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  #1  
Old 04-19-2010, 08:34 AM
Tommycanuhearme
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Default Bass Players

We are having issues with our bass player, he plays louder than the guitarist and is very trebly. There is no bottom, we've addressed this with him and he had a better tone at the next gig, but soon went back to his old ways. We made a recording at our last gig and he was overpowering both guitarist and was still very trebly. He's a good friend, but I told my lead vocalist that if he did not change I wanted to fire him. Has anyone had a bass player like this? Any advice on this matter would be appreciated.
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Old 04-19-2010, 10:05 AM
aydee aydee is offline
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Default Re: Bass Players

I've seen this animal before so i'll get straight to the point. Your bass player is a guitar player in heavy disguise. He wants the bass to be heard, to be noticed, and not just be relegated to a rhythm section role. He secretly wants to put his foot on the stage monitors, spread his legs, and flap his hair, and play guitar solos on his bass!! He wants to be a front man, a Sta' !

Thats what he dreams of.

Will he change completely to the requirements of your band. I don't know but I seriously doubt it.

...

Last edited by aydee; 04-19-2010 at 10:28 AM.
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Old 04-19-2010, 10:43 AM
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Default Re: Bass Players

A bass player that "doesn't know his place"...

...http://www.metacafe.com/watch/209193...lo_vic_wooten/

...the difference is that Vic Wooten makes it sound good...

...there is playing bass as an accompaniment and there is soloing.

He has to learn that the bass guitar is a different instrument to the guitar, the sound qualities of the bass guitar puts into the use it (normally) has.

...while I like bass solos and exciting bass grooves (as opposed to boring mainstream rock basslines)...he has to know what is appropriate, for the overall sound to sound good...

...maybe get the band to learn to play a song with a bass solo (not just a bass break, I mean a bass solo), or maybe something with more exciting bass-lines sometimes some people don't get their release you know.

Flecktones, Tool, Rush, Chilli Peppers, Primus, Cynic are artists that come to mind that feature bass-line "excited-ness".
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:27 AM
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Default Re: Bass Players

What style is your band, Tommy? Do you have any clips? Does he think of Chris Squire, Jack Bruce, John Entwhistle and Stanley Clarke as influences? Did he start with guitar and later moved to bass? Does he play with a pick rather than fingers? They'd all be telltale signs that Aydee's worked it out.

It's annoying when people take notice for a short while and relapse. From this side of the fence the answer is generally nagging. In HR (where I work) it's referred to as reinforcement.

Some people have very thick skulls with a very hard crust made up of pure ego ... these types usually require a fair bit of hammering to get messages across. Since he's a friend it might be worth going down the "reinforcement" road for a while rather than rushing to boot him out ... "I know you can do it because you've done it before" kind of encouragement.

If you've already nagged at him heaps, it might be worth asking him straight out if he'd prefer to change or to leave; he might not be interested unless he can play it is way.
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Old 04-19-2010, 12:32 PM
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Default Re: Bass Players

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Originally Posted by Tommycanuhearme View Post
We are having issues with our bass player, he plays louder than the guitarist and is very trebly. There is no bottom, we've addressed this with him and he had a better tone at the next gig, but soon went back to his old ways. We made a recording at our last gig and he was overpowering both guitarist and was still very trebly. He's a good friend, but I told my lead vocalist that if he did not change I wanted to fire him. Has anyone had a bass player like this? Any advice on this matter would be appreciated.
The thing you have to remember, tommy, is that bass players are all a bunch of wankers. They pretend that they're being reasonable when in actual fact they're just condescending, arrogant and self-righteous and think that everything that goes wrong in the band is everybody else's fault but their own. I should know, i WAS a bass player at one point! They act all calm and shit but really they're just cold hearted and constantly waiting to find something nasty to say about other people. I had one of them the other day telling me that if he saw me he was going to rip my flesh tunnels out of my earlobes just because he doesn't like the way they look, and this bloke is nearly 40. So you tell me who's really calm and reasonable when they say stuff like that.

I think it's important that you get a bit of "inside knowledge" on bass players so that we can sort your problem out. When you say "trebly" do you mean like high gain distortion, bit of distortion or is it just a clean high pitched clicking sound that is the problem? If it's the former, tell him to turn his gain and tone knobs down, then the master volume on the amp and make sure he keeps it that way. If it's the latter then tell him to turn down the master volume, the top parts of the EQ (either the treble or the 2-10k bands if it's a graphic eq, to be honest if he's got any higher up eq sliders than that they should be on 0 anyway because there is no bass tone beyond about 6k, it's all just hiss from the amp at that point) as well as the tweeter setting which should be on his cab, this tends to cause the ear bleedingly high sounding click from a clean bass tone. Get it to a point where it sounds right and if you need to, make a note of his settings so you can make sure he doesn't deviate at a later point, unless it's nessecary from an acoustics POV. I hope this can be of assistance and whatever you do, don't let those bullying monsters in sheep's clothing get you down!
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  #6  
Old 04-19-2010, 10:18 PM
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Default Re: Bass Players

It's as simple as talk to the guy. He's either willing to play "in the band" or he wants to play "over the band".
Some cats are versatile enough to play both ways, but many aren't.
The band, needs him to fulfill his "duties" as a bass player, a certain way. If he can't provide what is required of him, then he needs to be let go.
Let him go "be all that he can be" in another band. He simply doesn't fit into yours.
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:06 PM
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Default Re: Bass Players

I don't think bass players as Steve Harris, John Paul Jones, Phillip Lynnot, John Entwistle and so on, are wankers to say so. Have a straight talk to your bass player, letting him know that he is a "fit for a purpose" as the rest of the members, otherwise he has to move on.........to the highway!
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:23 PM
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Default Re: Bass Players

Quote:
Originally Posted by aydee View Post
I've seen this animal before so i'll get straight to the point. Your bass player is a guitar player in heavy disguise. He wants the bass to be heard, to be noticed, and not just be relegated to a rhythm section role. He secretly wants to put his foot on the stage monitors, spread his legs, and flap his hair, and play guitar solos on his bass!! He wants to be a front man, a Sta' !

Thats what he dreams of.

Will he change completely to the requirements of your band. I don't know but I seriously doubt it.

...
Yes, yes YES! I'm dealing with just such a character right now. He's loud, over-the-top, plays but doesn't *listen* to the rest of the band, and is generally a huge d-bag. His attitude is terrible and I'm the only one that seems to *outwardly* disagree with the guy. I think I may have been "fired" from the band (cold shoulder for 2 weeks now), since this bassist has assumed the role of band leader. I don't care at this point...I'm actually a little relieved.

I've asked this on here before and I'll ask it again...WTF IS it with bassists? Why have I had so many problems w/ people who play the frickin' bass guitar? I've gotten along famously with everyone else I've played with....bassists always seem to be the most obnoxious of the bunch.
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:49 PM
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Default Re: Bass Players

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Originally Posted by Ian Williams View Post
I don't think bass players as Steve Harris, John Paul Jones, Phillip Lynnot, John Entwistle and so on, are wankers to say so. Have a straight talk to your bass player, letting him know that he is a "fit for a purpose" as the rest of the members, otherwise he has to move on.........to the highway!
Well to be fair, not knowing them personally you can't really say whether they're wankers or not. They could be nice, they could be terrible. I have heard from people that everyone in iron maiden not just steve are supposed to be pretty awful to their fans.
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Old 04-20-2010, 12:57 AM
Tommycanuhearme
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Default Re: Bass Players

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Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
What style is your band, Tommy? Do you have any clips? Does he think of Chris Squire, Jack Bruce, John Entwhistle and Stanley Clarke as influences? Did he start with guitar and later moved to bass? Does he play with a pick rather than fingers? They'd all be telltale signs that Aydee's worked it out.

It's annoying when people take notice for a short while and relapse. From this side of the fence the answer is generally nagging. In HR (where I work) it's referred to as reinforcement.

Some people have very thick skulls with a very hard crust made up of pure ego ... these types usually require a fair bit of hammering to get messages across. Since he's a friend it might be worth going down the "reinforcement" road for a while rather than rushing to boot him out ... "I know you can do it because you've done it before" kind of encouragement.

If you've already nagged at him heaps, it might be worth asking him straight out if he'd prefer to change or to leave; he might not be interested unless he can play it is way.
We are a classic/modern rock cover band, two guitars, bass, drums, female lead vocalist.
Our bass player is a nice guy, he just tends to over play when we're at gigs, he sings and likes to converse with the audience. I came down on him pretty hard last night and regretting it a bit today. I tend to speak my mind before thinking through what I'm about to say. Anyway, we're having a band practice Wednesday, so we'll discuss it then.
Thanks..
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Old 04-20-2010, 01:51 AM
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Well to be fair, not knowing them personally you can't really say whether they're wankers or not.
To be even fairer, you don't know that they ALL are. You've just swept through the world's bass player community and branded them ALL as wankers. Even if it was a tounge-in-cheek jibe, there's still no basis to rebutt Ian's statement. They can't all be wankers can they? Personally, i've never worked with a bad one......guitarists and lead singers though.....now that's another issue.

Tommy, in every band I've ever played in, the bassist has been my greatest ally. I always really encouraged the unity of the 'rhythm section', as when it works well together I believe it helps solidify the whole band. There's no sweeter vibe than a tight rhythm section IMO.

I'd take the previous advice and talk to him personally. Especially if he is a friend. Do it over a beer or two away from the practice room. Don't be afraid to drive home your point, but for the moment I'd see if I could work it out without involving the rest of the band or threatening anyone's job. That time may well come, but I'd try the personal approach first.

Best of luck......hope he takes it on board.
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Old 04-20-2010, 03:56 AM
aydee aydee is offline
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Originally Posted by zambizzi View Post

I've asked this on here before and I'll ask it again...WTF IS it with bassists? Why have I had so many problems w/ people who play the frickin' bass guitar? I've gotten along famously with everyone else I've played with....bassists always seem to be the most obnoxious of the bunch.
Right Vin, here's a typical bass playing animal -- he's slightly overweight, moves like a turtle, has eyes like a cocker spaniel, smiles a sad smile. All the time, often for no reason at all, doesn't talk very much, but grooves like a drunken monkey.

That the ideal.

...
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Old 04-20-2010, 11:54 AM
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To be even fairer, you don't know that they ALL are. You've just swept through the world's bass player community and branded them ALL as wankers. Even if it was a tounge-in-cheek jibe, there's still no basis to rebutt Ian's statement. They can't all be wankers can they? Personally, i've never worked with a bad one......guitarists and lead singers though.....now that's another issue.
No you're right, my best friend picked up the bass about this time last year. I hope he never ends up being one of "them". No i'm sure they're not all wankers, some of them are probably quite nice but it seems just for the most part they're just a bunch of cynical cold hearted bullies. What i also hate about them is they make you think they're alright when they're talking about music but then if the topic goes off onto anything else they just completely snap. I just think they're completely sick of life which is why they play the bass in the first place.
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Old 04-20-2010, 12:08 PM
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Default Re: Bass Players

Does your Bass player drink milk? I'll bet he does and that's the problem right there! (Sorry Tommy, I just couldn't resist! Don't hate me!)
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Old 04-20-2010, 04:03 PM
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Does your Bass player drink milk? I'll bet he does and that's the problem right there! (Sorry Tommy, I just couldn't resist! Don't hate me!)
Malti, I don't hate you, how could I hate a woman as beautiful as you? In fact, I'd like to take you out, I have two tickets to paradise, what do ya say?
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Old 04-20-2010, 08:23 PM
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Malti, I don't hate you, how could I hate a woman as beautiful as you? In fact, I'd like to take you out, I have two tickets to paradise, what do ya say?
Hey, wait a minute.......we're on Drummerworld, right? Cuz for a minute there I thought I had mistakenly logged onto Eharmony.com LOL! Paradise you say? Hmmmmm....heard of it but pretty sure I've never been. Intriguing. Just make sure those tickets are first class Bub cuz I don't do coach! Just sayin.
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Old 04-20-2010, 09:28 PM
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Default Re: Bass Players

I always found bass players to be pretty cool, approachable, and not stuck on themselves. I can't relate at all to the blanket statement "all bass players are wankers" comment.
Guitar players and singers on the other hand require much more careful handling IMO.
I don't have enough experience with horn and keys players to make any general statements about their personality traits.
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Old 04-20-2010, 10:08 PM
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Hey, wait a minute.......we're on Drummerworld, right? Cuz for a minute there I thought I had mistakenly logged onto Eharmony.com LOL! Paradise you say? Hmmmmm....heard of it but pretty sure I've never been. Intriguing. Just make sure those tickets are first class Bub cuz I don't do coach! Just sayin.
Soooo, it's a date then?
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Old 04-20-2010, 11:24 PM
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Default Re: Bass Players

I've had serious problems with a C & W bass player who tried to tell me what to play, how to play,when to play, and even tried to tell me to the point of insisting that I don't bring my floor tom to a gig because I didn't seem to use it much. This guy has a history of running people off with his egotistical attitude and obnoxious behavior.

And I've had serious problems with a guitarist who friggin' thought he was on par with Paul McCartney and acted like it. This d-bag even dressed like the Beatles. It was 2009 and he was dressed as like it was 1967 or '68. But boy, talk to him about music and he sounded as though he invented the guitar. But other guitar players pulled me aside and complained of his weird chord choices and poor leadership abilities.

Things got heated between us when he didn't even know what an eighth note was or why it's not good to tune drums to sound exactly like cardboard boxes, which he claimed was his "favorite" drum sound. I finally told him to go find cardboard boxes to play and that should satisfy him. Boy, he was *issed at that comment. Ha!!
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Old 04-21-2010, 04:49 AM
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Default Re: Bass Players

just play him some Jaco Pastorius and say "when you can do that you can stand at the front"
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Old 04-21-2010, 05:23 AM
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Default Re: Bass Players

The bassists I've played mostly fall neatly into two groups - most are the laid back, relaxed and pleasant types who are team players. The others want to be in the driving seat - either by virtue of being a "star" bassist or by owning band gear, rehearsal space etc and they are spiky critters.

I haven't played in bands with another drummer but I'm guessing that we can be roughly split into the same categories too.

Very glad that I'm getting old and lost my looks - it makes for an uncomplicated, peaceful life :)
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Old 04-21-2010, 05:46 AM
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just play him some Jaco Pastorius and say "when you can do that you can stand at the front"
I'll drink to that!

..............................
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Old 04-21-2010, 09:52 AM
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Default Re: Bass Players

...okay...but there are some good bass (guitar) players that hold some good grooves and can create and play great leads...

...Justin Chancellor, Vic Wooten, Flea...

...but for the good of your band, don't get your bass player too inspired by these guys.
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Old 04-21-2010, 07:46 PM
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Default Re: Bass Players

Tommy: tell your bassist to put some time into the study of Lee Sklar. He's probably the most perfect bassist I can think of overall - huge pocket, perfect parts (I've never heard a bad note from him), embellishments that frame everything else in the song extremely well, great tone, awesome beard...

I've had the pleasure of playing with several pretty good bassists over the years, but one really blew the pants off everyone else. The bassist in question (Dan) took heavy influence from Victor Wooten in that he liked to slap and tap and all sorts of other techniques, but he had the taste of a session player and knew when to NOT play such things. It sounds like your bassist is only listening to himself and not the band as a whole.
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Old 04-21-2010, 08:15 PM
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I'd never say "All bassists are wankers." In fact, I'd never say wankers in public.

Point being I've had bad bassists, I've had good bassists, I've had a bassist that couldn't fill the roll and I've had bassists that were not fit for the job. It's all about the person. The bassist I have now is my roommate in college, he's a classically trained cellist. Me being a classical violinist works great with him, our accents flow and it makes our music decently interesting (imo). He's pretty dedicated, sometimes he has trouble getting to practice, but me and him can practice during the week, so it's all good.

Point is, some bassists are great, and some suck, and some are "wankers," and some are the coolest mofos you will ever meet.

I think we can all agree that Sax players are our real enemies.
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Old 04-22-2010, 01:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Tommycanuhearme View Post
Soooo, it's a date then?
Actually I have sort of a steadfast rule to never date drummers. In my personal experience (I said my personal experience, not to be confused with a blanket statement in the afore mention posts about "all bass players") I have found them to be somewhat moody and temperamental. This is not a sexist remark as I include myself in the lot! Besides, you would regret it in the long run. Trust me on this. I can be quite a handful (or so I've been told!) Friends?
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Old 04-22-2010, 01:29 AM
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I have found them to be somewhat moody and temperamental.
I take it you've been reading the jazz threads? :-)
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Old 04-22-2010, 01:42 AM
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Who the eff are you calling moody and tempremental?
I just love this forum!
OMG that comment just steams my beans
But I do love the different angles on things.
OK nevermind, I'm cool. I still don't know where you get off on saying that. I'm steady as she goes.
:)
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Old 04-22-2010, 03:39 AM
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Actually I have sort of a steadfast rule to never date drummers. In my personal experience (I said my personal experience, not to be confused with a blanket statement in the afore mention posts about "all bass players") I have found them to be somewhat moody and temperamental. This is not a sexist remark as I include myself in the lot! Besides, you would regret it in the long run. Trust me on this. I can be quite a handful (or so I've been told!) Friends?
You are right, I'm moody and temperamental. I was just flirting a bit, I actually have a girlfriend, but yes, we can be friends.
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