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Getting back out there


EddiePlaysBass

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The other day I figured that regardless of what I do with The Dapper Dans (and the jury IS still out on that one) it never hurts to see what is out there and whether I can get into something different. So I was browsing some ads and found one saying bass player wanted for a new blues project.

 

I mailed asking when they plan on rehearsing and whether it will be covers, originals or a mix. Apparently it will be difficult to plan a fixed day for them (hurrah, it is damn near impossible for me) and they want to do both covers and originals.

 

So far so good.

 

I replied saying I have little time for rehearsals, and am therefore looking for people who will use the time dedicated to rehearsal productively. Gave them links to The Dapper Dans' and my own MySpace (which I plan on deleting soon) but that was Saturday and it is now Monday evening. I know it is email and all but still I worry.

 

Shamed to admit it but mostly I worry about the potential impact of the MP3's on my band's website. More often than not, musicians tend to judge you by your band and not your playing in said band. And I do not know if I would come out favourably in that case.

 

Anyway, we will see. I am off to play bass. In my room.

"I'm a work in progress." Micky Barnes

 

The Ross Brown Shirt World Tour

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*LOL* I just got a reply to a mail that never reached me, asking if we can get together next Thursday evening for an on stage jam session in the pub where the (future) band leader intends to rehearse.

 

I have never done such a thing (including just jamming!!) but I am on holiday next week so I really should just say to hell with it, I am there.

"I'm a work in progress." Micky Barnes

 

The Ross Brown Shirt World Tour

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I have already made my mind up. I am going there.

 

I have to look at the signs - in no particular order:

 

1) I find an ad for a blues band

2) My students asks me to prepare some SRV for his next lesson

3) I have a 2 day course coming up followed by a long weekend and a week off => time enough to get my chops up.

 

Only thing I am worried about is: I do not know the first thing about playing the blues! Closest I ever came is playing Gary Moore's "Walking By Myself" (which I can also sing lead while playing, by the way). The ad says they want to play "Chicago-Texas blues". I have no clue!

 

Rereading the ad, it says he is looking for a bass player and a keys player. The singer and guitarist already work together and they seem to know the drummer so I am not getting in a situation that is completely "cold". This is probably a group of people that have played together before and / or trust each other's capabilities. That only adds to the pressure ...

"I'm a work in progress." Micky Barnes

 

The Ross Brown Shirt World Tour

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'Eddie' the blooz is more about feeling and emotion than blistering technique. One can play an ok blooz with just 3 notes (and a better one with 15 to 18 notes). While thinking about The DDs, have a listen to this fraught version of 'I Can't Quit You Babe' :

 

and Jimi's 'Red House', in which a quite simple bass line is laid down with a ordinary guitar - not a bass. It is the foundation of the song imho:

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

 

and an old BB King 'The Thrill is Gone' - again a simple bass line (if you can hear it)

 

I love the blues, and wish I had more opportunity to play some.

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I have never played Red House the same way twice (well maybe) but I almost always like the way I play it.

 

Thrill is Gone and be played with simple bass line or a really kickin bass line. Both are good, depending on what the rest of the band is doing...

 

The more you play the blues, the more you get quite comfortable playing what you feel.... just like anything else. Don't try to catagorize the blues ie Chicago, Texas, Delta... etc. Just play.

 

It may take you a bar or two (or three) at first to get the groove/feel but it will come. It does not need a name.

 

"When I take a stroll down Jackass Lane it is usually to see someone that is already there" Mrs. Brown
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Don't try to catagorize the blues ie Chicago, Texas, Delta... etc. Just play.
+1

 

However, as it is vocals, guitar, drums and bass, I would guess that by Chicago and Texas blues he just means blues featuring lead electric guitar.

 

He's probably looking for someone to lay down nice, unobtrusive 4-quarters-to-the-bar walking bass lines as a foundation for his elaborate leads. Take a listen to Stevie Ray Vaughan, e.g. "Pride & Joy". You're already there.

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Don't try to catagorize the blues ie Chicago, Texas, Delta... etc. Just play.
+1

 

However, as it is vocals, guitar, drums and bass, I would guess that by Chicago and Texas blues he just means blues featuring lead electric guitar.

 

He's probably looking for someone to lay down nice, unobtrusive 4-quarters-to-the-bar walking bass lines as a foundation for his elaborate leads. Take a listen to Stevie Ray Vaughan, e.g. "Pride & Joy". You're already there.

 

Or Buddy Guy. Such as his song Sweet Home Chicago. Like everybody has pretty much said and as with most music keep it simple, in the pocket, and with lots of feeling!

Lydian mode? The only mode I know has the words "pie ala" in front of it.

http://www.myspace.com/theeldoradosband

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I wouldn't get wrapped around the "Texas, Delta, Chicago, etc" distinction, either, it's all blues and it's all good.

 

IIRC, Delta was acoustic and "purest", Chicago made it electric and Memphis and elsewhere added the R&B, while Texas may have given it the Western Swing treatment. But how does that explain Jimi Hendrix of Seattle, WA? While there are plenty of blues songs about rain, Washington is not a know home of blues. (There are some good historical reasons for Seattle's R&B scene of the WWII era, but I think you get the point). Radio, and later records distro'd blues everywhere, so younger players were influenced by older players, and blended.

 

I was listening to Otis Rush the other day, and his bass players had some great variations on the walking bass lines, but one of my favorites is Little Milton, his band made a solid groove.

"Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, yet you cannot play upon me.'-Hamlet

 

Guitar solos last 30 seconds, the bass line lasts for the whole song.

 

 

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Only thing I am worried about is: I do not know the first thing about playing the blues! Closest I ever came is playing Gary Moore's "Walking By Myself" (which I can also sing lead while playing, by the way). The ad says they want to play "Chicago-Texas blues". I have no clue!
NB: Gary Moore is not a blues player. I don't care what anybody says.

 

Maybe ask them to e-mail you mp3s of a couple of the tunes they do. Just learn the bass lines. You'll find, if you get into it, that there is a number of "generic" bass lines that will fit into any number of blues standards. It'll get you by nicely unless and until you move up to the next level.

 

 

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Also, listen to the "Showdown" album with Robert Cray, Albert Collins, and Johnny Copeland; incredible guitar work across a wide variety of blues, all supported but some very grooving bass lines.

 

One of my favorite bluesmen is Kent "Omar" Dykes, and his band Omar and the Howlers have been on the road for decades, great stuff. I recommend the albums "Monkeyland" and "Live at Paradiso".

"Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, yet you cannot play upon me.'-Hamlet

 

Guitar solos last 30 seconds, the bass line lasts for the whole song.

 

 

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Also, listen to the "Showdown" album with Robert Cray, Albert Collins, and Johnny Copeland; incredible guitar work across a wide variety of blues, all supported but some very grooving bass lines.

That bass player is Johnny B. Gayden.

Visit my band's new web site.

 

www.themojoroots.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for the suggestions, everyone! Got a mail from the guitarist / band leader, in which he mentioned three songs the drummer (apparently they play together in a different blues band) suggested these songs:

 

kenny wayne shepperd - shotgun blues

 

joe bonnamassa - miss you hate you

 

aynsley lister - the soundman

 

I have only listened briefly but it sounds doable. If this is the style they want to pursue, there will be no objection from my side :) First hurdle will be the jam/audition this Thursday but I will sweat, fake and curse my way through that ;)

"I'm a work in progress." Micky Barnes

 

The Ross Brown Shirt World Tour

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