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#295507 by RhythmMan-2
Fri Mar 12, 2021 7:05 am
What I look for is someone who I don't have to teach them how to play bass!
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I may tell them the song I'm playing lilts from B9 to a C9, and then goes to a F7# to a G, and later to a G and an A7.
Then I'll play a measure or two, for them to get the groove of the song, and say "play something that fits THIS."
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If they can't do it yet, or if they just don't get the groove, or if I have to explain what a 9th is, or show them where an F7# is, or a hammer-on, or octaves, or something else that's kinda basic, then I'm just teaching them how to play, for free.
Either they know how, or they don't.
Hey, I don't mind teaching someone how a song GOES . . .
But if I also have to teach them how to play the BASS for the groove of the song, then it takes 3 times longer.
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If they understand that stuff, though, then I have two main requirements:
1) Practice: don't screw up the whole song by searching for the notes.
2) Hit the notes ON THE BEAT! - Not just close! If your accuracy is only 1/8 notes, and I'm playing 16th triplits, then you're not ready; you'll have to play simpler songs . . .
If you're good with that, too, then: excellent!
Just use what you know, stay in the pocket, and be solid with the tempo.
#295508 by Mordgeld
Fri Mar 12, 2021 4:54 pm
Interesting. Normally, I would have agreed with you totally RhythmMan, but now that it is sometime later in this thread, I've learned a few things. I've gotten pretty good (in my opinion) on bass while teaching our singer to play bass. This probably did take 3x longer but that is still apparently less time than finding a talented bassist that can/will play what we are doing. So far, it seems a worthwhile investment of my time as it gets us on stage without having to coordinate with session musician availability.
#295530 by Swampy
Fri May 07, 2021 8:22 pm
I've been playing bass and singing lead and backup professionally since 1965. I find that playing lead is nowhere near the same as playing bass, although there are some songs where you can play the same notes as the lead player or even use doublestops and triads. With the bass, you often are driving the notes and you are off the lead timing. If you are good at this, you make the drummer happy because you lead him into the fills and keep his timing for him. I've played bass on plenty country, classic rock, jazz, gospel, bluegrass, soul, funk, swamp pop, & R&B and despite my expertise with bass timing, I am a rotten lead player! I am passable on rhythm and that is how I usually work out new songs for myself. I learned to play bass on my stratocaster incorporating my rhythm playing and vocals. Later I bought a bass and went full time bass playing. Playing with horns in the band taught me to play in any key without having to think about my hands and that allowed me to concentrate on the vocals.

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