ok, so i have this band, my best friend wants to play bass for us right? ok theres two problems... one is hes not that great... the other problem is, he doesnt want to listen to anything i tell him. he thinks that the bass and guitar are two completely different insturments and what he plays doesnt have to follow what i play. i keep telling him that bass usually plays along with the guitar... about 80 percent of the time. he ignores me and continues playing something that doesnt go along with what im playing at all.... im trying to run a band here, how can i deal with this problem without pissing my friend off?
just tell him to **** off.
that's what I told my ****ty bassist.

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Quote by T Man Prime
Ok everyone, who do you think is the heaviest band? Personally I think As I Lay Dying is the heaviest
once again hes one of my best friends... and i really think he could play what im playing if he would just shut up and listen to me
get other people to tell him the same thing your telling him. and if all else fails you may have to hurt his feelings
If you want the band to go anywhere and he's bringing it down, you have to do something, even if it hurts his feelings. that sucks =/
Quote by dark_bard
well crap, am i atleast right about the bass playing with the guitar?

Not exactly. A lot of the time it does, but not always. The most well-known bass players don't often play the same thing as the guitar (listen to Tool, for instance). However, if it doesn't fit at all with what you're playing, it's a problem.
Quote by dark_bard
well crap, am i atleast right about the bass playing with the guitar?

It depends on what are you playing.

What's style(s) do you play? If you're playing, like, strumming power chords, from my experience, the bass mostly plays root notes with that, but there is really no rule. I say that if he can come up with a separate part that fits well, he should be able to play it. But hey--your band!
I think it depends highly on what you're playing. If you're doing a song that's really riff oriented (let's take Led Zeppelin's main riff to Black Dog). Usually a guitar-bass unison would work out well there.

But now let's assume that you're doing something that's more punk rock oriented (let's say something like The Offspring's "Want You Bad"), then you'll probably want the bass to play root notes and do the same thing as the guitar in terms of intervals.

Now let's assume that you're doing some Jazz or Blues or something. The bass is usually going to be walking a bit, not necessarily just playing a straight arpeggio, but more chaning the rhythm a bit with each run through.

Now, let's assume you're playing something similar to Grand Funk's "I'm Your Captain." You may want the bass to have more of a lead approach if the guitar part is playing just rhythm chords, not too active of course, but have it move with the groove of the song.

Hope this post helps. If you're unclear on anything, I can possibly do a recording or somehting to help. If you want more examples, feel free to ask. And please, listen to the suggested songs so that you can get an idea of what I'm talking about for each one.
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thank you very much, what were doing right now is sort of a kinda thrash / powermetal / punk thing, and i could see, what you were talking about, the bass playing the root notes. and doing something different than me, the problem is he really isnt good enough to make that sound good. im trying to convince him to play what im playing to keep it simple for him, i think hes just overthinking it
oh yea, and i listened to the songs you were talking about, ive been trying to get him to go for the root note thing. playing in the same interval as me... i might have to break down and kick him out
Well there's times where you want the bass to be really complex, and times where it needs to be simple. A good example of complex bass playing is in Rush's "YYZ" (some people may not like the song or think that it's just unnecessary, but it's got some damn good bass playing in it), but then there are songs like Gary Moore's "Still Got the Blues," or Carlos Santana's "Europa," where you want a simplistic bass line. My advice to you is having your bassist listen to lots of different styles and recognize what needs to be done. Also keep in mind that if you wrote the songs, they should ultimately come out the way that you want them to sound. If it means writing the bass yourself, you may need to do that.

Don't worry too much about technical ability. I'm sure that, if he works at it, he'll be great within the next year. My friend has only been playing for one year, and he astounds me with his right hand speed (and he plays with his fingers!). If your guy is taking lessons, and he's really working at bass, then it'll happen for him soon enough. You've got to be encouraging of him, but at the same time push him to get better and motivate him. But also bear in mind that noone wants to deal with an asshole when you try to motivate him, 'cause that won't get you anywhere
Got Death Magnetic a day early!

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Winner of the "Biggest Led Zeppelin Fuck" award in the CR forum (2 years running!)
haha i actually brought up the idea of all of us taking lessons after our first show... he thought i was crazy, he is working at it though, he impressed me with how much he improved in one week (we were practicing as a group for like 4 hours a day before our big show) the biggest problem i see with him is that he cant really get his timing right...

for example, we were going to play a perfect circles "3 libras" but when he saw his bass part he thought he was just supposed to strum the notes... i tried explaining it to him but we eventually just did another song... im no teacher so i really dont know how to help him out with these problems without coming off as an ass