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What is Blues Bass?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 5:27 pm
by celtic blues
Hi. I don't mean to come off as a jerk or a 6-string snob, but I have a genuine question looking for suggestions from seasoned bass players. I'm from a rock-blues background, I play guitar, and I've just formed a new band ( 4-piece, with drums, electric bass and vocals/harp). The bass player is an experienced guitarist/bassist and vocalist, and is very good, but is used to being the main man singer/song writer/guitarist from his previous band (playing classic rock). He loves the blues and is really excited about this band, but I think he's getting bored playing similar walking bass to most of our songs. Is this a common problem? He is singing occasional backing vocals, and doing a little bass solo on one tune, but is there any style of bass blues you can recommend that is more varied than a simple walking scale? Thanks.

RE: What is Blues Bass?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 6:03 pm
by maxx england
I'm not a bass player, but once messing around in someone's house, I was playing a little old Fender Mustang while it's owner did "Same Old Blues" on a Jazzmaster, and as is the way of it, I got lost; fortunately, I did not wobble and fall off the bike as it were, I just got jazzy with it. It seemed to work too.

Maybe that's a direction, so long as he keeps the emotional feel and the timing, he can play anything he likes. But that's just me.

RE: What is Blues Bass?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 10:42 pm
by lorilu
I'm really new to bass but those swing eighths are a blast and you can go all over the neck. I would think that some of the new blues artists would have some more complicated but awesome bass lines on their CDs and funk is always good. Like Abe Laboriel. Syncopation adds a lot if the timing is right on. If you look you will find it. In the archives someone was talking about guitarists being bassists,etc. There's probably some things that were said that at that time I didn't quite get but that would be worth reading in this conference. Tabs in music stores give some good ideas. That's what I am working from.

RE: What is Blues Bass?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 11:23 pm
by thinelinebob
If you haven't, try to get a book with CD called Jump'n Blues Bass by Keith Rosier. It has a lot of info about blues bass playing. I've had it for several years & still enjoy playing along with the CD. The bass lines in the book are classic blues bass.
Remember a couple of good notes in the right place is better than a whole lot of notes all over the place. Space between notes let's the music breathe. Now we have a groove. That's what makes people want to move & dance. Bobby

RE: What is Blues Bass?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 6:02 am
by oleman
I feel his pain. I'm a 6sg player playin bass and it can become a little tedious. My crew is great; they let me step out front with a little slide or harp and sing while another guitarist plays bass.

Blues bass for me is just being tight with the drummer. I just read here on BRB is that the drummer is the engine and the bass is the steering wheel. After all It's about the music.

RE: What is Blues Bass?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 9:20 am
by celtic blues
Thanks for your input. I'll get back to him with some suggestions, nd talk it over with him. :)

RE: What is Blues Bass?

PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2006 9:34 am
by bigdaddy
I play a walking bass line but I am a bass player. I fiddle with the guitar but never was any good. Lately I have been writing songs that are constructed using the blues I IV V basics but I have been expanding into the VI and VII, just to break up the tune a bit. I learned it on the guitar and have adapted it to bass. I guess it's about playin' around alot. I do that in my music/weight room. I grab the strat and just let the fingers figure things out. I play in open G and when I run across something I grab the bass a polish it off then take the tune to the guitarist in the band. I take my strat with me and show him what I have done. After he has it then I grab the bass, flick on the drum machine and create the bottom end. The song always takes on a new face from what I started with. It's cool. I love playin' thru my bass processor with headphones. I get a beat goin' then I start rubbin' them big strings with the fingers on my right hand and bam, I am transported to another place. I play that way for about an hour a day. It's a great escape. Guitar players filling in on bass are not really bass players. They suffice but a bassist enjoys the simplicity of a blues line. When I am working with the drummer, the two of us just groove. It's a wonderful feelin'. So I guess the answer is no, blues bass is simple and beautiful in it's simplicity.

RE: What is Blues Bass?

PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2006 5:10 pm
by ricochet
The good old gospel progression of VI-II-V-I is a good one to shake things up a bit with.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."

RE: What is Blues Bass?

PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2006 5:35 pm
by lorilu
Hey Big Daddy,

Now that sounds like a good opening for a song. Your post was inspiring to me. But what is a blues processor? Thanks.

RE: What is Blues Bass?

PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2006 6:22 pm
by ricochet
Call now for the amazing Blues-O-Matic! Operators are standing by!

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."

RE: What is Blues Bass?

PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 4:20 am
by lorilu
I mean BASS processor. But I like the BluesOmatic processor idea. I think it would really sell!

RE: What is Blues Bass?

PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 3:35 pm
by ricochet
I'd have to try one!

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."

RE: What is Blues Bass?

PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 5:04 pm
by lorilu
I would think you would be able to take any song and with the amazing BluesOmatic you could turn the average pop song into the blues. Any song, country - latin, rap, Willie and Julio's "To all the girls I've loved before" Yes even that one. If you are not completely satisfied...

RE: What is Blues Bass?

PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 12:45 am
by bigdaddy
Dear Lady, it's a Digitech guitar processor designed for bass. It has amp models in it and effects. You can run it straight to an amp or mixing board. It has like 50 different presets and 50 user presets. I have number one set up for harmonica, number two set up for my guitar and number three setup for bass. I don't use this other than in my music room with headphones on. I can play bass and guitar in the early mornings without disturbing the wife. It also has 30 different drum beats in the bloody thing. I love sittin' down about 6 am grab a guitar, put on the headphones, find me a good beat and just play. It's very inspirational for songwriting. I start playin' and bang, an idea comes to mind from something I just picked or riff I just rolled across. The bass thru the headphones is killer. Lots of sustain. My bass rig sounds better but the headphones are good for the wee hours of day. It's a cheap one. I paid like $50 for it but it's a fun toy. My guitar screams thru it also.

RE: What is Blues Bass?

PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 3:53 am
by lorilu
Sounds like you have a great time! Are you able to record on it? (I don't think it sounds as fun as the BluesOMatic, though)