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filling the void during a solo


chewstermaniac

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Since I play in a 3 instrument band, there are times while during some solo's that I feel I'm not filling the sound out like I should be.

 

I'm going to be getting a newer amp in 8 or 9 months (with foot switch that will be able to boost sound levels) so I don't want to spend a fortune, but I need some ideas on boosting my sound level or some effect that isn't too crazy that will help fill the void that's left when the guitarist takes lead and leaves a void. Its not happening on all of the songs but it is happening and I'd like it to stop

 

I was thinking of an octave pedal or something along those lines that are affordable and may still be usefull when I get the new peice of gear.

 

Suggestions?

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Why not play chords or a busier part. Listen to a live version of Rush's "Fly by Night" to hear a song where the absence of the rhythm guitar part is completely irrelevant because of the excellent, frequency-filling bassline.

 

If not, you should try a Digitech Whammy. Or one of the rack harmonizers. I don't think a simple octave is going to do what you are looking to do.

 

But really, before you put something under your feet, try the thing under your fingers. :D

"For instance" is not proof.

 

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A little dirt added to your signal always helps and remember, stay low, no one else can fill like a bottom dwelling bass. Check out Timmy C on the AudioSlave album for a good example of this.

You can stop now -jeremyc

STOP QUOTING EVERY THING I SAY!!! -Bass_god_offspring

lug, you should add that statement to you signature.-Tenstrum

I'm not sure any argument can top lug's. - Sweet Willie

 

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Originally posted by Plan 09 from Outer Space:

 

But really, before you put something under your feet, try the thing under your fingers. :D

This is a good line.

 

Dig the avatar greatly, btw.

"He's dead. Murdered. And someone's responsible."

 

To point, I am also in a 3 piece at the moment. Generally, I fall somewhere in between lug and plan zed-9ster.

Play bass, fill out the tune melodically and dynamically without stepping on toes, and keep it going.

You shouldn't have to buy anything at all.

 

Peace,

 

wraub

 

I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.

 

 

 

 

 

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An octave pedal might help sometimes...but "filling the void" has more to do with what you're playing than how you color your sound.

 

Try playing fills that answer phrases in his guitar part.

 

Try playing double stops (tenths often work quite well) that outline the changes. Let the top note ring out while keeping the rhythm going on the bottom.

 

Listen to the records Jeremy suggested for ideas. Try to steal some of Bruce and Entwistle's ideas and use them in your tunes (in ways that make sense).

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Similar situation for me tonight. I rarely solo. Tonight's gig I get 2 measures of 'Crossroads' to call my own. In the past I would use a Morley volume/Bass booster for a controlled boost, or an envelope filter. Tonight, it's just my j-bass vs 3 guitars, sax, and harmonica. In rehearsal I give em all the 'bring it down' sign; they usually comply and I'll just riff it.

 

Check out Jack Bruce's solo on Frank Zappa's 'Apostrophe' - fuzzy fun.

 

Or Greg Lake on the Original Pictures at an Exhibition : Hut of Baba Yaga (underrated)

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Originally posted by BenLoy:

Try playing double stops (tenths often work quite well) that outline the changes. Let the top note ring out while keeping the rhythm going on the bottom.

I second the addition of "thirds." :cool: I'll even go along with callin' 'em tenths, 'cuz you wanna move 'em up at least the next octave from your root.

 

But this does an amazingly cool job of suggesting the chords in addition to the bottom line. Just pay attention to the correct major or minor "tenth." ;) Fattens things up nicely without the groove loss that so often happens when bass players (or anybody, really) get "busy."

band link: bluepearlband.com

music, lessons, gig schedules at dennyf.com

 

STURGEON'S LAW --98% of everything is bullshit.

 

My Unitarian Jihad Name is: The Jackhammer of Love and Mercy.

Get yours.

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Depending on the style of tune, POWER CHORDS beat the holy crap out of thirds. Obviously it also helps to have overdrive/distortion [layered with cleaner tone even) since this will usually be a stlye that is about puttingit to the wall.

 

I also use dominant sevenths, and occasionally move the top voice between 9th and appropriate 3rd, or minor and major 3rd in bluesy stuff. Or sus to 3rd, etc.

 

Parallel Octave CAN be good whether from a pedal or from the hands; so can multicourse bass. I often place octaves with the root or chosen note in some parts of the phrase, add fiths elsewhere, thirds where their sweetness doesn't conflict with the tunes' vibe, and thus get a more varied texture that is more reminiscient of the way chord voicings for changes on the guitar can change. I often just want to supply two notes because

 

(a) I play fretless and sometimes three is difficult depending on what they are

 

(b) I want to keep the real bass (or its altered version) part moving and functioning properly as a BASS part, not just play comped BLOCK chords

 

© It's cool to have some indepence of line for each layer, so I may be needing the fingers to move the lower part of the line while the upper note rings out for awhile or vice versa. If you are in an open key some interjections of open string and of harmonics in one of the two layers can be tasty.

 

...Also it's easy enough to extend the idea that slapping was originally about: playing notes in one range more where the kick drum is placed, play notes in a higher range where the snare (and maybe some tom hits) can be placed. It doesn't need to sound "slap-happy" to be effective. It's more like interjections from another player or something.

 

Finally, have big tone. Then you can play fills up the neck without feeling that the bottom has dropped out. (You can sometimes also be pedaling on an open string or two as well while doing it). Here too, a suboctave can help. But it isn't a requirement. Just listen to some of the rock playing of the early seventies (or some reggae) to hear real full tones way up past the twelth fret. Plenty of low mids and bass there...

.
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wow, thanks!

 

Some excellent suggestions. I would rather use technique over an effect, as effects may only be appropriate on the occasional song.

 

Chording sounds like a wonder, yet simple idea, just so happens i've been playing around with chords lately (due a previous post witnessed here) so it would be really nice to put some of that woodshedding to use.

 

Some excellent suggestions on the music to listen too, just so happens today is payday, i may just run to the music store.

 

Thanks again.

 

some of the techniques mentioned are things i've not heard of, or don't know by that name....i'll have to ask some more in a more appropriate thread ;)

Check out my work in progress.
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Originally posted by jeremyc:

I know I'm talking about the good old days,

but you could listen to Live at Leeds and hear what is possible.

Wheels of Fire by Cream would be another good example.

 

Tommy Shannon seemed to do ok when playing with Stevie Ray Vaughan

Yes. I just listened to Live at Leeds again yesterday. I'll also second the JPJ stuff on Led Zeppelin's How The West Was Won. All excellent examples of what the bass player can do when guitar-boy goes soloing.
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When it comes to recordings, LIVE is always a better indication of reality for a three piece. Even on some fairly back-to-roots meat and potatos recordings there are subtle or not so subtle overdubs going on.
.
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I second the addition of "thirds." I'll even go along with callin' 'em tenths, 'cuz you wanna move 'em up at least the next octave from your root.
When did calling an interval by its name become a strange thing?

 

I guess some crazy man must've filled up all the fakebooks I've seen with intervals like "ninths" or "thirteenths". Why didn't he just refer to them as seconds and sixths? :rolleyes:

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I don't remember what type of music you are playing.

 

An effect or boost can help a bit. Search for past distortion pedal threads. The key is that they need the ability to "just a little" edge.

 

Filling by playing the right bass part is best. Depending on the music, it can be challenging to get it right.

 

I also love stuff by Entwistle and Bruce (I just now finished listening to Best Of Cream - so great). Over time you and the lead instrument will grow together and compliment each other. This is better than you playing roots and them blowing wild.

 

Enjoy!

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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On a 4 or 5 string, you can get a lot of fill from the 11th-16th frets while keeping a rhythm going on the open string below. That gives you thirds, fourths, fifths, and sixths an octave up. If you catch the 14th fret on the next string up, you have double octave with busy fill in the middle.... fills in a lot of space.

 

(or...you could get a 6-string.... ) :idea::D:freak:

 

Tommy

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want to boost your signal eh??

 

well, here is the perfect pedal;

 

MXR Micro Amp

 

i recently bought one to use for my effects chain (signal drop off). it adds a preset amount of Gain to your signal, without adding any effects to it. it's highly effective, and only costs 74.00 at Musictoyz.com

 

i highly suggest this pedal. http://musictoyz.com/images/gif/mxrmicroamp.gif

 

:D

-BGO

 

5 words you should live by...

 

Music is its own reward

 

---------------

My Band: www.Myspace.com/audreyisanarcissist

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BGO, I have that pedal from umpteen gazillion years ago. It was great at putting high and ultra high impedance sources into a signal chain and buffering them. It'll juice a passive bass or a low output ultra-Z piezo bass well. I used it for saxes that I drilled the neck crooks and placed piezos into. But it also got used in the studio occasionally for basses, etc. The spec was definitely good enough for live use.
.
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Originally posted by BenLoy:

I second the addition of "thirds." I'll even go along with callin' 'em tenths, 'cuz you wanna move 'em up at least the next octave from your root.
When did calling an interval by its name become a strange thing?

 

I guess some crazy man must've filled up all the fakebooks I've seen with intervals like "ninths" or "thirteenths". Why didn't he just refer to them as seconds and sixths? :rolleyes:

Because they're extensions, and the 7th is implied. If there's no 7th, then they are add9 (or sus2 if there's no third) and 6 chords, no matter what octave they're in.

 

But you're right, when you're only talking about two notes, the true interval name is fine. But as soon as you get into chords (which was the assumption I was making in terms of comping), tenths are always thirds in a chord, just as twelfths are always fifths in a chord. And thinking in terms of the third is important 'cuz ya gotta play *minor* third over the ii, iii, vi and dim-vii.

;)

band link: bluepearlband.com

music, lessons, gig schedules at dennyf.com

 

STURGEON'S LAW --98% of everything is bullshit.

 

My Unitarian Jihad Name is: The Jackhammer of Love and Mercy.

Get yours.

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I usually try to come up with a different part or rythm doing a guitar solo. Try some off time stuff as well. And when all else fails...chord it up!

Tenstrum

 

"Paranoid? Probably. But just because you're paranoid doesn't mean there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face."

Harry Dresden, Storm Front

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The references to Live at Leeds and How the West Was Won are perfect. Those are essential recordings for any bassist playing in a power trio situation. Listen to how Entwistle and JPJ move through the chord changes, without stepping on the soloists. That's a tough technique to master!

 

Be careful with using effects to fill up the void. A lot of time, when the average listener hears a "new noise" eminate from one of the instruments, their focus gets shifted to that instrument, and that's not what you want when your guitarist rips into a solo. Ego be damned.

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Just to throw a lil' something contentious in here...

 

There really shouldn't be a noticeable "void" if the guitarist is doing his job correctly.

 

Effects can be fun, and changing your bass line around a bit is also cool sometimes... but there's no substitute for everyone playing the right parts at the same time.

\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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binkyt:The references to Live at Leeds and How the West Was Won are perfect {...} Be careful with using effects to fill up the void. A lot of time, when the average listener hears a "new noise" eminate from one of the instruments, their focus gets shifted to that instrument, and that's not what you want when your guitarist rips into a solo
Good point there... and welkommen! That's why I like the Cream examples every bit as much as the other two. Cream solos - live especially - weren't always solos: they were group improvisations with, arguably, just a slight emphasis on the guitar. It's exciting to hear players who can shine without asking the others to be dull. That was their approach.

 

I think good effects use in the case of making a TRIO sound like more pieces is to have some sense of orchestration, whether just trying to sound like there's still some rhythm guitar there during a guitar solo, or doing something with a little more spin to it. It's not all that uncommon to hear overdub instruments (keyboard pads, background vocalists) etc during at least parts of solos, so THINK like that : } ...Often these extra layers come and go or are introudcued only sporadically. All the elements mentioned in mine and some other posts in this thread don't need to be employed non-stop throughout someone else's solo. Texture and dynamics and contrast are a big part of being effective.

.
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