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ampeep
08-09-2017, 02:49 PM
I've always had problems playing with other bass players in the same group. We'd end up 'stepping on each others' toes' & generally mess up the sound of the group. Kohanmike, I wonder how you do it?

Anyway, last week an old time group member showed up with a gas can bass (a variation of a washtub bass, but with a fingerboard). Was a bit leery, but we were able to play together successfully. Most of his playing was walking bass lines so I adjusted by simplifying my parts & on songs where I set the beat, he took a back seat to me.

Took more concentration to listen to what the uke group and the other bass player was doing & adjust accordingly. Also, since his gas can bass had a strong low end, I had to turn my battery powered amp up much louder than if i was alone.

Have others successfully played with another bass player?

Jim Hanks
08-09-2017, 03:39 PM
If you want to really see how it's done, check out some SMV:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrav_MSMjNs

In a nutshell, you either have to play in different registers or take turns. You're right that two bass players doing what bass players normally do are just going to be fighting each other.

EDW
08-09-2017, 03:47 PM
Back in the 80s-90s Ornette Coleman's band used 2 guitars. 2 basses and 2 drummers. :)

kohanmike
08-09-2017, 09:38 PM
Tom and I don't have any problem playing at the same time. We sit on opposite sides of the group, from 30-60 of us, so everyone can hear the bass. Yes, we do come up with somewhat different bass lines, but they don't seem to clash at all, we tend to stay close to the 1-5s and basic walk up and downs. I listen to him and when I feel he has a better handle on the song, I follow him, and visa-versa. We're both amplified, he uses a Rondo Hadean solid body with poly strings, I rotate through my long list of bass ukes and mini bass guitars.

Funny how a post like this comes up, just yesterday he and I talked about coordinating more, he's going to give me some of his arrangements, I'll give him some of mine. I tell him he does better than me, but he says I do better than him, maybe that's why we work well together, mutual respect. We also relate very well growing up in Los Angeles, even though he's some years older, of Japanese descent by way of Hawaii, and I'm Eastern European (Polish) Jewish descent, brought up orthodox by holocaust survivors. (Maybe it's because of the related persecutions our families went through.)

Just another example of how the ukulele (and bass uke) brings people together.

UkerDanno
08-10-2017, 04:18 AM
We have 2 bass players in one group I play with. The lead guy plays an electric bass guitar and is pretty loud sometimes, he pretty much just drowns out the other guy with a U-bass.

I don't think I would do well with another bass player, it seems kind of needless. In another group the leader and I sometimes take turns.

ampeep
08-17-2017, 06:53 PM
Was looking at the 2015 Ukulele Guild Program which listed the John Kepaa Waianae group. The name sounded familiar, so I looked online & found a video program of John & his group. The video is kinda long, but you can get a feel for his playing - he's a really nice guy & easy to get along with.


https://youtu.be/oqANWmyvePQ

ampeep
09-08-2017, 07:41 PM
kohanmike, you & Tom have arrangements? You guys must be really organized!

kohanmike
09-08-2017, 08:14 PM
kohanmike, you & Tom have arrangements? You guys must be really organized!

I'm still not proficient enough to just wing it. Our leader Cali Rose does arrangements of the songs and hands out lead sheets with lyrics and chords, she emails Tom and I the file a day or two before. I use my computer graphics app to layout out a basic arrangement for myself, then in rehearsal, I record us singing the song, upload it on my web site for the members to use at home, and I tighten my arrangement listening to the recording.

ampeep
09-08-2017, 08:24 PM
Geez, that's impressive! Are your arrangements written in bass clef? I'd have serious problems with at that; have enough trouble with treble clef (guitar). ;)

kohanmike
09-09-2017, 06:07 AM
Geez, that's impressive! Are your arrangements written in bass clef? I'd have serious problems with at that; have enough trouble with treble clef (guitar). ;)

I can'r read music, so I created my own notation that I add to Cali's arrangement. Because I use a tablet for all my music, I color each element; black lyrics, red chords, blue bass notation. Here's an example.

http://www.kohanmike.com/uploads/Folsom Prison Blues 72.jpg

ampeep
09-09-2017, 06:58 PM
I like your notation; easy to read! Was wondering how you handle more complex parts like 'All About the Bass'? You & Tom did a good job of playing together on that song.

kohanmike
09-09-2017, 09:42 PM
I like your notation; easy to read! Was wondering how you handle more complex parts like 'All About the Bass'? You & Tom did a good job of playing together on that song.

That one is a little different, the chord changes are the same throughout the song, so for the chorus and bridge I did G 1-1-3-5-3-5, Am 1-1-2-5-2-5, D7 1-1-3-5-3-5 and called that pattern 'full bass line. For the bridge I simplified it to a latin feel G 1--1-3-5, Am 1--1-2-5, D7 1--1-3-5 and notated the frets for that pattern rather than the note number.

http://www.kohanmike.com/uploads/All About that Bass.jpg

ampeep
09-11-2017, 05:06 PM
That's a good way of putting the info down! Waaay easier than reading music since it's movable if the key changes. Thanks for the info.

ampeep
09-20-2017, 04:19 PM
Got a chance to play with John again this past Sunday at a care home gig. He showed me how to play his gas can bass - put my left foot on the can & place the neck onto it. Can change the key based on the tension on the string & to finger notes on the fingerboard. He said it's easy but I told him you gotta have a good ear, which I don't have. The low bass sound comes out from the opening - lots of low end.