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simple vs. busy: discuss #2392987
03/06/12 03:38 PM
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jeremy c Offline OP
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Something, Paul McCartney on bass, very busy in a melodic way


Something, Alan Spenner on bass, very busy in a rhythmic way


Something, bass ? ,relatively simple


Hey Jude, Paul McCartney on bass, relatively simple, get more rhythmic as song progresses (in the video George Harrison appears to be playing a 6 string bass, but Paul played on the recording)


Hey Jude, David Hood on bass, very busy in a rhythmic way

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Re: simple vs. busy: discuss [Re: jeremy c] #2392993
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When I would try to learn bass lines from recorded songs, my teacher would always remind me that the bass line I was trying to copy was simply the one that the bassist recorded on that particular day in the studio. His point was that I might hear that same bassist play a completely different line in concert, and that there was no "right" way except the way the best supports the song in the context in which it is being performed. I think these videos illustrate that point pretty well.


"Everyone wants to change the world, but no one thinks of changing themselves." Leo Tolstoy
Re: simple vs. busy: discuss [Re: Richard W] #2393006
03/06/12 04:48 PM
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Two simple bass lines that the songs would suffer without.



Whenever I play with this song I tend to want to busy it up and it never sounds as good. Sounds like 70's porno in fact.



You can throw in some flourishes (Entwistle often did) but it's completely unnecessary.


Push the button Frank.
Re: simple vs. busy: discuss [Re: kenfxj] #2393025
03/06/12 05:37 PM
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When he played it live, he flourished the crap out of it.


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Re: simple vs. busy: discuss [Re: Tenstrum] #2393027
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I've always felt Entwistle often played more notes than a lot of Who songs really needed. On the other hand, he was John Entwistle and I'm a rank amateur.


"Everyone wants to change the world, but no one thinks of changing themselves." Leo Tolstoy
Re: simple vs. busy: discuss [Re: Richard W] #2393036
03/06/12 06:11 PM
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Great collection of videos/music Jeremy. I think it illustrates that great bass has nothing to do with simple vs busy. It's just whatever makes the song sound good.

I love the simple (Papa was a Rolling Stone, Walking on the Moon) and the busy. I guess the art is in making it sound like it's the right part for the song whatever.

A couple of things I have noticed: if you play with a deep tone you seem to be able to get away with busier lines in a larger ensemble; and the busier the drums get the simpler I usually get and vice versa.

Re: simple vs. busy: discuss [Re: Tenstrum] #2393056
03/06/12 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted By: Tenstrum
When he played it live, he flourished the crap out of it.




Yes, he did. But it was just showmanship, the song didn't need it. In fact I'd like to hear just Daltrey mixed in with this. I bet it would sound better than the rest of the band (Pete, Keith and Rabbit) with John mixed out.


Push the button Frank.
Re: simple vs. busy: discuss [Re: Phil W] #2393273
03/07/12 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted By: Phil W
Great collection of videos/music Jeremy. I think it illustrates that great bass has nothing to do with simple vs busy. It's just whatever makes the song sound good.

+1.

McCartney's "Something" line would be very out of place in Sinatra's performance, and possibly ruin it (ticking off Sinatra in the process).

Another comparison:





"Of all the world's bassists, I'm one of them!" - Lug
Re: simple vs. busy: discuss [Re: Russkull] #2393286
03/07/12 02:58 PM
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jeremy c Offline OP
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I like the bass playing on the Big Star version, and everything else on the Velvet Underground version.

It would be interesting to hear if the Velvet version would improve or get worse with the bass line from Big Star.

Here's another comparison:


Re: simple vs. busy: discuss [Re: Russkull] #2393306
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Originally Posted By: Russkull
McCartney's "Something" line would be very out of place in Sinatra's performance, and possibly ruin it (ticking off Sinatra in the process).


Eh, what's Sinatra know? For several years, when he sang "Something," he'd introduce it as the best song ever written by Lennon and McCartney.


"Everyone wants to change the world, but no one thinks of changing themselves." Leo Tolstoy
Re: simple vs. busy: discuss [Re: Richard W] #2393352
03/07/12 05:38 PM
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It's interesting that Something, Layla, and Wonderful Tonight were all written for the same woman, Pattie Boyd.

There must be more to her than is found in her autobiography.

Re: simple vs. busy: discuss [Re: jeremy c] #2393384
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The players who can play busy lines easily - who can make a great line no matter what the song context are for me always best. Simple less is more in my opinion is nonsense. The facts are is not all players have the ability to play/write great bass parts - they just can't hear them and if they play past their ability you can hear it/feel it.

I think it is down to the individual player to make a piece their own. Give me the Geddy Lee's any day!

Re: simple vs. busy: discuss [Re: Seamy ALB] #2393487
03/08/12 06:07 AM
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Well, let's hear it from the masters, linke in this case. Look at this walking bass part at the bottom. When it moves from walking to sixteenth notes it adds something to a still voice part (cantus firmus in Latin). All in all it creates a faster moving harmonic rhythm.
I think that we bass players feel harmonic rythm (i.e. "the changes") as the major rhythm in a song. I guess others perceive the drums or the melody first and foremost. This might also explain why some do not see much in jazz and others die for it.



I think that for the harmonic movement in a song the most important parts are voice and bass, the rest is contrapunctus and harmony filler.

Last edited by Michele C.; 03/08/12 06:10 AM.

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Re: simple vs. busy: discuss [Re: jeremy c] #2393530
03/08/12 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted By: jeremy c, OG
It's interesting that Something, Layla, and Wonderful Tonight were all written for the same woman, Pattie Boyd.

There must be more to her than is found in her autobiography.


The book is called "Wonderful Tonight" and it's a pretty good read. I read it and Clapton's autobiography back-to-back, and it was interesting to see their two points of view on many of the same events.


"Everyone wants to change the world, but no one thinks of changing themselves." Leo Tolstoy
Re: simple vs. busy: discuss [Re: jeremy c] #2393613
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Originally Posted By: jeremy c, OG
Here's another comparison:

Richard Bona is awesome - he knows how to be subtle when called for, but is just as comfortable being "over the top". Really enjoyed this one.


"Of all the world's bassists, I'm one of them!" - Lug
Re: simple vs. busy: discuss [Re: Russkull] #2393954
03/09/12 07:01 PM
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This whole discussion reminds me of something my professor said in my college harmony course:

"If it sounds good, then go with it! That's the ultimate rule in music."

Busy is as busy does. And the same goes for simple. But it all comes down to how everything sits in the arrangement. Are all of the musicians in the ensemble listening to one another, and in the end are all of the parts meshing together? Or, is it a cluttered mess? Without looking at the broader context of a piece of music, you can't adequately make a statement about an individual part.


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Re: simple vs. busy: discuss [Re: Nicklab] #2393974
03/09/12 08:33 PM
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In general, bass playing was more rhythmic in the late 60's early 70's. In a way, it's the electric bass's apex.

I love SInatra but that arrangement is lame. And the entire rhythm section has no clue for that type of feel , and neither does Frank -- which is why you get what you get.

And the song At 17 is on of my most despised songs! I wouldn;t care if it had John Coltrane, John Lennon and Jaco on it. lol Self pitying drivel.

Also, major props to Entwistle for making a very simple line something special.

Last edited by plangentmusic; 03/09/12 08:38 PM.

JAZZ UN-STANDARDS http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vE4FoJ4Cr4&feature=related

DON'T FEAR...THE REVERB! 60's Instrumentals with MORE BASS!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgP1tSGV4e0


Re: simple vs. busy: discuss [Re: plangentmusic] #2393986
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Sorry you don't like the song and were never a teenager.

I don't care much for Sinatra's arrangement, but Frank sure puts meaning into the lyric.

Last edited by jeremy c, OG; 03/09/12 10:22 PM.
Re: simple vs. busy: discuss [Re: jeremy c] #2393996
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Originally Posted By: jeremy c, OG
Sorry you don't like the song and were never a teenager.

I don't care much for Sinatra's arrangement, but Frank sure puts meaning into the lyric.


Yes, I was a teenager, just not one who would whine about being one.

As for Frank, he'd doing his thing and he's great at it. But Something is more about the arrangement. The lyrics are actually pretty bad. So...take away the arrangement and what do you have?


JAZZ UN-STANDARDS http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vE4FoJ4Cr4&feature=related

DON'T FEAR...THE REVERB! 60's Instrumentals with MORE BASS!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgP1tSGV4e0


Re: simple vs. busy: discuss [Re: plangentmusic] #2393999
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The lyrics aren't up to the standards of William Burroughs, just to give one example, but they are sweet and concise.

To me, that song is good enough to survive any arrangement (including Paul's overplaying) and it's been recorded by over 150 artists (of the Beatles songs, only surpassed by Yesterday).

This one was George Harrison's favorite. The song even survives Mr. Brown's derangement. (oops, meant arrangement).

Last edited by jeremy c, OG; 03/09/12 11:55 PM.
Re: simple vs. busy: discuss [Re: jeremy c] #2394004
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Originally Posted By: jeremy c, OG
The lyrics aren't up to the standards of William Burroughs, just to give one example, but they are sweet and concise.

To me, that song is good enough to survive any arrangement (including Paul's overplaying) and it's been recorded by over 150 artists (of the Beatles songs, only surpassed by Yesterday).

This one was George Harrison's favorite. The song even survives Mr. Brown's derangement. (oops, meant arrangement).


Wow, that was horrendous.

As for the lyrics --

Something in the way she woos me.

I don't want to leave her now. I don't want to leave her . And how.

You're asking me, I don't know. Stick around and it may show.

Sorry -- love the Beatles, love George, love the song. But those lyrics blow.

Something has an amazing melody. And I don't think Paul overplays -- he provides a counter melody. And it's perfect.


JAZZ UN-STANDARDS http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vE4FoJ4Cr4&feature=related

DON'T FEAR...THE REVERB! 60's Instrumentals with MORE BASS!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgP1tSGV4e0


Re: simple vs. busy: discuss [Re: plangentmusic] #2394014
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Don't mince words, Nelson, Why don't you tell us how you really feel? wink

How about this version? deadhorse

Last edited by jeremy c, OG; 03/10/12 03:48 AM.
Re: simple vs. busy: discuss [Re: jeremy c] #2394043
03/10/12 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted By: jeremy c, OG
Don't mince words, Nelson, Why don't you tell us how you really feel? wink

How about this version? deadhorse


haha that's exactly how I'd expect Perry to song it. Actually, it's a little more honest (less Vegas) than Franks version.


What's next? Steve Lawrence? Wayne Newton? A duet with Maria Callas and Conrad Twitty?

Last edited by plangentmusic; 03/10/12 10:10 AM.

JAZZ UN-STANDARDS http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vE4FoJ4Cr4&feature=related

DON'T FEAR...THE REVERB! 60's Instrumentals with MORE BASS!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgP1tSGV4e0


Re: simple vs. busy: discuss [Re: plangentmusic] #2394077
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