#1
Hi guys,

I'm in a metal band at the moment, pretty traditional stuff, but often relying on E pedal notes, and root notes seems the best way around the riffs.

The guitarists have written two songs so far, they're great from the perspective of a metal fan, like myself, however I don't feel any pull from the songs to play them, I don't think I want to play metal anymore. I find it's too hard for me to write too, I'd rather work with chord progressions and stuff, not thrashy riffs, it doesn't come naturally to me.

I am NOT saying that all metal is the same, I just feel that with two guitarists, distortion, lot of e string action, I'll be lost in the mix too, and I won't find performing these songs much fun.

I've played this stuff before, with my old band and I think the time might have come for me to move on. I'd quite like to go down the progressive rock route with catchy riffs and vocals, with space for basslines to move around, etc.

Am I being reasonable about this? Is there any way I can explain this to my band members without upsetting them- they are my mates too.

I have a practice tomorrow, and a bad cold, so I'm not feeling up to it really, especially with these thoughts going round in my head.

Thanks for reading UG, it means a lot x

EDIT: I can see why guitarists love metal, lot of meaty riffs that sound cool. But it doesn't have that appeal to me anymore, as a bass player.
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Last edited by Bullet-Rule at Jan 29, 2009,
#2
Being a Bass player can be a little frustrating in a metal band. All those flashy guitar licks going on around you. Sounds like you want a change and chance to improvise a bit more. Ask them if they would consider some other stuff that is still heavy..and write something yourself!
#3
Yes its completely reasonable to do something like that. People always leave bands for things like this. Its your right to decide what you wanna do with your music so go for it
#4
Listen to Steve Digiorgio's work in Sadus and Death, Alex Webster in Cannibal Corpse... hell, even Cliff Burton had his moment.

It's very much possible to be a bassist yet have great presence in metal.
#5
It shouldn't be too hard to explain to them, just tell them what you told us, I can't imagine you would lose a friendship over this. Truth be told I almost left my band when they wanted to turn metal, luckily for me they didn't.
#6
Yeah, it's reasonable. Of course it is, if you're not happy with your position, you have a right to change it.


Also, Prog. Rock is awesome
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#8
Quote by webbtje
Listen to Steve Digiorgio's work in Sadus and Death, Alex Webster in Cannibal Corpse... hell, even Cliff Burton had his moment.

It's very much possible to be a bassist yet have great presence in metal.

Thanks for the recommendations webbtje. I know there are some phenomenal bassists in metal and those who have great presence. I'm fine with getting my tone to cut through, I have a Spector , only I just feel I'm a bit limited, and would like to experiment a bit more, and not be as heavy. Rush and Coheed are my main inspirations I'd say.

Thanks for the responses guys, I'll have a chat tomorrow.
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#9
try talking talking to them first and see if there's some flexibility. My band used to be strictly metal screamo and all that **** i got sick of it and now we've branched out and still do our favorite old metal tunes but also do some power ballads a few jazzy songs and a kick ass cover of hungry like the wolf, If they aren't willing to budge its very reasonable to move on and look elsewhere for musical satisfaction
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#10
you should try and find a place in the band to shine the limelight on you sometimes

you can of coruse experiment in metal, a lot of metal bands have those softer more ballad songs, could be a good place to show your skill creating and interesting thickness in the band

and if not just kick ass on stage =)

make the best decision for you
#11
Quote by Zero_Focus

and if not just kick ass on stage =)

make the best decision for you

amen sir.
#12
Quote by webbtje
Listen to Steve Digiorgio's work in Sadus and Death, Alex Webster in Cannibal Corpse... hell, even Cliff Burton had his moment.

It's very much possible to be a bassist yet have great presence in metal.


This, aswell as some Atheist and Cynic. Creating lines that don't follow the guitar, although a bit challenging is possible, even if it's just a few fills here and there(or lots of fills if you wish.) Maybe even ask your guitarists to give you some space to do something.

Or if your bored of metal in general you can just leave and look for guitarists with similar taste. Although I've found prog musicians are rare.
#13
Quote by Bullet-Rule
Thanks for the recommendations webbtje. I know there are some phenomenal bassists in metal and those who have great presence. I'm fine with getting my tone to cut through, I have a Spector , only I just feel I'm a bit limited, and would like to experiment a bit more, and not be as heavy. Rush and Coheed are my main inspirations I'd say.

Thanks for the responses guys, I'll have a chat tomorrow.


Yeah, that's fair enough. Besides, remind them prog metal can be plenty heavy, go 50/50
#14
I think if you sit down and talk to them about the situation like you have here, you can either come to a compromise situation or have a very graceful way to exit the band without losing the friendships.

I've turned down joining a band or two friends have formed because frankly I couldn't see myself playing the genre in question. I still jam with these people on occasion and we're still friends, but we've accepted that we can't work together in a on-going band format.

Another option would be to stay with the band but find a side band or project to explore new areas of playing. Up to recently, I was playing in R&B funk pickup group and it was a nice change from the more serious jazz group I play with. It also helped me to bring some of that fun back when I went to play jazz.
#15
I agree with anarkee, while I don't have much band experience, I have gotten tired of genres before. Alternatively, you could try to play something of a non-metal style, maybe try taking a different role in the group. Instead of only playing root notes, maybe try a harmony part.

If you feel like you need to leave, the above suggestion of talking about it first seems the best way to me.
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#16
Metallica is a good example of a band with cool guitar and the bass stays right with them without stepping on toes.

The real answer isn't play different it's play the music differently. If you don't like eighth root notes, play something different.
#17
It sounds to me like you're too good at bass to get any enjoyment out of root note lines and not yet skillful enough to find a way around them. Alot of metal bands have great bass, but very few just have good bass, so this makes perfect sense. I suggest you try some new styles of music and if you feel like going back to metal, you'll have some new ideas to play with.
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#18
Quote by wouldyakindly
It sounds to me like you're too good at bass to get any enjoyment out of root note lines and not yet skillful enough to find a way around them. Alot of metal bands have great bass, but very few just have good bass, so this makes perfect sense. I suggest you try some new styles of music and if you feel like going back to metal, you'll have some new ideas to play with.


Well said. I used to be in a similar situation. The best advice I can offer is learn some theory. You don't have to be a theory god, I'm not, but learning even the basics opens up options you didn't know you had. Well that's how it worked for me anyway.
Start experimenting with your basslines, adding in little fills and runs. Just start of simple and see what you come up with.
#19
Reggae.
Jazz.
Blues.
These genres generally have a ton of room for freedom with bass lines.
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#20
You could always continue doing what you're doing, but find/assemble a side project in a genre you're more interested in. I assume from your indecision that you're friends with these guys and enjoy jamming with them. Voice your concerns that you feel like you're in a rut and maybe you can come up with somthing that makes everyone happy. If not, the side project thing might be just the ticket to allow you to keep jamming with your friends while getting to play the music you feel you want to play.

The best part is that if the side project doesn't work out and you find you'd rather keep playing metal, you can stay with the group you're with, or if the opposite happens and you love the side project, you can devote more time to that without hurting any feelings or leaving them scrambling to find a new bassist. Nothing sucks more then when you have a good thing going and someone suddenly ducks out without notice.

-Edit-
Erf, just noticed that anarkee beat me to it. I should really read more closely before I post
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Last edited by Garou1911 at Jan 29, 2009,
#21
It would greatly depend on the musical open mindedness of your friends. Alot of younger metal players are very musically ignorant - they listen to nothing but metal, hear nothing but guitars, disregarding the fact that their influences had very wide musical perceptions, if that makes sense.

I spent roughly 2 years playing with various dethcore bands Its basically the dominant genre amongst people my age in this area, and there really wasnt any other way to get stage experience, so i went with it. Worst two years of my life, nothing but drop c tuning, and all but removing the mids switches from my amp, because my bandmates would bitch and complain if i was audible. Dethcore is made up of nothing but blast beats and breakdowns, so any deviation from the roots was unnaceptable. To this day my taste in metal music has been permanently damaged, lol

Point being, if your not enjoying your lot in your music life, theres only two ways to change it - talk to your fellow musicians and try to change your musical direction a tad, or leave politely. If you just stick around hating being there, youll just end up leaving later anyway. It sucks, alot of my bandmates are good friends, but leaving because your unhappy isnt going to damage your friendship if they arent total twats.
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That's because you're a 13 year old who only focuses on guitars. I bet most people can't tell the difference between your voice and your mother's.
#22
A way you can solve your problem is to buy a 6 string. Dont be afraid to be heard. In my band, the bass (me) is VERY much like BTBAM. You dont always have to follow the riff.
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#24
Steve Harris is more than 'just' a bassist, he's practically the foundation of Iron Maiden.

You can try and be that :p .
#26
Well, I am the bassist of my (death metal) band, and whilst I don't play anything too flashy, the key to enjoying your bands music is often to sit down with the other members and write with them. You will see that riffage isn't the most important aspect of music, but rather the message, atmosphere, mood and so on.
Also, it is always more fun playing things you write yourself.
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#27
If you try Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath stuff for inspiration,you can come up with some cool stuff that still fits the metal genre.
#28
Quote by Bullet-Rule

The guitarists have written two songs so far, they're great from the perspective of a metal fan, like myself, however I don't feel any pull from the songs to play them, I don't think I want to play metal anymore. I find it's too hard for me to write too, I'd rather work with chord progressions and stuff, not thrashy riffs, it doesn't come naturally to me.


I think metal has alot of paralells with prog rock. For instance - I was listening to 21st century skitzoid man by king crimson today - sounds a bit sabbathy i think, I think Dio actually ripped it off a bit for that song "jesus mary and the holy ghost".

Plus, most of the metal I listen to is built on chord changes. In my oppinion, chord chages belong in heavy metal; maybe moreso than riffs, I think. Although most of the "metal" I listen to is more like, dio, iron maiden, etc. But even thrash can be very chord-y, like, megadeth hanger 18 and stuff.

I think you should write a song man, put chord changes in it, do an emotive bass chord arpegio intro or something.
Last edited by jimRH7 at Jan 30, 2009,
#29
Thanks for all the replies guys, we recorded a song and practiced tonight and I really enjoyed it. I really got stuck in with the music and loved playing it. They want to hear what I can do, and are allowing me a lot of creative space, and I can't ask for more. They're really supportive, and great guys to work with, riffs seem to flow so naturally.

Last night, I was just thinking it over, but I think I am happy in my role now. Sitting back supporting the guitars when I think I should, locking with the drums, then adding my own riffs and licks to spice things up.

I'd like to thank everyone who has contributed here, you've helped me sort my head out, thanks UG x

EDIT: Also, I recorded using a pick tonight, which a first for me, and I'm pleased as it went well. It's opened another range of tonal opportunities which is great, and I feel it is the perfect tone for the music we play (well, after I change my strings lol!)
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Last edited by Bullet-Rule at Jan 30, 2009,
#30
Besides, theres nothing to say that you couldn't suggest a song could use a good bass solo or bass & drum pyrotechnics now and again. They may even welcome the chance to cool their jets while you drop some serious thunder on the audience.

Of course, you have to pick the right song and do the right solo!

And to be honest, it doesn't have to be a solo, either. There are lots of metal and hard rock songs that start off with a bass lead-in, or let the bass carry the song's resolution.

Come to them with something slick and sick, and who knows?
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#31
new strings and a pick? now that is treble.

that's good. my band is full of opposing musicians, prog- blues bass, hard rock lead, indie rhythm.

we get conflict all the time.
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