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DanOwens

ABBA Bass Sound - What gear?

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I grew up listening to Abba, and with two elder sisters, one blonde and one brunette, so psychically I was Bjorn - we were missing a Bennie though.... Incredible songs and vocals. Now I have to go & check out the isolated bass and vocal tracks on YT and obsess about that for the next couple of months. 😀

BTW Gearwise, you only need a blonde wig. No one will give a toss about the bass tone.

Edited by petebassist
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12 minutes ago, petebassist said:

No one will give a toss about the bass tone.

No one will even notice if there is a bass or not!

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Rutgar Gunnarsson was a classically trained musician. His great playing and bass lines didn't come by chance. He was that good because he knew his theory.

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This thread is somewhat unexpected. I assumed you'd all start recommending hand-made boutique active basses that I can't afford, but no! "Just add chorus" is something I can get behind!

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4 minutes ago, chris_b said:

Rutgar Gunnarsson was a classically trained musician. His great playing and bass lines didn't come by chance. He was that good because he knew his theory.

...also, he probably has a bloody good ear for a catchy bass part.

Theory is no good if you don’t know how to use it.

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Rutger is, alongside jamerson, a hero of mine. My last bass build was based on his white jazz

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Just now, wateroftyne said:

...also, he probably has a bloody good ear for a catchy bass part.

Theory is no good if you don’t know how to use it.

I can get with this. In a previous life I would have made a retort such as "spoken like a guy who doesn't know any music theory".... however...

I move in some very heavy theory circles... and sometimes, I have to be the voice of reason.

"FFS guitarist. The song requires a simple G, not a substitution, not an extension... a G."

I think it's why I fail to get a lot of session musician's solo albums. They'll go out their way not to play the obvious, or a root... when in reality, things would make a lot more sense and sound better if they did. But then again, that's their art isn't it? Who am I to judge. 

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11 hours ago, E sharp said:

My opinion , is that Benny and Bjorn are ahead of Lennon and McCartney , in crafting perfect pop songs . Some of them are perfect

 

11 hours ago, EBS_freak said:

I've said that myself to many... (only to be scoffed at)

I think that those who scoff at that are truly mad, ABBA were the perfect pop song band. 

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For my ears Gunnarson always played lines that supported the melody and propelled the beat - much like Jamerson.

I think he had the theory and the feel -  listen to something his line on Dancing Queen, properly listen without a bass in hand - it is a work of joy.

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While so many have spent the last 60 years slagging off "Pop" music, the reality is the production values of this "throw away" music was actually very high, as was the musicianship.

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A side note: one of the best names of a tribute band is Björn again. Their keyboard was rebadged as YAHAYA, if I remember correctly.

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7 hours ago, EBS_freak said:

I can get with this. In a previous life I would have made a retort such as "spoken like a guy who doesn't know any music theory".... however...

I move in some very heavy theory circles... and sometimes, I have to be the voice of reason.

"FFS guitarist. The song requires a simple G, not a substitution, not an extension... a G."

I think it's why I fail to get a lot of session musician's solo albums. They'll go out their way not to play the obvious, or a root... when in reality, things would make a lot more sense and sound better if they did. But then again, that's their art isn't it? Who am I to judge. 

Music should come first. The theory is only a way of understanding and describing it. 

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1 minute ago, 4000 said:

Music should come first. The theory is only a way of understanding and describing it. 

So what comes first, stories, spelling, grammar? You can be illiterate and erudite but you don't see that too often. Literacy enhances how we talk, what we say and is critical for what we write.

Same with music. You can write and play tunes with no theory, but to do it better and consistently takes knowledge. That knowledge is the theory, that is so easily dismissed.

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22 minutes ago, chris_b said:

So what comes first, stories, spelling, grammar? You can be illiterate and erudite but you don't see that too often. Literacy enhances how we talk, what we say and is critical for what we write.

Same with music. You can write and play tunes with no theory, but to do it better and consistently takes knowledge. That knowledge is the theory, that is so easily dismissed.

I think you've misunderstood. The point I was making was that music is sounds first and foremost.

Of course understanding theory can enhance your creativity, did I say it couldn't? But its also possible to have an innate understanding without knowing theory. It also depends upon your definition of knowledge and theory. You can know what notes or chords work together without knowing what those notes or chords are called. That is knowledge, but I wouldn't define it as theory in the more obvious sense.

I take issue with the "better" though, as that is utterly subjective. Its art at the end of the day. 

 

Edited by 4000
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I’d heartily recommend Aiden Hampson’s ABBA Bass transcription book:  http://aidanhampson.co.uk/

Rutger’s playing is stunning. Along with Dancing Queen and One Of Us, Knowing Me Knowing You is a work of art bass-wise. Amazing phrasing, really quirky note choices. Well worth exploring a full transcription.

 

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