#1
I want to play bass and supply vocals in my band (me and the rhythm guitarist share vocal duties as we both have good, but different voices) and i was wondering if that's a very common trend. I understand that bassists have to play melody lines which are harder to sing over than strummed chords, but there's no denying it can be done.

By the way, I'm talking about lead vocal lines, not backing or vocal harmonies.
#2
alkaline trio have a fair few tracks
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#4
A lot of the best bands have had the the bassist do lead singer duties aswell. Bands like Primus, Slayer, Thin Lizzy, and Rush to name just a few.
#5
I was more talking about people on this board. i know there are plenty of bands with bassist-singers (eg. the police, Motorhead).
#6
I find it easier to sing while playing guitar, even though I'm a lot lot better at bass than guitar. When the vocals harmonise with the bass (or whatever the right musical terms are) rather than just follows it my timing goes to shit. I think it's just a matter of practice though, and being very familiar with both the singing and bass parts.
#9
I do too.
But only when I got the bassline down very well.
It's easiest when you learn to do both at the same time, for me anyway.
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#10
i sing too
i am not a very good singer but i am the lead singer of 2 bands so i gues i count as a bass/vocals dude
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#11
Quote by thefitz
Also, https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=664766

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#12
I do Backup vocals for my group. It just takes practice to play and sing at the same time.
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#14
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That's right, the Mascara Snake, fast and bulbous.

[Sorry but I couldn't resist!]

Not too many of "us" on the forum, is there?

And so this isn't spam, that link is pretty much this exact same thread.
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#15
i did it for a short spell, had difficulties at first but i got there...then our singer came back....oh well....
#16
Theres alot of bands that have bassist/singers....I can only think of 2 off the top of my head (MxPx and NOFX) but theres alot out there.
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#17
I am, although i'm In a new band and we're all sharing the singing out (including the drummer!)
#19
i have an uncanny ability to play most things and sing at the same time, a little like geddy lee. i don't class myself as a good singer, im probably far from it, but i just can't seem to play the song on its own. i'm just good at multi tasking i guess...thats all it came down to for me, as unlike geddy, who played the riff and sang seperately and taught himself to do it, it just comes naturally.
#21
Quote by wouldyakindly
I understand that bassists have to play melody lines which are harder to sing over than strummed chords...


The difficultly lies in the vocal line, not in the line you play.
A rich, off the beat vocal line is just as hard if you're just strumming, i.e: Robert Plant.
#24
Tip number one: tap your feet. If you can sing while tapping along with your foot and you can play the bassline while tapping along with your foot, you can do both.
Tip number two: break it down - if you can't do it in your head, you can do it by writing both bass and vocal part down in music notation. The same way a drummer takes on an intricate rhythm; basically everything you sing will fall either on or between notes you play on the bass. If you break it down you know when to place them on or inbetween notes

Eventually of course you'll get better at it and it won't take all this work
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#27
What nailed it for me was to learn the bassline and then "talk" the lyrics while playing and then trying to sing it. The hard thing is to nail the rhythm of the bass line to what is usually the counter point of the melody. Talking it through first seems to help overcome that for me.
#28
I play bass and sing. I played guitar and learned to sing at the same time, bass for me is actually somewhat harder for some reason.
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#29
My band wanted me to sing but it I am too stupid to play bass and sing at the same time
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#30
i find bass alot harder to play and sing. somehow less strings makes i more confusing....... my plucking fingers goes badly out of time or that im playing the bass right but i slur the lyrics and sing out of tune.
#31
mark hoppus of blink did that
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#32
I'm thinking of maybe doing this in a new band i'm forming...hope it works out. It definitely does feel more difficult to sing and play bass at the same time apposed to singing and playing guitar.
#33
I used to do it years ago. I can sing well (properly trained voice ya see), and I'd like to think I'm handy with me bass. The problem was, when I combined them, it became less than the sum of its' parts.
To start with it wasn't much of an issue, our stuff was simple and padded out with U2, Simple Minds, Del Amitri etc. Getting in the pocket with the bass let me work the vocals over the top. (Actually watching Del Amitri's Justin Currie do it live helped a lot)
I started writing songs with more in them - little triplet fills etc., and found I couldn't get the phrasing of the lyrics right, 'cos I was concentrating on the bass too much.
I kinda did what Tammy was saying, mumble/speak/hum the lyrics until it took hold, and I could flesh it out.
For sure, it takes time. Practice on your own a lot, and if you're writing the songs; go with what's comfortable for you. An assured, confident performance is important in front of any audience. They like it better, and you get a sh*tload more buzz from it, than just being the 4-string grunt in the corner!
#34
Some of Queens of the Stone Age's old stuff has Nick singing.
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#35
Quote by Woogles
Some of Queens of the Stone Age's old stuff has Nick singing.
He sings lead vocals on Millionaire, Auto Pilot, Six Shooter and Quick and does backing vocals on a few other songs (and did all the backing vocals live) as well as singing the Kyuss song Mondo Generator and all the vocals in his own band (also called Mondo Generator)
#36
I try.
I just can't get it right.
Wish I could though.
Lather. Rinse. Maim.
#37
Quote by creepingjesus73
An assured, confident performance is important in front of any audience.


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As dumb/unappreciative as audiences seem to be, they're extremely perceptive to self-consciousness and will sniff it from a mile away. If you're going to sing and play, make sure you can do both 10% better than you thought possible. If half the energy is in your singing or you're half assing your bass playing, it'll become evident. When you get onstage, own it - and be able to kill anybody who even thinks otherwise.
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#38
I can sing when i play solo blues, but not much else...
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#39
i sing and play lead guitar (i don't sing in the band I play bass in) which presents the same issue that you are talking about, really you just have to get used to performing the vocal melody completely independently of your instrument (you really have to do this even if you are playing rhythm guitar too but we wont get into that) unless you plan on harmonizing with the bassline, which you can do.
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