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The top eleven most annoying things about gee-TAR solos


Dan South

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I see these guys playing box solos waving there heads around jumping like ballerinas (only less gracefully) cranking their amps....you can just about here the shouts of "look at me LOOK AT ME!!". I've always been a fan of bassists ever since I saw some footage of Led Zep live, and theres JPJ just laying it out. He was such a huge part of their sound, his bass lines made the music so much better.

 

And yet, they over looked him when they did the page/plant reunion. Bah!!

 

Look at Toni Levin. I saw him with Peter G. here in town not too long ago and he just moves a little, but he's laying it down.

 

Yes, quiet power. Thats why I like the bass. People don't really know that its the reason they're shaking their ghetto booties on the dance floor, but they sure do look up funny and look around when the bass stops.

Check out my work in progress.
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leaves the kazoo players.

I actually played bass and kazoo in my last band.. well, mostly bass.. the kazoo was just on a Zappa tune!

"You look hopefully for an idea and then you're humble when you find it and you wish your skills were better. To have even a half-baked touch of creativity is an honor."

-- Ernie Stires, composer

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I think I've been diggin' good doghouse soloists since around Slam Stewart. Oh, and Harvie Swartz IN A DIFFERENT LIGHT is on my CD player right now. Cut after cut in trios with leading-edge jazz guitarists, I'm hearing BASS solos. GOOD bass solos.

 

It's the player (and leadership) that shows where the real limitations lie. And as I said in the thread over at KEYBOARD, good accompaniment helps immensely. I might add that it also helps in the development of a soloist.

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I'm willing to take it further. A few gigs ago I played a sub gig. We announced ourselves at the start of the two nights as THREE GUYS WHO JUST MET. Because we had never seen each other before setup on the first night. No exchange of setlists, and in fact the guitarist was up here from the south on vacation.

 

After we rolled a few easy ones out (half of which I had actually heard on the radio at one point) we each had established a good idea of what the others where about. The drummer was dynamite with a fairly busy but rock solid rock style, and could deal with funk and R&B of several periods, no problem. He also knew I liked to get busy at least part of the time and we easyily accomodated each other.

 

The revelation for me was the guitarist. Once he saw that I liked to play with extending things, could deal with material he was familiar with, he starts setting me up for solos, even announcing them. Once I realize this guy is willing to trade off, I stay near my V-Bass at least part of the time so I can kick on distortion, overdrive or volume boost as needed.

 

Hell, he was so encouraging but in a seamless fashion that even to us it almost seemed as if we had prearranged all this. It gave me a very good opportunity, to realy work out some fretless lyricism and melodic restatement, tap, chord, single-string above my own pedaling on open strings, and use various hand techniques - at ROCK volumes usually, with just as much full accompaniment as he would getr during his solos usually. Sometimes it was just a bass and drum thing - and we two had a great time turning some of these into drum solos with bass interjections. But often, the gutarist was riffing comping, and even using these bass solos for call-and-response later in the night. We even traded fours.

 

And dig it: because of the attitude, I was playing solos that connected - not only for me, but for the other guys and the audience! We went over bigtime, and I got a real taste of what it is like to groove while also soloing, and using my V-Bass as a tool to help that groove live while also being able to keep a solo voice happening that worked with full comping going on from the other two.

 

It was sure cool to see us standing on each others' shoulders and just getting taller and taller as a group. I know - because the audience told us so in no uncertain terms. In general, those were two nights to remember!

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As both a guitarist AND a bassist, I can tell ya something about guitar solos...

 

Guitar solos are a privilege, not a right.

Just like spandex.

 

However, if you're playing guitar or bass in a rock band, yer probably gonna either have to play 'em or support 'em at some point.

 

As a bassist, I don't mind guitar solos much... as long as they're in the song for a good reason and don't last 300 years. I hate those "vanity" solos, and I refuse to support them. Luckily, the band where I play bass features a guitarist with very good taste... His solos are sensible, melodic and fit the song. In other words, he plays for the music, not himself.

 

You're there to serve the music, not the other way around - that's the key to being a musician (of any kind) anyway, right?

 

When I play guitar, I keep this in mind. Not every song requires a guitar solo. I have tried to remind other guitarists of this... Nobody's gonna forget you're there just because you're not standing up in front making an "O" face and going "weedly-weedly-wee-wicky-wicky-woo" as fast as you can. Some people might even notice you MORE if you make the music sound good.

 

Of course, it also helps if you're devastatingly handsome and DEAD sexayyy like me.

\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 much prefer gigs WITH guitar solos and "songs" without hooks, ensemble interplay, or dynamics... to those WITHOUT guitar solos, but still featuring verse/chorus redundancy and no hooks, ensemble interplay, or dynamics ; }
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Generalities are so general... hope my thinking doesn't ever become too formulated and set about any of this crap. Then I can hear all kinds of exceptions and won't need to relegate my listening or my approach too much.
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Come now, GB, you know if you say you don't like something you're not allowed to enjoy it! ;-)

 

But... in general, distorted guitar makes a great solo instrument for rock and roll. I dig. Not to say different things can't be nice here and there. What makes those different things nice is the fact that they are DIFFERENT, eh?

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Originally posted by   :

I think I've been diggin' good doghouse soloists since around Slam Stewart. Oh, and Harvie Swartz IN A DIFFERENT LIGHT is on my CD player right now. Cut after cut in trios with leading-edge jazz guitarists, I'm hearing BASS solos. GOOD bass solos.

 

It's the player (and leadership) that shows where the real limitations lie. And as I said in the thread over at KEYBOARD, good accompaniment helps immensely. I might add that it also helps in the development of a soloist.

Thank YOU, sir! Someone else on this bizarro dimension has heard of Slam Stewart. And once a long time ago I got to sit about 10 feet away from two sets by Ron Carter and his quartet. Not to mention seeing what Stanley Clarke and John Patitucchi could do on standup, and I'm not particularly big fans of theirs.

 

A solo's merely an interpretation of what the player hears in the piece; it's not meant to carry the dynamic range or the polyphonics that a keyboardist or a guitarist can bring to the solo. You might as well slam all drum solos because they're not in tune with the medly.

 

I must've died and gone to music hell...

oh, well, at least I'm in good company here.

:D

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Fred the bass player : Thank YOU, sir! Someone else on this bizarro dimension has heard of Slam Stewart.
I understand - though I haven't researched it - that Slam also was using FIFTHS tuning for much of his career (and isn't it amazing how well he hung with Charlie Parker? Some of those recordings have arco bass tone out the whazzoo!). Since I have used fifths tuning on my electric fretless Six, I checked out Joel Quarrington when researching for what tuning I might pick. Anyway, Slam should be mentioned when other gods of the big 'house are mentioned.

 

And once a long time ago I got to sit about 10 feet away from two sets by Ron Carter and his quartet.
Amazing! And another guy with the big arco. As a former bari sax guy I really dug the bow use by some of the upright players. Way more dynamic than some would suppose... I'm still in love with some of his CTI stuff too.

 

Not to mention seeing what Stanley Clarke and John Patitucchi could do on standup, and I'm not particularly big fans of theirs.
Stanley's first few solo albums, and his work with Corea, Purim, Airto, Farrel on RETURN TO FOREVER is perhaps unparalled. When I relisten to these it is easy to remember why I was once such a huge fan of the man. I wouldn't count him out just yet ; }

 

A solo's merely an interpretation of what the player hears in the piece; it's not meant to carry the dynamic range or the polyphonics that a keyboardist or a guitarist can bring to the solo.
Honestly though, today more than ever, it IS possible. I seem to have heard recordings of guys even way back when using multiple stops, pedaling on open strings, bowing interspersed with pizz, etc. - not to mention all the thumpy rhythmic devices employed especially by rockabilly and shockabilly players. Just talking about this also reminds me of Charlie Haden in Ornette days, and later.

 

And I've heard tell that there are these things called microphones, pickups, and amplifiers that can work wonders for volume inequities! ; } ..There's many ways to apporach it though, and the classic jazz bass solo has plenty of ghood examples of both the solo, and the accompaniment work from other great musicians.

 

I must've died and gone to music hell...

oh, well, at least I'm in good company here.

[big Grin]

People that like music, LIKE MUSIC ; } ...Not just lifestyle wallpaper; it has many voices, right? : }
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George Harrison was one of the best guitar soloists ever, not because of chops or flash, but because every note that he played was intergral to the songs.

 

You can "sing" most of George's solos. Singable solos are good! Singable solos indicate absense of wanking.

 

:thu:

The Black Knight always triumphs!

 

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Originally posted by forceman:

Well, as expected, the posts were all over the map.

 

My personal opinion?

 

Acoustic bass generally is NOT a solo instrument.

 

HOWEVER,Scott LaFaro, Ron Carter, Jimmy Blanton, or Charles Mingus might be some exceptions..

I want to CLARIFY something here: I though the thread (branch) referred only to Jazz URB solos. Perhaps I misread or misinterpreted (very possible)

 

I really dig bass solos from many bassist, most notable Pino, Vic, Tony Levin, Marcus Miller, Jaco, and others.

Steve Force,

Durham, North Carolina

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My Professional Websites

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I, http://ilprigioniero.20m.com/grafica/badge6_.gif, do solemnly swear an oath on Russell Garcia's THE PROFESSIONAL ARRANGER COMPOSER, to veer topics upwards under sideways and down to the best of my ability as I see fit, respecting no arbitrary and senseless boundaries that keep the understanding of art and craft of music from being fully explored.

 

Amen ; }

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I have no problems with guitar solos and there are places where a good long one works too (or a Crossroads-type jam).

 

As far as bass solos go I think the bass is like the drums. You don't need a drum solo on every song but at doesn't hurt to let the drummer (or bassist) have their few minutes in the spotlight with a good solo.

 

In the Santana tribute band I was in I would do a solo at the end of Evil Ways (the up tempo jam) and it fit real well the drums and percussion would just keep going and the guitarist and keyboard player would pick up shakers to add to the rhythm.

Will play bass for food.
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I used to tire of overlong solos. In my current band, where we do lots of Allmans and some Govt Mule interpretations, the solos can get long. So far, they have mostly impressed me and I've enjoyed them. Same is true for the keyboard player, who does his best work on his organ patch.

 

At the end of Black Magic Woman, we extend out the end so the drummer and percussionist can trade off for a while. The audience enjoys that - especially the percussionist, who hits all kinds of thingys...

 

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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In general, if the guitar solo sounds like it belongs to the song, and one hasn't visually aged by the time it is done ...

 

What about drum solos? No mention of the infamous 12 minutes that Iron Butterfly used to make time stand still?

 

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn

 

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Originally posted by Tom Capasso:

At the end of Black Magic Woman, we extend out the end so the drummer and percussionist can trade off for a while. The audience enjoys that - especially the percussionist, who hits all kinds of thingys...

 

Tom

The great thing about the band I was in was the drummer also had timbales as part of his drumset so we actually had 2 percussionists. Awesome Latin rhythms.
Will play bass for food.
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