Posted by Rob Perl on April 12, 2000 at 14:07:19:
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
I think this is something we all go through, peridiocally. In my experience, the best bass lines support the melody line by including a bit of the melody line - a few notes or rhythms taken from the line.
One thing that never fails to amaze me is how people like a walking bass line. Somehow, there's a charm to four notes to the bar that all the Jaco, Gary Willis, etc emulations don't achieve.
As far as linking what you hear on tape, I'd suggest you keep taping and work on building up what you like and eliminating what you don't like. I've always found that things sound one way while you're
playing them, but may sound completely different when you hear the playback; that really nifty lick that you used as a fill may sound lame, but that root five movement you used worked like a charm, and you
don't even hear the clam in bar 5! You'll get a clearer idea of what you REALLY sound like, and develop your style and confidence at the same time.
Anyway, that's just one mediocre, but working bass player's opinion.
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