Bass & singing

ampeep

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While playing the guitar I can sing but have a much harder time when playing bass. Have to concentrate on the rhythm which throws me off. Impressed by bass players that can sing well.

Have always been amazed with Felix cavilere of the rascals. He sang lead while playing the Hammond b3 organ & bass lines with the organ foot pedals!

Are you able to sing while playing bass?
 

SailingUke

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I believe it is partially because when strumming chords you are playing harmony to the melody.
With bass you are playing a note you may not be singing.
 

merlin666

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On the guitar I play bass lines along with chords for many songs (like the joker) and I have no problem with singing along. It's an automatic thing and I don't even pay attention to what fingers are doing.
 

kohanmike

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I have to really know the song well to play bass and sing. I finally got "Over the Rainbow" when raoming the hospital gigs we do.


This is Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly West near the Beverly Center
9 tenor cutaway ukes, 5 acoustic bass ukes, 11 solid body bass ukes, 9 mini electric bass guitars (Total: 34)

Walnut hospital gig.jpg


• Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
• Member The CC Strummers: YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/video, Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheCCStrummers
 

UkerDanno

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I don't sing much, if at all while playing bass. Too busy concentrating on what I should be playing! :rolleyes:
 

Sven-Uke

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Even though I am not a great singer I do manage to play bass and sing lead on Bongo Bong by Manu Chau.
The trick for me was to play the song over and over until muscle memory takes over, leaving the brain free to think about singing.
 

John boy

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Interesting question, and I can definitely relate. I started out on guitar and had no trouble strumming chords and singing, but I couldn't have sung while I played lead guitar. I now play mostly bass, and the only way I can sing while I play bass is if I only play the root note of each chord. If I try to play moving bass lines I can't sing. So I guess I can only sing when I'm doing one repetitive motion, like strumming, or playing one root note and not worrying about playing other individual notes (because I guess that would be like singing two lines at once?)
 

merlin666

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I have tried to play drums and find the whole body coordination required for that impossible. Drummers who sing at the same time must be some kind of aliens.
 

Bill Sheehan

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In the original lineup of the band Chicago, Peter Cetera was a heck of a bass man, and seemed to sing while playing effortlessly.
 

UkerDanno

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ampeep

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I saw some videos on YouTube about a kanikapila at Na Mea at ward center. A couple of my uke group members went before & told me there’s no written music. I’m not so hot at playing by ear nowdays, so just brought my shakers. When I got the, they asked if I brought my instrument - told them I left my guitar & bass at home.

They brought a washtub bass that was in the shop & asked if I wanted to try. Was challenging cuz I had to play everything by ear - these guys are really good & were understanding about my attempts. We jammed for 2 1/2 hrs & was fun!

Some ex-locals from the Midwest stopped by for a while. They really appreciated hearing Hawaiian music again.

There’s no way I could sing more than a few words; spent most of the time trying to figure out what to play.
 

S11LKO

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I suppose it's just all about practice.
Although I'm not really a 'singer' I *DO* enjoy having a good old sing along when playing my guitars and ukes, but I inherited an electric bass guitar recently and currently find it almost impossible to sing when trying to play that. I just put it down to the fact I've never played bass before so was therefore having to concentrate so hard on the playing that my vocals lost the plot. Perhaps it'll get better the more experienced I get; perhaps not, as it seems others of you far more practiced than I have trouble also.
Never mind - the frustration of 'trying to make it work' and wanting to throw your instrument against the wall at times, is all part of the fun...er...isn't it? lol
 

mikelz777

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Tom Petty started out as a bass player for Mudcrutch and throughout his career could easily switch to bass when the need arose. I read an interview where the interviewer asked him if he had any difficulties singing while playing bass because most people found it very difficult. Petty replied that he could sing and play bass because he never knew that it was supposed to be difficult. He then said that it was one time where his ignorance served him well. I laughed when I read that. It made me appreciate Petty that much more. He had an innate talent.
 
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mikelz777

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In the original lineup of the band Chicago, Peter Cetera was a heck of a bass man, and seemed to sing while playing effortlessly.

Your post immediately made me think of this video. This is a bit astray of the topic but it shows a time when Cetera was still cool and that before Chicago was dismissed as a soft rock/ballad band that they were nearly untouchable as one of the best bands in the business. (For me, their first 7 albums.) The quality isn't that great but crank it up and give it a listen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRX3WwfvdV0
 

UkerDanno

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Your post immediately made me think of this video. This is a bit astray of the topic but it shows a time when Cetera was still cool and that before Chicago was dismissed as a soft rock/ballad band that they were nearly untouchable as one of the best bands in the business. (For me, their first 7 albums.) The quality isn't that great but crank it up and give it a listen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRX3WwfvdV0

There was a great show on CNN last week about the History of Chicago, including their time at Caribou Ranch. An old girlfriends son lived in a cabin up there and there was a Grand piano in it. I imagined who sat around in that room and jammed and other things...;)
 

John boy

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Since it's fun, I'll just add one more great bassist/singer who I hadn't thought of at first, but recently came to mind. Lance Hoppen, the bassist and one of the lead singers for Orleans, was (and still is) great at this multi-tasking. I'm in awe of how he can still sing lead on "Dance With Me" while playing a melodic bass line that's often going in the opposite direction of the vocal line he's singing. Lotsa talent out there....