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Old 05-10-2014, 06:15 PM   #1
chadman50
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Bassist better at guitar than guitarist?

This is my first post so let me know if I'm in the right area...

On to my dilemma.
I recently rejoined a band I used to be in as the bass player. I'm pretty good at both bass and guitar or so I'm lead to believe because I've been complimented on my playing many times by different people
recently I've been really focused on guitar. I went to my first rehearsal in six months with these guys and it was immediately evident that pound for pound I am better than our new lead player, whom id never even met. So much so that he let me noodle around on his axe, and after playing a couple of things he said "well shit, why am I the lead player and not you haha"?
My vocalist and rhythm player are not too keen on the idea because, like me, they know we are so close to gigging and recording that making a lineup change would waste time and effort. However as I said there is a noticeable difference between my skill on guitar and his. Also my other concern is that writing on bass is way harder than writing on guitar for me so I feel that if I'm the bassist I won't be able to convey my riffs and ideas the way that I want to.
so my question is; should continue to play bass an not stir the pot or step on any toes...
or should I make it clear that I'm a more capable guitarist at the risk of complicating things?
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Old 05-10-2014, 06:21 PM   #2
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"Also my other concern is that writing on bass is way harder than writing on guitar for me so I feel that if I'm the bassist I won't be able to convey my riffs and ideas the way that I want to."

Why? Why can't you write guitar parts on guitar if you are the bassist. I don't only write bass parts for our band. I write all parts, even though I'm the bassist. And I don't only use bass to write the parts.

If your band doesn't have a bassist, somebody needs to play it. Are any other guys willing to play the bass? If not, you need to decide if you are going to play the bass or find a new bassist (which could mean kicking somebody out).
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Old 05-10-2014, 06:25 PM   #3
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TS is your issue that you can play faster so you should be louder?

Perhaps your other bandmates thinks it sounds good as is, and don't want to change it.
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Old 05-10-2014, 06:30 PM   #4
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The riffs that I write are too complicated for my rhythm player and side by side my lead is only a little better. Also I write solos and harmonies and stuff like that that are kind of hard to show them on the bass. I didn't want to sound pretentious or like an ass but I'm ALOT better then both of them.
and yeah my lead said he would play bass, hes a cool dude. But like I said the other guys are kind of iffy
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Old 05-10-2014, 06:33 PM   #5
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And its a matter of speed and just overall skill. I love bass and I'm good at it. I also love guitar and I'm good at that too.
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Old 05-10-2014, 06:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chadman50
The riffs that I write are too complicated for my rhythm player and side by side my lead is only a little better. Also I write solos and harmonies and stuff like that that are kind of hard to show them on the bass. I didn't want to sound pretentious or like an ass but I'm ALOT better then both of them.
and yeah my lead said he would play bass, hes a cool dude. But like I said the other guys are kind of iffy

Use guitar to show them the harmonies. You don't need to be the guitarist to show them guitar harmonies on guitar. I sometimes show our guitarist stuff I want him to play on guitar.

If you feel like the rhythm guitarist is holding you back, maybe kick him out or make some compromises. You can make your riffs easier. Even if the lead guitarist played the bass and you played the guitar, there would still be the same problem - the rhythm guitarist couldn't play your riffs (though I think he could play them if he practiced them a bit).
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Old 05-10-2014, 06:50 PM   #7
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True but kicking him out isn't really an option and he's a very complacent player (he doesn't really feel he needs to be any better for the time being). But you've given me some thoughts I appreciate that.
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Old 05-10-2014, 06:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chadman50
And its a matter of speed and just overall skill.


Are you skillful enough to write guitar parts that (a) the other guys can play and (b) sound good with your more complex bass part?
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Old 05-10-2014, 06:54 PM   #9
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What type of band is it? 'Cause if you're a thrash band or something and your rhythm player can't play the riffs what use is he? If you're a more classic rock/less extreme band just make up easier riffs. But I would stay with playing bass, but make some stuff up on guitar as well and show them how you want it played, two heads are better than one.

Edit: saying 'what use is he?' Might have been a bit harsh... You know what I mean.
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Old 05-10-2014, 07:02 PM   #10
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^^^ I guess you can only think of bands where everyone plays the same thing.
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Old 05-10-2014, 07:03 PM   #11
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We are a metal band and collectively are influenced by born of osiris, parkway drive, atreyu, children of bodom, lamb of god and stuff like that. So while I love bass, it awkward to sit and watch my guitarists stumble around the fret board while trying to sound like the bands I just mentioned, when I know that I can with not much of a problem. And I could simplify my parts, but I want to be in a band that that plays badass riffs and stuff and I think it unfair that instead of them getting better, I have to dumb down.
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Old 05-10-2014, 07:05 PM   #12
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And before someone says it, I don't have the luxury of finding another band. Metal is sparse in my area.
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Old 05-10-2014, 08:17 PM   #13
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A fix would be to put you on lead, the lead guy on bass, and just play your riffs. If the rhythm guy has trouble keeping up with you then he should realize it and practice more. If the rhythm guy doesn't pull his weight, then he is the weak link in the chain. Him not being able to follow you or practicing is what's holding you back from a better sounding band. Also he should be able to make complimentary simple parts to what he can't follow; I mean he's singing so why does he have to go full throttle on par with you all the time.
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Old 05-10-2014, 08:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chadman50
We are a metal band and collectively are influenced by born of osiris, parkway drive, atreyu, children of bodom, lamb of god and stuff like that.


I think you are just listing bands that YOU like. The band you are part of has only had one practice in the last 6 months, and I'm guessing a total of zero complete songs.

You don't have to dumb down your parts. However you can be open to:

- The idea that the band isn't in this very specific genre that you've decided it's in.
- The idea that the guitars don't have to play the same thing as you.

You don't need to dumb down your parts. You just need to learn a bit more about arranging instruments.

One really simple example for you to consider:

In the key of E minor the bassist plays some crazy riff. The guitarist over this crazy riff plays this once at the start of each second bar and lets it ring out over the bass riff;

x
12
12
x
x
x
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Old 05-10-2014, 08:23 PM   #15
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You sound like you don't want, but then you sound like you do want. What I mean is you sound like you want to play the guitar in the band and want everyone to the required skill level ASAP or they're out.
I've got a question:
If this band has always played stuff that you say you are influenced by, then they should easily be able to play the rhythm/lead stuff you write? I mean, old Children of Bodom, man...
Play bass, don't dumb down yourself, play some kickass licks. And try to inspire your rhythm player "I don't need to play better than I do right now". Everyone should be upgrading skills or adding skills, that's what practice is about too, not just upkeeping what you already have. That's how I see it anyways.
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Old 05-10-2014, 08:46 PM   #16
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^^^ all valid points.
I don't expect these guys to be shredders over night, that's absurd. But they tend to drastically over estimate their own abilities. And AlanHB, I'm all over the neck on bass while their playing their riffs, I have to because if I played what they play exactly id be bored shitless. And also I've known theses guys for a while ( not our new lead though) and they songs were are playing now are songs we wrote months ago. ( I left for some personal issues I was dealing with)
I guess what I'm trying to say is for the style they are going for, we don't NEED a Steve Digiorgio or an Alex webster (although it would be killer if we did) but we do need a competent guitarist who is willing to analyze his own short comings and work towards honing his craft (while ripping it in the meantime)
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Old 05-10-2014, 08:55 PM   #17
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Also the band didnt cease to exist 6 months ago, I just left. Im back because in my abscense they found all the other pieces and continued playing and writing.
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Old 05-10-2014, 09:45 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chadman50
Also the band didnt cease to exist 6 months ago, I just left. Im back because in my abscense they found all the other pieces and continued playing and writing.


So basically they're happy with what they're doing, and you aren't. Perhaps this isn't the band for you. I know you said above that there's not many metal bands around your area, but if you don't like this one I don't think there's a point for you staying in it.

This is especially so when you say:

Quote:
Originally Posted by chadman50
And AlanHB, I'm all over the neck on bass while their playing their riffs, I have to because if I played what they play exactly id be bored shitless.


It appears that you cannot enjoy a song unless it is technically challenging.

Maybe if you were happy with making music that simply sounds good you could stay in this band, but at this point it's not going to work. You'll just complain all the time how the other guys can't play complex stuff.
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Old 05-10-2014, 10:05 PM   #19
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All good points man I appreciate your thoughts. What you say is true but music is my passion and we are primed to record a demo and start gigging so if I leave its just another setback in me making a career of music. I have faith things will workout the way they should, whatever that may be.
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Old 05-10-2014, 10:07 PM   #20
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You know, it's kind of a special and valuable skill to playing the bass. It's the "Part B", of the glue that holds bands together. Would there ever have been "The Who", if it weren't for John and Keith? Frankly I doubt it.

I can't figure out why being a guitar player and a bass player should be mutually exclusive. It occurs to me I might enjoy going to a club and watching the band display extra skills, perhaps trading instruments for a song or two. Maybe even a whole set. Hey, that way, both you and the lead guitarist would both have an opportunity to sleep with the groupies the only want to bag a guitarist, or a bassist.

So, if you both have the rig to fill either position, or you don't mind swapping gear for a bit, why not give it a shot?

In the meantime, about all you've managed to convey in this post , is how much better you are at everything, than the rest of your band mates.

Maybe you should dial back on the ego trip, and realize how rewarding the role of a teacher can be. Most people that undertake teaching, stick with it their entire life.

Of course, being a dictator has its spectacular array of perks as well. At least until you're hunted down and killed.

More often than not, bands come apart at the seams due to ego and directional conflicts.

As near as I can determine, you and your crew are already dead in the water, well before you even start.

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