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Old 01-19-2015, 03:05 PM   #1
for
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Default if i know to play guitar, do i know bass as well?

If we take out techniques such as slap bass

if i know to play guitar, do i know to play bass as well theoretically?
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Old 01-19-2015, 03:10 PM   #2
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Run for your life... ivansc is going to kill you any moment.
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Old 01-19-2015, 03:13 PM   #3
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hehehe
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Old 01-19-2015, 03:20 PM   #4
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If we take out techniques such as slap bass

if i know to play guitar, do i know to play bass as well theoretically?
Do you play guitar like a bassist? Do you think about guitar-playing like a bassist thinks?
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Old 01-19-2015, 03:26 PM   #5
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Do you play guitar like a bassist? Do you think about guitar-playing like a bassist thinks?

i don't know how bassist think thats the problem yea. I assume i can apply a lot of knowledge from guitar though since its same top 4 strings. And there's plenty of songs which are easy to play out there...so I'm just wondering if a guitarist can be considered a (simple) bassist as well (Maybe like paul mccartney style and not the guy from red hot chili peppers) Again i'm assuming beatles bass parts are easy to play, i didn't check
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Old 01-19-2015, 03:26 PM   #6
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Bass and Guitar complement each other
Do you have technique, passion,Dexterity for large string sizes, the knowledge of accompaniment, ability to take a back seat yet be a driver?
Just some of the things a bass player needs.
My view.

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Old 01-19-2015, 03:27 PM   #7
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If we take out techniques such as slap bass

if i know to play guitar, do i know to play bass as well theoretically?
no. don not even think about it!

1. I am a guiraist and I own a bass.
2. never ever take up a bass with the mind of aguitarist.
3. kill every guitarist who takes up a bass with the mind of a guitarist.
4. forget about the idea, and talk a good friend into playing bass.

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Old 01-19-2015, 03:40 PM   #8
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Probably as much as a bassist knows how to play guitar by default.
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Old 01-19-2015, 04:28 PM   #9
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Technically you should have no problem doing simple bass, point really is what you are doing whilst playing bass compared to guitar.
Thinking very differently, timing more critical, doing the job etc etc.

You still have to get good at it but there's no reason you can't be ok if you're ok on a guitar.
Excellence on either is whole other ball game but listen to most bass parts and its about being mm perfect rather than a wizard. Almost a percussion instrument IMO.
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Old 01-19-2015, 04:39 PM   #10
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No, Ive played with some great bass players and they are wierd.




seriously though.. you'll have a head start on the fretboard and maybe some left hand stuff going. But controlling those strings and getting smooth, solid articulation etc.. not too mention the appropriate lines to play that are glued to the drums.. thats bass player stuff
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Old 01-19-2015, 07:25 PM   #11
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The fingering style is completely different, the touch is different as the strings interact with the fret board differently, and the frets are further apart so your approach to runs is different.

Can you play valve trombone because you play C Trumpet? Sure you can hit all the right notes but do they sound good, can you keep it up for more than 15 minutes, etc. It's not the same at all.
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Old 01-19-2015, 07:37 PM   #12
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I started out 50 years ago playing guitar. Then I took up bass about 40 years ago. Now, I switch back and forth. Mostly playing guitar. Frankly, the only real difference is that damned 'B' string thing.
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Old 01-19-2015, 07:42 PM   #13
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Can't believe that nobody has made the "they're bass-ically the same thing" pun yet.

Seriously though...no they're different animals. I'm a pretty good drummer, an OK rhythm guitarist, and a TERRIBLE bassist. If all you're looking to do is play the root notes of all the chords in a song (which is horrendously boring, IMO), you'll probably play fine. Actually playing a bassline is totally different.
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Old 01-19-2015, 07:52 PM   #14
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Dont panic. I am only going to say nice, fluffy happy things.

If you really want to learn to play a bit of bass properly, you have to un-learn a couple of things.

Although I claim to be a bass player and indeed spent pretty much all of my pro life playing bass, I am actually more of a utility player, so I have had to learn the differences of approach between bass and guitar.

The most crucial difference is that guitar players mostly dont ever think about stopping the note they are playing from sounding, they just move on to the next note.
A bass player pretty much HAS to deal with each note as it comes along. At least until he has learned enough to know when to hold on and when to let go.

Pick vs fingers: I use both on bass, depending on the tune and the sound I want to get. Do not be ashamed to use a pick on a bass, but remember you HAVE to hit the string square on - if you start using the edge of the pick like on a guitar, all that will happen is that all the balls will disappear from your bass sound.

Those weird blokes sitting in the corner hitting things: Are your new best friend if you are a bass player.
You are the link between rhythmic and harmonic content, so you jolly well better sort out with the drummer exactly what you are trying to achieve rhythmically and then make sure the other players are in the loop too.
This is what bass players call "the groove" and it is nothing at all to do with the guitar players idea of what the groove is.
When I have my guitar player hat on, I just sit down on the groove like a comfy armchair and widdle away happily over the top, taking all kinds of liberties with the timing, etc., safe in the knowledge that the Drums and Bass will take care of me.

So.

If you really want to play at least elementary bass, you'll need to get comfortable with playing the same lick over and over and over in a song, because everyone else will be relying on you to do so.
Not only is it your role in the band, it also gives you enormous control over HOW everyone elses playing fits together.

Have fun!
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Old 01-19-2015, 08:00 PM   #15
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i don't know how bassist think thats the problem yea. I assume i can apply a lot of knowledge from guitar though since its same top 4 strings. And there's plenty of songs which are easy to play out there...so I'm just wondering if a guitarist can be considered a (simple) bassist as well (Maybe like paul mccartney style and not the guy from red hot chili peppers) Again i'm assuming beatles bass parts are easy to play, i didn't check
Sit down and listen to a few simple bass parts on records.

Pick the notes out on your guitar and then see if you can understand WHY the player played the notes where how and when he did.
That alone will get you thinking more like a bass player.
And Macartney and anyone else's easy-sounding bass lines probably ARE easy to plonk out on a bass with no feel and no control, but it is there that the artistry lies in bass playing - it is a very subtle instrument if played right.
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Old 01-19-2015, 08:44 PM   #16
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I'm just wondering if a guitarist can be considered a (simple) bassist as well (Maybe like paul mccartney style and not the guy from red hot chili peppers) Again i'm assuming beatles bass parts are easy to play, i didn't check
IMO, you could do way worse than to listen carefully to Sir Paul's bass parts with the Beatles, as "simple" as they might sound! He helped the bass really emerge as a melodic as well as rhythmic/harmonic instrument. They're not the most technically difficult, but there's a lot to learn from them, for sure.

-Susan
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Old 01-19-2015, 09:36 PM   #17
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To hear what a bass player thinks about during a song, listen to an old favorite: "My Guy" by Mary Wells, the Motown classic.

James Jamerson plays the instrument he started with, upright (acoustic) bass. This is where electric bass continues from, not guitar as such, although it does share a common tuning with the acoustic bass and the Mexican bajo sexto.

Jamerson is going with the rhythm, and accenting the chords, but also staying out of everyone else's way. He gets a chance to step out and shine during the fade, where he plays under Mary's breathy little exit... "there's not a man today, who can take me away from my guy." That's where his jazz experience is clearly heard.

Rock bass is also about motivating rhythm and leaving room for others, like Rick Danko on The Band's "Up On Cripple Creek". He's not doing much except playing the bottom note, but in that song it's where the bass note is placed that makes the difference. He's playing on the first and third beats along with the kick drum, and letting the snare have the second and fourth. Everything else is structured on top of him, and he lays down the foundation along with drummer Levon Helm. To have anything more complex, or to put it in a different place, would lessen the loose, funky feeling.
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Old 01-19-2015, 09:39 PM   #18
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I think the answer is yes and no. You can fret, know the mechanics of the instrument and can easily plod along to the root notes of a song, but to think and play bass like an actual bassist will take some time...
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Old 01-19-2015, 09:45 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ivansc View Post
Dont panic. I am only going to say nice, fluffy happy things.

If you really want to learn to play a bit of bass properly, you have to un-learn a couple of things.

Although I claim to be a bass player and indeed spent pretty much all of my pro life playing bass, I am actually more of a utility player, so I have had to learn the differences of approach between bass and guitar.

The most crucial difference is that guitar players mostly dont ever think about stopping the note they are playing from sounding, they just move on to the next note.
A bass player pretty much HAS to deal with each note as it comes along. At least until he has learned enough to know when to hold on and when to let go.

Pick vs fingers: I use both on bass, depending on the tune and the sound I want to get. Do not be ashamed to use a pick on a bass, but remember you HAVE to hit the string square on - if you start using the edge of the pick like on a guitar, all that will happen is that all the balls will disappear from your bass sound.

Those weird blokes sitting in the corner hitting things: Are your new best friend if you are a bass player.
You are the link between rhythmic and harmonic content, so you jolly well better sort out with the drummer exactly what you are trying to achieve rhythmically and then make sure the other players are in the loop too.
This is what bass players call "the groove" and it is nothing at all to do with the guitar players idea of what the groove is.
When I have my guitar player hat on, I just sit down on the groove like a comfy armchair and widdle away happily over the top, taking all kinds of liberties with the timing, etc., safe in the knowledge that the Drums and Bass will take care of me.

So.

If you really want to play at least elementary bass, you'll need to get comfortable with playing the same lick over and over and over in a song, because everyone else will be relying on you to do so.
Not only is it your role in the band, it also gives you enormous control over HOW everyone elses playing fits together.

Have fun!
please, don't use a pick. I play both, well. There is a major mental shift playing bass. Of course there are similarities that can speed up your learning bass. That pesky low B on a five string will help remind you, it's different. 99% of all guitar players I hear playing bass are "too busy" then again 90% of all bass players I hear are too busy. Listen to Abe Laboriel and see how it's done:-)
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Old 01-20-2015, 02:37 AM   #20
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the Beatles. it always comes down to the Beatles. (and Motown and Jamerson of course ... the other side of the planet.)

as a guitarist you should do some inverstigations on Beatles songs. look at the chords, the melodies and then at the bass and find out, what the bass does in relation to chords and melodies. thats one of the two points in playing bass, the relation between the three parts. the second point is the rhythm thing. as said, the bass has to glue the rhythm (mostly drummer) and the harmonic structure.

important is that the bass is aware of playing the deepest notes (mostly). that means that the bass can change the complete harmonic structure and turn all the harmonies the rest of the band plays upside down.

I think you can get all of whats relevant in playing bass get our of the Beatles music. notice that Sir Paul was/is in the first place a guitarist who changed to bass. he surely knows why he did that ...
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Old 01-20-2015, 04:18 AM   #21
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Old 01-20-2015, 04:52 AM   #22
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What always amazes me about good bass players like McCartney is the way they can play all the notes perfectly and sing something totally different...at the same time. To me it like patting your head while rubbing your stomach.

But, yeah, I think a decent guitar player can probably pick up a bass and play along to most songs and not get lost. That is not to say they are gonna be an exceptional player. I don't know ....can Slash, Johnson, etc. play bass? Probably.



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Old 01-20-2015, 07:15 AM   #23
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No.

.
.
.
.
.
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Old 01-20-2015, 07:58 AM   #24
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the Beatles. it always comes down to the Beatles. (and Motown and Jamerson of course ... the other side of the planet.)
...
No. there are many bass styles in rock, pop, blues, folk, modern music. Especially if you allow jazz to creep in. It does NOT all come down to the Beatles, since there were decades of bass playing on both sides of the Atlantic before Sir Paulie came along. So many choices that any particular bass player is going to be overwhelmed with variety and can only touch on a handful of styles.
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Old 01-20-2015, 08:53 AM   #25
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If you listen to James J and them listen to Paul Macca you can hear where He got his influences from.

I started playing bass guitar about the same time they did, oddly enough on a 62 precision virtually identical to the funk machine.
I didn't find out WHO JJ was until someone sent me a copy of the Standing in the Shadows of Motown book and cassettes from the USA.

But all of us were influenced far more by upright layers back then, since 99% of the recorded bass parts out there at that time were done on upright.
But I do remember seeing the Eric Delaney band at one of the famous Jazz Jamborees in the UK in the mid fifties. His bass player was playing an electric, solid body stand up bass - first one I had ever seen.
That guy and Edmund Ros's bass player at the same gig probably did more to convince me to become a bass player than just about anything else.
(grin - I also started my lifetime love affair with baritone and bass sax playing, then, too!)
And now I finally have an upright and barely have the strength left to play it!
Sad.

So in my long winded way I am saying that NONE of the rock and roll players set the mould, they just fitted it in a lightly different way.

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Old 01-20-2015, 09:16 AM   #26
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just throwing this in as well.


on the other hand, dave grohl said he approached guitar the same way he thought about drums.

he thought of the high strings as the crashes, and the low strings like the kick and snare. he showcases this in the link below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixo-MQ0u6SA


I think overall if you know how something should sound, you can do it hopefully!
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Old 01-20-2015, 09:28 AM   #27
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I've known lead players who could play a pretty mean bass so no reason why the OP can't other than application. However the sheer bloody snobbery of the "don't play bass with a pick" faction really pisses me off. Picks work for certain styles, fingers work for others. You shouldn't cut off your nose to spite your face. Or is it simply that some finger players just can't play with a pick? I don't like to eat a burger with a knife and fork but I never eat roast beef with my fingers.
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Old 01-20-2015, 02:51 PM   #28
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I play both. I picked up the bass for the same reason everyone does (no one else in the band wanted to ) and after about 10 minutes was able to jam to the point where everyone else could, too.

There is a lot to it, but if you have a good grounding in theory (scales matter when you play bass) the transition isn't that hard.
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Old 01-20-2015, 03:35 PM   #29
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guitar players can play bass but the really shouldn't... the 2 instruments serve different purposes entirely. It's fun to think of the unique bassists, McCartney was one. Phil Lesh, Entwistle, many others who played like nobody else but themselves, drawing of course on the history of music that went before. But the standards, the Carol Kayes, and JJ and those now considered the classic bassists are where the tradition really lay.
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Old 01-20-2015, 03:54 PM   #30
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Bass players make better guitarists than guitarist make bassists IMO but of course it's possible. Bass players have a hop, a certain groove, to their notes that makes it different and better to play with to than guitarists who usually play 8th notes very straight. I know a guitarist that switched to bass for a while and does a good job and I know a bassist who switched who is a fantastic guitar player so it definitely does happen. IMO, try and listen to Motown to understand the hop a bass player has but I think in general guitarists can get the McCartney way of playing down a little easier because it is essentially a slow melodic solo that you could sing.

For those out there, James Jamerson and Paul McCartney are the Adam and Eve of electric bass and that's where you need to start. Every kind of bass playing honestly stems from those two guys and they are amazing.

And my opinion on picking, guitarist should use a pick to start but any serious bass player should play with their fingers and know how to pick also. It comes in handy on certain things and sometime you will need the skill, probably in the studio.
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Old 01-20-2015, 08:32 PM   #31
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I play both. I picked up the bass for the same reason everyone does (no one else in the band wanted to ) and after about 10 minutes was able to jam to the point where everyone else could, too.

There is a lot to it, but if you have a good grounding in theory (scales matter when you play bass) the transition isn't that hard.
Jam? Is that what good bassists do? Ten minutes to learn a new instrument, eh?
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Old 01-20-2015, 09:20 PM   #32
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Jam? Is that what good bassists do? Ten minutes to learn a new instrument, eh?
some of the best songs were written in 10 minutes also
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Old 01-21-2015, 04:21 AM   #33
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some of the best songs were written in 10 minutes also
Most of my crap ones were too!
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Old 01-21-2015, 11:11 AM   #34
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I'm not sure where the talk of McCartney being the iconic bassist come from. He learned how to play to fill that role with these specific players and songs, lucky him. And he was excellent at it no doubt. He was idiosyncratic, unique in his style and phrasing. He maybe set a new signpost in bass styles, but he was hardly traditional in any way. That's why he's so interesting. But to say all modern bass comes from that is mistaken, IMHO of course. I'm a fan, but I don't look to him as the root of bass playing... as I mentioned above, like others.. Lesh, Cassidy, Entwhistle, lot snad lots more.. all unique, fun to listen too, hard to emulate, interesting stylists. Not the root of the bass though.. spectacular off-shoots more like.
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Old 01-21-2015, 12:27 PM   #35
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I play both. Separately.

And together on this:

Attached Images
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Old 01-21-2015, 01:10 PM   #36
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Jam? Is that what good bassists do? Ten minutes to learn a new instrument, eh?
If the jam involves discovering your one true love and partner for life, yes. It is called love at first sight.
I had pretty much the same experience first time I played the bass.

But I still like to play guitar as well - in fact that is mostly what I do "out" these days.
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Old 01-21-2015, 02:39 PM   #37
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Interesting discussion. I would want to mention Victor Wooten. As a guitarist myself I would say his playing comes from a whole other sensibility. And very magnificent it is too.
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Old 01-21-2015, 03:21 PM   #38
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Interesting discussion. I would want to mention Victor Wooten. As a guitarist myself I would say his playing comes from a whole other sensibility. And very magnificent it is too.
I have no doubt that with their level of proficiency Mr Wooten and others of his ilk are more than capable of playing great rhythm section bass per se but to my mind what he does mostly is play high level lead guitar on a bass. After 50 years playing bass guitar pretty well I can't do that but then I can't play lead guitar either. There is a skill in playing rock bass that treads a line between driving the band and holding it together, playing continuous bass solos does't do it. Just my two penn'orth.

Macartney, Entwistle and other early 1960s bass beginners, including yours truly, had many musical influences available to us and we took those influences and patterns and made them our own because there was no-one around to say we couldn't. Few of us in the UK at that time could be arsed to take instruction from the Musician's Union dance band or jazz types as to us they were clueless old farts who mainly hated rock and kids who wanted to play their own thing instead of reading someone else's dots. So we pretty well taught ourselves and developed our styles as we saw fit. It has to be remembered that the bass guitar in 1960 was a relatively new instrument. Jeez, music shops were selling felt plectra for them! Strings were total crap until Rotosounds appeared and amplification was just as bad, we just had to work with what we could get and get on with it. Now everyone is a Berklee alumnus and the rock music world is not necessarily a better place for it IMHO.
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Old 01-21-2015, 05:12 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by martifingers View Post
Interesting discussion. I would want to mention Victor Wooten. As a guitarist myself I would say his playing comes from a whole other sensibility. And very magnificent it is too.
(boring anecdote time again)

I knew Vic Wooten fairly well when I lived in Nashville.
Most of his thang comes from being born into a musical family. Was the bass player in the Wooten Brothers family Band from shortly after he could walk, as far a I can gather!
That and deciding to learn banjo rolls on the bass!
No, seriously!

I watched him do a showcase for a girl singer in town and he played cello on one song. He had bought the cello the week before. *sigh*

And what is even worse is that he is a really nice unassuming bloke.
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Old 01-21-2015, 05:19 PM   #40
ivansc
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Barry - you bought the wrong strings mate.
My Precision bass had Rotop Ks chrome tape flats on it and I still got a great, ballsy sound out of it.
Somewhere I have a scratchy old EP I recorded in 1962 using that bass.
The guitar players were relegated to Black Diamond and a banjo G string though....
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