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Has anyone played bluegrass bass?

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It's all words and images really isn't it, orchestral music by definition is played by an orchestra, while classical music can be played on a computer, I defy anyone to tell the difference in some well executed examples, but pay for a classical concert ticket you'd be bloody annoyed to see a modern incarnation of Kraftwerk/Tangerine Dream on stage (perhaps not). Some bands - and some audiences - are in it for the music, some for the image, most fall somewhere between the two. Music and the arts generally are as much about subjective traditions as they are objective outcomes, and given I still find it hard to watch bassists in 60's pop bands playing root-fifths on Rickenbackers (or Rick James playing funk on the same instrument), traditions have a powerful effect :)

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Cat Burrito's guidance is solid. If I had to choose between Precision & Jazz bass, personally, I'd go for the P and roll the tone all the way down. If you have flatwounds on it, great- if not, no worries. It's all in the fingers or as many bassists have shown, by using your thumb for a fat fleshy tone. Bottom line is go for it and just have some fun!

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4 hours ago, Beedster said:

Music and the arts generally are as much about subjective traditions as they are objective outcomes, and given I still find it hard to watch bassists in 60's pop bands playing root-fifths on Rickenbackers (or Rick James playing funk on the same instrument), traditions have a powerful effect :)

I struggle with the idea that something developed in the 1940s can count as tradition! The 'Country Music' series by Ken Burns has a couple of excellent programs on the development of Bluegrass and the Old-Time music that it partially came from.

The purists have a pretty narrow and well-defined view of what constitutes Bluegrass, and it's fair to say it doesn't include Telecasters or electric basses. Personally I'm not a fan: I prefer old-time.

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7 minutes ago, pete.young said:

I struggle with the idea that something developed in the 1940s can count as tradition! The 'Country Music' series by Ken Burns has a couple of excellent programs on the development of Bluegrass and the Old-Time music that it partially came from.

The purists have a pretty narrow and well-defined view of what constitutes Bluegrass, and it's fair to say it doesn't include Telecasters or electric basses. Personally I'm not a fan: I prefer old-time.

Not sure age and tradition are a thing Pete, there are traditions associated with far newer musical, erm, traditions, than bluegrass :)

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I like bluegrass, even been to the Grand OleOpry! Sure most bands expect acoustic upright bass. I played a Washburn fretless 5 string acoustic bass for a while with bluegrass players. A bit more manageable in pubs than an upright.

I had it strung with black nylon strings which gave it a pretty good resemblance of an upright.

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Posted (edited)

I'm not knowledgeable about the western type musics but remember seeing this a while back and liking it, does it count as bluegrass?

 

Edited by Saul Panzer

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16 minutes ago, Saul Panzer said:

I'm not knowledgeable about the western type musics but remember seeing this a while back and liking it, does it count as bluegrass?

Some of the melodic elements might be, but drum kit and sequenced parts not so much!

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Although root/fifth will get you a lot of the way there, there is a trick you need to know if you’re playing bass for bluegrass or indeed trad country.

When changing from tonic to dominant chord, or from subdominant to tonic, you may find yourself tripping up. Here’s an example in D showing root/fifth for 4 bars of D followed by 4 bars of A. Note names are in lower case:

d.a.|d.a.|d.a.|d.a.|a.e.|a.e.|a.e.|a.e.|

The last note of bar 4 and the first of bar 5 are both a. This may sound ‘wrong’ because of the lack of movement between the two a notes across the chord change, and the temptation is to interpose an e note thus:

d.a.|d.a.|d.a.|d.ae|a.e.|a.e.|a.e.|a.e.|

However this creates a ‘skip’ that breaks the flow of the music. The Eagles on Tequila Sunrise just played it as the first example, but an experienced country bass player stays on the root in the bar preceding the change:

d.a.|d.a.|d.a.|d.d.|a.e.|a.e.|a.e.|a.e.|

You will hear this a lot in recordings.

HTH :)

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, pete.young said:

Home Fire is more Barbershop than Old Time.

Actually it's Home Free. They're not barbershop (which is a very specific singing style that these guys don't really do, plus they have a beatboxer doing the 'percussion' and the 'harmonica'), but they are acapella.  They do mostly covers, but in doing so cover a range of styles (you might want to check out their take on the Johnny Cash classic 'Ring of Fire' here ). In this case they're covering an old-time song best known for it's inclusion in a movie called 'Oh Brother Where Art Thou?' from around 2000, but which was originally written in 1913 IIRC.

The reason I posted it has to do with the discussion about purity vs. modernism. This performance is a modernist take on an old-time tune.

Edited by leftybassman392

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, dave moffat said:

Wow, probably the best acapella I've heard since the Flying Pickets.

They are good aren't they?

They've been around a few years now. They're pretty big in the States and have done several world tours, but nobody seems to have heard of them over here. Personally I blame the lack of a bass player. :lol:

Edited by leftybassman392

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3 hours ago, leftybassman392 said:

Actually it's Home Free. They're not barbershop (which is a very specific singing style that these guys don't really do, plus they have a beatboxer doing the 'percussion' and the 'harmonica'), but they are acapella.  They do mostly covers, but in doing so cover a range of styles (you might want to check out their take on the Johnny Cash classic 'Ring of Fire' here ). In this case they're covering an old-time song best known for it's inclusion in a movie called 'Oh Brother Where Art Thou?' from around 2000, but which was originally written in 1913 IIRC.

The reason I posted it has to do with the discussion about purity vs. modernism. This performance is a modernist take on an old-time tune.

Congratulations. That's the most patronising post I've ever seen on this forum. I'm done.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, pete.young said:

Congratulations. That's the most patronising post I've ever seen on this forum. I'm done.

And all about a group of Autotune enthusiasts. 🤭

Edited by BreadBin

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On 06/05/2021 at 11:20, Beer of the Bass said:

For me the presence of a telecaster would push things in more of a Western Swing direction, which can also be fun.

Is there “country swing” too? You have both kinds ? 
 

:blues brothers 

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#thread_derail

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There's an annual BG festival just a couple of miles up the road from me, reckon I may just be able to join in the  evening jams, especially if it skips this year.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, pete.young said:

Congratulations. That's the most patronising post I've ever seen on this forum. I'm done.

Actually I was trying to be helpful and informative. Since you gave no indication that you were trying to be funny, I took you at your word.

Perhaps you might get round to telling me wherein lies the patronage.

Or not. Up to you really.

 

 

Edited by leftybassman392

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, leftybassman392 said:

Did somebody mention old-time?

 

:)

Jesus... I hope they've got enough 50p's to feed the Autotune meter.

Back to the OP.. palm-mute a P, stick with R 5 R 5, a few walk-ups and downs, pull out the odd R 5 5 for dramatic effect, and have fun.

Edited by wateroftyne
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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, wateroftyne said:

Jesus... I hope they've got enough 50p's to feed the Autotune meter.

Actually it's more likely to be Melodyne

But hey! who's counting?

 

Edited by leftybassman392

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1 hour ago, BreadBin said:

And all about a group of Autotune enthusiasts. 🤭

See above

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