Jump to content
TimR

Bass FXs for Guitar solos

Recommended Posts

Our ‘power trio’ a started playing a lot more modern pop/rock songs. Lots of these songs are multi layered with strings, synths, rhythm guitars etc. 

When the guitar solo starts, everything sounds a bit weak. 

Any ideas on FXs etc to ‘thicken’ up the bass lines during solos, or should I come up with an interesting line to complement the solo?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fuzz, overdrive, distortion, mix in chorus or octave effects to thicken it out. Digital delay... Depends on what noise you want to make. A subtle bit of something to change up your tone plus something to "duplicate" the sound like chorus or delay would do the trick. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not about effects - it's about the notes. Something as simple as octaves works wonders.
The bass and drums should be the solid foundation, with the guitar on top. If the sound weakens when the guitar solos, it's probably dominating at all other times.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are many things you can try, I personally, use an EHX bass soul food in our 3 piece, boosts nicely, bit of extra gain but not all out fuzz and a blend to keep in the clean signal, best thing to do is have a play with these things and see what works best for you and your sound

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Enjoy the space.

Playing bass in a 3 piece is one of the greatest things ever.

Listen to more Cream / Jack Bruce and you'll get the idea.

 

But also - the guitarist should be writing solos to support the song rather than going off on a thin sounding widdle fest too.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IIRC, Mr Dusty Hill of ZZ Top supports Mr Gibbons' solos by triggering samples of rhythm guitar / synth parts, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Cosmo Valdemar said:

The bass and drums should be the solid foundation, with the guitar on top. If the sound weakens when the guitar solos, it's probably dominating at all other times.

Dare I say it's symptomatic of modern rock music being chock-full of lousy rhythm guitarists? I've heard too many records where it's just a solid wall of chords under the singer, as if they've all developed a sort of musical agoraphobia. Of course it all falls apart live: if they've two guitars, the guy taking a solo can't be heard over the endless, pummeling power chords; if they've one guitar, all the momentum disappears because the thin, widdly solo they overdubbed in the studio leaves a massive hole where once was a wall of chords.

@fretmeister is entirely right above: playing in a 3-piece is wonderfully liberating. Listen to Cream, Hendrix, Mountain, even groups like The Who which were basically a trio-plus-singer. Make sure your bass sound fills enough space - make the low mids your territory, season with high-mids and treble to taste. If your guitarist does want to replicate certain solos, can any of them be played an octave lower?

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Exactly my thoughts. Traditional power trio bands is what we’ve been covering for 5+ years and all have an arrangement already well suited for bass and guitar by their very nature  

Modern pop doesn’t. So having rhythm section chugging over a fairly bland solo is what we end up with. The problem is if the rhythm section is just bass and drums I can’t carry on chugging along with any real effectiveness. 

The risk with creating a tasteful bass lick is the “it doesn’t go like that” reaction I’m likely to encounter but I’ll see what I can come up with. It may actually go down very well.

I do have a chorus pedal. I think I’ll just whack that on and see what happens for starters. 

Edited by TimR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tend to add in notes when the guitar solos, not so much runs, example if the passage is in B I’ll drop down to an A or an F# every now and then, as if the solo is over a verse I don’t really like playing anything different to the regular verses but don’t like the solos to be too sparse.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 Make sure that you and the drummer have a big sound without anything else - depends on the material of course - but that usually means having a bit of grind and overdrive in your basic tone (+1 for the Soul Food)  The trad 'fat bass' sound isn't that good for this and (IMHO) needs to be in a mix with other instruments.

Then the guitar builds on what is already decent.

We always sound check drums and bass together to sound full before adding in guitars.

Worth the effort - much prefer playing in one guitar bands 🙂

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, fretmeister said:

Re-arrange the songs properly then.

Everything can be re-arranged if you are willing to make it your own.

Indeed it can. However that takes time. The songs are evolving slowly. Most of them are fine. Just two or three that have no baseline other than 8th root notes. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Timescale-wise. We have learned about 12 songs from scratch in about as many practices and played our first ‘full’ gig with the new singer two weeks ago. We have a 30minute slot to fill on Saturday evening with the last practice last night. 

Sitting down and working out arrangements doesn’t really happen, we jam through a song and improvise round it to see if it works quickly. Then develop it or scrap it depending on first impressions. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All good advice. Relish the space... fatten up your tone (DK retail therapy) and busy up your lines. 

Seek inspiration from Geddy Lee!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, TimR said:

Just two or three that have no baseline other than 8th root notes. 

Out of curiosity, which specific songs are these? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, skankdelvar said:

Out of curiosity, which specific songs are these? 

Pick a U2 song! :D :D 

 

And even playing R5R5 behind the solo will make an obvious change to filling it up.

Or walk it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, skankdelvar said:

Out of curiosity, which specific songs are these? 

I think they’re some Pink and Christine Aguillera numbers. Lots of strings/keys padding the sound. Some of them need to descend to D so mean playing up the octave. 

Edited by TimR
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, TimR said:

I think they’re some Pink and Christine Aguillera numbers.

Ripe for rearrangement then. Here's my considered advice:

Instead of being all tasteful, like, just keep the melody line, play all the chords as maj 5ths, crank the tempo right up up to prestissimo and wig the f*ck out.

Solos? Get your guitarist to buy a kazoo and a kazoo holder (like a harp brace). Or he can kick in a filthy, dirty fuzz and play the chords without a solo.

Trust me, the punters'll lap it up. Or they'll kill you. Keep us posted

PS: I'm not joking. Just reduce these songs to their most basic form, kick the sh*t out of them and see what happens.

Edited by skankdelvar
  • Like 1
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, skankdelvar said:

PS: I'm not joking. Just reduce these songs to their most basic form, kick the sh*t out of them and see what happens.

We kind of have. And the bottom falls out of the songs in the solos and the songs lose momentum. 

Yes. Space, and light and shade are important but don’t think the guitar solo is necessarily the right place for them. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, TimR said:

We kind of have.

Fair enough. Good luck sorting it :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing I’d probably look at is playing with some overdrive and increased mids during the solos in a covers band. Nothing Lemmyish, just go from clean to that driven if digging in setting, plus upping mids a notch, not becoming a rhythm guitar exactly but stepping into that sort of area. Maybe even have a small combo set like that to kick in for solos - that way as well as keeping the clean low end but also adding drive plus mids it would be adding another speaker into the mix, further padding out the sound.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to use an Akai Unibass in a power trio years ago. It can add an octave higher, with or without distortion and also add a harmony note to the octave up. I now realise this was a bit daft but I was in epic rock god territory when the guitarist soloed. I had a bi-amped bass rig with the lows fed to a 2x15 and the highs to a 4x12, but also had a 2x10 guitar amp in a cabinet between the two, so rack mount Peavey Max pre amp, graphic and stereo power amp on top of a 4x12 on top of a guitar amp in a cabinet on top of a 2x15, all cabinets were home built so they all matched. The Unibass would send an octave up with a 5th added to the overdriven guitar amp and the bass to the rack unit to be split between the two bass cabs. My back problems aren't from lifting all that but rather that it fused most of my vertebrae together with sheer rawk power 😁

 

  • Like 2
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, TimR said:

I think they’re some Pink and Christine Aguillera numbers. Lots of strings/keys padding the sound. Some of them need to descend to D so mean playing up the octave. 

I've done Pink songs in a 3 + singer band before.

Got a D-Tuner for the E string. Added tasteful 5th or Octaves when needed.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...