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Direct Link To This Post Topic: What happened to bass solos?
    Posted: June 20 2004 at 16:19
I was just wondering if anyone knew any good bands who play bass solos? Every body hates them for some reason and I dont know why. Its the guitarist's fault! Always in the spotlight, shredding away! Give the four stringers a chance I say!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 20 2004 at 16:31
What was I thinking! No one cares about bass players! They're just paid to stand in the corner and look angry! They're being discriminated against because of they're supposed lack of musical ability!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 20 2004 at 16:33
I found out there was a reply and I thought yay! But it turns out it was just me! Why does everyone dissapear as soon as I turn up?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 20 2004 at 16:48
I play bass, and usually I don't care for soloing. I like a lot of bass players that do but when I'm playing in a song I prefer to accompany a lot of the time, and make that interesting rather than solo. Occaisionally I'll get to a point where it feels right to though, especially in more jazz styled stuff.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 20 2004 at 16:53

Practically every Strangler's song was a bass solo, the same goes for Marillion - and try Stanley Clarke!

Bass solos abound, especially in the field of prog - but generally we like to keep ourselves to ourselves, as bassists - and what's all this about 4-stringers? Clive Mitten of Twelfth Night played a 6-string bass - and there's some nice bass soloing on "Live at the Target". Lemmy played an 8-string, or G-String bass, as he affectionately called it.

There's even some bass soloing on Dave Lee Roth's "Skyscraper" album, curteosy of Billy Sheehan, and Metallica's Cliff Burton was partial to letting that baby rip - with fuzz and wah-wah!

I'm sure there are hundreds of others - these are just the first I thought of!

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 20 2004 at 16:59
It's just that people want to see a guitarist do a big shred solo and sure if they can pull it of great but nobody ever sees the bass a melodic instrument, it just seen as a rythum tool.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 20 2004 at 17:01
By four stringers I was tryingf to include all bass players. I guess i should have just said bass players.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 20 2004 at 20:12

I've always been partial to the very complex moving line underneath the guitar. I swear that everytime I hear a Rush song, I hear something in the bass line I've never heard before. And I know how to play all of those songs by heart.

But anyway, Geddy still does a few. And I'm sure there are others. Not sure about inside the realm of prog though.

And I'll take the 4 stringer moniker. Never cared much for a 5, 6, 7, or other multiple.

Ultimately they will become empty, mindless spectres...
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 21 2004 at 01:19

Geddy is the ONE guy who made me actually listen to what was going on, basswise. Before that, it was just about the keyboards (and earlier than that, guitar, in my early high school years before I got into Tangerine Dream and other groups that totally changed the way I regarded music in general).

There are many great bassists out there; some get mentioned frequently, and some don't (and some seem all but forgotten, sadly). Kenso's Shunji Saegusa is a fantastic bassist who plays with both fingers and a pick. He takes some killer solos, but anybody who listens to Kenso would know that, already. And to those who don't already listen to Kenso...whaddya waiting for?!

 

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 21 2004 at 11:10

I enjoy the rubbery buzz of the fretless players, like Mick Karn, Eric Sands of Man on Fire and OF COURSE, Jaco Pastorius. Smooth and slippery and oh so dramatic.

Allan Holdsworth's bassists always take a solo on occassion. Jimmy Johnson has a wonderful tone, but doesn't get too busy, like Jeff Berlin.    

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 21 2004 at 11:15

Originally posted by 5 minute solo 5 minute solo wrote:

It's just that people want to see a guitarist do a big shred solo and sure if they can pull it of great but nobody ever sees the bass a melodic instrument, it just seen as a rythum tool.

Actually "shredding" generally bores me to tears. I say generally, because some guitarists can make it interesting and dynamic - and in the case of Angus Young, downright fun (although I will concede that Angus is not really a shredder).

Steve Vai is the only guitarist I've heard that can keep me interested AND perform technical pyrotechnics at the same time. I guess it's personal, but normally I just like a good tune. All that widdly nonsense usually sends me straight to the bar - so kudos to my fellow bass players - don't become victims of "fret envy", as it's just not worth it!

IMO bass is the all-important drive behind any song, and Pete Trewavas is living proof that a bass line can be pure joy as a tune, part of the vertical harmonic structure, part of the horizontal counterpoint and a significant part of the overall texture of any piece of music.

Solos on any instrument are rarely anything more than self-indulgence, and should be properly composed, orchestrated as they were in the concerti of the great composers of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries IMO.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 21 2004 at 11:28
It all comes down to the old distinction between a "bass player" and a "bass guitarist" - a bass player is happy enough just to stand at the back plodding away & keeping time with the drummer (all power to them - look at the rhythm section of AC/DC for an example of a rock solid bass player), whereas a bass guitarist does all this, whilst playing around, over and under the main melody line - these are the guys you rarely find playing solos in concert, so you just have to listen a little harder to realise exactly what they are doing - for examples, look to Tony Levin, Geddy Lee, (the late) Gary Thain, (the late) Jaco Pastorius etc etc

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 21 2004 at 11:29
A chello for instance is ussually seen as a rhythm instrument but J.S.Bach wrote entire dance suites for the chello as solo peices.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 21 2004 at 11:30
Not to mention the Cello concertos by Dvorak and Elgar (Jaqueline Du-Pre - now there was a cellist.....)

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 21 2004 at 11:32

I see the error in my way of thinking. I will now go and weep in a corner for I am scum.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 21 2004 at 11:36
Fear not, the Cello and Double Bass do look very similar...... er ...... apart from the fact that one is about twice the size of the other (imagine Jaqueline Du-Pre with that between her legs....... oh dear, I'd better go and have a lie down....)

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 21 2004 at 11:44
Do you know what you are if you have 4 stars under your name? I've looked for someone with 4 stars and I can't find one!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 21 2004 at 12:01
Since I am a drummer I love bas solos since it gives the rythm section of a band the opportunity to showcase themselves as you will know the drummer always accompanies a bass solo. Focus III and In And Out Of Focus feature a couple of great prog bass solos. I was at a Crimson gig here in Montreal  and I kept yelling at Levin BASS SOLO! BASS SOLO! but he just  kept looking at me laughing. I have heard a few good Jaco bass solos. I would love to hear a Les Claypool bass solo. I saw Primus once and was completely impressed with his playing. I own five Primus CD`s. I would also like to hear Geddy or Berlin to let it rip. Or Squire from yes.Mingus has also done a lot of good soloing on the acoustic upright.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 21 2004 at 12:02

Originally posted by 5 minute solo 5 minute solo wrote:

I see the error in my way of thinking. I will now go and weep in a corner for I am scum.

What?

This is a great thread idea. The bass is a often overlooking soloing instrument. Just because one or two members don't care for bass solos, so what, it's all meat and poison. Personally, I like to hear a bass solo. Geddy Lee's solo on Show Don't Tell from Presto was rather refreshing.

If you like bass, what about Chapman Stick or Warr Guitar? Tony Levin, Sean Malone and Trey Gunn have taken those instruments to incredible levels. They can have the range of a piano (Various number of strings 10-12....) and a played by tapping the strings. Each fret acts as a pickup. These guys play some wild solos in the lower ranges through standard guitar pitches. Very innovative, IMO.

Cheers 5MS- Good thread idea. 

I've no idea about 4 stars..... One for the Admin, I suppose.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 21 2004 at 12:10
Thanks! It feels nice to be appreciated by people. Has anyone noticed how terrible my spelling is?
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