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Thread: Overplaying?

  1. #11
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    Dec 2018
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    Well, as an upright bass player I can tell you that simpler is almost always better.

    The bass role is about stating clearly the rhythm, and providing a harmonic basis. Believe me, if you try to play just roots and fifths, with the exactly correct note length, attack, perfectly in tune, and exactly the right feel for the tune, you can make a lifetime study of just playing two-beat roots and fifths.

  2. #12
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    Dec 2018
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    Well, as an upright bass player I can tell you that simpler is almost always better.

    The bass role is about stating clearly the rhythm, and providing a harmonic basis. Believe me, if you try to play just roots and fifths, with the exactly correct note length, attack, perfectly in tune, and exactly the right feel for the tune, you can make a lifetime study of just playing two-beat roots and fifths.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Honoka'a, HI
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    The best musicians know when not to play. Any hack can (and tends to) play lots of notes. It takes experience, thought, taste, and guts to leave space.

    Bass is a big responsibility. You've got to be on otherwise it makes EVERYONE sound bad. A uke player who blows it gets to own the mistake, but a bass player who can't hit the 1 is, well... fired!

    Some people aren't cut out for it. An option might be: "Have you considered using your chops for guitar or 'ukulele instead of bass?" Less offensive than "you suck."

    EDIT: The 2nd paragraph of the above post is SO TRUE!
    Brad Bordessa
    Live 'Ukulele.com

  4. #14
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    Aug 2016
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    NYC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Bordessa View Post
    The best musicians know when not to play. Any hack can (and tends to) play lots of notes. It takes experience, thought, taste, and guts to leave space.

    Bass is a big responsibility. You've got to be on otherwise it makes EVERYONE sound bad. A uke player who blows it gets to own the mistake, but a bass player who can't hit the 1 is, well... fired!

    Some people aren't cut out for it. An option might be: "Have you considered using your chops for guitar or 'ukulele instead of bass?" Less offensive than "you suck."

    EDIT: The 2nd paragraph of the above post is SO TRUE!
    I agree with Brad. Especially the point about when not to play...

    Active Listening, (which allows for careful attention to the rest of the ensemble) and leaving space for the other players, is what can help a group mesh well together.

    Otherwise it can sound anywhere along the spectrum from slightly "off" to a jumbled mess.

    IMHO, if there is a drummer, the bass player and drummer need to be "tight", which should be the foundation upon which the rest of the music is layered, otherwise without a drummer, the bass player sets the tempo and is the foundation alone.

    A bass player can make an otherwise simple and decent performance have an added nice groove, or drive it into chaos with over-playing, depending upon whether or not they are Actively Listening, and in fact participating in the "feel" of the group as a whole.

    I'm a big fan of Jaco, and how he brought attention to the bass as more of a lead instrument, but this kind of playing is not always applicable if in a uke group with 10+ uke players.

    I'm pretty sure other virtuoso bass players like Victor Wooten understand all of this as seen in his videos on YouTube.

    IMHO, in a good sounding ensemble, everyone shares the "space" of the song as it's being played, without ego or need for any upstaging the other players.
    -Joe......Have uke, will travel...

  5. #15
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    Aug 2012
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    Arizona
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    Quote Originally Posted by turf3 View Post
    Well, as an upright bass player I can tell you that simpler is almost always better.

    The bass role is about stating clearly the rhythm, and providing a harmonic basis. Believe me, if you try to play just roots and fifths, with the exactly correct note length, attack, perfectly in tune, and exactly the right feel for the tune, you can make a lifetime study of just playing two-beat roots and fifths.
    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Bordessa View Post
    EDIT: The 2nd paragraph of the above post is SO TRUE!
    Quote Originally Posted by Joe King View Post
    I agree with Brad. Especially the point about when not to play...

    A bass player can make an otherwise simple and decent performance have an added nice groove, or drive it into chaos with over-playing, depending upon whether or not they are Actively Listening, and in fact participating in the "feel" of the group as a whole.
    with the above 3 comments, since that's me, and the groups I play with appreciate me for what I do. I'm trying to learn some bass lines, but making them fit in is a different thing...
    Just Play

    Sopranos: 1st uke, Lanikai soprano LU-11 - Aquilas | 30's Martin style 0 - Martins | Lanikai banjolele - Worth Browns
    Concerts: Kanile'a K-2 CP - Living Water | Islander AC-4 - Living Water
    UBass: Kala Exotic Mahogany - Road Toad Pahoehoe | Kala SUB - Pahoehoes

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Honolulu, HI
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    turf3, Brad Bordessa & Joe King, excellent points! You were
    very articulate in defining the bassists’ role in a group.

    As all of you noted, am much more aware of timing when playing bass, as opposed to guitar (where it doesn’t matter as much).

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