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Two basses in a band


Swed_bass

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I had to pause my watching of the DVD "Lennon Legend" to write this message. I´ve watched it halfway but can´t stop thinking of what I saw in the track "Instant Karma (We all shine on)". Two bassists playing simultaniously. Well, it appeared to me that the guy with the blue Telecaster-head P-bass was rather performing some kind of jungledrum slapping with his right hand but I did see the left hand fingers move on the frets.

 

Does anybody have experience, or know of, bands with two regular bassplayers? I think that the time would be right today, with all this solo-bassing happening.

 

Imagine there were bands,

with a lead bass

and a rhythm bass.

Imagine there were bands,

with merely one guitar.

...

 

:-D

What ever...
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There is such a band. Not doing too much lately, but they do play some shows around Christmas time every year (just saw them last weekend).

 

They're called Neds Atomic Dustbin. 90's British Indie band with two bass players and one guitarist. Check them out, they rock!

EB MusicMan SR4 (x2)

Fender 60th USA Precision

MarkBass LM II

MarkBass 151P

 

www.myspace.com/farcrymusic

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There's been a few even before ERBers starting coming into the picture. Still are. Now a lot of the ERBers are working this way. Michael Manring has been working with Yves Carbonnes lately ferinstance - and many years ago he worked with Seattle's Sadhappy, whose bassist Paul Hinklin was very adept at unconventional altrock approaches thanks to Sadhappy's substitution of a sax/electronics guy - Skerik - in place of an electic guitar.
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Here's one Mimi mentioned on bunnybass years ago:

 

http://www.switchbladekittens.com/html/bio/Bio_files/group.jpg

 

Switchblade Kittens

 

"Switchblade Kittens is a three girl, two guy band with 4 bass players and a vocalist. It was actually, Drama, the singer who came up with the concept of an all bass band after a bad band break-up with the former lead guitarist in her last band.

 

"I just thought, I can't take one more band where the lead guitarist feels that because she plays guitar, her guitar should dominate the whole band in every song. It is like the whole ego problem is attached to the 'lead guitarist' label," stated Drama."

 

* * *

 

One of the mentioned bassists is actually playing drums but is considered an honorary bassist because this person is not playing a guitar ; }

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This is my all-time favorite quote on bass duets.

 

Phil Lesh (who was the bassist for the Grateful Dead) said the following:

 

"I did a bass duet with Mike Gordon when I sat in with Phish. I generally abhor bass duets, but it was marvelous - it was actually beautiful...we just played it by ear. He knows how to get out of my way, and I know how to get out of his. It was like two hippopotami humping!"

 

-- Phil Lesh, June 2000 Bass Player Magazine

 

:D:D:D

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Mike Watt (Minutemen/fIREHOSe) and Kira Roessler (Black Flag) were in a band called Dos for a while. Two basses, no waiting.

 

There was also a great band from Boston called Honeyglazed that had no guitars or synths... just two basses, a drummer and two singers. Pretty cool.

\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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There are more too; I'm almost sure some people here could name a few. Even back in the new wave days I think I saw a couple.

 

And then, in the grunge days there was a band in Seattle with some name like Bass'd or something, I saw them a couple times. The first time, when they opened for the Posies, there were two bass guys with 2 810-sized stacks apiece, and a drummer. They started out insistently dirgey, all kinds of slides, unisons turning into bends that made beats of their own against the drum foundation - all kinds of bass-centric huge low stuff going on. Around 15 minutes into the extended song (had form) I started hearing echoey stuff on top of that, softly weaving its way above the girth.

 

Well, hell - they had a GUITAR PLAYER hidden behind those stacks, sitting in a chair! The entire club was wowsers on the revelation and the cool unorthodox musical approach leading up to it! They are probably one reason I took up bass and think there is plenty more low frequency coolness to be explored!

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Originally posted by greenboy:

JeremyC and former moderator Wally Malone were doing a group with three bassists and drums, if I recall. This was done with players switching off between chording, melodies, and bass lines.

I would really like to hear some of that, if someone would have the kindness to post something. If there were ever a band with 3 bassists, that's the way to do it. I can envision a really good show where there's 3 great bands and the headliner is the 3 Bassists doing their thing.

"The world will still be turning when you've gone." - Black Sabbath

 

Band site: www.finespunmusic.com

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I did a few free jazz (as in improvised) gigs with two basses. Usually with myself and a double bassist. Often he or she would play low lines while I played high broken chords and fractured melodies. Sometimes I would play lower while he/she played higher (sorry for all this he/she business only sometimes it was a man - sometimes a woman playing double bass). Sometimes we worked fine in similar ranges also.

 

Naturally, we were very aware of the sounds/tomes that we produced and how it worked as a whole.

 

In experimental jazz, the two bass line up has quite a history. The record, Free Jazz itself is a classic 2-bass album. Check out a number of recordings by John Coltrane (including Africa Brass, Ascension) who used it effectively. Ornette Coleman has used two basses well in acoustic and electric bands but the electric Prime Time used it a lot. Check out some of Ronald Shannon Jackson's work as well with versions of Decoding Society.

There were a few Motown sessions with two basses (see the book, 'Standing in the Shadows' but these did not usually prove efective and, apparently, little was released.

OT:

Here is a recording of a six bass arrangement of Mingus' Vasser Lean. Steve Swallow apparently did a 4 bass version but Ed Lucie arranged the linked version for graduating bass students of the LA Music Academy (some of whom I got to pend some time with).

 

See this page for track details

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Hi Guys, and thanks for the input, of which all was interesting and awarding. Again, I learned some new things and terms here, and I hope that some other readers did that as well. I´ve got to bookmark this thread so that I can explore the different bands pointed out by you whenever I get an opening. My goal is to find a few local amateurmusicians to get together with an a couple of months. Who knows, maybe I´ll look for a drummer and a couple of bassplayers :-) I´m not sure that it´s been done up here before.
What ever...
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I've done a lot of stuff with two or three bassists - with Michael Manring, David Friesen, John Lester, Trip Wamsley, Dudley Philips... Duetting with Michael Manring is probably my favourite gigging configuration, given the range of sound the two of us can squeeze from a couple of basses, and how well michael listens. Lots of fun to be had with many bassists.

 

And of course, the big daddy of all bass ensembles has to be Dave Pomeroy's All-Bass Orchestra!

 

cheers,

 

Steve

www.stevelawson.net

www.recyclecollective.com

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Originally posted by CMDN:

Mike Watt (Minutemen/fIREHOSe) and Kira Roessler (Black Flag) were in a band called Dos for a while. Two basses, no waiting.

About 10 years ago, I´d read in BP Mike Watt was preparing a recording with Flea and Les Claypool. I don´t remember the name, "TRes" or "TRes Hombres"
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The three bass band that Jeremy and I played with is Bassed on Jazz . When I took the trustee position in Reno I didn't have enough time to hustle gigs for the band so the last two years we haven't performed. I'm sure if a gig came through we could do some individual shedding and have a run over rehearsal and put it back out there.

 

Wally

I have basses to play, places to be and good music to make!
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Godspeed You! Black Emperor use two basses and a cello. That's a LOT of low end.

 

http://img.verycd.com/posts/0509/post-234026-1127341762.jpg

 

http://www.killwhat.com/images/interviews/gsybe_intro.jpg

 

http://www.rarevinyl.net/images/img/indie02_05.jpg

 

Check them out. They may change your ideas about what's possible using "traditional" rock instruments.

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knuckle_head: There's a Seattle band called Wormwood that has at least two bassist
http://www.wormwood.armrecords.com/

 

I was trying to see if there was a connection between them and the 2Bass Seattle band I saw so long ago. That group rocked as hard as any other Seattle bands of the day but what still reverberates for me was its uncanny use of low frequency sonic sculpture. For them it wasn't just cut-and-dried lines, grooves, and melodies. They could redefine the game entirely!

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