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Vocalists/ Bassists


Timothy Lyons

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Help!

 

I've taken up vocal duties in my band, but I have difficulty singing AND playing bass simultaneously. I can play well with slurred vocals or I can sing well playing only simple riffs.

 

I've heard it's easier to play guitar while singing than bass because of less / more consistant hand movement. Is this true? In this case I may end up finding a new bassist and playing my seven string.

 

Any recommendations to learning to play bass and sing well?

\m/ Timothy Lyons
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Yes, Timothy, I do have some tips, being a singing bassist as I am.

About your question, I think actually bass might be easier, if the line is easier. I don't know how different singing for guitar would be, but I sure do have some tips for play bass and singing.

Ok, first of all, you should start analyzing the bass lines you have first. If you cannot play those and talk the words at the same time, they need to be dulled out, to make vocals easier.

Second, you need to anlyze the talent you will need to sing the part. If the part isn't too tough to sing too, then your bass lines may stay as they are.

Third, you now have to practice alone, by yourself, away from your band practicing playing the bass line, then singing, then both at the same time. This will help you if you need to break donw the song, later, in rehearsal.

Trust me, there is not a worse feeling in the world then not being confident enough to play bass and sing at the same time before a gig.

Also, keep telling your self that you can do it and be confident.

I wouldn't switch to guitar, if I were you. I don't see the need in that.

Sing the vocals in the shower.

When you're the singer, and the bassist, it is only opposite roles, so you have to be creative.

The bassist-cliche is that he/she is the backround person, definitly not the frontman.

The singer-cliche is that this person/persons are very confident and are the lead person, usually the eye out of the group.

So, you are taking on two different roles.

Your lines may have to use the root note to help you sing.

I've found that singing takes about 35% of my ability to play my original lines, and impares your ability to do complex lines. Of course, if you practiced everyday, doing both, you could do it.

 

If you need anymore advice, then ask, please.

 

JDL,

peace

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Originally posted by JDL:

The bassist-cliche is that he/she is the backround person, definitly not the frontman.

i totally disagree with that. there's a few idiots who think that, but most would agree that the bassist is a vital role in a band. definately the drummer, voccalist and bassist himself.

if we look through each era of music we find at least one legendary bassist/vocalist, who's changed the face of music.

60s - paul mccartney

70s - roger waters

80s - gene simmonds

and well after that there's heaps of the bastards. maybe some day one of us.

 

bassists aren't a background person, in most bands i see [usually rock/metal/punk] the bassist is almost always the one jumping around, getting right into it more than anyone else.

- roses on your breath but graveyards on your soul -
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Originally posted by sheX:

Originally posted by JDL:

The bassist-cliche is that he/she is the backround person, definitly not the frontman.

i totally disagree with that. there's a few idiots who think that, but most would agree that the bassist is a vital role in a band. definately the drummer, voccalist and bassist himself.

if we look through each era of music we find at least one legendary bassist/vocalist, who's changed the face of music.

60s - paul mccartney

70s - roger waters

80s - gene simmonds

and well after that there's heaps of the bastards. maybe some day one of us.

 

bassists aren't a background person, in most bands i see [usually rock/metal/punk] the bassist is almost always the one jumping around, getting right into it more than anyone else.

OK, shex, you read me ALL WRONG. I said THE CLICHE, that means what some/most people's perception of them are. It's not actually what they are, OK? You think that I think that about bassists when I am one? No duh it is a vital role!! Where did I say it wasn't?!

Well, you see differently than I do, because the bassists around here aren't always jumping around. O, I forgot, we see one person each era, well we aren't talking about who was a famous bassist/singer are we? Did Timothy need to know that? Maybe he did, but I don't think thats gonna help him play better. How about, instead of taking me out of context and dissagreeing, how about you try and help Timothy.

Are you calling me an idiot?

 

JDL,

is mad today

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No worries

 

I originally picked up the bassist because I was shy yet supportive, I've always been one to strongly support a group without fronting it, the mastermind if you will. I've also always been the one to step up under pressure and certainly took up the vocals mainly for this purpose. I have no problem playing bass and singing backup vocals if that. I just feel good when I'm supporting something good.

 

I'm just looking for a few tips of advice to make it a lot easier. My thought about rhythm guitar was like Godsmack: Sully plays guitar in songs that require two guitars, and either swings it around back or takes it off for songs that only require one. Any comments?

\m/ Timothy Lyons
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If Geddy Lee, Sting, and Les Claypool can sing while playing some of their lines, we all ought to be able to find a way to do it. (Yes, I understand that we are not all a pack of Geddys, Stings, and Lesses, but you can get my exaggerrated point, right? ;):D:thu: ) And, oh yeah, what about the dude from Night Ranger?

 

Timothy, try doing a "search" on the LDL forum (upper right of the screen). We've covered this topic before, and you'll see some great tips. JDL has hit on some really good stuff, though. Breaking down each part, knowing each cold, putting 'em together. Sometimes even writing them out can help so that you can see how the two line up (or don't!).

 

Practice is key.

 

Good luck.

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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When people listen to a band, one of the first things they hear is the vocalist. I am also a singing bassist and I find that I really need to concentrate on the singing part to get it right. Now, if you are a great singer, and can sing the song with no sweat, then work on the bass lines. But if you're like me, I work hard on the vocals, and play as much as I can to support the song. Then during the solos :eek: , you can kick back and play the bass.

 

The backup bass player, or you playing rhythm guitar are both viable options, depending on the band and the type of material you are doing. I usually play in a jazz trio, so I just can't put the bass down :D

 

Keep on pluckin'

I'm trying to think but nuthin' happens....
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I'm not the primary singer in my band but I sing a few songs here and there. The key for me is memorization of both parts. Memorize the words and the bass lines so their close to second nature. If I'm still having problems then I'll simplify the bass line a bit for the parts that are giving me trouble.

 

Then there is the credo practice makes perfect. You might not get it the first few times through but as you do it more and more you'll get better. Sometimes I'll run through the same song 2-3 times in practice just to get it straight. Then I'm fine.

 

Happy singing!!

Double Posting since March 2002

Random Post Generator #26797

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The answer to this question is the same as the one about getting to Carnegie Hall:

PRACTICE.

 

That's all there is to it. You have to practice both parts (bass & vocal) until you can do them at the same time without f'ing up either one.

 

As far as bassists to check out on this one... one word for y'all:

Lemmy.

 

BTW, try singing "God Of Thunder" or "Cold Gin" while playing them and see how cool you fucking are... You might gain a new respect for Gene. He might be an asshole, but he had something happening.

\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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Oh yeah, just for the fun of it I've gotta throw out one more name in that bassist/singer category -- Richard Bona. One of the finest voices I've ever heard and he smokes on the bass. He sings over some very funky and rhythmic lines.

 

I've preached his musicianship in past threads, but I could never give him enough props for his fine bass playing, singing, acoustic guitar and percussion work.

 

Peace.

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been doing both for years. But, the playing part had to become second nature to me, before I could pull off the singing. Lots of folks have said the key is "practice". I would certainly agree. Even now, if it is a new and somewhat difficult bass part, I have to get comfortable with that before adding the voice. And, be it right or not, in the past, there have been some songs that I sang where I "had" to use a pick to play the part.

BW@

My family "coat of arms" buckles in the back. Is that normal?
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