#1
I listen to a lot of cool bassists (usually prog, funk, or reggae/ska) who really sound more like lead guitarists, and I always think "that's hella cool and all, but I wish there was a simpler bassist there too, just pluckin the root notes and keeping rhythm/harmony," so it becomes hard to choose when I'm writing my bass-lines exactly how out-there I want to get. I usually do just chord tones with a few intervals/chromatic movement thrown in, and I try to play either the exact rhythm as drums or make a polyrhythm with the drums, but then on some occassions I'll throw in a funky section or something where the bass gets more melodic or even plays a solo.

Sometimes I feel like I should just be in a band with 2 bassists, let 1 play that lead stuff and the other just moniter the chord progressions and keep rhythm, but I know that could get really muddy sounding. Another thing I like doing, because there's a trombone in my band, is writing 2 basslines, 1 being much more lead-ish than the other, and have that lead-ish one played by the trombone, but that doesn't work 100% of the time. Usually I kind of cross genres within songs and play accordingly, like if there's a reggae or funk orientated section I'll probably do more melodic stuff (I play with a pick for reggae and I slap for funk, in almost anything else I just use my fingers, unless I need to palm mute).

So yeah sorry for the long post but I think some of that info might come up later, so the question is, to what extent can I use my bass as a lead instrument without losing the whole purpose of a bass as kind of the band's back-bone? All tips and suggestions are appreciated
#2
I'd say go for it, my own band has been thinking of having two bassists as well, one a four string and on a six string I although we haven't tried it yet I think you could get some unique results from it.

give it a try, I don't think you'll loose the purpose f the bass if you have two basses (or a trombone instead) try adjusting the EQs too in order to keep out the muddiness
It's all just a joke


#3
Quote by thecrusher1234!
I'd say go for it, my own band has been thinking of having two bassists as well, one a four string and on a six string I although we haven't tried it yet I think you could get some unique results from it.

give it a try, I don't think you'll loose the purpose f the bass if you have two basses (or a trombone instead) try adjusting the EQs too in order to keep out the muddiness

Well another problem with that would be that my band already has 6 members, its hard enough to keep control over ya know? and hard eough to keep un-muddy. i kinda just dont wanna deal with a 7th person right now. I guess what I'm doing with the trombone could work out better as I get better at song-writing
#4
I'd say you work with the situation. If you create a great lead line then let your band members know "hey you guys back me up and let me do my thing for this song" and other songs, just go with the flow. Personally I think you can tell when it's your time to shine and when it's your time to keep it nice and simple. That's true for guitarists as well, sometimes they need to calm the hell down and just play a rhythm as well. Don't settle for one, your versatility will shine if in one moment of a song you're providing a funky line and in the next you're ripping it up. As cliched a statement as this is going to be: Flea is a perfect example although he doesn't solo as much as some of the other really really good bassist out there do, but his bass lines are great and when he does do some sort of lead it usually sounds great
#5
dude you are totally right about having two basses and no guitar, if you want to play a bass in a guitar range its cool, it just makes playing good guitar difficult, and you lose the traditional bass feel, so if you want to play high there's nothing wrong with more than one bass, as for flea he'd good, but the songs are set up in a way that he is always an octanve lower than fruciante, just know doubleling the same note sounds aweful, but multiple octace ranges are great no matter what instrument plays what octave (if they can play that particular octave)
#6
You could learn to two-hand tap and keep the lower, deeper notes with your fretting hand, and play the higher lead notes with your normal plucking hand.
It's something I'm just getting into, and it's actually pretty fun.
#7
Quote by Mudmen190
You could learn to two-hand tap and keep the lower, deeper notes with your fretting hand, and play the higher lead notes with your normal plucking hand.
It's something I'm just getting into, and it's actually pretty fun.

Yeah I think that's how Thomas Erak plays lead and rhythm guitar at the same time. But I'm not good at this technique at all, it'd take a looott of practice to start playing leads and rhythms at the same time with it, and I'm my band's lead singer too so that's a ton of concentration haha
#9
for something like this, matt freeman and markus grosskopf always come to mind, especially markus, given his bassinvader project which is basically like a hard rock/power metal band using only bass and drums and also has a lot of complex lead stuff in helloween (eagle fly free during the chorus and solos, not forgetting his own solo of course). and of course who can forget the old tried and tested example of rancid's maxwell murder, the guitars in that are very simple while the bass plays most of the lead, it's all down to what you want to play and how.

at the end of the day, all-bass bands aren't too common with bassinvanders and lightning bolt being the only ones i can think of, so its certainly a different overall sound from other bands who have at least one guitar. if thats the kind of band you want to play in, i say go for it and see how you get on
Quote by Heilz
When backstage and talkin to the ladies i always go with the ¨Mines is bigger than theirs¨ argument as me bro holds hes guitar and i take out my bass... It works wonders @,@


Gear list:
Squire Affinity P-Bass
Ashdown Mag300 Evo II
Boss ODB-3
#10
Quote by Raizer Sabre

at the end of the day, all-bass bands aren't too common with bassinvanders and lightning bolt being the only ones i can think of, so its certainly a different overall sound from other bands who have at least one guitar. if thats the kind of band you want to play in, i say go for it and see how you get on


you didn't mention Om
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Okay guys, I have a confession to make. Not really a confession since it's something that's been bugging me for awhile but I've always been in denial about it.

**** you gilly, it's not what you think
#11
Quote by gilly_90
you didn't mention Om


because i've never heard of them o.0
Quote by Heilz
When backstage and talkin to the ladies i always go with the ¨Mines is bigger than theirs¨ argument as me bro holds hes guitar and i take out my bass... It works wonders @,@


Gear list:
Squire Affinity P-Bass
Ashdown Mag300 Evo II
Boss ODB-3
#12
well you have now
Quote by UraniYum
Fuck you I'm trying to be caring and shit


Quote by Cb4rabid
Okay guys, I have a confession to make. Not really a confession since it's something that's been bugging me for awhile but I've always been in denial about it.

**** you gilly, it's not what you think
#13
does "om" stand for something? cuz if so, he still hasnt heard of them
#14
2 Basses doesn't work.

Imagine you're playing the piano. The bass line is in the left hand, the melody and such is in the right. It sounds good together in the mid range, and some-what in the high range.
But if you move both hands to the lower half of the piano, the chords sound muddled and the melody gets lost in the muddiness.

But like it's been said in the thread, just be tasteful and play in the moment. If you feel you should spice it up at that part, spice it up. If you feel you should lay back, lay back.
And if someone tells you to tone it down er up, take their advice.
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#15
Quote by King Of Suede
2 Basses doesn't work.

Imagine you're playing the piano. The bass line is in the left hand, the melody and such is in the right. It sounds good together in the mid range, and some-what in the high range.
But if you move both hands to the lower half of the piano, the chords sound muddled and the melody gets lost in the muddiness.

But like it's been said in the thread, just be tasteful and play in the moment. If you feel you should spice it up at that part, spice it up. If you feel you should lay back, lay back.
And if someone tells you to tone it down er up, take their advice.

ive actually seen multiple bassists used many times, it usually turns out pretty cool. i just dont think thatd work ou with my band which already has 2 guitars, a keyboard, violin, and trombone.

and i guess ur right abt being tasteful and everything, thanks for the advice
#16
Neds atomic dustbin = look up NOW.

As for trying to employ a little bit of creativity while still retaining groove, the most cliche, but possibly helpful example is DFA1979. As they only have the drummer and bassist, the bassist has to maintain some interesting melodies while still locking in with the drummer, the results are epic. Try ''Pull out'' and ''Romantic Rights'' by them.

Oh, and Gilly, you have my admiration for suggesting Om.
#17
Quote by obeythepenguin
Well, bass -- like any other instrument -- is whatever you make of it. It doesn't have to be strictly a rhythm instrument, though it is IMO quite well suited to the role.

When I'm writing and recording my own songs, I tend to favor walking lines and simple melodic runs padded out with root notes. I like interesting, but not flashy. I'd say my style's somewhere between John McVie and Mike Mills, probably more towards the latter (Fleetwood Mac and R.E.M. both heavily influenced my sound in general). Then again, there's usually at least one bass solo, at which point it descends into outright wankery -- my Stones cover being by far the worst offender. I suppose I just hear things differently...

Playing with my band is a different story altogether. I tend to improvise (read: overplay) everything, usually because I've never heard the song before. I've been told I play like Phil Lesh, which I assume is a good thing for a mostly Dead-type jam band.

The piano analogy doesn't completely work, because with two basses, you have two separate instruments which you can EQ differently and play in different registers, etc. That said, it does get the general idea across. Personally, I think if you have two bassists, you're either wasting notes or showing off, but that's just me. (Same for any other instrument -- besides, who really wants to tune an orchestra's worth of violins?)

same for any instruments? but what abt 2 guitars? hah my band has way too many instruments already tho, we're not looking for a 2nd bassist
#18
Quote by TMVATDI
Yeah I think that's how Thomas Erak plays lead and rhythm guitar at the same time. But I'm not good at this technique at all, it'd take a looott of practice to start playing leads and rhythms at the same time with it, and I'm my band's lead singer too so that's a ton of concentration haha


Well, start with something simple, I started with Sweet home Alabama, playing an octaved 5th above the chord notes.
#19
Quote by obeythepenguin
Especially two guitars!

(I say this largely tongue-in-cheek, of course, but I do think the conventional rhythm/lead distinction is just lazy. I'd much rather alternating roles/weaving, or one guitarist and a keyboardist. The world needs more great rock keyboardists.)

if some1 writes a song that requires 2 guitars to play simultaneously? no way around it man. and timbre's important, if some1 wanted a keyboard they'd use a keyboard, people who write for 2 guitars obviously want guitars.
#20
Quote by King Of Suede
2 Basses doesn't work.

Imagine you're playing the piano. The bass line is in the left hand, the melody and such is in the right. It sounds good together in the mid range, and some-what in the high range.
But if you move both hands to the lower half of the piano, the chords sound muddled and the melody gets lost in the muddiness.

But like it's been said in the thread, just be tasteful and play in the moment. If you feel you should spice it up at that part, spice it up. If you feel you should lay back, lay back.
And if someone tells you to tone it down er up, take their advice.


I've played with two bassist a few times. Sounds fine if you get it down right, but it can get muddy. In the jazz band I was in a couple years ago I played an electric bass, and the other bassist played an upright, and I've been playing with another bassist and I drummer recently aswell. Me playing more of a lead style on an electric fretless, and the other bassist on electric fretted. Granted there are obivious differences between fretted, fretless, upright etc..but they all share the same frequency range. Just gotta learn what sounds good, and what does'nt, and get the right EQ setting. So it can work...

..but yeah man just play what you wana play, and have fun with it, and try different stuff.
#21
I've been in a band with two bass guitars and me on upright before, what we did was all played the same thing for a thicker bass sound. In a different band with one of those bassists and me though, we played interweaving lines sometimes. It can work, but it's hard to think of inventive parts.

Ibanez SR506BM
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Peavey TVX 115+410
A big ass upright

#22
Quote by GrStMyGn

Oh, and Gilly, you have my admiration for suggesting Om.



Quote by TMVATDI
does "om" stand for something? cuz if so, he still hasnt heard of them

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixgPv0sydAY&feature=related

Quote by King Of Suede
2 Basses doesn't work.



I stopped reading here. Of course it can, it just depends on what you're aiming for and how you go about it.
Quote by UraniYum
Fuck you I'm trying to be caring and shit


Quote by Cb4rabid
Okay guys, I have a confession to make. Not really a confession since it's something that's been bugging me for awhile but I've always been in denial about it.

**** you gilly, it's not what you think
#23
My suggestion, start playing some leads on guitar and stuff like that. I'm not saying you shouldn't be a bassist or anything, but eventually everyone gets to the point where you are, where you want to play leads as much as possible. I started playing guitar as well as bass and it reaffirmed my desire to be a pocket player. Where in the past I might have dismissed 8th notes on the root as "too simplistic" now I don't have any qualms with doing it when it sounds good.
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#24
Quote by TMVATDI
Yeah I think that's how Thomas Erak plays lead and rhythm guitar at the same time. But I'm not good at this technique at all, it'd take a looott of practice to start playing leads and rhythms at the same time with it, and I'm my band's lead singer too so that's a ton of concentration haha

This is Erak playing through a Fall of Troy song.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9X_B1HVd_8k

He doesn't tap (that much - when he does it's really obvious like the start of 'I Just Got This Symphony Going' and during the middle of 'Ex-Creations). He's just developed that style.


I think you should just trust your gut and play what you think suits the song.
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#25
I'm guessing that post of the other people here have given you much more valuable information that I could, but I figured I should at least try.

Just study the kind of bassists you want to idolize, and figure out exactly how they get it to work. For example, Flea (he has always been my #1 influence for bass) often uses chords. I've seen him uses diads with one open note, and then fretting far down the neck on the next string; this allows him to both have the low end, and play a higher melody. Also, look at the bassline to Don't Forget Me; it's pretty much all just powerchords and fills, with distortion for the more high-energy parts of the song. This allows Flea to play higher while still maintaining the rhythm section of the song, and opening up the guitar to do completely it's own thing.

And, and kudos to the person above me for quoting ATD-I in their sig.