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Old December 7th, 2009, 07:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Using Bass as a Rhythm Guitar

Hi (Long time TDPRI'er, first time Bass Place poster!)

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).

Not being quite as accomplished as the guitarists above 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

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Old December 7th, 2009, 08:18 AM   #2 (permalink)
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If you have not been recently, go see ZZ Top in concert and you will know what to do.
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Old December 7th, 2009, 08:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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at 1:36


At 4:05
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Old December 7th, 2009, 08:50 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brett Faust View Post
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.
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Old December 7th, 2009, 09:27 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I mean more like bass tone at 2:30

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Old December 7th, 2009, 09:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
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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!:) )
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Old December 7th, 2009, 10:01 AM   #7 (permalink)
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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=yNEYK...eature=related
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Old December 7th, 2009, 10:03 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Jack Bruce in the Cream days was known for it .
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Old December 7th, 2009, 10:21 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brett Faust View Post
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?
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Old December 7th, 2009, 10:29 AM   #10 (permalink)
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If you have not been recently, go see ZZ Top in concert and you will know what to do.
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Old December 7th, 2009, 10:34 AM   #11 (permalink)
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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!

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Old December 7th, 2009, 10:59 AM   #12 (permalink)
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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. That may be what you need.

Have you tried swapping over, you play the bass.
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Old December 7th, 2009, 11:44 AM   #13 (permalink)
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In a trio format I play my 12-string bass.
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Old December 7th, 2009, 11:45 AM   #14 (permalink)
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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.
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Old December 7th, 2009, 02:19 PM   #15 (permalink)
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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.
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Old December 7th, 2009, 08:57 PM   #16 (permalink)
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In a trio format I play my 12-string bass.
What on earth is a 12-string bass ?
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Old December 7th, 2009, 09:08 PM   #17 (permalink)
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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.
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Old December 7th, 2009, 09:14 PM   #18 (permalink)
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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...

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Old December 7th, 2009, 09:29 PM   #19 (permalink)
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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!!!

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Last edited by backalleyblues; December 7th, 2009 at 09:30 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old December 7th, 2009, 10:28 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
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What on earth is a 12-string bass ?


And here's how it sounds.


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