Re: This pertains to EVERYONE!!!!!!! READ READ READ!!!

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Posted by El Pájaro on April 12, 2000 at 07:15:23:

In Reply to: This pertains to EVERYONE!!!!!!! READ READ READ!!! posted by Brock on April 11, 2000 at 18:07:57:

: Hey all... I've been thinking a lot lately, and if i don't write this
: down i'm gonna go nuts. Although i'm always learning, as we all are, I've come to a conclusion, that i think is absolutely important to all bass players, though i don't know how right I am. I want so badly to become the best bass player that I possibly can, so i'm always trying to experiment around to see what sounds good or what cool fills I can come up with. This is a great idea in theory right? Sure. The problem lies deeper though. I recently have been playing with an outstanding guitarist. In order to try to keep up with him I feel like i gotta add something interesting on bass during every song. The frustration comes out when I hear a tape that I made of us playing. The bass sounds too busy at times. Whoever said less is more at times is absolutely correct. In certain songs, it is key to be a "TASTEFUL" bass player. I'm not to
: sure what to do. I feel at times that I can't be any worse on bass, though I know I don't really suck (not saying I'm great, either). I'm extremely annoyed at myself at this moment. But seriously, TASTEFUL. Its more difficult,, I think to become TASTEFUL. Experience I'm sure backs the truth of such a statement (I hope someone backs me here). So I need to work on this.
: I'm hoping that if I play WITH the song of the moment, and not play my bass as an isolated instrument, I'll sound better. UNITY. hmmmmm....Then again I don't wanna be boring..i wanna keep myself interested too... I know by sticking around the root I can accomplish this goal but aayyyyyyyeeeeeeee!!!!!!! I don't wanna play the same stuff over and over. I want my bass lines to be great basslines... See my problem?? Who has done this?? What should I do to become more tasteful as a bass player, and better- quicker...

: Maybe I'll lock myself away with my bass for a while. Yeah that oughta do it....

: Let me know your thoughts...
: Thanks a lot all
: Brock

Hey there,
Well man I sure have heard this kind of rant from many fellow bassists, and sure enough I've had similar thoughts myself sometimes (you know: "I sucked! But how in the world can I play more "with the song" without boring myself to tears?").
While I don't want to get too philosophical (I mean, we're talking BASS here), I really think what you (and we) need is a radical change of perspective. Many times we approach bass playing as playing basslines to songs. This is not bad, but I' think we should rather think of playing THE SONGS THEMSELVES. The difference is subtle, but it can make an enormous difference (sorry for the redumdance) in the final results. If you approach your gigs as "playing basslines" only, you'll hear just that: basslines. If you set your mind to "think song", and then play your bass accordingly, you'll hear something different: a song with a bass part that complements and enhances its emotional content. Sometimes it may mean playing only a couple of notes all the way (think of Police's "walking on the moon" ...three notes!!!!); sometimes it may mean laying off for an entire section or chorus. Who cares? I'd rather know I'm contributing to a great performance than struggling to keep myself busy playing a line that may be complex and challenging but totally uncalled for and out of context.
Too zen-ish? Maybe so. Anybody out there have a different opinion? We wanna hear from you, so speak up!
Buena suerte and keep your basses up front in the mix,
El Pájaro.

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