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  #1  
Old 07-17-2016, 10:25 PM
johnnyringo johnnyringo is offline
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Default It's Not All About the Bass

I'm going to rant and rave about bass players for just a minute. This is directed at rock and blues bass players I've gigged with. Why do you feel the need to play so loud? Why can't you stay on a groove without throwing in a ton of riffs? Why can't you stay in the right key? Why can't you learn a song correctly? Why do you put your amp directly behind me after I've set up? Maybe some of you have experienced such bass players, don't get me wrong, they are good players, but, they could be better players. Playing outside today in 95 degree weather for four hours was bad enough, but try adding an obnoxious bass player into the mix, not a fun day.
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Old 07-17-2016, 10:32 PM
jerrysterken jerrysterken is offline
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Default Re: It's Not All About the Bass

Played an outside gig last week. The bass player on that gig actually tried to tell the sound guy what he should put in MY monitor mix! We got that straightened out right away!
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Old 07-18-2016, 01:23 AM
al9000 al9000 is offline
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Default Re: It's Not All About the Bass

I'm feeling fortunate to have played with some outstanding semi-pro bassists who knew how to groove with sweet tone and appropriate volume.

I've found that some bassists aren't aware of the physics associated with their instrument. Because of the long wave, they have to check themselves out from a distance. Those who don't ever move from the vicinity of their amp are not going to hear themselves accurately and will probably turn up. The last bassist I played with regularly had a wireless connection, so she was always dialed in from the first song.

I don't gig in pickup bands that often, but I wouldn't go an entire four-hour gig without solving a problem at the first break (or earlier), especially if it's affecting the groove.

Al
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Old 07-18-2016, 03:00 AM
johnnyringo johnnyringo is offline
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Default Re: It's Not All About the Bass

I believe the main problem was where he had his amp. He was late getting to the gig so we started without him and he set up as we were playing. He positioned his amp directly behind me about five feet away, we had nothing miced except for the vocals. I don't think it was too loud to the audience, but with his amp directly behind me and at my ear level, it was like a freight train. The stage is kinda weird, long and narrow, normally I would be behind the band, but here I have to set up on one side of the stage. Next time we play there, I'll get him to move his amp over, more on my side than behind me, hopefully that will at least remedy the volume issue.

Last edited by johnnyringo; 07-18-2016 at 03:10 AM.
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Old 07-19-2016, 01:44 PM
mchair303 mchair303 is offline
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Default Re: It's Not All About the Bass

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyringo View Post
Why do you feel the need to play so loud? Why can't you stay on a groove without throwing in a ton of riffs?
Soooo true, but the same can be said for many, many drummers. I've been in too many bars and clubs where the drummer is playing two dynamic levels higher than where he should be, and trying to end every single 8-bar phrase with a "look-what-I-can-do" fill. Maybe there's a natural tendency to want to hear one's own instrument over all the rest, I don't know.

Mike
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Old 07-19-2016, 08:03 PM
Cam Cam is offline
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Default Re: It's Not All About the Bass

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyringo View Post
Why do you feel the need to play so loud? Why can't you stay on a groove without throwing in a ton of riffs?
Quote:
Originally Posted by mchair303 View Post
Soooo true, but the same can be said for many, many drummers. I've been in too many bars and clubs where the drummer is playing two dynamic levels higher than where he should be, and trying to end every single 8-bar phrase with a "look-what-I-can-do" fill. Maybe there's a natural tendency to want to hear one's own instrument over all the rest, I don't know.

Mike
Yep. I'm pretty sure if you said 'fills' instead of 'riffs' everyone who heard/read that line in isolation would be 100% sure it was a comment on drummers.

The biggest issue I've found with bass players is finding one who has some sort of balance of ability, enthusiasm and commitment while not being a complete d__k...
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Old 07-19-2016, 10:28 PM
Jim Jim is offline
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Default Re: It's Not All About the Bass

Our bass player is named Brad... I told him we will just call the band "Brad Company"... I was just giving him a hard time. Now our lead guitar... always tuning and twisting knobs, constantly messing with his amp... dang man... just play the fricking song!
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Old 07-19-2016, 11:34 PM
johnnyringo johnnyringo is offline
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Default Re: It's Not All About the Bass

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim View Post
Our bass player is named Brad... I told him we will just call the band "Brad Company"... I was just giving him a hard time. Now our lead guitar... always tuning and twisting knobs, constantly messing with his amp... dang man... just play the fricking song!
Don't get me started on lead guitarist.
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Old 07-20-2016, 11:32 AM
landofahhs landofahhs is offline
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Default Re: It's Not All About the Bass

I recall a trio I was asked to play with back in the mid 70's in Topeka, Kansas. Both the lead guitarist and the bassist played so loud that the old barn where we practiced was quivering in fear. Worst of all the bassist kept urging me to play louder and harder. Needless to say the band broke up after repeated failures to get jobs due to...you guessed it...playing too loud.

With respect to your situation, not only was it a major mistake to have the bass amp behind the drums, but as was mentioned the low waves of the bass not only are interfered with by the drum heads but they are absorbed leading to all kinds of dynamic and sound problems. Any bassist worth a grain of sand should know that....as well as any drummer.

It is easy in this world of modern artificially amplified instruments to loose a musicians sense of dynamics, instrument positioning or to simply 'leave it all' to the sound person. There are a lot of musicians who have never performed in a natural sound environment and/or have absolutely no feel for dynamics much less instrument placement. Especially those musicians who are specifically always amplified playing rock or country oriented music with no experience playing in a real orchestra, stage band, marching band, or an unamplified venue.

I've played many years in places with small stages or no PA systems...Small 'hole in the wall' clubs with poor acoustics where the sound just seems to disappear. There is no replacement for having to balance one's volume in order to hear a string bass or a piano accompaniment. This kind of experience is lost with some people who have never had to adjust or actually use dynamics.

I sympathize and agree it is not just the bassists, but rather any musician who has not had the occasion where they have had to deal with sound and how sound propagates and mixes (shares) with other instruments. We all like to solo or kick butt now and then but when we play with others it is always important to integrate and mix without the necessity of a sound man manually inserting sound adjustments and dynamics in place of a musicians own heart felt emotion and cooperation with his fellow group members.
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Last edited by landofahhs; 07-20-2016 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 07-25-2016, 06:34 PM
BUCKIE_B BUCKIE_B is offline
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Default Re: It's Not All About the Bass

Bass players all operate on "low frequency". These "types" of people tend to show up late, be lazy, and create troublesome situations, not only for their bandmates but also for their audience. It is also a scientific fact that bass frequencies pass through solid objects like concrete as well as through human beings - right through flesh and bones! Therefore, bass notes cause more hearing loss than do louder treble sounds! After a few days of playing bass, it only stands to reason that some fool bassist standing close to their bass speaker cabinets has sent so many vibrations through their skull that their brains are all drippy and runny like a plate of badly cooked scrambled eggs!
So now you know.

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