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Posts posted by ezbass

  1. 2 minutes ago, paul_5 said:

    Cards on the table for everyone. Just because you’re not gigging don’t assume that the project has no merit; the benefits to mental health of leaving the house once a week to do something that you love shouldn’t be underestimated. It may be that you all decide to wait for the drummer, and enjoy a weekly meet up and bit of a social, or you get a different drummer in.

    No good can come from keeping secrets from only some of the band, and I think it’s unfortunate that the drummist has put you in this position. 

    Very much this. If everyone has the same expectations then just getting out and playing together may be just what folk need to keep them  interested, their chops up and feed their souls.

  2. 25 minutes ago, Frank Blank said:

    ...also, I think finding the right fretless is very important, perhaps even more so than with a fretted bass. I was all over the place with full scale fretless basses but as soon as I tried a Rob Allen I was much better almost straight away. Try a few out.

    Frank speaks the truth here. I have a Rob Allen 35” scale and intonation on that is very forgiving, which breeds confidence when playing my 33” scale fretless. I also had good experiences with the Ibanez GWB35. String choice can also make a difference.

  3. 39 minutes ago, Cat Burrito said:

    There are some guitar players who have contributed some beautiful bass playing. I think the problem is around this assumption that because you can play guitar, you can automatically play the bass. Clearly it's often not actually the case at all. 

    Steven Stills immediately springs to mind and John Mayer has a very Pino vibe to his playing (unsurprisingly).

  4. Persevere, no question. When I listen to videos of name players on fretless, I am often surprised at their sometimes dodgy intonation and famous double bass players are very often even worse, which means that it’s difficult and us mere mortals shouldn’t beat ourselves up too much. This is not an excuse for letting your technique slide (pun unintended, but I’m quite amused by it), we should strive to be better. However, it’s certainly not a case of thinking maybe fretless isn’t for you and jacking it in. I’m on a bit of a fretted binge at the moment but, up until now, fretless has always been my preferred modus operandi. As you say, it’s a point of difference, which is another reason to keep at it.

    • Like 3
  5. 14 minutes ago, Bridgehouse said:


    There's a significant difference between the complexity of a songs chord structure, it's rhythm, and what makes it unique/memorable - even from a Bass point of view.


    There are songs with complex bass lines which are rhythmically straight forward, some with simple bass lines in verses and choruses but complex bridges or solos, some with simple bass lines that are made unique by complex fills or runs in places, and then there are many songs that rely on an accurate and very well timed bass rhythm


    For me (and I'm a mere landlubber when it comes to some of the experts on here) bass is a subtle but complex mix of notes, rhythms, timing, fills, runs, and note placement. 


    Adam Clayton - oft maligned, oft derided - (and liking the song or not is irrelevant) - With or Without You is a perfect example of a simple bass line that is executed with such precision that it carries the song and gives it most of it's uniqueness. Where he places notes, when he chooses to slide between notes, the driving force of the rhythmic playing.


    Colin Greenwood (for it is he) - Fake Plastic Trees. I learned the notes to it in one listen. And that was about 10% of the work required to make it sound authentic. Another masterclass in Bass note placement. Once again, a song that is made by the bassline - without it, it would fall. Harmonic perfection, rhythmic excellence, subtle, well placed and executed beautifully. 


    Again, for me,  bass playing is about that heady combination of note, rhythm, subtlety and emphasis, and where you place your notes. 


    I've written a few bass lines I'm really proud of. I've even recorded them and felt a reasonable satisfaction with my playing. However, I've also played some of them live and on occasion felt horrified by how bad they sounded when one of those elements listed above wasn't right. 


    The actual notes are just the beginning of the bass player's story.

    Ah, whilst I was typing, my esteemed colleague above appears to have made much the same point. He obviously can type faster than I can.

    • Thanks 1
  6. 39 minutes ago, Raymondo said:

    We have been having fun tonight commenting on the fact that "we should all be able to play most songs on one hearing" and although on first glance this appears to give credence to that opinion in fact twice during the video he cites occasions where that may not be so true.


    " the Beatles had 27 number 1's but only used the "common chord progression on one of them ...


    The guy that's wrote all the hit songs lately( never heard of him and can't be bothered to watch it again) wrote 22 number 1's and only one of them used the famous chords....

    That's 47 very popular songs that don't follow a standard pattern!


    He also tells us to look out for the chord progression in the choruses of many songs ...what about the verses?


     I believe it's possible to play a semblance of a lot of pop songs on one hearing, but that's a long way from having "learned to play them," and I think it's disingenuous to dismiss people on here as not right for a covers band if they can't play it after one hearing. (Although I quoted your post Skank, my latter statement here is in fact aimed at Tim who espoused the opinion referred to).

    And then there’s the actual performance of the song. Yes, it might be a well worn, even clichéd

    chord sequence,  but that doesn’t take into consideration note placement or dynamics, for example. There was/is an SBL video of Michael League playing the same 3 or 4 note riff over and over, but it starts on different 8th notes, giving it a totally different feel. Then there’s altered chords (the pointing out of which is much beloved by Mr Beato) where the bass doesn’t necessarily follow the root progression, but it isn’t always obvious that it is different.


    We’ve gone a fair bit OT and I think it needed doing, so to drag the thread back kicking and screaming to its origin… playing cover songs you don’t like is almost an occupational hazard for those who play covers. However, one shouldn’t dismiss these tunes, or just knock out something passable. If time allows, have a good listen and give it your best, especially if playing for an audience (they might not necessarily be paying you, but they’re giving you their time, even if they might be inebriated/not care about the complexities of the song you’re playing, or lack thereof), you might just learn something and if you don’t, it’s just good, musical discipline. Finally, if you have any say in the song choice and absolutely hate something in particular, for whatever reason, see if the band wouldn’t mind dropping it, you can only ask.


    • Like 1
  7. Just now, skankdelvar said:


    He's my main man. 


    Well, for some things, not all of them, but, yeah, him and Kenny Gioia for most stuff.

    I’ll watch him, but I’m fully aware that he promotes his channel with plenty of clickbait titles. One week it’s the ruination of music, the next it’s what makes the same song great. Plus his ‘reactions’ are pantomime at its worst.*



    *On no it isn’t!

    • Like 1
  8. 7 hours ago, EJWW said:



    Anyway, the reason behind the post is that the sound was terrible. The kick drum and bass notes (synth, not bass guitar regrettably) were so loud it made me feel physically ill. Every time the drummer hit the kick or a bass note rang out I felt my chest vibrate. This was the case for all three bands on the bill.



    Back in the mid ‘70s I was always in the Hammersmith Odeon, normally a fantastic sound (something that is still the case going on latter days gigs I’ve been to there. However, when I saw Rory Gallagher, despite being a fantastic performance by the three piece, the above was my physical experience, something was very wrong that night 🤢.

  9. My old keyboard player has perfect pitch and an amazing memory, he’s savant like. He can play anything after a listen. However, to get the feel and nuance correct and to play it with others, he’ll work it up until he’s personally happy and he has very high standards (not surprising really). 

    However, to blow my own trumpet and laud it over mere proles, I’ve nailed Prince’s When Doves Cry, with just one listen and without even placing my hands on my bass.


    What do you mean there’s no bass on that track?


    Ah, this is embarrassing and I fear the jig is up.  Ooh, look over there, it’s an elephant!*




    * Ezbass has it way on his heels while everyone is distracted by the large, grey pachyderm.

    • Haha 4
  10. 2 hours ago, TimR said:


    You only have to learn the song. You don't have to perform it or write a critique essay on its form and place in modern music. 


    The idea is you learn it, come to rehearsal and everyone else has learned something approachably passable, and you can get a good idea whether to spend any more time on it.


    Try playing some dep gigs, or jam nights, where you get told the key of a song you've never heard before and have to pick the song up on the fly. 

    Right, I said your mileage may vary and my post was just from my POV, yet here you go making your POV the only one that counts again. You say learn it and then say you spend more time on it if it works, not quite the spirit of your previous, ‘knock out something passable’ posts. Also, when did playing and performing become 2 different things? As to your facetious ’essay’ comment; really?


    I don’t have to try deps and jams thank you, I’ve done plenty of short notice deps and jam nights, both on bass and guitar and I never find them fulfilling. That’s I don’t find them fulfilling, others may love that scenario, it’s not my preferred outlet, but I’ll do them and, in the case of deps, get asked back.

    • Like 1
  11. Being able to play a song after one through is certainly possible if you just want a passable backing/busk, or are under time constraints. Whether that is good enough for your inner musician (being satisfied that you’re doing the best that you can), is a matter for personal reflection. For my part, I know when I’ve not given a song the attention it deserves and I’m usually not happy with that, feeling that I’ve not only cheated the punters and fellow band members, but also myself. YMMV.

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