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  1. #1

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    I always love basses - and I had 5 strings bass and for some time 4 strings fretless 9whic i particularly love). Both are cheap but well-setup instruments. i just love playing them in teh background of guitar studies.. sometimes making a backing track - sometimes practicing jazz bass lines with other tracks - which is really helpful for guitar..
    But mostly just for the fun of it...

    I always thought bass was a different beast though it is very similar to guitar... and I never had ambitions to be a bass player.

    But many pro guitarists I know often have at least one bass at home (for whatever purpose it is there - for a friend to play, for them to noodle around, or for a backup job when there is not need in guitar - -good bassists ar ealways in demand)...

    I thought - are there any really accomplished JAZZ guitarists who played bass to the level they recorded it... somehow I remember Sco playing bass somewhere but I think it was occasional ... anything else?

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Joe Cohn, though not sure if he ever recorded.

  4. #3

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    Bireli Lagrene... check on YT.

  5. #4

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    Mostly I think if you so much as own a double bass you end up doing that... (if you aren’t careful.)

  6. #5

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    I have an electric bass at home. My playing is not brilliant. But I want to get a bit better; I think recording tracks etc will help...

  7. #6

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    Carol Kaye

  8. #7

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    not a jazz player, but mike oldfield can play the heck out of both...he started recording on bass as a teen with kevin ayers and lol coxhill...



    cheers

  9. #8

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    Fred Hamilton

  10. #9

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    Here in Canada there's Andre Lachance. Most of his guitar gigs are fusion but I've seen/heard him play straight-ahead quite a few times.

    Also there's a young monster out here named John Lee who gigs on bass, piano, drums and most recently guitar...I haven't heard him play guitar but from what others have told me, he can really play. Interesting news story about here (you have to click on the small video screen then wait out the 20 second ad before the story/interview starts): SoundCHEK: Nanaimo Jazz Musician, John Lee Plays It All!.

  11. #10

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    Sylvain Luc, plays bass on his Standards CD and there are youtube vids of him doing it. I played upright early on, but getting into classical guitar with nails made that impossible; switched to electric and eventually fretless, made lots of extra money and really enjoyed it, it led to playing 7-string guitar. The trick for guitarists doubling on bass is to play about 1/2 the notes you want to. Most bandleaders aren't interested in "lead bass".

  12. #11

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    attila zoller recorded on double bass

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by medblues
    Carol Kaye
    Yep, Carol Kaye was an accomplished bebop guitarist way before picking up the bass.

    She can be heard on thousands of records and movie soundtracks on both instruments!


  14. #13

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    Paul Sanwald who frequents this forum moved from playing jazz guitar as his main instrument to double bass.

  15. #14

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    Jerome Harris is equally strong on both.

  16. #15

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    First time I saw Jack Wilkins live, he was playing bass. That was long before he became well known.

    Mimi Fox does a great job of playing bass lines on guitar. I've never heard her play bass but I'm confident she would sound great.

    Tal Farlow used an octave device in his homemade stool to play bass lines behind the bass solo.

  17. #16

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    OK so if you are going down the road or guitarists who play bass lines - well obviously there's a tradition of that that leads onto various extended instruments if you go far enough



    However, the thing that bass players always tell me about guitarists playing bass is its the sensibility guitarists so often get wrong... guitarists tend to play too many notes, in the wrong place and with the wrong touch.

    For my part, I find it actually much harder to nail the timing on an actual bass, the size of the strings, the difference in the technique. But then hasn't electric bass playing become more standardised over time?

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy blue note
    Joe is also an extraordinary trumpet player...like Clifford Brown extraordinary. It's not fair, I know.
    Knows his way around piano too

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy blue note
    Hey this guy's playing this thing with his fist, but yur supposed to use you feet so you can play guitar too. Isn't that the point?
    Guitarists are thick

  20. #19

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    I’m not sure this is quite what you meant, but......


  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy blue note
    Joe Pass played bass lines on his guitar WHILE he was playing other things too!
    And guitarist Julian Bream played bass lines on his guitar as he was playing other stuff like Bach.
    I saw an arrangement of Pachelbel's Canon and the soloist, I don't remember who it was, was playing a bass line under that beautiful melody.
    It is not quite the same thing really... When you play alone and play a few voices on guitar in whatever style it is..

    Also playing 'continuo' in classical is not the same thing as 'rythm section' in jazz or rock... classical timing is much more flexible and dependent on harmony and texture.

    Anyway - when you play a guitar Joe Pass style alone (or classical pieces on guitar lute or whatever) it is by far not the same thing as playing a double bass or bass in a group

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy blue note
    I agree with you on this, you're making distinctions that I agree with, but then again

    once the thread ventured into guitarists playing bass lines, albeit with electronic assistance, I thought it was going somewhere different completely.
    But it's your thread Jonah, you make the rules. Sorry I posted something that you didn't agree with.
    I do not feel like I own the thread)))
    I think it is just an idea for open discussion.
    Disagreeing is a part of discussion))) It brings us forward... for me coversation is not something that should be ended with derminative statement where someone is wrong and someone is right.
    it is never-ending process...


    I see what you mean about Mimi fox and Tal... I used to have Boss Octave pedal - it was fun to use... it had a splitter also so you could use octave only for lower strings...
    and 1st thing I noticed that when i played walking bass + melody and chords stuff... that i can't do it in a guitaristic way.. when i play guitar it all works together in integrity... and sometimes when you drop the note or cut it it sounds natural in overall texture.

    But with octaver the bass line did not sound good in that manner - the bass line stands out too much ... sounds more independent - so you have to control it as if it is a separate line (a bit similar to organ pedals)

    I agree though that if one can handle it - one gets the musical skills of forming real bass line...

    the only other issue that is still left maybe in this conception it instrument itself. Bass is a different feel and to some extent different technique

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy blue note
    Hey this guy's playing this thing with his fist, but yur supposed to use you feet so you can play guitar too. Isn't that the point?

  24. #23

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    OK so if you are going down the road or guitarists who play bass lines - well obviously there's a tradition of that that leads onto various extended instruments if you go far enough
    and then we can talk about modern bass players who play almost bass like a guitar



    Wonderful Steve Swallow style


  25. #24

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    Joe Morris

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah
    and then we can talk about modern bass players who play almost bass like a guitar



    Wonderful Steve Swallow style

    Pipoquinha makes it look effortless. He also plays guitar. He plays 6 string bass and can apply Brazilian guitar technique to it. So, it's bass in the thumb, chords in the fingers with full harmonic movement and strict time. No fudging the time to facilitate a chord change in Brazil!

    There are probably other bassists who can do that, but, what I heard Michael Pipoquinha do is combine all that with a percussive bass style, derived, to my ear, distantly, from funk bass.

    The result is that he can sound like a trio. You hear bass, harmony and a surprising amount of percussion. Tremendous facility on the instrument.

    He and Pedro Martins have written a bunch of tunes together -- I have a couple in my band book which people really like to play.

  27. #26

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    I get a lot of pit work on bass because I read bass clef pretty well. I really enjoy it. But I'm not much of a jazz jammer on bass. I just sold my 5-string and ordered one of these bad boys.

    Any jazz guitarists being accomplished bass players?-bass-vi-jpg

  28. #27

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    I was surprised to find out Chuck Israels (Bill Evans bass player) was a professional jazz guitarist before he switched to upright bass for a gig that came up.
    Vinnie Burke was also a guitarist before he had an injury to his hand and had to switch to bass.

    Nowadays, every guitarist in NY plays bass also. When they're really great bass players, I get kind of nervous about playing with them, wondering if they're really monster guitarists too, but when I let them play my guitar, they play like little prissy kids; playing little dainty chords, rubato. I want to rip my guitar out of their hands and say, 'Play with some balls, ya little pufter!'

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    I get a lot of pit work on bass because I read bass clef pretty well. I really enjoy it. But I'm not much of a jazz jammer on bass. I just sold my 5-string and ordered one of these bad boys.

    Any jazz guitarists being accomplished bass players?-bass-vi-jpg
    There won't be pit work for a long time still, think of all the crowds at shows.
    I was doing a pretty easy show, 'Hairspray", and the bass player couldn't make it, so I played the bass part on guitar using my OC-3, and had a pisser.At some point I jammed my head off, because it was so dull just reading the notes.
    But the more intricate shows can be a problem. They had to fire a pro bass player once, because he couldn't handle all the time changes on "Les Mis". If you get lost on bass, it throws everything off. I can tell in a split second if the bass is off, and I try to help them if I'm set up near them.
    If a guitarist screws up, it's no big deal, but a bass player can cause a train wreck.

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgcim
    I was surprised to find out Chuck Israels (Bill Evans bass player) was a professional jazz guitarist before he switched to upright bass for a gig that came up.
    Vinnie Burke was also a guitarist before he had an injury to his hand and had to switch to bass.

    Nowadays, every guitarist in NY plays bass also. When they're really great bass players, I get kind of nervous about playing with them, wondering if they're really monster guitarists too, but when I let them play my guitar, they play like little prissy kids; playing little dainty chords, rubato. I want to rip my guitar out of their hands and say, 'Play with some balls, ya little pufter!'
    I read bass clef fluently but sadly it does not improve my bass playing skills)))

    As for 'kids playing guitar' I was in that situation when I first picked a strat I began to play some jazzy noodling and the big guy around 60 years old with huge worn worker's hands took the guitar from me and just tore it apart with some bluesy licks.. I really thought he would break the strings or the neck ...
    But it worked... I think with these kind of guitars sometimes one just has to break in them so that they would really open up.

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgcim
    There won't be pit work for a long time still, think of all the crowds at shows.
    I was doing a pretty easy show, 'Hairspray", and the bass player couldn't make it, so I played the bass part on guitar using my OC-3, and had a pisser.At some point I jammed my head off, because it was so dull just reading the notes.
    But the more intricate shows can be a problem. They had to fire a pro bass player once, because he couldn't handle all the time changes on "Les Mis". If you get lost on bass, it throws everything off. I can tell in a split second if the bass is off, and I try to help them if I'm set up near them.
    If a guitarist screws up, it's no big deal, but a bass player can cause a train wreck.
    Well, the work will eventually come back. I am psyched for the Fender Bass VI. Equally cool is that in over 50 years of playing guitar I've never owned a Fender. I guess it's about time before I can't play anymore. You are right about when the bass is off, it's bad. I did Les Mis on guitar, not too tough for me. I did Little Shop on guitar with a bass player who had a horrible time with a few of the rhythms, and it was tough.



    Last edited by Woody Sound; 12-16-2020 at 08:19 PM.

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    Well, the work will eventually come back. I am psyched for the Fender Bass VI. Equally cool is that in over 50 years of playing guitar I've never owned a Fender. I guess it's about time before I can't play anymore. You are right about when the bass is off, it's bad. I did Les Mis on guitar, not too tough for me. I did Little Shop on guitar with a bass player who had a horrible time with a few of the rhythms, and it was tough.



    Some bass players have a hard time with funk rhythms. I was playing "Ease On Down the Road" with Sister Sledge ("We Are Family"), and it just came out, so nobody knew the little funk lick intro. The bass player had to play it alone, and he couldn't get it, so he pretended he had something wrong with his amp, and started pounding it!
    The conductor started yelling at him, "Come on, man! Play the lick! Play the lick!"
    The bass player said, "My amp won't work, can you play it for me?"
    The conductor/pianist played it, and the bass player played it back perfectly.
    The guy was a great bass player, but syncopated 16th note licks can be tough to sight read.

    That six string bass reminds me of the six string banjo. I had a guy sub for me on Mame. He told me he played banjo, but he didn't tell me he had a six string banjo. Everyone in the orchestra cracked up when they saw him pull it out.

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    I just sold my 5-string and ordered one of these bad boys.

    Any jazz guitarists being accomplished bass players?-bass-vi-jpg

    big fan of the bass vi...the squier bass vi's can use a shim in the neck pocket to get proper action...also doesn't hurt to get a set of flats!...fun instruments



    cheers

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Sherry
    Iconic Bass VI solo at 1:45
    Thanks, I never knew that was a Bass VI !

  35. #34

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    Bass VI..

    Funny instrument - not sure I would get one but if I had chance I would not mind to play it

    I do not see many videos where someone would play it as a bass... mostlly they play it like a baritone guitar. In some videos they do not even pick the lowest string at all)))

  36. #35

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    By the way - what do you guys use to play it practicing at home?

    i currently use soundcard I borrowed from a friend some long time ago - he does not use it - and play it directly through PC...
    But occasionally I am thinking about getting a small amp like Fender Rumble 15 or 25... but i am just not sure if it makes sense...

    I tried to plug it into small guitar amps - like Roland Cube 20 and Micro Cube I had at home... Fender Mustang I...
    It always sounded dull and muddy on low strings... through PC it is much better and cleaner articulated.
    But I am not sure taht small bass amp will be much better than small guitar amp...
    Last edited by Jonah; 12-18-2020 at 04:31 AM.

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah
    Bass VI..

    Funny instrument - not sure I would get one but if I had chance I would not mind to play it

    I do not see many videos where someone would play it as a bass... mostlly they play it like a baritone guitar. In some videos they do not even pick the lowest string at all)))
    I think the Bass VI makes for a killer bass. You can play great sounding single note bass lines, and introduce some chord stuff into your playing. I've linked to a few tunes I recorded with a Bass VI below. When I first picked it up I thought the instrument would be a little too midrangey or guitar like, but the lows and sub-bass frequencies are very present. I feel I've been getting a better bass sound with this than my traditional bass instruments.










  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by delo054
    I think the Bass VI makes for a killer bass. You can play great sounding single note bass lines, and introduce some chord stuff into your playing. I've linked to a few tunes I recorded with a Bass VI below. When I first picked it up I thought the instrument would be a little too midrangey or guitar like, but the lows and sub-bass frequencies are very present. I feel I've been getting a better bass sound with this than my traditional bass instruments.









    Thank you!

    Is it you playing?

    I subscribed and a bit later will listen more of your beautiful work!

  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah
    Thank you!

    Is it you playing?

    I subscribed and a bit later will listen more of your beautiful work!
    Thank you Jonah! Yes, I performed all the bass/guitar/percussion playing on the tracks in the links.

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah
    By the way - what do you guys use to play it practicing at home?

    i currently use soundcard I borrowed from a friend some long time ago - he does not use it - and play it directly through PC...
    But occasionally I am thinking about getting a small amp like Fender Rumble 15 or 25... but i am just not sure if it makes sense...
    I use a MarkBass CMD121 combo. Great sound, small and relatively light weight.

    Any jazz guitarists being accomplished bass players?-markbass-jpg

  41. #40

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    Has Bireli Lagrene been mentioned yet?

    He's taken to playing bass, very much in the style of his old friend/collaborator Jaco

    I always wonder how the guitarist in the band/orchestra he plays must feel?

    --

    When I was young, I acquired a very cheap bass for recording with my Tascam 4 track. I loved playing it, learnt an awful lot about how music works, and got a lot of paid work as a bassist

  42. #41

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    I switched from guitar to upright bass. There's a lot that is helpful about having a background in guitar especially with regards to playing more across the strings (bassists tend to play up and down one string more than you would on guitar).

    When I hear people people playing basslines on other instruments, the gaps I usually hear are:

    - Not using open strings or their equivalents: bassists use open strings a lot to facilitate shifts and it's part of the sound and tradition to do this. Ron Carter is a master of this.

    - Not using ornamentation: skips, ghost skips, triplets, and other devices. Ray Brown and Christian McBride are masters of this.

    - Using too many scalar/chord tones instead of chromatic leading notes.

    Upright bass is a very physical instrument and a lot of the sound and tradition comes from getting around the bass and also the limitations of the instrument influence musical choices way more than they might on piano or tenor, for example.

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by delo054
    I think the Bass VI makes for a killer bass. You can play great sounding single note bass lines, and introduce some chord stuff into your playing. I've linked to a few tunes I recorded with a Bass VI below. When I first picked it up I thought the instrument would be a little too midrangey or guitar like, but the lows and sub-bass frequencies are very present. I feel I've been getting a better bass sound with this than my traditional bass instruments.
    Great stuff there Daniel! Another thing that I am looking forward to about the Bass VI is the narrower string spacing *at the bridge*. As a classical guitarist, it will be more familiar for my right hand finger technique than the usual wide electric bass spacing.

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    Great stuff there Daniel! Another thing that I am looking forward to about the Bass VI is the narrower string spacing *at the bridge*. As a classical guitarist, it will be more familiar for my right hand finger technique than the usual wide electric bass spacing.
    Thank you! I think you'll feel right at home with the string spacing.

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcsanwald
    I switched from guitar to upright bass. There's a lot that is helpful about having a background in guitar especially with regards to playing more across the strings (bassists tend to play up and down one string more than you would on guitar).

    When I hear people people playing basslines on other instruments, the gaps I usually hear are:

    - Not using open strings or their equivalents: bassists use open strings a lot to facilitate shifts and it's part of the sound and tradition to do this. Ron Carter is a master of this.

    - Not using ornamentation: skips, ghost skips, triplets, and other devices. Ray Brown and Christian McBride are masters of this.

    - Using too many scalar/chord tones instead of chromatic leading notes.

    Upright bass is a very physical instrument and a lot of the sound and tradition comes from getting around the bass and also the limitations of the instrument influence musical choices way more than they might on piano or tenor, for example.
    Upright bass (in jazz) is absjlutely charming instrument - so powerful and delicate at the same time... I have possibility to get one but I am afraid to be totally lost in it)))

    Maybe one day..

  46. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by djg
    attila zoller recorded on double bass
    I got to jam with Mr. Zollar at the Nashville NAMM show years ago and he was very welcoming to play with. I believe he used a non standard tuning and was one of Berklees first guitar teachers. I bought a Yamaha 4 srting than 5 string later for my songwriters Demo service. I did nit develope a passion for electric bass but it sure helped put food on my table. I found out country bass is harder than it sounds to play WELL. I did some shows with Tanya Tucker and Freddie Hart on bass. When doing concerts with a big singing star there is a lot of pressure to NOT MAKE A SINGLE MISTAKE!! especially with bass. Its the WHOLE FOUNDATION of the show!!! I dont read bass cleff well but country number charts or fake books is not a problem. Plus learning other instruments role helps your arranging skills. I had one employer who insisted I use my Roland Guitar Synth for bass gigs. Henry Vestine of Canned Heat heard me sitting in on bass at a local club and really liked my style to my surprise! Once so you never know whos out there in the audience. Adrian Belew got his Zappa gig because he was playing at a Holiday Inn near Vanderbilt in Nashville.and thats where Frank first heard him with a band named Sweetheart. Its a good skill set to have and the equipment can pay for itself very quickly. Good for the right hand,too.