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Feelin it man


Cowbell

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So,my quote says that bass is to be felt not heard.

 

Obviously, I didn't come up with that. A guy named Richie Furay told me this when he was in town, jamming with the band up at church. We hung out and had lunch with him after the service.

 

I was just wondering what you guys thought of this quote.

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I'd say he has a philosophy that matches that of some engineers and producers - except you can't usually feel the bass much if you are not hearing it. Unless you are confusing kick drum for bass ; }

 

It also makes me wonder why any of us buy more expensive rigs ; }

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What an interesting way to impose subtlety or restraint in another musician... :freak: Still though, I alays thought it was a bass guitar , and we all know how a guitar should behave right? :D:P

"Suppose you were an idiot ... And suppose you were a member of Congress

... But I repeat myself."

-Mark Twain

http://artists.mp3s.com/artists/63/condition_1.html (my old band)

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Yes, it is best to avoid those "gray areas" where a band might possibly detract from any social occasion and /or mire itself in playing ... :thu:

"Suppose you were an idiot ... And suppose you were a member of Congress

... But I repeat myself."

-Mark Twain

http://artists.mp3s.com/artists/63/condition_1.html (my old band)

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Do I feel it, or hear it ?? Ummm, what was the question again. I'm lost on that one. It is great to feel the power of the amp at the back of your legs but if you don't hear it ??? umm lost again.

 

Cupmcmali.."Women should be obscene and not heard"

John Lennon...This monkey's gone to heaven

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Well, that kind of statement is ridiculous. Basses are PITCHED instruments. Your correct pitch needs to be heard of course. Geez. Besides, whether or not you're familiar with Furay's old bands, Poco and Souther, Hillman and Furay, I can assure you that on their recordings the bass was most certainly HEARD and so were their pitches. Poco was a predecessor to The Eagles brand of country rock and one of my old favorites.

 

In jazz, the bass is outlining the harmony for the whole combo-especially if there's no piano or guitar in the group. How on earth could that function be served without HEARING the bass.

Don't get me started! :rolleyes:

"When people hear good music, it makes them homesick for something they never had, and never will have."

Edgar Watson Howe

"Don't play what's there. Play what's not there" Miles Davis

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Oh, yeah, I did a mild double-take on Furay's name and then forgot it. But Poco, Flying Burrito Brothers (Chriss Ethridge on bass I think), and a few others were doing some pretty nice things for country and folkish stuff in that period.

 

PS. I could hear the bass even through a car radio with a 3" speaker.

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Another take on the topic:

 

I can't believe Ritchie Furay said this within the context that we are currently taking it...

 

However, you tell us that it's in the context of jammin' with a praise band.

 

By and large, the single biggest problem with the vast majority of P/W bands I've heard is that the drummer and the bass player compete to blast the ears out of the entire congregation. It's almost like, "hey...we can play rock in church...goodie, lets give it to 'em."

 

I've said things like Furay said myself to young bands. Within the context, however, what I meant was that as a bass player begins to pound, the sound level raises to the point where the congregation's singing isn't heard...then the purpose is lost.

 

BTW: I use this argument regularly to justify paid PW bands. In a non-paid band, where guys are "playing for the Lord," they believe that they gotta be heard to carry the Lord's message to the crowd.

 

Paid professionals have fewer of those "ego" problems. We want our check, and we want to come back next week. So, we attempt to carefully sculpt our band sound to augment, not compete with the congregation.

 

Our PW band, each member paid, has been playing in the same church for over 5 years now. We have changed guitar once, drummer twice...and added a pretty hot sax player. And just last Sunday, an old guy, we have no clue who he is, came up and shook my and the drummer's hand and said, "I've heard dozens of Praise bands, but never one like y'all. I could actually sing along...It was pleasant."

"Let's raise the level of this conversation" -- Jeremy Cohen, in the Picasso Thread.

 

Still spendin' that political capital far faster than I can earn it...stretched way out on a limb here and looking for a better interest rate.

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BTW, our current praise band lineup sounds a lot more like Poco than Cream or The Who. Our first guitar player toured with Leanne Rimes, Our current guitar player toured with Janie Fricke, our drummist toured with Al Hirt, our Sax player was in Oral Roberts P/W band; he was on the stage when Oral told the nation God was gonna call him home.

 

And me, just little old me. Nobody's ever heard of any band I toured with.

"Let's raise the level of this conversation" -- Jeremy Cohen, in the Picasso Thread.

 

Still spendin' that political capital far faster than I can earn it...stretched way out on a limb here and looking for a better interest rate.

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When I listen to the kind of music that I like, I hear vocals, snare drum, and bass. Guitars and keyboards are in the background.

 

When a car goes by in my neighborhood, I hear bass and drums.

 

When I get on the bandstand, it's hard for me to believe that the guitarists and keyboardists have ever heard a recording. As far as I am concerned, they are totally out of balance.

 

And I have heard the quote too, usually from conductors of big bands who are still listening to their old Basie records.

 

I would like the bass to be felt too, I think I'll go back and buy some Cerwin-Vega cabinets like I had in the 70's.

 

Forget this hi-tech gear where you can actually hear the notes, let's make 'em feel the notes.

 

Play the whole night through a dbx subharmonic synthesizer. I quote from the dbx website:

PUT THE BEAT BACK INTO THE MUSIC. The 120XP's patented subharmonic synthesis process actually builds the synthesized waveform using the waveshape of the original bass material. Unlike other attempts at bass synthesis, the dbx process produces smooth, musical low frequencies that don't interfere with mid and high-band information, even when maximum synthesis and boost are applied. The result is a low-end punch that people really feel, even at system levels that won't destroy sound equipment or damage hearing.

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Originally posted by jeremyc:

When a car goes by in my neighborhood, I hear bass and drums.

 

And here I thought I was the only one who did that...

RobT

 

Famous Musical Quotes: "I would rather play Chiquita Banana and have my swimming pool than play Bach and starve" - Xavier Cugat

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As both a guitarist and bassist, I see this topic in a different perspective....

 

When I play bass in my "brit-pop" style band, I'm not necessarily trying to be "heard," but I make sure that the bass occupies its own unique space in the music. I want to support the songs without necessarily making audience members aware the bass is the instrument filling things out. So, in a sense, I could see this is making the bass felt rather than heard.

 

However, in my metal/hardcore band (where I play guitar), I want the bass to be overtly noticeable. I want it to fill things out and cut through the guitar, although we still strive for the overall impression of fullness without the instruments necessarily betraying themselves. So, I guess, in that case, I want the bass to be heard rather than felt.

 

I guess the real key to this whole topic is finding the balance between "hearing" and "feeling." It's a Zen thing.

\m/

Erik

"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

--Sun Tzu

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I actually heared that quote while playing bass at my church, too! In the "church" context they mean that the bass shouldn't shine through, it shouldn't stand out, they mean it should be supportive and not interfere with the song/songs. They told me to turn my amp down. Of course they told me this and when they weren't looking, I turned it up a lot :D

 

JDL-peace

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As a sax player back in the day it always bugged me if I couldn't hear lots of bass. Partly for the changes, but mostly just because I've always loved the sound and sensibilities of a bass line. Rhythm, melody, harmonic control - what's not to like?

 

In a couple of the big band [semi?]jazz groups I played in, and in many I've heard, I usually prefered a standup - even if he didn't have much for reinforcement. Because the alternative was usually someone who could play the heck out of their electric but had a poor feel for the material and a tone that just didn't fit.

 

...Actually it was a tone I don't think fit any musical style well: generic, flaccid, devoid of elegance or percussive drive, mostly mids.

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I'm with CMDN. I took the "felt" comment in the musical rather than physical sense. If Furay meant it physically, then I'll buy a RumbleSeat (EA?).

 

I often "feel" where to play and fill. It's what makes it all worthwhile.

 

And dbb, I agree that the mission is to play good music where people can participate. There is a church nearby with a paid band, and they are excellent. But the vocals are not straight forward (lots of changes in timing, etc.). You can't join in. Takes good direction and vision whether your band is paid or not. It's just easier to fire people when they are paid :eek:

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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