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What to do with our bass player?

Discussion in 'Band Wagon' started by Waynel, May 25, 2016.

  1. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    One approach: Ask him to do you a favor and try playing a song in a lower position, because you are curious about what it might sound like with some lower bottom. If it actually sounds beter, he should be able to hear it also. If it does,'t sound convincingly better, then you're done, question answered.
     
  2. ac15

    ac15 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I think it's safe to say that the suggestion to only play below the 5th fret on a bass is ridiculous and has nothing to do with whether a bass player can "bring it" or not. Nor does it mean the bass player will not have a full sound.

    It really is ludicrous.
     
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  3. spauldingrules

    spauldingrules Tele-Holic

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    Get him a set of flatwound strings
     
  4. SecretSquirrel

    SecretSquirrel Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    ^^^ That sounds sensible. The problem might be cleared up and instruments more separated with careful adjustments to EQ etc, because...

     
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  5. Doctorx33

    Doctorx33 Friend of Leo's

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    I gotta say I get tired of hearing, "I'm in a band, one of the members is causing a problem, how to I tell him to straighten up without hurting his feelings?" This touchy feely stuff is getting to be too much.

    Friend or not, if it's affecting the sound of the band, he needs to be told and you shouldn't have to walk on egg shells to do it. Especially if you're gigging.

    I too have a friend I've played with on and off for forty years or so. I can't tell you how many times we've said to each other, "Dude, your tone sucks, what's going on?" or something similar. Nobody gets butt hurt.

    Suppose the situation was reversed, and you were too loud or something. Would you get pissy if the rest of the band told you to turn down?
     
  6. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

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    AS a bass player, if he is playing 5-7 and is mostly on the EAD strings then he is not eating up your mid range. He is still well below the mid range area if he is playing say ADG on the fifth frets.
    I would look at his rig, is it set right to deliver that low end? I have a number of basses and I have one in particular that is a four stringer that gives that low end growl you are looking for. I also have a five stringer that has active pickups and unless I play on the low B string it doesn't have any bottom end so I have to adjust the eq on the bass and on my amp to get it to sound right. The four string bass, well you could plug that into a just about anything and it has the low end covered.

    I agree with recording yourselves and playing with the mixes some to find that lost bottom end. My guess is it is not lost, just not cutting through.
     
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  7. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    OP said he's been gigging 40 years but it's not clear it's been with the same bass player.

    Regardless, I too was scratching my head with the "of course he's eating up all the midrange" bit. I'm not even sure where a bassist could play to eat up all the guitar midrange, to be honest.
     
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  8. Asmith

    Asmith Friend of Leo's

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    Another one saying the bass playing probably isn't the issue. If you go down 5 frets that'll only give him 5 extra notes in a lower register (and he'll only use them a lot if he plays in the key of E, F or F#) and he'll only be able to use 2 of the 5 available notes while being in a the scale. There maybe a little clash of you're guitar low end and the bassist's high end but there should be an octave separating the 2 of you and even 3 guitarists can occupy the same occupy the same octave and make it work in some genres. I think this is purely an EQ issue and either you need to brighten up your tone or he needs to turn it down a little.
     
  9. Downsman

    Downsman Tele-Meister

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    In case this was aimed at my advice, the point I was trying to make was before accusing a band member of being lazy and telling him he needs to relearn all his parts to play in a different position, it might not be a bad idea to confirm that's what the actual problem is first. In this particular case, I suspect the problem can be solved by adjusting settings instead. A bass player should be able to play between the 5th-7th frets, and I suspect most bassists would politely, or not politely, tell you where to go if you tried to ban them from playing there.
     
  10. Doctorx33

    Doctorx33 Friend of Leo's

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    I hadn't even read your post before writing my own.

    My point was that you should treat grown men like adults instead of preteen little girls who might burst into tears when hearing criticism or advice.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2016
  11. cyclopean

    cyclopean Poster Extraordinaire

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    Wrong! Then we wouldn't have Peter Hook!
     
  12. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Two month old thread so hopefully the issue has been resolved because there are all kinds of ways it can be done and a lot of them have been covered. Maybe the biggest problem is that if the bassist himself can't determine on his own that his bass lines are being gobbled up and smeared over by the guitars then it's tough to solve it. Then again maybe it's up to the guitarists to work around that by altering their style or their gear. Someone else is not always the problem.

    Understanding where to fit your instrument into the mix sonically is all part of good musicianship and regrettably some ignore that part. If the guy can take some constructive suggestions it may work out but if not then at the very least the guitarists have to alter their approach. Marshall amps with humbuckers, especially if both are playing them, is gonna create a mid range prominent mix and that's without considering how the guitarist play there rhythm parts. So it my take some work on everyone's part to "fix it".

    The best personal example I can give through experience is in a blues band I was the bassist in a few years ago. Both guitarists are playing LPs through 2x12 or 4x10 cabs and I show up at the first rehearsal with my Jazz Bass and my 1x12 bass amp that I use for rehearsals and as simple stage monitor when I'm playing with good FOH sound reinforcement. They're totally mid heavy, my Jazz Bass and that little 1x12 amp is mid focused for clarity and no matter what volume we're at I can't cut through even in low register and it's a mid range mess.

    By the second or third rehearsal I had asked one guitarist to switch to his Strat and I started using a more bottom heavy 1x15 with my PBass and now we have a bass and two guitarists all in slightly different sonic territory. The mix cleans up and the problem is solved without anyone doing much more than to alter their gear and their approach just a little. I don't know enough about the OP's bassists rig to suggest something else this specific but it bears some looking into on the bands part I would think.
     
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