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Thread: BAS(s)

  1. #1
    Registered User red7flag's Avatar
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    Default BAS(s)

    The pastor of our church and leader of the band asked me to play bass in the band. Never played bass. Did not know the strings are the same as the lower 4 of a guitar an octave lower. Started from scratch. Bought a cheep Epiphone EBO. Played with others for the first time last Sunday and played in the band in front of the church right after that. No mistakes and felt really comfortable "in the back of the band". The next day I was reading review on Talkingbass (MC's bass counterpart) and the next day pulled the trigger on an Lakland Skyline Hollowbody bass... Different instrument same process (lusting) and result (buying). Thought you guys might be amusded that MAS can so easily become BAS(s). They refer to it as BGAC Bass Guitar Acquisition Syndrome. I like BAS(s) better.
    Tony Huber
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  3. #2
    Registered User Billy Packard's Avatar
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    Default Re: BAS(s)

    ***

    I've always believed bass players are born, not made.

    There is an approach a true bass player will take that none of the rest of us would have thought of but somehow is perfect.

    However late in life it may be, R-7, is this you??




    Billy



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  5. #3
    Registered User Billy Packard's Avatar
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    Default Re: BAS(s)

    ***

    Sidenote...

    I've met and shared marquee's with Sharon Gilchrist and I respect her mandolin chops.

    But...

    Last year at the Banjo Extravaganza in Grass Valley she was playing BASS and,WOW!
    She is a real bass player. She knocked me out with her bass playing, just the right thing at the right time, one big note at a time.
    She handled the big bass fiddle like it was her little toy and held the whole ensemble together.
    She was Fantastic.


    (Can you tell! I love Bass players!!)


    Billy

    ***
    Billy Packard
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  7. #4
    Registered User red7flag's Avatar
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    Default Re: BAS(s)

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Packard View Post
    ***

    I've always believed bass players are born, not made.

    There is an approach a true bass player will take that none of the rest of us would have thought of but somehow is perfect.

    However late in life it may be, R-7, is this you??




    Billy



    billypackardmandolin.com
    I feel really comfortable playing bass especially in a band setting, but it is too early to tell. I now have a good feeling for the expression, “finding my groove”. Bass seems to be more about having a feel than technique. That being said, I am working on different scales to gain a vocabulary. This has been fun.
    Tony Huber
    1930 Martin Style C #14783
    2011 Mowry GOM
    2013 Hester F4 #31
    2014 Ellis F5 #322
    2017 Collings MT2-O #3666
    2017 Nyberg Mandola #172

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  9. #5
    Registered User smokinop's Avatar
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    Default Re: BAS(s)

    Bass guitar was the first instrument I really starting gigging with when I was young. I still play occasionally when needed at church or an even more occasional gig. I still own an electric but recently sold my upright since that is what gets used the least. Enjoy the bass, you will always be needed since there so few bass players compared to guitarist.

  10. #6
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: BAS(s)

    Bass was my second instrument (piano first). Started back in elementary school only because I was taller than the other kids in 4th grade. Still play bass occasionally. Have a cheap Epiphone EB-0 in a closet. But, being mine, hot rodded with DiMarzio pickup, new pots, upgraded bridge. Actually would work on stage if I wanted, or needed.
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  11. #7
    Registered User red7flag's Avatar
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    Default Re: BAS(s)

    I hit my first of what will be probably many road blocks last night. Was playing bass with a piano player that improvises freely. He would make "minor adjustments", like adding a minor run, with no notice. By the time I figured out what he was doing, he would do something else new. He would change tempo, expand the 8 bars to 10 or any other changes, including modulating to a new key. But, would change back as soon as I adjusted. I got so confused that the pastor asked if I wanted the chord chart, which just got me more frustrated (Amazsing Grace is not exactly complex nor difficult, normally). The piano player is a good friend and well liked, but definitely strained by bass playing abilities. This Sunday when we do the duet, I will KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid).
    Tony Huber
    1930 Martin Style C #14783
    2011 Mowry GOM
    2013 Hester F4 #31
    2014 Ellis F5 #322
    2017 Collings MT2-O #3666
    2017 Nyberg Mandola #172

  12. #8

    Default Re: BAS(s)

    Quote Originally Posted by red7flag View Post
    ... a piano player that improvises freely. ... He would change tempo, expand the 8 bars to 10 or any other changes, including modulating to a new key. ...
    Can't imagine that being very enjoyable for singers either, if the congregation is expected to sing along with that?

    There was a piano player where we used to attend, the pianist would do long "hold" notes (fermata or whatever the musical term is) of varying length, wasn't even the same length from one verse to the next in the same song. Yeah it was artistic and expressive and all, but the pianist's purpose for being there was not to be a 'star' but rather to provide a stable rhythm and melody to help guide the congregation so that people would be singing in the right places and preferably all in the same key, instead of getting 'lost' and not knowing where they were in the song. It was very frustrating not being able to predict when the piano's unnecessarily-dramatic 'held' notes would end so the next word/sentence could be sung. If the piano player can't even keep a beat, it misleads everyone else.

    Improvising is great as long as it doesn't mess things up for other people.

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  14. #9
    Registered User Bob Visentin's Avatar
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    Default Re: BAS(s)

    My first stringed instrument was mandolin when I was about 25. I knew a guy who got a gig at a country club for a bluegrass band but he did not have a band. He asked me to play bass. I had played tuba in high school. I got a Mel Bay book and practiced for a week and we did the gig and they booked us again. That summer we played 2 or 3 more times and I made enough money to buy the bass I had borrowed (Fender '66 Jazz which I still have). I pretty much quit playing mando till about five years ago. Almost every band has a bass player but few have mandolin players. I made a lot of money playing bass. Never made a dime playing mandolin.

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  16. #10
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: BAS(s)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Visentin View Post
    I made a lot of money playing bass. Never made a dime playing mandolin.
    'Twas ever thus. Bass players are always in demand. If I wanted to join a band playing something other than my current genre, I'd switch to bass. Anyone who is even halfway decent on bass never has trouble finding bands to play in.

    I'm not a born bass player but I've dabbled in it. I once owned a cheap plywood double bass that was fun to fool around on. Around 25 years ago, I put together a nice fretless electric built from parts. Solid koa body, ebony fingerboard, tape-wound strings for a semi-acoustic tone. It was a honey. I sold it off in the big electric guitars purge a couple of years ago, when I decided I didn't want to keep what I wasn't actually playing.

    One problem I've always had playing bass is that I keep my right hand fingernails long enough for playing fingerstyle guitar, and that's kind of incompatible with getting good tone on bass. I did better on double bass because I could use the side of my finger. If I had money to burn, I'd get one of those neat NS electric uprights just to have in the house and fool around on. Maybe one day...

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  18. #11
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    Default Re: BAS(s)

    Quote Originally Posted by red7flag View Post
    I hit my first of what will be probably many road blocks last night. Was playing bass with a piano player that improvises freely. He would make "minor adjustments", like adding a minor run, with no notice. By the time I figured out what he was doing, he would do something else new. He would change tempo, expand the 8 bars to 10 or any other changes, including modulating to a new key. But, would change back as soon as I adjusted. I got so confused that the pastor asked if I wanted the chord chart, which just got me more frustrated (Amazsing Grace is not exactly complex nor difficult, normally). The piano player is a good friend and well liked, but definitely strained by bass playing abilities. This Sunday when we do the duet, I will KISS (Keep It
    Simple, Stupid).
    You didn’t hit a road block, you found a road under construction. If you are playing by ear that type of lead won’t work on the fly, it must be practiced so every one knows what is happening. If playing by written music everyone must have the same arrangement. You and the piano player must both KISS.

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    Default Re: BAS(s)

    I am a bass player first and a mandolin player third. I agree with Mandoplum. Your problem with the piano player was the piano player not you. What he did may be OK solo but crappy playing in a band situation. Improvisation isn't about doing whatever you want. Its about creating within a structure. He ignored the structure. Also when playing with piano or keyboards I always keep it simple as they have a tendency to be doing somthing with their left hand that can conflict with more complicated things you may do.

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  22. #13
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: BAS(s)

    Lots of options for bass players now. The "U-Bass" or silicon-rubber/polyester strung mini-bass gives players who are more comfortable with shorter scale instruments, an option to sound like an acoustic bass (through an amp), and get around on a fretboard where the stretches are shorter. I have the "ancestor" of these instruments, the Guild Ashbory solid-body mini-bass.

    Besides that, of course the solid-body or semi-hollow "bass guitar," the standard rock band bass, which with proper effects and amplification is capable of a wide variety of sounds. I've never heard an acoustic bass guitar that was really exceptional other than when amplified; I think the guitar-size bodies just can't generate the low end that's wanted.

    My bass fiddle is a pre-war aluminum-bodied instrument, quite probably a Pfretzschner although it's unmarked; I play it perhaps a half dozen times a year as part of a country dance ensemble, or as part of the "house band" at a local fiddlers' fair. Main problem I've had is developing a blood blister on my right index picking finger; don't play enough to get a callus. This year, however, I came through the fiddlers' fair unflustered, so perhaps the skin's toughening up a bit.

    Bass players always seem to be in demand, as stated above. While I enjoy playing bass occasionally, doubt I'd want it to be my main instrument.
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  24. #14
    Registered User JH Murray's Avatar
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    Default Re: BAS(s)

    The UBass market is expanding, making it easier to explore the short scale bass. This one is about $100 US on Amazon. I quite enjoy learning on it and my son who is a bass player says it is a lot of fun.

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  26. #15
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    Default Re: BAS(s)

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post

    My bass fiddle is a pre-war aluminum-bodied instrument, quite probably a Pfretzschner although it's unmarked; I play it perhaps a half dozen times a year as part of a country dance ensemble, or as part of the "house band" at a local fiddlers' fair. Main problem I've had is developing a blood blister on my right index picking finger; don't play enough to get a callus. This year, however, I came through the fiddlers' fair unflustered, so perhaps the skin's toughening up a bit.

    Bass players always seem to be in demand, as stated above. While I enjoy playing bass occasionally, doubt I'd want it to be my main instrument.

    The two most common aluminum basses were Alcoa and Pfretzschner. It is pretty easy to tell the difference. Alcoa basses have aluminum necks and are welded. Pfretzschner's have wood necks and are rivited.

  27. #16
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: BAS(s)

    I learned violin first, then guitar, then added electric bass guitar in junior high. Played in school jazz band and a few garage rock bands. I haven't owned a bass for many years, but I rented an upright for half a year. I really liked it, but we already have one and a half bass players in my BG club. Unlike guitars, banjos, fiddles and mandos there can be only one bass player at a jam. And, the small size and portability of mando and fiddle are hard to beat...

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  29. #17
    Registered User mandobassman's Avatar
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    Default Re: BAS(s)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
    And, the small size and portability of mando and fiddle are hard to beat...
    Yeah, double bass and associated equipment is a pain to carry around sometimes, but it is well worth it IMO. I have played mandolin since 1976 and absolutely love it, but I love playing bass as much or more. There is something that I love about being the solid foundation of a good rhythm section. I've worked hard at not only keeping good time but pulling the best solid tone out of the bass that I can. I think good bass players are under-rated, but it's one of the first things I notice in a good band.
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  31. #18
    Registered User mandobassman's Avatar
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    Default Re: BAS(s)

    Quote Originally Posted by red7flag View Post
    The next day I was reading review on Talkingbass (MC's bass counterpart)
    I'm assuming you are referring to TalkBass.com. That is a excellent bass resource and I have been a member for nearly 5 years. Many people that visit TalkBass do not even realize that they have a entire section of the site that is dedicated to double bass.
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  33. #19
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: BAS(s)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nevin View Post
    The two most common aluminum basses were Alcoa and Pfretzschner. It is pretty easy to tell the difference. Alcoa basses have aluminum necks and are welded. Pfretzschner's have wood necks and are riveted.
    Which is why I think mine's a Pfretzschner. It's pained in faux wood color, though the aluminum shows through in spots. I've thought about having the paint stripped and having it silver, like Everett Allen Lilly with the Charles River Valley Boys, but so far have decided to keep it "original."
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  35. #20
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: BAS(s)

    Talk about BAS(s)... Our bassist used to own something like six double basses at once, I remember two of them were even 7/8 size - larger than standard 3/4 bass.
    Adrian

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  37. #21
    Registered User red7flag's Avatar
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    Default Re: BAS(s)

    To go with the Lakland Starfire HB bass, I got an Ampeg BA210 v2. We will be playing in larger venues than just church at times. I am really enjoying this adventure. I will still be playing mandolin on a few songs that call for it.
    Tony Huber
    1930 Martin Style C #14783
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    2013 Hester F4 #31
    2014 Ellis F5 #322
    2017 Collings MT2-O #3666
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  39. #22
    mandolin slinger Steve Ostrander's Avatar
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    Default Re: BAS(s)

    I played bass for many years before taking up the mando on a lark almost 10 years ago. During that time I played mando almost exclusively. But in the last year I have renewed my interest on bass and now I'm moonlighting in a 4 piece rock/pop band. Life is good.
    Never say "bouzouki" to a TSA agent...

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  41. #23

    Default Re: BAS(s)

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Ostrander View Post
    I played bass for many years before taking up the mando on a lark almost 10 years ago. During that time I played mando almost exclusively. But in the last year I have renewed my interest on bass and now I'm moonlighting in a 4 piece rock/pop band. Life is good.
    I also just started playing bass again after a 2 year hiatus. I'm really feeling it in my left forearm. It takes a lot more strength to fret a bass than it does to fret a tenor guitar.
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  43. #24
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    Default Re: BAS(s)

    Quote Originally Posted by red7flag View Post
    I hit my first of what will be probably many road blocks last night. Was playing bass with a piano player that improvises freely. He would make "minor adjustments", like adding a minor run, with no notice. By the time I figured out what he was doing, he would do something else new. He would change tempo, expand the 8 bars to 10 or any other changes, including modulating to a new key. But, would change back as soon as I adjusted. I got so confused that the pastor asked if I wanted the chord chart, which just got me more frustrated (Amazsing Grace is not exactly complex nor difficult, normally). The piano player is a good friend and well liked, but definitely strained by bass playing abilities. This Sunday when we do the duet, I will KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid).
    Here's a tip - The human brain will interpret any vague thump as a note related to what the other instruments are playing. So, when your pianist goes off just lift up your fretting finger to make an indistinct thump while you figure out where it's going.

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  45. #25
    Registered User Billy Packard's Avatar
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    Default Re: BAS(s)

    Not so long ago I went to hear a local Handy-man contractor, (who originally came from the deep south) play blues.

    Lloyd is in his 60's+, plays an old Strat through a Peavy classic tweed.

    What you should know is his drummer for life coupled with a super-talented young bass player just adjusted to his occasional half measures, lengthened verses and various takes on the chorus in stride.

    Non-musicians didn't notice a thing, only those of us counting up to 4 had a clue--!! and then only the TOTALY anal ones would object.

    I especially enjoyed the thirty year old-ish bass player. He was very talented, had great tone and (most of all) didn't bat an eyelash when Lloyd's meter strayed because the song required it, (ban the bullocks). He was supportive and held the trio's tonal foundation. Live Blues.



    Billy

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    Billy Packard
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