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bass players who play way too loud....

EL34

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,333
....WTF? Do they not recognize that they're primarily a rhythm instrument? Not a lead instrument? :nuts I've been playing with a very good bass player for the past few years, but this guy can't even buy a clue and play in context. We're constantly sending him clues to turn down, and he just doesn't get it! Any advice?
 

orangekick

Supporting Member
Messages
522
As a bass player, I just have to say... Tell him to turn down. Hints are lame. Bass hits differently, so he might not even realize that he's too loud. It might sound great where he's standing.
 

Kaji13

Member
Messages
3,422
As a bass player, I just have to say... Tell him to turn down. Hints are lame. Bass hits differently, so he might not even realize that he's too loud. It might sound great where he's standing.
This. Bass Travels outward in a dome, unlike treble which is directional. It could sound loud from where our standing, but the bass player might only be hearing the mids and treble from where he is standing. How does he play like anyway..with his rig I mean. Does he do the direct into PA thing or does he use and amp
 

Brazen

Member
Messages
2,095
I like to hear the bass guitar but for them to be in front depends on how well they played. I see nothing wrong with the bass playing lead but that's not addressing your problem there.

So why won't he turn it down? Is he really good?

Anyway, my friend has a bass player who's loud but he's good. I can see the guitarist and the drummer working their butt off to keep up with him. He makes it look so easy.
 

jtm622

Member
Messages
9,261
I had to leave an otherwise pretty good band because the bass player played so boomy and LOUD... I could not take it - even with ear plugs. Seriously... 300 watts of pure 5-string bullsh#t... and - the guy just loved to play that damn 5th string... And here's the real kicker: the guy was mic'ed and went thru 1500 watts of pure JBL/Crown powered sub-woofers in our sound system!!! The db level he achieved was about the same as that of a "Saturn 5" rocket launch...
I told our sound guy constantly to "PLEASE - turn the bass player down", but NO-O-O-O... He was too proud of those expensive sub-woofers to do that... I explained over and over again how putting a microphone in front of that guy's amp "was like taking sand to the beach..." Argh-h-h-h...
 

EL34

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,333
To be clear, we've gone beyond just giving clues....we've straightforwardly asked him to turn down, and he obliges us for a while, but over a short amount of time the volume creeps back up again! I'm very close to cutting him from the band, even though otherwise he's a very good bass player. He is simply clueless and doesn't know how to play in context.
 

PatrickE_FenderADV

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
28,596
I've been dealing with this for a long long time... problem is I play with my brother on bass, and he's my OLDER brother too. He tends to play every song like it's a bass solo a la Chris Squire. It's not that the amp volume is loud, it's his hitting the strings that's too loud... does anyone know what I mean? It's like EVERY note is an accented note. We hinted to him before to try and find the pocket now and then... to try and groove now and then... to try and lay back now and then. But it just never seems to hit home with him. Maybe it's all the weed???
 

JohnSykes

Member
Messages
726
To be clear, we've gone beyond just giving clues....we've straightforwardly asked him to turn down, and he obliges us for a while, but over a short amount of time the volume creeps back up again! I'm very close to cutting him from the band, even though otherwise he's a very good bass player. He is simply clueless and doesn't know how to play in context.
Just tell him that. "Look, you are a very good bass player, but if you dont turn that damn thing down, im gonna kick you, and then im gonna kick your ass."
 

lhallam

Member
Messages
17,450
Two different issues, "too many notes", lead player and being too loud.

For loudness, have him stand at least 6 ft away from the amp.

As for playing bass like a lead gtr, precious few can stand having their playing criticized. If he's not playing within the context of the music, you're going to have to decide whether to tell him or find a replacement.
 

Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
35,012
Pick a cover tune and play it like the recording.
Note for note, tone for tone, mixed like the record. Good exercise for all if you are having this fight, imo.
Tough to get everybody on board, but that just illustrates the problem.
 

jimfog

Senior Member
Messages
9,477
Went to a buddy's gig at a local mid-size venue, with stage. Their bass player was rocking an SVT and 8x10 SOOOO loud, it was literally making all of us in the audience ill, and shaking glasses and bottles off tables when he hit a big, booming low E. I mean, he was seriously flirting with "Brown Note" territory, no lie.

Of course, he was standing RIGHT on top off his amp, so he couldn't tell.

Dude came off the stage during a break and ran right over to us.

"Do I need to turn up? I can't even hear myself......."

:eek:
 
Last edited:

Randaddy

Member
Messages
1,144
"... he's a very good bass player. He ... doesn't know how to play in context."

See, to me those statements are contradictory.

I believe you are saying he is a technically good player... technically good in the way of being able to play the right notes, or play lots of notes, or follow a chart, or improvise, or a host of other technical abilities.

But that doesn't mean he is a great musician. And it doesn't mean he is good for the band. Because a good musician plays whatever makes the band sound good.

If he doesn't know how to put it all in context, he needs to learn. Maybe you can help him.
If not, then he may need to go. Unless you decide lots of LOUD bass is fine with you.

Just my opinion.
 

franksguitar

Member
Messages
3,683
Professionalism is the abilty to play at the right volume for the rest of the band. Musicians that can't tell are either 1) tone deaf 2) don't care 3) ego so big 4) clueless. But a recording never lies.
 

Marc Roy

Member
Messages
14,563
Went to a buddy's gig at a local mid-size venue, with stage. Their bass player was rocking an SVT SOOOO loud, it was literally making all of us in the audience ill, and shaking glasses and bottles off tables when he hit a big, booming low E. I mean, he was seriously flirting with "Brown Note" territory, no lie.

Of course, he was standing RIGHT on top off his amp, so he couldn't tell.

Dude came off the stage during a break and ran right over to us.

"Do I need to turn up? I can't even hear myself......."

:eek:
Incredible.... I'm surprised the venue manager didn't say anything.
 

TNJ

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
28,862
As a bass player, I just have to say... Tell him to turn down. Hints are lame. Bass hits differently, so he might not even realize that he's too loud. It might sound great where he's standing.
In my experience...this.
Dont pu$$yfoot around...tell him he either turns down or he's history. Sometimes bass amps have a headphone out jack.
If he does, have him use it. THAT will make all the difference.


S.
j
 

2HBStrat

Senior Member
Messages
41,223
.... I see nothing wrong with the bass playing lead .....
Well, I do. If the bass is playing lead then let him get a guitar and get a real bass player to play bass. Supposedly even Joni Mitchell considered getting a bass player when she had Jaco in her band.

.....We hinted to him before to try and find the pocket now and then... to try and groove now and then...
If the bass player and the drummer aren't in the pocket and tight together the band won't be its best unless you're The Who or The Jimi Hendrix Experience. It's pretty much a necessity for dance music.

Two different issues, "too many notes", lead player and being too loud.....
Both bad, both wrong.
 

mvd18969

Member
Messages
2,003
Dude, this is something I dealt with for many years. I played in a band with a guy for almost 10 years who used 2 Ampeg SVT heads and 2 of the 8x10 cabs. (One just isn't loud enough you know). You should be able to feel the bass, if you can hear it, it's too loud. It got even worse when he bought a 5-string and used to rumble away on the low B.
 

lhallam

Member
Messages
17,450
Well, I do. If the bass is playing lead then let him get a guitar and get a real bass player to play bass. Supposedly even Joni Mitchell considered getting a bass player when she had Jaco in her band.
I pretty much agree.

As I caveated in my post, I said within the context of the music. There a bassists (such as Jaco) who can pull off a lead role w/out stepping all over the music. Phil Lesh, Bootsy Collins, Jack Bruce are some others who know how to do it.

However, there are not too many that can.
 

StompBoxBlues

Member
Messages
20,243
Record a practice. If he hears it (IF it bears out what you say too...if it is overbearingly loud) and thinks it sounds fine you are screwed...he isn't going to turn down. If he hears it and agrees it is too loud, listen to what the folks here have said....get him to stand in a different place.

Try this, (if you play guitar and have a long enough cord) trade places with him during a practice. See what you hear where he stands, let him hear what you have been hearing.

This was all it took in a band I was in. I was amazed at the boomy, flabby bass I was hearing and though the new guy after some time tried to ask our bassist "maybe you could do a little EQ on the bass to get it a little tighter? It's REALLY boomy" and he looked all bewildered, and said "it sounds great as it is"....we traded places. I could see where he thought that because where he was standing, about 2 feet in front of his amp, it DID sound great. Sounded perfect. I looked over at him, standing where i was, and he had a kind of sick look on his face, sour..."man...that doesn't sound good!"

Problem solved. But he never wanted to be overbearing, just he thought he had it all dialed in. After that both he and I wander a little in the beginning of rehearsal to hear what it sounds like in different places.
 
Messages
8,093
Sometimes bass amps have a headphone out jack.
If he does, have him use it. THAT will make all the difference.


S.
j
Any bass player who plays too loud should be shot.

Any bass player (or any player) who appears on stage with headphones on should be shot, but only after lengthy and comprehensive torture.
 




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