Having a hard time finding a metal bassist locally because of tuning......

Discussion in 'Live Performance & Stage Sound' started by lewis, Jul 24, 2015.

  1. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    Hi guys

    So Ive set up a new band. We are trying to get into the modern progressive side of things. ERG etc. I own an 8 string but as a good compromise I have it in Drop G open with an extra high G. So its basically a 7 string. Sonically it sounds great and string tension is better in this tuning to etc.

    Now we have been advertising for a bassist in our area for months now and are getting nowhere. Some people who have shown interest are instantly put off by "Drop G" being too low for their 4 string basses :scratch: :wallbash:

    Like I dont really know what to do about it. This area is sooooo far behind musically that everyone would rather just play Rammestein and wear shirts with skulls on. Even suggestions of thicker gauges, newer setups, octave pedals etc never go down well and ultimately it puts em off and they opt out. Like I wouldnt even consider Drop G low in this day and age.

    Heck when I first got my 8 I was using Drop Eb open. Anyone have any kind of brain wave/advice for us?. I just dont want to be yet another 6 string band playing metal in this area that went out of style 5 years ago :noplease:

    infuriating.
     
  2. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Life is about compromising. Just tune up a bit, find a good bassist, and maybe after a little time they'll be willing to tune lower.

    You can't expect folks to replace their rigs just for you.

    Also, have you considered buying a bass, setting it up for the tuning you want, and offering to let them use it?
     
  3. JPhoenix19

    JPhoenix19 Playing life by ear

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    What does your band consist of now? Is playing with pre-recorded bass tracks an option?
     
  4. OmegaSlayer

    OmegaSlayer SS.org Regular

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    I would never play in your band because you have this mindset.
    The quality and originality of music is not in the tuning.
     
  5. JPhoenix19

    JPhoenix19 Playing life by ear

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    Well, I thought about going there but chose not to. I guess since the subject has been broached...

    Perhaps the reason people don't want to join your band has little or nothing to do with the tuning. It could be that you (perhaps unintentionally) are coming across to them as elitist, perfectionist, or otherwise closed-minded.

    Like Max pointed out, compromise is a very important aspect of being in a band. If you are somehow (even unintentionally) communicating to the potential bassists that you are uncompromising, it could turn them off from wanting to join. People don't like making music with people who are (or come off as) controlling.

    Of course, I could be totally off the mark here. I don't know you, after all. Just some things to consider. :2c:
     
  6. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    Its me (1 guitarist), a drummer and a vocalist. Songs are already written and in Drop G on my 8 string (A tuning I already compromised with for the last bassist who looked odds on to join only to just back out all of a sudden). Everyone judging me as not flexible etc couldn't be any more incorrect. All I ever do is try and compromise.

    So after spending thousands on a full digital rig, already having compromised loads of times already to get to having a 7 string tuning on an 8 string to try and help bassists, songs that are already written in a certain tuning would have to be changed or sacrificed, all for just 1 guy in the band? and the last member to join?

    Where is the balance or fairness in that?. Besides the more we bend over to entice a bassist and cater for them giving them the easiest ride possible, the further away we get from the sound we wanted from the band in the first place. Like originally me and the drummer created this band and we wanted literally 8 string, low tuned (Like Drop D1 type thing). We compromised a little when a good vocalist came on board as he preferred a higher tuning for his vocal range. So we did, and after using G Ive found a sweet spot with it. It works for me and the other 2 members in the band.

    But now we have to sacrifice all that again, just for a bassist because they only have their Bass in Standard?. No. Im sorry but thats idiotic.
     
  7. JPhoenix19

    JPhoenix19 Playing life by ear

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    No need to be defensive. Like I said, I was simply offering some things to consider. My intent wasn't to label or judge you. If those things don't apply to you then that's that.

    At any rate, my main recommendation is to consider using backing tracks for bass until you could find a bassist. While that could be a pain in the rear (recording the tracks, setting the drummer up with a click track to keep with the bass tracks) it could also pay off if cor some reason you're not able to find a bassist for a long period of time. Also, having the parts already recorded could help a new bassist learn the parts quicker.
     
  8. Lokasenna

    Lokasenna SS.org Regular

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    There's a reason all the guys with 4-string basses keep turning you down - a standard bass is going to need suspension-bridge cables for strings to hit Drop G, and will probably sound like muddy garbage by the time it gets there. The scale length doesn't work.
     
  9. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    There's not really a difference between 95% of 5 and 6 string basses and traditional 4 string basses. I've tuned 34" and 35" scale basses that low and it's certainly doable with the right strings and rig, not to mention setup tweaks.

    I just don't see a bassist making the investment in all that, expensive strings, specialized cabs, permanent mods to their instruments, etc. for a new band.

    Guitar is easy, it's all overtones and transients with minimal fundamental, bass is the opposite which makes it much more difficult to get that low.

    That's why I recommended providing the gear. The basics aren't too expensive if you shop used and are willing to put some work in. A cheapo 35" scale 5-string, a new pickup, strings, a SS bass amp over 600 watts, a good cab. All used you're looking at maybe $800 if you do your shopping right.

    Also, have you considered tuning the bass in unison? It wouldn't require the specialized gear and with the right tone sounds great. I know a few bands where they have the bassist play in the same octave.
     
  10. akinari

    akinari no change, only age

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    Why not go back to the Eb tuning and have the bass in the same octave? Or just do what Max was talking about - get a bass and set it up. I think every guitarist needs a bass of their own.
     
  11. Lokasenna

    Lokasenna SS.org Regular

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    Fair enough. I have enough trouble getting the B string on my SRX505 to behave, I couldn't even imagine going lower.

    Aren't Meshuggah doing this now? In fact, I think I saw something about not even having bass on one of their newer albums since the guitars were so low.
     
  12. xero7

    xero7 SS.org Regular

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    You don't need a bass player. Just go play without one and over time one will find you. When tune super low you ll end up fighting over bass frequencies anyway.
     
  13. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    I should mention i own my own PA and purchased a pod hd for any bassist to use direct to my PA for practices and live if need be so again ive tried compromising in the gear regard too. No disrespect but how much stuff on a plate is expected. If i had a non existant setup and a guitar that i knew was not suited to the advertised bands tuning (everything specified in advert) why get in touch and seem keen only to then time waste about tuning?
     
  14. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Sorry, but that's still going to require a bassist with either very oddly specific instruments or the willingness to possibly permanently modify their bass.

    You're the one shopping for bassists, not the other way around. Until you get a following it's going to be a challenge to seek out folks who are willing to jump onboard 100%.

    Time wasters suck, but that's part of the game. You can either compromise further and get a bassist faster or keep waiting things out until the needle in the haystack finds you.

    Musicians pretty much stop reading advertisements after it says what instrument the band is looking for, if that. :lol:

    Have you tried the unison route?
     
  15. JPhoenix19

    JPhoenix19 Playing life by ear

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    You can always get a keyboard player. :lol:

    I jest, I jest.
     
  16. VBCheeseGrater

    VBCheeseGrater not quite a shredder

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    I agree some compromise may be in order. Bassist are already in demand, and there are WAY more uber low ERG players out there than bass players running around tuning below A. 'A' will be the lower end of most guy's willingness to tune (5 string in drop). I once pissed a bass player off by asking him to tune to B for some originals, he refused and we had to move on.

    What you could do is get yourself a digitech drop pedal to have on-hand, so whoever shows up can plug into that to match tunings with you - that would make it easy on the guy, therefore he'd be more willing to match your tuning.
     
  17. Masoo2

    Masoo2 SS.org Regular

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    Just asking, have you consider using a backing track for bass live?

    That would probably solve most of your issues.

    One of you guys could record the bass, or just use a VSTi bass like Trillian, Zombass, Texas Grind, etc...
     
  18. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    Yeah the last bassist to show an interest and then not....has an octave pedal plus the Pod HD i purchased for his use includes a polyphonic pitch shift feature to help with the tuning situation. He still saw it as hassle even though i offered everything. I mean im willing to make it such a piece of piss to join this band..yet its still not good enough. I wish others had it made it this easy for me to join bands in the past blimey. Instead i worked damn hard and purchased all my gear myself. I wouldnt expect someone to provide and offer to me what i have to others.
     
  19. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    And that's the problem.

    Metal guitarists who tune low are in great supply relative to bassists who actively tune that low.

    The term "beggars can't be choosers" comes to mind.

    That's how it's always been, unfortunately. As others have said there are numerous workarounds to at least get you on stage, start there and with any luck someone will seek you guys out once you're drawing a crowd.
     
  20. aesthyrian

    aesthyrian SS.org Regular

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    You use 8 strings, forget about the bassist for the time being, or forever. Animals as Leaders uses a backing track for the bass live, as did Intervals.

    Do what you want to do, and find others that want to do the same or similar. If your artistic vision involves that specific tuning, then go for it. Just be happy it's only a bassist you lack. Plus, once/if you start to get gigs and such, then all of a sudden you will find those same non-motivated bassist are more than willing to tune to whatever you want, all of a sudden.
     

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