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Learning tunes that are the polar opposite of your style.


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Not even difficult songs!


I just learned Living in the Past by Jethro Tull.I'm sure most of you older players know this tune.

O.K. here is a complete mindf#*k of a song thats sure to clear the dance floor and leave everybody wondering what kind of drugs we're on.Thats fun sometimes. The hard part isn't even that its in 5. 5 iseasy for me.Its not even really complex.Its just that the high pitched,puzzle of a bassline is SO not what i'm into. I've got it aced now,but I played with the recording so many times that my head hurts.For about 45 minutes. Its got 5 or so high melodies on the bass that you play 3 times over with a different coda. For the most part,I'm really not the type of player or listener that enjoys those high pitched noodly deals. I like to get down into the bottom and propel with the occasional high tweedly deedly when it fits. It drove me nuts. Now I'm nuts.


Anyway,what tunes are the polar opposite of your style that you had to learn. Not complex,but just hard to make yourself do.

My style resembles the part in Kid Charlemagne or like the bass part in The Lemon song where it pushes and pulls and bounces the song around.I love a good feeling root pedal,too.Not this prissy,high pitched melody crap! :D;) What are some parts that are closest to your style where you really can just get in the zone and rock it? Where is your head at?

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Nothing wrong with learning tunes outside your "zone of comfort."


Myself, I just played along with Motley Crue's "Dr. Feelgood" with a pick last night...for no reason at all. :D


Don't tell the fusion police that I found that riff incredibly fun to play. :freak:

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I would classify my style as ranging from classic to modern rock. I've adapted to a number of styles (goth, metal, grundge, punk) that I never started on over the years, but these two examples are curious.


Last night I jammed with my old acoustic blues band (if you're curious about our CD, do a web search on Barrelhouse) whose style is old-time blues and fingerpicking acoustic music. The acoustic guitarist threw a couple new songs at me which I've never heard before, knowing I would figure out what was appropriate to do. Very tricky as I brought a 6-string bass and was primed for the usual rock jams. Little instrumental overkill there, I had to crank down a lot and stick to the roots.


Later that night there was a lady known for taking songs and shifting keys, changing tempos within the song, and making impromptu stops and starts. Most people can't stand jamming with her, but I took on the challenge gladly. Her style was classic folk rock, she did "Angel In The Morning", "Can't Buy Me Love" and "Oh Darling". The drummer and I kept exchanging smiles and encouragements throughout that set. Thanks to us I think she went over well, especially with the other ladies at the bar who sang along. Musically, I'd call this style "seat of the pants" music, when you don't know what someone's about to do to a song.


Fortunately the other night, at another jam, I didn't have to play bass for a lady who sang "I Touch Myself". I don't even dare describe that experience, but one of the players admitted he would've been glad to let me play behind that one.


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But the bandleader ended up complementing me on "copping Phil's style".
I always get the 'flavor' of the bassist for cover songs, but Phils "lack of style" seriously kicks my butt. I still can't emulate his way enough to my satisfaction. I tend to 'normalize' the lines, which doesn't come out like Lesh. Then I try to randomize movements and timing, and I just can't keep a good groove. Way cool to see someone that can, Jeremy.


Yeah, playing outside your style and musical preference is a killer way to gain other insights that can be added into your basswork.

Bassplayers aren't paid to play fast, they're paid to listen fast.
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Originally posted by jeremyc:

I had to play three Grateful Dead songs at a show once.


Ugh. :bor:


But the bandleader ended up complementing me on "copping Phil's style". :confused:


I always thought it was a lack of style. :freak:

I believe thats called "pokin' and hopin'". I hope nobody ever tells me that I sound like Phil Lesh. I'll quit bass and start playing autoharp.
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I remember a impromptu gig a few years ago with this ancient blues guy from Chicago. 1-4-5 right?

Yeah,but he would just change whenever he was done with a phrase when he wanted like John Lee Hooker. It was fun once I got the hang of it. The drummer was really sweatin'.

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Originally posted by BenLoy:

Nothing wrong with learning tunes outside your "zone of comfort."



I totally agree. And usually it doesn't bother me. This particular song drove me insane,though.

I kept wanting to groove it,but you just have to tweedle along because anything else wont work. That guy from Tull. He's a bit of a M.F. Really odd style. We have to learn "The Teacher" too and that has alot of the same type of stuff in it.

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I kept wanting to groove it,but you just have to tweedle along because anything else wont work. - Donut
Yee Gods I know what you are saying. We have an original called Ugly that is a straight pedal in A & G. It goes completely against everything I normally do. I hate it. I always hope it doesn't make the set list and can't restrain myself from saying "I HATE this song!" every time we play it. The singer laughs and the guitar player says "ohhhh Pookie" and I fume the entire time but it is one of our more popular tunes. :mad:

"He is to music what Stevie Wonder is to photography." getz76


I have nothing nice to say so . . .


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I love hearing and playing all styles/genres of music.


Personally, I think every musician should feel this way, but this is just my opinion. YMMV.


If pushed, I would have to say I like jazz the best but am perfectly comfortable in most others.


Notice, I didn't say I could play them WELL, just play them.. :)


(As stated many times here, I am strictly a hobbyist.)

Steve Force,

Durham, North Carolina


My Professional Websites

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I don't hate the song. It'll be fun now that I've got it together,and due to the fact that it was in my head all freakin' night last night. :freak:


Stones songs to. I mean its easy to take a song like "Start Me Up" or "Miss You" and learn the lines and changes and bust through it. But when you try to put a little Wyman in there,look out,because its not easy. Hes just got that weird street style that is super unique to him. The Stones. Wow. They always sound like its all gonna fall right in the pooper at any second but it works and sounds so cool.


Maybe I've been in too many cover bands. :freak:

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