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slide bass

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2003 2:36 pm
by ideot
before my band all quit, we used to play these improv's that lasted from 45 minutes up to two hours or so. every now and then when the guitar player would get tired I'd play slide bass solos. The slide bass doesn't sound so good when it's through a deep, rumbling amp, but when I played it through my guitar amp, it gave it a punchy sound that sounded more defined than normal bass tone. Anyway, I was just wondering if anyone else ever experimented with sliding on the bass.

RE: slide bass

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2003 3:17 pm
by barbequebob
[updated:LAST EDITED ON Dec-10-03 AT 10:19 AM (EST)]For most traditional blues bands, doing that is an absolute no-no, and what your doing with slide bass really is playing lead bass, and if you ever did that stuff with the old guys, they'd fire you in a minute because like a drummer, the bass player's main function is the groove, and many guys playing lead bass are usually coming out of the fusion jazz school of thought and groove to them tends to be mainly more about the chord changes, and that's far from it, and groove allows danceability. Please note that I am in NO way dissing you by any means, but it's an observation based on many years of pro experience with blues bands, especially in more traditional settings. If you're gonna do it, acoustic only because doing it on electric bass, the overtones being generated from the electric bass and its amplifier makes it mushy and notes using the slide will lose tons of definition and articulation.

RE: slide bass

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2003 4:16 pm
by costa
I'm with BBQBOB on this one....I'm not a fan of lead bass. I do play the occasional bass solo, but even then I basically walk through the 12 bars with a few more double and triple slaps on the doghouse. I NEVER take a bass solo when I do electric gigs unless the leader really insists (and even then I basically walk the changes like normal...no fancy stuff from me).
I mean does anyone really want to hear bass players solo? I know I don’t.

Costa

That's right, sufferin'; just like you're sufferin'. Sufferin' Mind. Here we go now.

RE: slide bass

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2003 4:44 pm
by ideot
well,this wasn't really a blues band, it was more of a jam band.
when people started playing guitar with a bottleneck, I'm sure a lot of purists got steamed up pretty good. just food for thought.

RE: slide bass

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2003 6:05 pm
by costa
For sure...I didn't mean that people shouldn't try different things, just not in my blues bands. :)

Costa

That's right, sufferin'; just like you're sufferin'. Sufferin' Mind. Here we go now.

RE: slide bass

PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2003 6:03 pm
by bassboy blue
Hey all,
before i comment, let me assure you i'm no expert bass player. I'm just starting out (that's why i joined BRB, I figured that you all might be able to help me along). Anyway, i'm Kwill's son (he's the dobro and slide player, and i'm littleboyblue's bass player. I grew up listening to JUST THE BLUES (thanks, dad, for not making me listen to the Monkeys or any of that crud mom listened to...). I grew up with the blues of Muddy Waters, BB King, Robert Johnson, and many others. THe point: in all my time listening to the blues (i pretty much only listen to the bass in the songs...usually anyway) i have never heard slide bass. kwill sent me a picture of a resonator bass (below) that was used for slide...
Why don't you ever hear it??? I think it's because it isn't mainstream yet. Just as was mentioned, bottleneck wasn't always around...maybe slide bass is the next progression in blues. As for bass solos and lead, i agree that could screw up the rythm (the bassists first real job), so, just as there are a lot of bands with multiple guitarists, maybe bands should start having more than one bassist: one for rythm and one for lead. The sound could be amazing if done right! In my experience, and keep in mind that i am young still, my generation of blues enthusiasts like the deep, bluesy sound of the bass AND the guitar. The bass is such a neglected tool in a band that it's sad. Really, without the bass, could you really get that deep, bluesy sound? Bass players need to look outward for new and exciting ways to play that will draw in more listeners so that, if for no other reason, the blues will get recognized more readily in areas like Vermont where we have NO BLUES STATIONS, JUST COUNTRY AND POP CRAP! Whatever the case, i want to hear anything new that bass players come up with so that i can get better at the bass through obtaining a wider repertoir of styles and techniques. Slide on, amigo! but don't lose the beat...


Boom, bah, boom, bah, boom, boom,
Bassboy Blue

RE: slide bass

PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2003 3:47 am
by costa
Bass
>players need to look outward for new and exciting ways to
>play that will draw in more listeners so that, if for no
>other reason, the blues will get recognized more readily in
>areas like Vermont where we have NO BLUES STATIONS, JUST
>COUNTRY AND POP CRAP!
>Bassboy Blue

I hate to tell you this Bassboy Blue (totally kick ass user name by the way, I wish I had thought of it...), but there is no such thing as a blues radio station unless you have satellite, and even then, you better have a REAL OPEN mind.

I'm real glad to see how enthusiastic you are, it reminds me why I started messing with the blues in the first place...


Costa

That's right, sufferin'; just like you're sufferin'. Sufferin' Mind. Here we go now.

RE: slide bass

PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2003 3:07 pm
by barbequebob
Costa's pretty much right as far as the blues stations go, but there are a number of blues broadcast operating on the internet these days, and some of them are broadcasts of regular radio stations, such as WGBH-FM 89.7 from here in the Boston, MA area. Much of the blues radio programming tends on the FM radio airwaves comes from college operated radio and NPR and PBS oriented broadcasts. There is a program that comes on Saturday/Sunday nights from about 12:00 midnight to about 5 AM is a program Blues Before sunrise, hosted by Chicago area blues drummer Steve Cushing, and it goes into many blues and blues related musics (kinda like a whole history of black music in many ways) from down home delta blues, prewar, hep-harmony like the Delta Rhythm Boys (a HUGE influence on Howling Wolf), jazzier sides of blues, and classic Chicago Blues, and it is also broadcast on the internet and you can go to http://www.bluesbeforesunrise.com for the nearest local station or get it simulcast right there on the internet. Don't forget to check Real One, Music Match, Windows Media, Live365, and a few more for a number of different internet blues broadcasts.

RE: slide bass

PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2004 8:51 pm
by seanmack
I'm no bass player, but as a drummer i find its a good way to mix things up by giving the rythym section a chance to really stretch out (perhaps best displayed by a mostly blues band like the allman brothers band). I play behind many a different guitarist, and guitar led may be the trad blues way, but i find for a band, and indeed for some audiences this approach wears thin after a couple of hours, and adding extra elemts like slide bass, or maybe the occassional jazz blast on the drums, make it more interesting. Not that i'm saying i dont enjoy setting the pace for a few hours behind a great guitarist, or indeed listening to some blues oloing for hours on end, i just think its good to mix it up.

RE: slide bass

PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2004 8:55 pm
by seanmack
Come to think of bassboy blue, you're right in terms of the next new thing..check out 'the next biog thing' in blues, robert randolph..not only is lapsteel a new element ot blues, but there are some seriously cool bass solos and bass led songs in their work, and it fits.

RE: slide bass

PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2004 5:53 pm
by ricochet
I don't get upset because something's nontraditional, and I love Primus' music with Les Claypool's bass leads. But it's hard to get slide bass not to just sound like a muddy mess. Takes a very heavy slide not to bounce off the strings and buzz. Les gets similar effects from sliding with his fingertips on a fretless bass and really sounds great! (He must have callouses like dog footpads.)

RE: slide bass

PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2005 2:01 am
by guitarslim101
Have you ever seen Claypool play live? He puts on quite a show.

Now to the slide bass, I have messed around with that a little, and I think it adds a lot to a song. In my band ,we do a lot of odd, Zappa-inspired stuff, and slide stuff on the bass can work with that. We don't have our bassist do it often, but, sometimes.

RE: slide bass

PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2005 2:27 am
by ricochet
>Have you ever seen Claypool play live? He puts on quite a
>show.

Yep!

I never got to see Zappa live, but he was my main musical hero in my teenage years.

RE: slide bass

PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2005 2:47 am
by jeffl
How 'bout any ole Captain Beefheart stuff...? You do any of that....?

RE: slide bass

PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2005 10:36 am
by bluesmcgoo
[updated:LAST EDITED ON Jan-05-05 AT 05:36 AM (EST)]Hey Bubba!

My favorite Zappa album is one he did with Captain Beefheart called "Bongo Fury". Mostly live with a couple of studio cuts thrown in. Great stuff with some fantastic Zappa guitar playing on it.

As for the slide bass...why not just play fretless? You can get all kinds of sliding in, and it has the advantage of sounding really cool.