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View Poll Results: What's your preference for the bass at your gig?

Voters
20. You may not vote on this poll
  • Double bass. Swings like crazy, man!

    15 75.00%
  • Bass Guitar. Gimme that groove!

    3 15.00%
  • Never play with a band - I cover that low end myself.

    0 0%
  • As long as they're sober, clean, in time and on time - who cares?

    2 10.00%
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Posts 1 to 21 of 21
  1. #1

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    What would be your preference for the bass-player in your band?

    Yes, a bass guitar is easier to play, to hear and to keep in tune, so there are plenty of BG players out there. If you need The Funk, electric bass groove is the way to go.

    Nevertheless, for jazz most people will envisage a double-bass providing the bottom end. It's more traditional (provided that you don't go all the way back to a tuba or sousaphone!!), swings like crazy and looks cool. But they can be difficult to amplify well, are a pain to carry around (been there, done that) and require much more technique before they're giggable.

    I know that several guys on here are/have been bassplayers in their (our!) time, and will have pretty firm opinions one way or other.

    But, given the choice, what would you like to see when you turn up to the gig? And why?

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    I voted for #1, but #4 is pretty important, too.

  4. #3

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    I don't think jazz bass is necessarily easier to play than guitar, especially double bass. I mean to be really accomplished.

    In my town it seems the the same 4 double bass players are getting more than 90% of the gigs. That wouldn't be true if it was easy to play bass.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep View Post
    I don't think jazz bass is necessarily easier to play than guitar, especially double bass. I mean to be really accomplished.

    In my town it seems the the same 4 double bass players are getting more than 90% of the gigs. That wouldn't be true if it was easy to play bass.
    It's a tough instrument. No frets + long string length = lots of opportunity to be out of tune. Intonation and tone are huge issues for jazz double bassists. Not only that, but the sheer size of the instrument makes it difficult to play physically. I've managed to injure my right hand pretty good over this past year of my playing one.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by FatJeff View Post
    It's a tough instrument. No frets + long string length = lots of opportunity to be out of tune. Intonation and tone are huge issues for jazz double bassists. Not only that, but the sheer size of the instrument makes it difficult to play physically. I've managed to injure my right hand pretty good over this past year of my playing one.
    This is a video I really like that I think illustrates that bass isn't easy. The interplay between bass and guitar is real good and at times it sounds like there is counterpoint going on between bass and guitar. It takes real good musicians with real good ears to do that. This bass player is one of those four guys I mentioned in my town.


  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep View Post
    I don't think jazz bass is necessarily easier to play than guitar, especially double bass. I mean to be really accomplished.

    In my town it seems the the same 4 double bass players are getting more than 90% of the gigs. That wouldn't be true if it was easy to play bass.
    Er no, I meant that bass guitar is physically easier to play than double bass. Technically, also, I found double bass more demanding than a fretted or even a fretless bass guitar.

  8. #7

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    Nice!

  9. #8

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    First I'd like to be able to actually get a gig, and second, one that would pay anything!

    I've been a bassist for years, 40+, string bass (preferred for its sound!) in college. Tried recently to get into guitar, got pentatonics fairly well, can't seem to go further. I'm going back to bass.

    Currently using a Reynolds P-Bass clone, Hohner 1225 bass amp someone gave me. Talk about cheap...

  10. #9

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    I went for #2. In a former life as the go to guy for bass in my part of London I was juggling 3 music projects at once. For loud and punchy it was pick and palm, for smooth and phat it was fingers and a big rubber wedge under the strings. One bass (Fender Jazz), compressor pedal and Fender 100w valve head, simple!

    Double bass is cool and you really need to be on the top of your game to get any good music out of them. Spacings are huuuge and it wrecks my poor little finger. Deep respect for those who can and do!

    (woo hoo! 600 posts )
    “When a wise man points at the moon the fool considers the finger.”

  11. #10

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    I went for number one. My Dad played stand-up and was a stand-up guy to boot. The sound of it has been in my head since I was a child. For straight-ahead jazz and swing it can't be beat. Later on he had to play "Fender" for a band he was in and hated it. "This thing's like a f---in guitar." And he played it that way. Did not dig it at all. What he did like is that it was much easier to carry and put in the car.

    The styles of playing are so totally different. When electric is played correctly it's also awesome and excellent for certain grooves, IMHO.

    I find number four offensive, as that really applies only to drummers.
    Barney Kessel was asked, “What’s the hardest thing about studio work?” He replied, “Finding a parking place.”
    "I don't know what other people are doing - I just know about me."- Thelonious Monk

  12. #11

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    #1. Listening to Ella sing Lullaby of Birdland right now, and that slow swinging stand-up bass in the background is a thing of beauty.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by FatJeff View Post
    I voted for #1, but #4 is pretty important, too.
    exactly!
    "Beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror, which we still are just able to endure, and we are are so awed because it serenely disdains to annihilate us." -- Ranier Maria Rilke

  14. #13

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    Really depends on the gig. On the one hand, bass guitar was my first instrument, so I have a lot of love for it. Guys like Marcus Miller and Stanley Clarke (who is excellent on both) were the reason I branched over into jazz playing. It's certainly less demanding than upright, and you don't have to worry about volume issues.

    On the other, double bass just sounds good, and when I play electric I've always tried to approximate the sound of an upright rather than sound clearly electric. When I think "jazz bass" I think of Mingus or Ron Carter.

    I notice there's no poll option for electric upright. I presume that's because so many upright players deride them, but I met a guy playing one in the orchestra pit at a theater, and he loved the fact that it was easier to carry and amplify than a double bass but still sounded like one.

    Of course, if you have a good sousaphone player, you're golden for funky stuff or straight ahead. :P

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by mangotango View Post
    But, given the choice, what would you like to see when you turn up to the gig? And why?
    I'd love to see an upright at a gig, because I could be pretty confident we'd be playing jazz. Unless of course...


  16. #15
    Nuff Said Guest
    I have/play an Upright Bass myself, so on Jazz gigs I like to hear an acoustic Upright Bass sound.

    I prefer a condenser microphone sound on an Upright bass to the usual transducer pickup under the bridge sound.

    A good solid carved Upright Bass is a beautiful instrument.

    Nuff

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by robertm2000 View Post
    First I'd like to be able to actually get a gig, and second, one that would pay anything!

    I've been a bassist for years, 40+, string bass (preferred for its sound!) in college. Tried recently to get into guitar, got pentatonics fairly well, can't seem to go further. I'm going back to bass.
    II, V, I and pentatonic, too: Clapton's "Reptile".

    "You can be the most artistically perfect performer in the world, but an audience is like a broad — if you're indifferent, Endsville." Frank Sinatra

  18. #17

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    How do you like your bassist?


  19. #18

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    I'll just add that I'm not really into the "active" bass sound--I much prefer a vintage P-bass/J-bass sound.

    Oh, and I can't stand slapping and popping... throwing it in once in a while is alright I guess... that double thumping thing is even worse...

  20. #19

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    Damn, and there I was thinking that playing the electric bass in jazz was acceptable and I wouldn't have to go out and spend way too much money on a double bass and way too much money on strings and pickups and have to practice every day standing up and suffer the pain and the blisters and have to move the thing around and suffer the indignity of idiots shouting out "that's a big guitar" and, and, and...
    Electric bass is cool and easy to play and keep but the sound, especially for solos and ballads is not really there for me. I used to play double bass exclusively for 15 years and loved it so I know all the upsides and downsides. Currently just on electric bass but being pushed towards the big beast and this poll doesn't help!
    (by the way I didn't vote - I'm just a part time guitarist. If and when I get a double bass the parts of my life where I can play guitar will get a lot less)

  21. #20

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    Logistics w/ the big upright fellas is a nuisance. Charlie Chadwick of Nashville, who used to tour w/ John Jorgenson's Quintet, developed a folding bass. I've seen him use it many times, in the States and in Europe. The portability factor in no way hinders the tone. Loosen the strings, remove the bridge, fold the neck into the body, place into case.

    CHADWICK FOLDING BASS | The Only Upright Bass You Need to Own
    "You can be the most artistically perfect performer in the world, but an audience is like a broad — if you're indifferent, Endsville." Frank Sinatra

  22. #21

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    I like him very much, actually love him. My son is my upright bass player. And my other son is a drummer...raised my own rhythm section!
    " It bugs me when people try to analyze jazz as an intellectual theorem. It's not. It's feeling".-Bill Evans