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uk_lefty

Watching your own band with a dep bassist

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I have been on self imposed lock-down from all activity beyond essential attendance at work and family duties since my baby boy arrived almost three weeks ago. My band had what is usually the biggest gig of the year and used a dep, which I am 100% behind. I saw some video of them playing with the dep, a reasonable player who played all the right notes in the right places for the clips I've seen... But... It was an odd experience. There just didn't seem to be the energy and dynamic in recordings of the band that I've got from rehearsals and previous gigs in which I've played. The crowd looked smaller than expected which may have contributed but, though he was good, I just didn't feel the bass driving the band like I hope/ think I do. I'm grateful the gig went ahead with a ddcent player depping, it just didn't sound right to me. Anyone else had similar experience? 

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Its always difficult to play in a band for the first time. Being dropped in at the deep end can be difficult for the band as well.

Be thankful you're better than him. It could get awkward if it's the other way around!

 

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Other way,i'm the dep and they are a different band with me in .The main man is basic and sounds like a Subaru's sub woofer at the end of your street .Its only classic rock stuff but its all over ,as in the guitar plays off the drummer and singer and the bass is just nowhere in the pecking order .

The band know it but I don't want the full  time job and to be fair loads of punters don't seem to notice 

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3 hours ago, chris_b said:

Its always difficult to play in a band for the first time. Being dropped in at the deep end can be difficult for the band as well.

Be thankful you're better than him. It could get awkward if it's the other way around!

 

Yeah I wasn't putting down the dep bassist at all, he's not only got a shed load of songs to learn but the structures, different keys etc and he has to keep up with the drummer and guitarist who it's hard to just slot in with because of how they play. It was just interesting to note. 

Equally when I have depped I completely changed the sound of one band just because I simply cannot play with the same techniques as their regular bassist and would seriously fudge it up if I even tried. 

It was just an interesting observation in the complete change of dynamic to the band, especially as I contemplate setting out to dep for more than just people I know and be a proper hired gun. 

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2 minutes ago, uk_lefty said:

It was just an interesting observation in the complete change of dynamic to the band, especially as I contemplate setting out to dep for more than just people I know and be a proper hired gun. 

Yes, it's surprising how a slightly different playing style can completely alter the feel and sound of a band.

I always check the original bass player and the other deps who are in competition to me. I like to see who is strong in this song or weak in that song. It's all a learning curve to becoming a better player for each gig.

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What about when the band get a dep better than yourself? I got put into that situation a few times when our band was guitarless, and as they couldn't find a dep they asked me to play guitar and use a dep bassist. The dep was a mate of mine, a wonderful player far better than myself, so I had to suffer the indignity of hearing him make a great job of covering for me whilst I struggled with playing another instrument (not particularly well either) ! Needless to say I didn't put up with it for long.....

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3 hours ago, casapete said:

What about when the band get a dep better than yourself? I got put into that situation a few times when our band was guitarless, and as they couldn't find a dep they asked me to play guitar and use a dep bassist. The dep was a mate of mine, a wonderful player far better than myself, so I had to suffer the indignity of hearing him make a great job of covering for me whilst I struggled with playing another instrument (not particularly well either) ! Needless to say I didn't put up with it for long.....

For all I know they may have preferred this guy! He did play all the right notes at the right times instead of generally pissing about and trying to cram in as many fast runs as he can! Luckily I'm the band treasurer, so if they ever want to £47 kitty back they'd best be nice to me. 

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I've been in a situation where there used to be a local originals band that I was a enjoyed and would go see play. When their bass player left they asked me to dep for a few gigs before they called it quits. Learnt all the originals set list in about a week and played 3-4 final gigs.

A few years later they decided to reform and asked me to be a permanent member. So I accepted, hit the road, helped write new material and recorded an album with them.

Only lasted for about another 3 years but I still always think of the original line up being the classic line up rather than myself in the band .

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Two rules of getting a dep in- make sure they're not better than you, and not an attractive blonde of the singer's sexual preference. 

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3 hours ago, TheGreek said:

Congrats on the new born baby boy.....

+1 :)

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I find myself in the position of having a better dep - hiram.k.hackenbacker is standing in for me for the next 2 Just Jovi gigs.  Warren is a better player than I'll ever be but I feel relieved, not threatened, by this as it means I can relax and not worry about letting the band down by not being free.  Plus all the guys in the band know him so for them it will be like putting on a pair of old slippers.

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2 minutes ago, Paul S said:

 Plus all the guys in the band know him so for them it will be like putting on a pair of old slippers.

They play a lot of shuffles? ;)

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I'm in a strange situation where the band I depped for last year asked me to join full time. The original bassist got shifted sideways (or demoted!) to guitar where he's much better than the old guitarist.

I've asked for help with basslines a couple of times as he is a good all round musician (plays drums too) but every now and then he'll stop a song halfway through and do this kind of angry way of telling me where I'm going wrong. I kind of get the feeling he hasn't quite left the bass behind and he thinks I'm a bit crap on the more complex numbers (we do a lot of Motown, soul and funk). I have a young family so time learning, practicing and rehearsing numbers is limited.

Keeps me on my toes I suppose and I've spoken to the BL about why he picked me to replace him so I'm happy for now 😬 but feels like a ticking time bomb!

 

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Don't be threatened by this...think of it as a chance to improve and having a tutor close at hand.

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1 hour ago, TheGreek said:

Don't be threatened by this...think of it as a chance to improve and having a tutor close at hand.

It's happened 3 times so it's rare, it's a bit like Monty python's Spanish inquisition - his 2 main weapons are fear, the element of surprise and...

My last 6 years playing bass have been all about making improvements and moving up the bass playing ladder so I try to take positives when something bad happens. When I depped I skim learnt some of the songs just to get through a gig with 30 or so tunes. Now I'm in the band I'm learning the new songs plus going over the old ones and picking out where I can improve them. Having the occasional kick up the derrière is a pain but I get a few pointers nonetheless 😃

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1 hour ago, Bluewine said:

In 8 years nobody has ever depped for ne and I plan on keeping it that way for as long as I can.

Blue

Hi Blue

Do the band have a dep or 2 just in case you can't make a gig?

In my 30 or so years of playing only the last 3 or 4 years have I been in bands that went down the dep route. Before that if someone couldn't make the gig we didn't play the gig.

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Our drummer recently had a heart attack, and was advised to have a two month break from the drums. We played a few gigs with a dep, and the original drummer in the audience. Strange experience. He also introduced himself to the dep just before his first gig...
The gigs with the dep went well (no misakes at least!), but just not quite right - hard to put my finger on exactly what though.

The band are playing without me this weekend, thanks to me visiting London for some bass show. A charity event in a hotel with a large audience that we really wanted to do. I'm not sure how I'll feel when the inevitable video clips start appearing afterwards!  

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27 minutes ago, geoham said:

The band are playing without me this weekend, thanks to me visiting London for some bass show. . . . . . . .

You cancelled a gig to go and look at bass gear? ??

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1 hour ago, chris_b said:

You cancelled a gig to go and look at bass gear? ??

Never mind playing gigs, GAS needs feeding 🤤

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2 hours ago, chris_b said:

You cancelled a gig to go and look at bass gear? ??

The drummer from my first band cancelled a gig at really short.otice at the best venue in town because he was going to a Chad Smith drum clinic... Tough call. 

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23 minutes ago, uk_lefty said:

The drummer from my first band cancelled a gig at really short.otice at the best venue in town because he was going to a Chad Smith drum clinic... Tough call. 

Did he play any better when he came back?

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3 hours ago, chris_b said:

You cancelled a gig to go and look at bass gear? ??

Not quite.... Jolly to London with my guitarist mate and both our wives was booked first!

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20 hours ago, super al said:

Hi Blue

Do the band have a dep or 2 just in case you can't make a gig?

In my 30 or so years of playing only the last 3 or 4 years have I been in bands that went down the dep route. Before that if someone couldn't make the gig we didn't play the gig.

They do not have a bass dep or guitarist dep that I know of. We do have a drummer that will dep.

Blue

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