex38


    Jul 28, 2006
    I didn't expect to see so many people citing Claypool's strumming. I came to it myself through a poor attempt at duplicating some of the things that Colin Hodgkinson does. Watching more Claypool stuff taught me it was closer to a poor attempt at duplicating what he does.

    Beyond the occasional strumming, I try and bring the woodiness out in the tone - I dig in pretty hard fingerstyle with the occasional picking. I've never been able to make slapping or tapping work for me much at all.
  9. bassist15


    Mar 6, 2006
    Im only 16 but I definetly play more old school more with old school approach. Less-is-more ....the groove is what im all about. I use little nuances that i pick up from my influences in my playing . I play in a blues/rock band but Im more of a soul, r&B, funk , blues , reggae bassist. All that combined makes a good combination with some rock stuff. Playing a 02' MIM Fender Jazz w/ seymour duncan bassline pickups. Ive really been diggin on Michael Henderson (w/ Miles ) , Jerry Jemmott , and Chuck Rainey lately.
  10. lug


    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    my unique style involves Sucking more than the average Black Hole.
  11. Bo_H


    Jul 2, 2004
    I'd like to think of myself as being able to hold the bottom end down with stability while listening to both harmony and rhythm and adding colorful and tasteful fills when necessary.

    My main situation now is one where the drummer and I play well off of one another, even in a very improvisational situation. We don't walk on top of one another during fills and other opportunities to step out a little.

    I also like to keep the chords mostly root-oriented with occasional harmonic variations like a third or fourth in the bass.

    I also try to avoid playing EXACTLY like the original tune when doing covers. I want to maintain the vibe of the original, but allow my own musical voice to shine.

    Like I said, this is how I view myself. You might hear me play and think that I'm completely off the mark with my assessment. I understand--usually one's own vision of who they are is a smoky mirror.

    $0.02--Spend it however you want.

  12. I generally like to travel during notes to make them stand out more, but when it comes to writing... When I hear a song, I can automatically hear a bassline in my head, and I combine that with kind of a vocal melody I sing to myself to have a nice balance between the two, but it generally comes out sounding pretty good. As far as style, I don't really slap that much (I generally only slap octaves). I prefer fingerstyle, and I use two fingers a lot, but drift in and out of three-finger Sheehan style like a bad habit. I also developed a few techniques on my own, like circular two-finger strumming to hit rapid notes and little effects to make my bass sound like church bells, etc. I find that generally just screwing around yields the best results.
  13. ben_the_bass


    Jul 12, 2005
    well i suppose i should post my own style: i utilize pretty much any technique a bass player can think of, but i've taken some "pieces" of other styles. For example, with my picking technique, i use the flat-picking style of bluegrass guitarists; it's faster and interesting to listen to. I started out playing right handed because the only bass available was so; problem was, i was left handed. So after i while i flipped the strings on my fretless bass, so it looks like the illegitimate child of jaco's bass and jimi hendrixs' guitar, and learned to play that way. On my left hand it is naturally more flexible and stronger, so i "pluck" the strings by wiggling it across the string, making a cool fluttering sound. Still working on my upright bass technique i haven't quite developed any unique style there, but it's always fun to experiment.
  14. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Banned

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    I see a lot of mention of strumming, I got mine from Stanley Clarke, he is the absolute man at it! :D
  15. THSL


    Jun 3, 2007
    New York, NY
    Style? By any means necessary, fingers, pick, thumb, fist, feet, teeth...
  16. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    One reason why I love the bass is because it exists at the lowest common denominator of melody, harmony & rhythm. As such, the bassist has a unique position of power & influence within the band, to shape the fundamental direction & essential feel of the music. So I strive to create lines that most completely serve each of these three basic elements of the music, using the fewest number of notes. That's my minimalist approach.

    My "maximalist" approach is to conceive of bass "counter melodies" that can compliment the main melody, yet are fully-developed enough to stand on their own. I love good melody, and think there's far too little of it in modern music generally, and in bass playing particularly.

    I play mostly fingerstyle, with occasional picking - plus some primitive tapping. My favorite tone is what I would call the big "omnipresent transparent" tone, that fills up the entire room, oozing into all the "cracks" or "spaces" in the sound - while remaining transparent, not getting in the way of the other instruments...

  17. I play really, really aggressive and tend to think and write like a guitar player. I write more melodic basslines than the usual groove style playing or follow guitar plus octave/root style of playing.
  18. Tomass


    Nov 1, 2005
    Ive got a few different techniques, mainly with the right hand. I play with index, middle, ring most of them time. But may play Index, Middle in some songs. Also for some riffs that we write in my band, i may only play with the index finger for a more uniform sound. I'm some what an agressive player, i also slap for metal. In more melodic pieces of music i use thumb, index, middle and ring on the right hand, for each string.
  19. Firstly, I play what the song calls for... period. Nothing ruins a piece of music like overplaying. Like many have said, I try and follow the rhythm sections of drums/rhythm guitars and come up with an inventive bassline without typically riding the 8ths... but not leaving that option out should the song calls for them. ;) I also use strumming and chordal approaches to my playing, but not huge "sustained" chords - more an approach of quick "bursts" of dyads and triads, much like Doug Wimbish does. I also like to throw in harmonics both natural as well as artificial, as well as two-handed tapping (the traditional bassline with my left hand, upper-range chordal work with my right - again, only if it works in the song, but I've used this on a track that made it to a CD release so it's not as crazy as it sounds :D ). Also after a large time away from the technique I've been working on getting my picking ability back up to speed after being a 50% fingerstyle/50% pickstyle player in my younger days, and then moving to easily 80-90% fingerstyle in the past 7ish years. However, tracking my playing throughout my career the biggest facet to my playing is Contrary Motion - if the guitar line is ascending, my bassline will likely descend, if they're playing chordal parts I'll work on a "riffy" line and if they're playing lead lines I'll stick to parts that either fill up the room sonically or don't stick out depending on the size of the band (power trio, quartet, etc.) I've found that one of the best ways to come up with a noticeable line is to stray from the expected.

    Beyond technique, I try and make sure I have several lines both live and in the studio so that I can do all my wacky effects-based stuff yet still have at least one direct line of clean bass to work with. Ideally it's three - 1 direct line pre-preamp, 1 post-EQ section of my amp, and 1 post effects of my amp (the 'Mo' Out" XLR on my Mini Mo'). 2 will do live: the post-EQ and the Mo' Out mixed 50/50 so that the solid bassline is mixed with the effected line.

    So I like to think I have a unique style when I pick up one of my basses... but I wouldn't be surprised in the least if told I didn't. I've also worked on my ego during the past few years. :smug:
  20. I really just kinda jam by myself right now and try to hold timing so this isn't going to factor song-writing because outside of a couple of lick I simply don't try yet.

    But anyway, I usually slap the E, A, and D string around the 19th or 20 fret and I do *alot* of hammers, on the same string, on the string below, on the string above; the only real description that comes to mind is that it creates a really "rolling" type of sound and if I can figure out a way to make that technique form into notably different songs then I'll be a happy man xD.

    Slap is my mainstay just because I really like the sound it creates but I do finger pick quite a bit too and I throw in alot of mutes when I do just to move the beat along if I can't decide on a note that's worth playing, and like a few people have mentioned occasionally I throw in a claypool-esque strum for variety (I call 'em octave bars, dunno how incorrect that phrase actually is, anyone care to inform me?)

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