#1
(Sorry for double posting, I origonally posted in the bass forum and was directed to ask elsewhere).

Well, the guitarist I play with and I recently recruited a bassist and formally became a band (we still need a drummer, but for the short term we have a drum machine).

Over the past couple weeks, I've come to realize not only that I know nothing about that weird 4 string guitar-lookin thing you guys use, but I also have no idea how to play along with it. I can bang out a couple root powerchords, but when it comes to following some of the melodies and "scale crawls" (as I call em) he does, I feel stymied.

He's very good at what he does, but time wise he's around my level. Our other guitarist has no problem following along with what he does, so I feel as though I'm holding up progress.

What can I learn (other then watching his riffs and learning fret notes on a bass) to make his life, and thus everyone's, easier? What do some of you bassists wish a guitarist would learn/do to make it more fun to do what it is you do? I'd like to ask him, but while he really is a good player, he knows absolutely no theory. Chords, notes, scales, nothing. He plays scales but can't name em, and can't tell me what notes he's rooting in.

We're working on teaching him, but he sees theory as this big mysterious thing that he really doesn't have a use for. The other guitarist thankfully knows some bass as well, so he's able to work with him on it, but for the short term our practices have been an uphill battle and I'd like to take some weight off his shoulders.

Sorry if this is a little rambling, I actually know so little that I'm grasping at straws just to figure out what questions to ask.

Any help would be greatly appriciated
-Guitar Gear-
1995 American Fender Strat, EMG 85 pup
Randall RH200 Head
Marshall 1960a Cab
Woods Acoustic
-Bass Gear-
Spector Legend 4 bass
Washburn Bantam bass
Hartke HA2500
Fender Bassman 410H
Play what you love, love what you play
#2
Those four strings on the bass are the same as the top four strings of a guitar EADG. You don't really need to know anything new if you've been jamming with another guitar, just ear the scale you think he's playing in a match it.
#3
Well, the bass is usually used to instill a harmonic foundation, it usually implies a chord progression. A lot of times the bass part may just be playing the root note of whatever chord the guitarist is playing. This may get very tedious for the bassist, allow the bassist some room to do their own thing as long as they stay in the key of the song which doesn't detract from all the other parts, and have solid rhythm. Ask him if he can jam in the blues, just play a twelve bar cliche progression and go from there.
#4
If the bassist is styming you, maybe you should try to follow your other guitarists lead. Play off of him instead of the bassist? Am I to assume that he plays relatively intricate bass lines, is that's whats tripping you up? Maybe if that's the case, your few power chords aren't holding anything up, but filling out the overall sound. But I'd still suggest trying to follow the other guitarists lead. See what he's playing or get together with him and work out what he does and what you can do in counter point if that's your wish.

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VOLUME SWELLING OCTAVE MONGER σƒ τλε τρπ βπστλεπλσσδ

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#5
Quote by BaffAttack
If the bassist is styming you, maybe you should try to follow your other guitarists lead. Play off of him instead of the bassist? Am I to assume that he plays relatively intricate bass lines, is that's whats tripping you up? Maybe if that's the case, your few power chords aren't holding anything up, but filling out the overall sound. But I'd still suggest trying to follow the other guitarists lead. See what he's playing or get together with him and work out what he does and what you can do in counter point if that's your wish.

Exactly. Nail on the head.

The bassist plays very intricate lines in scales that I'm unfamillier with, and the guitarist has been playing 20+ years to my 3~4, so they'll start just wailing away on somthing while I'm struggling to put somthing behind it. The problem is that some of the melodies they play don't seem to suit a bland powerchord root progression, and I don't want to take away from the awesomeness they're putting out.

I have been doing sit-downs with the other guitarist lately to get my stuff together, but he's the most experienced in the group, so he's not only helping me learn, but helping the bassist learn while finding time to work and practice his own stuff. I just want to help take some of that weight off.

Like I said, I try following along with him but he can't really articulate exactly what it is he's doing due to the lack of theory knowledge. I dunno, I'd like to think I'm not asking for a shortcut, but I believe there must be somthing else I can learn that will help the process other then just muddling through.

Thanks for the replies
-Guitar Gear-
1995 American Fender Strat, EMG 85 pup
Randall RH200 Head
Marshall 1960a Cab
Woods Acoustic
-Bass Gear-
Spector Legend 4 bass
Washburn Bantam bass
Hartke HA2500
Fender Bassman 410H
Play what you love, love what you play
#6
Well, getting a better grasp of theory on your own and developing up your ear aside, you're doing the right thing. I'd just be up front with them. Tell them what they're doing is awesome, but you're not sure what to do to increase the awesome. I do that all the time with my current group, because there are so many "moving parts" (2-4 vocal parts, two guitars, bass, keys). At times I feel like what I'm playing is waaaay to simplistic, but they'll tell me it sounds awesome in the mix.

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VOLUME SWELLING OCTAVE MONGER σƒ τλε τρπ βπστλεπλσσδ

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#7
Thanks Baff, that sounds like good advice.

Again, nail on the head. Sometimes it feels like I'm playing Green Day while they're playing Eruption, and while they tell me it sounds decent, it feels like I'm just mudding up what they do. I can do more intricate of course, but there's already so much going on that it feels like I'm just 'adding too much seasoning to the stew' so to speak.

Guess I'll just have to keep working at it. Thanks again
-Guitar Gear-
1995 American Fender Strat, EMG 85 pup
Randall RH200 Head
Marshall 1960a Cab
Woods Acoustic
-Bass Gear-
Spector Legend 4 bass
Washburn Bantam bass
Hartke HA2500
Fender Bassman 410H
Play what you love, love what you play
#8
If your that worried about "over seasoning" the stew, then watch the leads the guitarist is doing, and just play some chords/rhythme off of that. Obviously you arn't the lead guitarist. You job is to support the lead guitar and help create a full sound behind him.
#9
Quote by Guitarfreak777
If your that worried about "over seasoning" the stew, then watch the leads the guitarist is doing, and just play some chords/rhythme off of that. Obviously you arn't the lead guitarist. You job is to support the lead guitar and help create a full sound behind him.

Yeah, I've been doing that, but like I said, some of the melodies they come up with don't suit a basic chord progression.

We aren't thinking in terms of 'lead' and 'rythem' because we don't want to pidgeonhole ourselves. Granted, he generally plays the more intricate guitar pieces, but occasionally he has a solo, I have a solo, or we play two melodies that intertwine, so my job isn't really to support him but to support the song. It's difficult to describe, but that whole idea of 'lead' and 'rythem' really doesn't have a place.

I appriciate the input though
-Guitar Gear-
1995 American Fender Strat, EMG 85 pup
Randall RH200 Head
Marshall 1960a Cab
Woods Acoustic
-Bass Gear-
Spector Legend 4 bass
Washburn Bantam bass
Hartke HA2500
Fender Bassman 410H
Play what you love, love what you play
#10
Quote by Garou1911
Yeah, I've been doing that, but like I said, some of the melodies they come up with don't suit a basic chord progression.

We aren't thinking in terms of 'lead' and 'rythem' because we don't want to pidgeonhole ourselves. Granted, he generally plays the more intricate guitar pieces, but occasionally he has a solo, I have a solo, or we play two melodies that intertwine, so my job isn't really to support him but to support the song. It's difficult to describe, but that whole idea of 'lead' and 'rythem' really doesn't have a place.

I appriciate the input though



I understand what you mean. You both are rythme and lead, just depends on the situation.


Well, I would say just ask him if nothing else (the guitarist)

Hey man, what should I be playing when you're doing that part?

In some occasions you may not be needed (no insult intended)
There doesn't ALWAYS have to be 2 guitar playing. That may be the best way to support the song sometime, by being silent.