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Playing in a covers band with an ERB

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I played a 6 string bass for over ten years. I used it on hundreds of gigs, everything from country and western to weddings receptions to jazz. Nobody cared, all they were bothered about was the playing.

It mostly seems to be other bassists who are finicky about how many strings someone has. There was one particular tutor at uni who kept on about me playing a 6 string, he was a d**k though.

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6 hours ago, Woodinblack said:

In a folk group? Aren't most instruments in a folk group a lot more stringy, like mandolins etc. And hurdy-gurdies!

Har, sadly not this group. Aside from me it's guitar, flute, 3 vocals and a very occasionally banjo.

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12 hours ago, Stub Mandrel said:

Our drummer takes the fosters out of me for always turn up to practice with a different bass (OK I rotate through five, but I like the way each feels and sounds different).

I still haven't had the guts to turn up with my 5-string.

You should worry - I switched to a new-to-me 12-string at a rehearsal once and nobody in the band noticed. Really. 😕🙂

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Would we tell anyone else what instruments or sounds they should be using? I'm surprised at the stories about people who feel it's appropriate to tell the bass player how to do their job? If someone you respect offers constructive criticism then take notice but don't wast your time listening to negative nonsense from people who don't know a bar of music from a bar of soap.

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To paraphrase Billy Connolly: "Don't tell me how to do my job, or what with...do I come to where you work and tell you how to sweep up?" 🙂

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On 10/07/2019 at 09:58, Drax said:

I know a few bassists on the function circuit who will rock up with a 6 string to a wedding gig. Generally miserable sods bitter about playing function music and not much fun to be around, usually not first choice call. 

Edit - after reading the other posts here wanted to clarify this was about the random '6 string deps' I've come across (sample of 3) who've generally taken themselves a little too seriously,  been snobby about the well paid gig they're on and were keen to signal this to the rest of the band.

There does also exist some inverse snobbery from other instrumentalists when a 6 string is pulled out. I'm not one of those but I've seen it happen, and like others have said here - so what. It's your playing, and mainly your personality that gets you gigs - not your gear. 

So for the record most 6 string players are not miserable sods, and certainly not those of this parish. Some of my best friends are 6 string players etc.. 

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5 string is perfect for those dep gigs where they change the key on you. It''s amazing how pants Eb can sound when you are an octave higher than you should be... and no, you haven't got time to tune between songs.

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On 12/07/2019 at 10:36, chris_b said:

Would we tell anyone else what instruments or sounds they should be using? I'm surprised at the stories about people who feel it's appropriate to tell the bass player how to do their job? If someone you respect offers constructive criticism then take notice but don't wast your time listening to negative nonsense from people who don't know a bar of music from a bar of soap.

I also play drums, and I’m often told I have ‘too many’ drums or cymbals*. I usually retort with I wouldn’t tell the guitarist they have too many strings or keys player he has too many patches, so don’t tell me what I should be playing! Usually works. 

 

 

 

 

 

*I’m not Neil Peart. Thank god. It’s two rack toms and two floor toms. 

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3 hours ago, Jakester said:

*I’m not Neil Peart. Thank god. It’s two rack toms and two floor toms.

Go on, admit that it's a skiffle group 🙂

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I am lucky that I get to play with all sorts of musicians from complete beginners to well-known seasoned professionals. I recall on one occasion, a musician from the the latter mentioned, seemed somewhat displeased when I turned up to a show rehearsal with a multi-effects and made noises about not wanting it on stage at the gig the following day. Until I used it expertly to reproduce the sounds on his album. He seemed very pleased with his session bassist and drummer from that point on. We nailed it :) 

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