#1
*sorry if wrong sub*

are there any consequences of not having a bassist?

Myself and few friends are getting a band together and we currently have 3 guitars*, and drums but no bass. we've looked around, posted adverts and asked at gigs/music stores but can't find anyone.

I'm thinking that if we had one of these guitars (probably our vocalist as he's really strong as a rhythm guitarist but not much else guitar wise) act as a bassist** we could get by till we have found a bassist and get some unique sounding stuff. He could do this as me and the other guy trade of leads and rhythms.

another option I see is abandoning the whole guitars, drums, vox and bass mindset and just have three guitars (possibly rhythm, lead,and an one adding ambience/texture). My concern here is not having enough low end/sounding thin and just having to much occupying the same space sonically.

I could also Use the poly mode on my OC-3, set the range so that it only effects my lowest string and send that do a bass amp/ DI. If I were to do this I would loose out on having the ability to have the effect on higher strings for solos, I would have to limit my chord voicings to those that would produce the octaved note (this might not be an issue as the other guitars could easily do the higher parts of chords) and I would have to carry another amp.

would using a splitter to send my signal to two amps( one set up with more low end, the other more high) help any?

So has anyone been in a similar situation?
how would/did you deal with this?
any other comments?

b

* we got three guitars primarily with the mindset of doing some two/three part harmonies or me playing slide well the others play other parts.

** what I mean by this is essentially being another rhythm guitarist, but doing more bass roles ( establishing a groove, help keep time, ect).
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#2
"are there any consequences of not having a bassist?"

Yes - sounding like crap.

If you can't find a bassist, some of the guitarists could take the bassist's role. Remember that a guitar octave lower through a bass amp doesn't sound the same as a bass guitar. But I'm sure you will find a bassist. If you have any friends that are interested in playing in a band, ask them if they would like to play the bass.

You don't need to be great to be able to play decent bass parts in a band. You can make the song sound pretty good with just simple bass parts. But the bass needs to be there to make you sound full.

Three guitars can be an overkill, unless you are really good at writing parts for three guitars. But if most of the time at least two guitars play the same thing, you don't need three guitarists.
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#3
^^^ I came here to specifically say "the consequence is that the band sounds let like crap", but that answer is already taken.

Also it can be extremely hard to play bass and sing at the same time, so be wary that the singer may not be the one to swap.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#4
It's not necessarily a doomed idea, but will be extremely hard to make it work. You noted that the guitars might all occupy the same sonic space, and I'd say that's going to be your biggest problem, rather than the lack of low-end. It would probably be easier, if anything, to have fewer guitars if you're going the no-bass route, simply because you wouldn't all be fighting for the same frequencies, and the lack of low-end wouldn't be made more obvious by the clutter in the mid-ranges.
Still, if you're creative enough, nothing's impossible. I've seen enough bands with untraditional instrumentation that made it work, but it will take a ton of extra effort and experimenting on your parts.
#5
^^ Actually I find singing and playing the bass at the same time a lot easier than playing the guitar and singing at the same time, so I would trade the vocalist.

About three guitars occupying the same space: If you use different guitars, different amps and play in different regions (which makes sense for 3 guitars) you will not have any kind of problem.

Actually, there's a way to make a guitar sound really good as a bass: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLK-1Q4qzwc I know it was a recording environment, but I think you could make it work live.
#6
You can make almost any combination of instruments work but you are not going to sound like a band with a bass without a bass. Of course you can use fx to turn one of the guitars into a bass but this leaves that guitarist playing bass lines which you might as well play on a bass and cut out the complexity.
The bassist does more than just add deeps. In most bands the bassist is the one who holds it together. Because they are both playing rhythm and following the chord changes they are often defining the edges of the chord sequence and this allows more freedom for the drummer and guitarists. With drum and bass locked into a groove the guitarist is freed to solo knowing the song is going to hold together for instance.

On the other hand you could embrace what you have. Three guitars is an unusual sound, it isn't going to sound good if you all play the same thing so that is going to force you to be creative with arrangements, if you write your own stuff then just go for what sounds good with what you have. You know you aren't going to sound like other bands and that could be good. If you do want to sound like a band with a bass then get a bass. There aren't too many rules in forming a band, just conventions and consequences of changing them.

For inspiration, an unconventional line up that works https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHBJpCjq50E
#7
I agree with the advice above, it can work so just to add my 2 cents, On the guitar that is going to be holding down the low end be sure to put really heavy gauge strings on it