#1
Is it normal for people who do bass and vocals at the same time to just play the root notes of the chords, or is it common for people to be able to play notes that are completely independent of the vocals?

I'm finding it impossible to coordinate "normal" bass playing and vocals, so I just end up playing the root notes.

I'm hoping that this is a typical occurrence...
#2
youre probably just beginning singing and playing right? youll eventually get it down. it just takes practices, like every other technique.
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#3
Well, I'm somewhat new. I can do simple rhythym guitar and vocals, but bass seems like trying to play lead guitar and vocals.

I figured that being able to play things that are independent from the vocals would be a more rare skill, but apparently I'm just deficient.
#4
no, no, im not saying that! its a difficult skill. it just takes time. its playing two completely different instruments at the same time, its tough. youre not deficient!
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#5
I'm about to start singing and playing bass at the same time, iv'e been practicing on songs i already know and i find that if i have played the song a lot it is easy to sing and play. I suggest practicing your basslines over and over until you can [cliche] do it in your sleep [/cliche] then try singing and playing.
#7
i do for my band and what helped me was learn the part to where you dont have to look at your hands playing it and memorize the lyrics. i really hope it helps btw are you playing with your fingers or pick cuz using a pick while playing and singing is easier but i hate using a pick
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#8
It depends on the song. If I know the music and lyrics like the back of my hand, then I can do both in more complexity.

It is completely normal to have to downgrade one of them to make it easier

just practice on making your playing and singing independent
perhaps try holding up a conversation while playing your instruments
(I talk to my family all the time when I play)
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#9
Just keep practicing. Start on slow easy songs like PEA, then move on to faster songs like punk songs where the bass just goes dow dow dow dow dow dow dow. Then eventually mov eon to more complex songs.
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#10
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It depends on the song. If I know the music and lyrics like the back of my hand, then I can do both in more complexity.

It is completely normal to have to downgrade one of them to make it easier


This is almost exactly what applies to Geddy Lee. He rarely sings while playing his more complex lines, and he has to have the bass playing down to second nature before he can sing at the same time.
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#11
another thing that might help if you in a band situation is what i do with my band, i wait and write my basslines after the guitarists and drummer are done. after that is done we sit down and listen and see where we want to put singing and then i write my parts according to where the lyrics are going to go. usually while im singing my bassline is easy
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#13
You have to find the rhythmic relation between the vocals and the riff. For example, you need to have sung a certain word by a certain note of the riff. Once you can get that charted out, it's much easier. Also, a mental reference of how YOU sound while singing and playing is important - i.e. record yourself.
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#15
THis is a skill I'm still trying to learn but it can be done. Just look at Les Claypool or (don't laugh) Sting.
#16
Quote by thefitz
You have to find the rhythmic relation between the vocals and the riff. For example, you need to have sung a certain word by a certain note of the riff.



I disagree with this approach. It creates too much to think about. You have to be able to detach yourself completely from your bass playing. Its a very hard thing to do on any instrument, let alone the bass.

To practice, i was told to play and speak. Natural speaking will help make the bass a subconsious thing. Its the singing that has to be a concious thing.

Its going to take you quite a while to get this down, but carry on with it. Personally, when i sing i sound like an idiot, so i only really sing and play the acoustic guitar to be honest, but the principle is the same really. Detachment is the key.
#17
Quote by Applehead
I
To practice, i was told to play and speak. Natural speaking will help make the bass a subconscious thing. Its the singing that has to be a conscious thing.


I played guitar and sang lead or backup for years. Not being able to sing and play bass was quite frustrating. The approach that Applehead talks about was suggested to me by a drummer and it works well for drummers and bass players with singing aspirations. One of the two things needs to be subconscious and for most that is always going to be playing bass or drums.

I can now sing my way through most of Cream's catalogue and over some of the easier Motown bass lines. Ironically, as hard as some of Claypool's bass lines are, they are easy to sing over, because they relate closely to the melody line. Though I find it hard not to sing LIKE Les when I do sing his songs.
#18
Do you remember when you started playing bass or guitar and someone would come into the room and ask you something, and your choice was either to stop playing and answer them or ignore them..
#19
I find speaking while playing bass is harder than singing and playing bass. Am I normal? :S

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#20
Jon, do you REALLY want an answer to that question?

Quote by Applehead
Do you remember when you started playing bass or guitar and someone would come into the room and ask you something, and your choice was either to stop playing and answer them or ignore them..


lol, yes. It used to piss off my better half no end that I would keep playing to the end of a passage and then answer him because I couldn't talk and play at the same time.
#21
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Jon, do you REALLY want an answer to that question?


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Last edited by Jonnomainman at Nov 3, 2008,
#22
Quote by Applehead
I disagree with this approach. It creates too much to think about. You have to be able to detach yourself completely from your bass playing. Its a very hard thing to do on any instrument, let alone the bass.

Well, that's how I did it. I couldn't sing and play until we recorded the songs we were doing in the studio. After listening to those songs for a few weeks, I literally magically could play all the songs. I mean, the way I see it, talking through instead of singing is doing the same thing - you're finding the rhythmic relationship between the syllables of the words and the bass line. You're just not assigning notes to those syllables just yet.
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#23
Quote by thefitz
Well, that's how I did it. I couldn't sing and play until we recorded the songs we were doing in the studio. After listening to those songs for a few weeks, I literally magically could play all the songs. I mean, the way I see it, talking through instead of singing is doing the same thing - you're finding the rhythmic relationship between the syllables of the words and the bass line. You're just not assigning notes to those syllables just yet.



Sorry, i dont mean talking through the words of the song, i mean random conversation.

Whatever works is fine, of course!
#24
Yeah, it's funny you should mention that, because at the end of one song I typically improvise a little rant, and I guess I really implicitly need to distance what I'm saying from what I'm playing. Nice rhyme
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..