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Using Bass as a Rhythm Guitar

Tonemonkey
December 7th, 2009, 07:19 AM
Hi (Long time TDPRI'er, first time Bass Place poster!) :wink:

Have searched for this topic in Bass Place, can't find coverage, so...

I play guitar and "sing" in a Blues Trio (think Johnny Winter meets Popa Chubby meets (old) ZZ Top). :shock:

Not being quite as accomplished as the guitarists above :oops: I want the bassist to cover more of the frequencies when I'm off the rhythm and noodling away on some of the tracks.
How can we achieve this?
Fuzzhead, Delay, Octave Pedal?
Does anyone else use the bass as an occasional rhythm guitar to fill out the band's sound?

We've decided against a second guitarist; gets to messy.

Thanks

Brett Faust
December 7th, 2009, 08:18 AM
If you have not been recently, go see ZZ Top in concert and you will know what to do.

Blazer
December 7th, 2009, 08:44 AM
Tytz4k_3G2M
at 1:36

JYvE-mnh8Co
At 4:05

Tonemonkey
December 7th, 2009, 08:50 AM
If you have not been recently, go see ZZ Top in concert and you will know what to do.

Thanks

Hopefully they'll pop to Gibraltar soon. :roll:

Tonemonkey
December 7th, 2009, 09:27 AM
I mean more like bass tone at 2:30

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Tarnisher
December 7th, 2009, 09:32 AM
Q: Hoe many bassists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: NONE! The keyboard player will do it with his left hand!

In other words, why not sack the bassist and get a keyboardist who can play the bass lines with his left hand and fill in the fq range with his right. (I'm sure your bassist will love the idea!:) )

fendorst
December 7th, 2009, 10:01 AM
bass as not only the rhythm guitar, but the only guitar.

in a trio.

and it only has two strings.

and he plays it with a glass slide.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNEYKrFJgRo&feature=related

otterhound
December 7th, 2009, 10:03 AM
Jack Bruce in the Cream days was known for it .

Mightyaxeman
December 7th, 2009, 10:21 AM
If you have not been recently, go see ZZ Top in concert and you will know what to do.

Doesn't ZZ Top have a guy playing rhythm off stage?

Mark Moore
December 7th, 2009, 10:29 AM
If you have not been recently, go see ZZ Top in concert and you will know what to do.
Billy calls it Dusty's 2 finger distortion. :lol:

Tim Armstrong
December 7th, 2009, 10:34 AM
I'm the bassist in what's usually a 3-piece, instrumentally (our singer sometimes plays bass while I play guitar), and I've never needed effects to cover the rhythm guitar parts. You just need to play the RIGHT parts!

Things I do that help:

1. On very rhythmic parts, I often use a flatpick and strum the string or strings like a rhythm guitarist.

2. Playing a little higher on the neck can actually get you into low guitar range (but of course still sounding like a bass).

3) The drummer has to help, too. Cymbal work can be very effective!

Tim

jefrs
December 7th, 2009, 10:59 AM
Jon Entwistle (The Who), was The rhythm section. Check out the JE Band.

Most bass players like to have a JE moment.

Guitar players play the bass too fast and climb up the neck and start playing melody:oops:. That may be what you need.

Have you tried swapping over, you play the bass.:idea:

psychetelec
December 7th, 2009, 11:44 AM
In a trio format I play my 12-string bass.

JimInMO
December 7th, 2009, 11:45 AM
I have a little different deal with a gig tonight. The group has a lead and rhythm guitars but no drums. Been playing bass for a year now but always in the same band and with the same drummer. A little apprehensive about this but it's just a sit in, not an audition. I think what I'm trying to do is similar to your bass players situation though. Keep it simple and solid. Won't be doing any walking with the songs they do except on chord changes and maybe some 16th notes like a drummer might do with his right foot. Yep, listen to John Entwistle and Tommy Shannon. Another good one for blues is Johhny B. Gayden. Don't know if he ever played 3 piece but he certainly was a one man rhythm section.

Tele295
December 7th, 2009, 02:19 PM
Roscoe Beck has a neat little trick where he taps the bass part with his left hand and taps tritones up above the 12th fret with his right.

jefrs
December 7th, 2009, 08:57 PM
In a trio format I play my 12-string bass.

What on earth is a 12-string bass ?:?:

Oldgitplayer
December 7th, 2009, 09:08 PM
I have a little different deal with a gig tonight. The group has a lead and rhythm guitars but no drums. Been playing bass for a year now but always in the same band and with the same drummer. A little apprehensive about this but it's just a sit in, not an audition. I think what I'm trying to do is similar to your bass players situation though. Keep it simple and solid. Won't be doing any walking with the songs they do except on chord changes and maybe some 16th notes like a drummer might do with his right foot. Yep, listen to John Entwistle and Tommy Shannon. Another good one for blues is Johhny B. Gayden. Don't know if he ever played 3 piece but he certainly was a one man rhythm section.

Listen to John Mayall's album "Turning Point" approx. 1969. He dropped drums from the album and the bass plays lines that keeps it all moving along.
Also does the occasional percussive 'slap' that replaces the snare drum.

Tim Armstrong
December 7th, 2009, 09:14 PM
What on earth is a 12-string bass ?:?:

Four courses of THREE strings! The one I saw had the fundamental string and two octave strings...

Tim

backalleyblues
December 7th, 2009, 09:29 PM
Listen to Los Lonely Boys JoJo Garza's playing-he plays 6 string bass, and draws on his learning to play bajo sexto to incorporate a fair amount of chording on top of the bassline-I know this because I've seen him do it, and it really sounds like there's 2 guitarists up there along with the bass and drums. Of course, Tim Armstrong has got it right-ya need to know the right part to play in the first place!!!

Franc Robert

Blazer
December 7th, 2009, 10:28 PM
What on earth is a 12-string bass ?:?:

http://www.guitar-mod.com/images/14andromeda/senny_long_600.jpg

And here's how it sounds.
uMwxsBK2jxo

WGyaR85ngjc

RodeoTex
December 7th, 2009, 11:43 PM
I read a Billy Gibbons quote somewhere that he said something to the effect of: 'Have the bass play in the upper registers and the guitar play the lower part and you can cover way more ground'. I'm paraphrasing of course but that was the essence of it.
You might want to reread Tim's post about the bass player knowing what to play.

Zeppelanoid
December 8th, 2009, 01:12 AM
Q: Hoe many bassists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: NONE! The keyboard player will do it with his left hand!

In other words, why not sack the bassist and get a keyboardist who can play the bass lines with his left hand and fill in the fq range with his right. (I'm sure your bassist will love the idea!:) )

AHhh, but a keyboard player could never sound this FUNKAY (check the intro)
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And to the OP, reguarding the Muse video, that tone seems to just be a bass into a cranked tube amp. I'm not a bass player but maybe a bass OD would thicken things up?

psychetelec
December 8th, 2009, 11:17 AM
What on earth is a 12-string bass ?:?:

Here's mine. Back in the early 90s I joined a 3-piece and we started gigging heavily. I'd wanted a 12-string since I first heard one on Cheap Trick's "Heaven Tonight" album form the late 70s, and figured it would work great with the band. I got a black Hamer and yep, it was perfect. So, I got a second one as a backup but it became my main bass. I sold the black one after the band broke up a while back.
Ronn

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v383/iamthebassman/hamer12head.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v383/iamthebassman/hamer12body.jpg

Tonemonkey
December 8th, 2009, 07:13 PM
Think I'll try a bit of OD to start, then try an Octaver if I can find one to borrow, before investing. Have an Analog delay, don't know how slapback will interact with bass?

See tomorrow, maybe.

BillyC
December 8th, 2009, 08:56 PM
Here's what you need.
http://www.rondomusic.com/arguslpb.html

Like a fender Bass VI

marshman
December 9th, 2009, 02:12 PM
When I play in trios, I like to find two basslines for most tunes--a laid back, totally stripped down line for most of the song, and a filled-in version for when the guitar drops out. It usually takes a bit of experimentation in practice/rehearsal to find what really works and what doesn't, but having a little extra to kick in when necessary helps out a lot, even if it really boils down to leaving some 'out' during the verses.

Good Luck.

4mal
December 9th, 2009, 02:33 PM
Hi (Long time TDPRI'er, first time Bass Place poster!) :wink:

Have searched for this topic in Bass Place, can't find coverage, so...

I play guitar and "sing" in a Blues Trio (think Johnny Winter meets Popa Chubby meets (old) ZZ Top). :shock:

Not being quite as accomplished as the guitarists above :oops: I want the bassist to cover more of the frequencies when I'm off the rhythm and noodling away on some of the tracks.
How can we achieve this?
Fuzzhead, Delay, Octave Pedal?
Does anyone else use the bass as an occasional rhythm guitar to fill out the band's sound?

We've decided against a second guitarist; gets to messy.

Thanks

I've played in 3 piece settings many times. Sometimes with guitarist / singer, sometimes with singer / guitarist. You can fill out some space with effects whie the guitarist is soloing but - it gets really old sounding fast ... a sub-octave on the bass, with the main line played up the neck where the tracking is better can be useful. It does get old after a short while though.., Distortion on bass is not a direction I favor in general. Definately not distortion in a can - ever.

My approach is that I attempt to build under the solo. My line may start a little sparse harmonically, maybe rhythmically as well depending on the tune & the solo, as the solo builds, I get a little busier underneath and when the solo builds to the conclusion, I conclude along with... Essentially I'm an additional solo but a restrained solo underneath the main event. What I don't do is to vary the rhythm much lest I really screw up the soloist...

The guys in Double Trouble were masters of this approach. They were a huge part of what made the whole SRV thing work IMO ... if he was a god, they were at least demi-gods...

Nearly all of my wintertime gig's are three piece. 2 guitars and me. No drums. None of the local drummes can sing and we can't feed 'em unti lthe tourists come back in the spring - you'd think at least one of them would figure it out and learn how to at least sing some shuffle ... what I observe is that

1. not every song needs a guitar solo, people really dig the vocals, most anything else is a distraction. People dance to rhythm. You can actually just play a little spicier rhythm guitar, toss in a few fills and have virtually the same effect on the audience as the monster burning guitar solo. yeah there will be two guys in the room who will think you suck... they won't be the ones dancing with the ladies... filling the tip jar

2. we get virtually no requests for instrumentals. (Anything from Tom Petty is by far our most frequent request, outside of Johnny Cash) Which is odd as we don't do any Petty... yet. I'm working on that...

3. 1 Johnny Cash tune done well is worth 10 other covers ... at least in terms of getting you work... at least in this part of the world - providing you do it justice. I used to hate that stuff until I saw the paychecks ...

4. this may all be very, very geographically dependant - what works here might not over there in other words...

5. hate to make it sound all mercenary and such but... I really like playing live. The act of making music is a great time for me. So I learn to play what folks will hire.

Sweet you're on Gib, some postings are better tha others! I spent a very short period in Costa Banal Madena (?sp - it's been too long) nice part of the world. I'd love to go back.

Pinball_Wizard
December 9th, 2009, 07:16 PM
You can do whatever you want, it's variation that matters.

You can actually just play a little spicier rhythm guitar, toss in a few fills and have virtually the same effect on the audience as the monster burning guitar solo.

This should be in a book like "Gigging band Gospel." So something like my high school battle of the bands doesn't happen again.

you could play 5ths on the bass, arpeggios on a higher register, double up the notes, one of my favorites kick on a wah and leave it cocked forward, Move the whole phrase up a 4th, invert the phrase, play a different phrase, Kick on fuzz, Turn up the volume on bass, or Slap it!

Just something that adds variation.

kalipigeon
December 10th, 2009, 03:17 AM
Another good strategy is to biamp the bass. If you run either a ABY pedal or a stereo effects pedal that splits the one bass signal into two copies you can do this easily. I prefer the ABY because you can choose which one or both that you hear.

Anyway, run one output to the normal bass amp and leave it just like it is now. The second output you run to a different amp and cab and this one you put a little overdrive on and roll off the bass frequencies a little bit. Then when you want, you can turn it on to add some growl and grit without having it sound like the bass dropped out when the effects get added.

idoru
December 11th, 2009, 12:51 AM
I just picked up an Akai UniBass pedal. Octave up, plus optional distortion and 4th below or 5th above. Run a compressed signal into it, adjust the input trim and it tracks all the way down to open E and drop D like a total champion. Seriously the best tracking ever - if the Deep Impact is this good too, it's no wonder it's one of the holy grails of bass synth pedals.

I play 2 to 5 nights a week in a working 3 piece covers band, and this pedal will be a huge boost to our sound. I run two signal chains now:

P bass > Aphex Punch Factory > UniBass

From the UniBass, I send the clean bypass to my bass rig & the fx output via a few other pedals to my SansAmp Para Driver DI. Bypassing the pedal negates the fx output, so it stays clean and uncluttered when I want it to.

So far, I've used it on the following songs to great effect:

Pink "So What?": octup on the intro, kick the 5ths in for the choruses
Grinspoon "Don't Change": octup on the wah'd guitar parts, 5ths engaged for most of the song
Stereophonics "Dakota": 5ths on the choruses
Green Day "Hitchin' a Ride": 5ths on the solo / outro
Metallica - "Whiskey in the Jar": 5ths intro / solos
U2 - "Vertigo": 5ths on the chorus

I've only had for two days, I'm looking forward to squeezing every last drop out of this one :)

Muckin' aboot:
This is awesome if you're running through a delay and/or reverb pedal in parallel to your typical bass signal. Using my Boss OC-2 and the ol' Muff, I was able to have octave down fuzz through the bass rig, with octave up, autowah and echoes through my powered wedge.

c-

4mal
December 11th, 2009, 02:40 PM
IMO 6 songs a night with effects on the bass is at least 1 more than I can possiblly do ... now if I were in an 80's synth pop retro band - maybe that would be different, but I'd be playing synth bass there anyway ...

Zmatko
December 20th, 2009, 04:08 PM
I think this is the guy who'll fit the bill:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFKxnj5PMvU

Colin Hodgkinson

psychetelec
December 21st, 2009, 01:48 PM
I think this is the guy who'll fit the bill:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFKxnj5PMvU

Colin Hodgkinson

I thought that was pretty lousy 'til he started singing...

Zmatko
December 21st, 2009, 04:27 PM
I thought that was pretty lousy 'til he started singing...

True, but now i know where South Park go their opening theme from, charming.. in a way.
But hey, that's what guitars are for.

JD0x0
December 21st, 2009, 04:35 PM
my bass player occasionally flatpicks chords. Also a EHX POG octaver would work well. it tracks amazingly and will really fill out the sound. Full octave up for guitar like sounds with the bass and also use a bit of the lower octave to really fill out the sound and make it a bit more organ-esque

my bassist doesnt need one as he is very talented and has very melodic complex basslines, not just plucking the root note of a chord like what seems to be done alot in todays music

TELE_BLUES
December 22nd, 2009, 03:45 PM
I have an 8 string bass the covers alot of ground,not to hard to play and sounds great in a 3 peice band