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Bassline epiphany today.

Discussion in 'The BASS Place' started by Obsessed, Jan 13, 2018.

  1. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Nov 21, 2012
    Montana
    Mid winter, wood heated house and in the last few days, a balmy 35F, and our mountain home is living in thick moist clouds like coastal fog ... with 3 feet of snow on the ground. I have a canner full of water on the wood cookstove, so all in all, house humidity is way up. So, I got all of the acoustics out of their cases for a mid winter "drink".

    Mrs. Obsessed went to town, so I started horsing around with her mahogany Kala (mini) bass unplugged. Sitting in the recliner, I just sat there plucking away with cover basslines that I know and then all of a sudden, I started on a streak of new basslines. As a songwriter guitar player, basslines originals for me are not too creative, cookie cutter and probably kind of forced for my songs. But today with this tiny bass that I am admittedly not too fond of (my wife loves the standup bass sounds of it especially plugged into one of her amps), it became magic in my hands. I kinda screwed up, because I had my hand held recorder up in the studio, so no "captures", but I think I'm on to something here. Our electric basses (I have one and I don't know how many she has right now:rolleyes::lol:) are big clumsy things in the studio ... or anywhere for riff development, but this Kala makes it fun, easy, easy on the fingers with the rubber strings and at least an okay bass tone.

    Anyway, just passing on a potential tip.
     
    soulman969 and jvin248 like this.

  2. HoodieMcFoodie

    HoodieMcFoodie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    56
    Oct 22, 2007
    Tamworth, 'straya.
    Cool story, thanks for sharing. But what's a "canner"?
     

  3. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 18, 2014
    Near Detroit, MI
    ^ big pot, pressure cooker for canning, used here to hold a lot of water to convert to steam.
     
    Obsessed likes this.

  4. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Nov 21, 2012
    Montana
    It is a large water tank for cooking "cans" of food on top of a stove. I primarily use it for "processing" jams and jelly in jars, but during the cold dry months of winter, I keep the lid off to help keep the humidity in the house up.
     

  5. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Nov 21, 2012
    Montana
    This is the canner the other day while cooking beef stew and baking bread (excuse the mess, kitchen is still under construction): IMG_2869.JPG
     
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  6. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Age:
    58
    Mar 16, 2003
    Arlington, VA
    In my opinion the key to bass is NOT thinking like a guitar, and that includes not thinking about sustain or sparkle or melody. The kala likely helps because the attack and decay are so different that you can’t approach it like a bigger, dumber guitar

    Ps bass is my best instrument
     
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  7. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Nov 21, 2012
    Montana
    Good point. With the Kala unplugged, I suppose I don't get caught up into the electric bass attack or decay.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018

  8. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Englewood, CO
    Had some fun with that same thing last night developing some bass line for the tunes we were working on. Some stuff it very obvious and you're bound to pretty much follow how it was recorded on the cover version but a lot of tunes allow for some leeway and that's when the fun begins listening to what the guitar is doing and then linking something with the drums. Composing on the fly. It's a nice challenge to stretch out with.
     
    Obsessed likes this.

  9. Taildragger

    Taildragger Tele-Meister

    125
    Sep 16, 2003
    As a longtime guitar player who's only been focused on learning to actually play bass "properly" for 3 or 4 years, I often catch myself getting too "weedly-weedly" when I'm practicing, as though I was still playing guitar (not that excessive musical verbosity among guitar players is necessarily a virtue either).

    When this happens, I make a conscious effort to simplify the lines, reduce the number of little flourishes and embellishments and drop back to something more structurally fundamental to the song. Once I reattained a simpler groove, that "ahhh: THAT'S better" feeling comes over me, kinda as if I'd just opened some windows and cleared a bad smell out the room.

    The older I've gotten, the more I've come to realize that more is NOT always better. Especially with bass playing, quality, tastefulness, nuance and subtlety generally trump quantity and flash, IMHO. And as the cliche goes, "often, it's as much what you DON'T play as what you DO".

    In addition, I've found that for me, always, always, ALWAYS practicing with a metronome or drum machine (unless I'm playing along with a recorded song) helps to remind me what this instrument's primary function in a group setting actually is.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
    screefer and Obsessed like this.

  10. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Nov 21, 2012
    Montana
    Yup, that has been my strategy, but after so many of my own stuff, it sounds kinda sterile or stale. Since timing is my main weakness, I always work with a metronome, but at some point I try to purposely be a hair off as in a backbeat, but typically lose it during a song.:( My wife, the bass player always can nail the timing.:rolleyes:
     
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  11. Tele-beeb

    Tele-beeb Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 2, 2012
    The Bluegrass
    I recently began toying with bass and from my experience... it’s different than guitar.
    Well, so far... that’s all I got
     
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  12. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Nov 21, 2012
    Montana
    Yup, it is not as simple as a thought.
     
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  13. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    58
    Jun 7, 2016
    Smyrna georgia
    Never let a guitarist coach a bassist. Even if they are one and the same.
    Of course, no guitarist wants an Andy Frasier or Paul McCartney, it steals the limelight.
    Most would be happy if the bassist just played one note. If its in G just play G, GG, G....G, GG, ..G..
     
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  14. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    58
    Jun 7, 2016
    Smyrna georgia

    So old world lovely.
     

  15. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    58
    Jun 7, 2016
    Smyrna georgia

    So old world lovely.
     
    mnutz likes this.

  16. Taildragger

    Taildragger Tele-Meister

    125
    Sep 16, 2003
    "Sitting in the recliner, I just sat there plucking away with cover basslines that I know and then all of a sudden, I started on a streak of new basslines."

    I know my hours of practice are paying off when my fingers seem to just take off on their own, making me feel like some spectator who's just along for the ride. Obviously, there's still some sort of connection between the fingers and the brain, but this mode of playing feels much different than when you're making a conscious, deliberate effort to learn or create some new line, note by note.
     
    Obsessed likes this.

  17. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Nov 21, 2012
    Montana
    Ah, you know this could be a major part of it. It was only a few years ago that I started playing bass more seriously, so maybe I have made it over a hump of some sort.
     

  18. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

    Kala bass? You said Epiphany in the title!
     

  19. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Nov 21, 2012
    Montana
    This Kala bass has been laying about for a few years as my wife likes to play it. I just never cared for the sound plugged in. The main thing for me developing basslines are these traditional, heavy, long neck, gangly things are really not fun to doodle on.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2018

  20. elihu

    elihu Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 24, 2009
    Texas
    Thus my short scale fascination...they are fun!

    And with the great amps available now I think you can pretty much negate any change in timbre with respect to their 34" scale cousins.

    There's no real rules for a great bass line as far as the number of notes but I think Taildragger is on to it...there's a Zen like satisfaction about finding the Goldielocks solution between chords...not too simple but not overly complicated. That's where the power is, methinks.
     
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