Help Me Settle An Argument - Bass v Kbds

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by gkinsingapore, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. gkinsingapore

    gkinsingapore Member

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    Bass Player says Kbd player shouldn't be playing in the lower octaves as it is muddying his bass sound and those frequencies should be left alone for him to occupy.

    Its slowly escalating into WW3

    Typically in your bands, how would you settle the argument?
     
  2. SteveO

    SteveO Member

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    The easy solution would be to EQ out the lower frequencies of the keyboards. Keyboardist still has something for his left hand to do, and not much gets into the bass player's range.
     
  3. Tiny Montgomery

    Tiny Montgomery Supporting Member

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    I play keys, and avoid doing too much with my left hand, for that very reason. It's just like everything else; space needs to be left for other members of the band.

    EQing out bass frequencies from the keys works, too, but if the keys player doesn't get that the bass needs a space to occupy to start with, he might not go for it.

    A lot of it depends on what he's actually doing with his left hand, too, and how essential it is to the overall sound, and whether it's too busy.
     
  4. b3john

    b3john Member

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    I've played bass and keyboards, separately and at the same time (covering bass from keyboards or pedals). My guess is that this is as much about them not playing together as anything else. That said, SteveO's suggestion is a good one. The lower range of a piano meshes especially nicely with an electric bass because they naturally EQ differently.
     
  5. rwe333

    rwe333 Supporting Member

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    Bass player should know his range, as should keys, as should guitar. It's muddy? Adjust your part, use your ears/instinct. Bass and keys certainly don't need to be doubling the same register (at least, not often).
     
  6. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    Play cover tunes like the record.
    Pros have already worked this out for you, for those songs.
    For originals, take the hint from the covers.
     
  7. SkippyD

    SkippyD Member

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    Yep...The Doors figured it out:)
     
  8. buddyboy69

    buddyboy69 Member

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    thats why i dont play with keyboard players. they usually feel they have to play all registers and it steps on everyone and sounds like mud.
     
  9. b3john

    b3john Member

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    IDK, that works great in a trio, but for a four- or five-piece the guys have to learn to listen to each other and play together.

    Yeah, I know, crazy talk. ;)
     
  10. GovernorSilver

    GovernorSilver Member

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    The bass player wins here.

    A competent keyboardist is NOT going to step on the bass player's toes. I recall an interview with Chuck Leavell (the great rock keyboardist) in which he talked about the effort he put into coming up with parts that sit well in the mix and didn't clash with anybody.

    There are some situations where a keyboardist can double the bass player's part because of how the song was arranged, but that's something both parties need to agree to.
     
  11. Carltone

    Carltone Gold Supporting Member

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    Tell your bass player to only play notes above the 15th fret and/or thick chords all night next practice and see how your keyboard player likes it...
     
  12. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    This...at least from my experience. Someone once said (here I think) that "keyboardists ought to have their left hand bound behind their backs..."
    and though catchy, went on to explain in detail and it was a revalation for me...and I think it's about right.

    Keyboards can play the whole register on intros, etc. but otherwise it really is "less is more"...it's actually amazing to me how little a keyboard has to do to make things all click, sound great and make the band sound great. Not just in comping, but even in solos..

    I think the bass player wins hands down...so to speak :eek:
     
  13. aliensporebomb

    aliensporebomb Member

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    I just put the bass thru an octave divider and play the same parts the keyboardists' left hand plays only two octaves down. Then we add taurus pedals.

    And everything is in 11/8 and....we wonder why we can't get a gig.
     
  14. tiktok

    tiktok Supporting Member

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    It's like trying to find a guitarist who can work with another guitarist, except that it requires even less effort on keys to cover the entire range of the band with a two-handed part.

    But yes, if I have a bassist in the band, the keyboardist needs to make way for him.
     
  15. Pietro

    Pietro 2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy

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    Bass player is right... just this once, though... let's not let him get a big head...
     
  16. 27sauce

    27sauce Supporting Member

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    Yup. But make sure and jump all over him when he plays above the 7th fret!
     
  17. Bassomatic

    Bassomatic Silver Supporting Member

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    Zawinul and Jaco worked it out. Sometimes thru über-tight doubling.
     
  18. s2y

    s2y Member

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    It depends. Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

    Not much sounds as cool as an upright bass and a piano playing the same note.
     
  19. stevieboy

    stevieboy Clouds yell at me Gold Supporting Member

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    There was a keyboard player that appeared briefly in blues circles here in town who was quite well educated musically and competent on his instrument. He was also kind of socially inept, and also I think had played by himself most of his life.

    Anyway, he couldn't play a chord without using all ten fingers and every extension known to man, and he was impossible to play with, whether you were a bass player or a guitar player, he filled up every inch of sonic space.

    Note that I used the term "appeared briefly."
     
  20. Dexter.Sinister

    Dexter.Sinister Still breathing Gold Supporting Member

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    Fired the bassist. Moved to a trio. The organist plays the low lines.
     

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