Where does bass stop and guitar begin?

Discussion in 'Bass Guitar Discussion' started by distressed_romeo, Jan 31, 2007.

  1. distressed_romeo

    distressed_romeo F'king ............ Forum MVP

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    Even that's started shifting though...think of the nu-metal bands (Korn and Mudvayne spring to mind) where the bass was almost more a lead instrument than the guitar, or bands like Tool and Meshuggah where the two instruments freely trade roles and play parts that don't really sound like either is traditionally supposed to.

    Remember Stanley Clarke's bands; how he'd play 'lead guitar' on his picollo or tenor basses, whilst another four-stringer played rhythm?
     
  2. Metal Ken

    Metal Ken Hates the Air Contributor

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    well, thats true. but the general technique and tone of the instruments is still fundamentally different. You dont play a bass or a guitar the same way, for the most part. there's similar techniques, like tapping, touch style, etc, but they're still different on finesse level. You generally wouldnt play a guitar like a bass in the sense that you wouldnt do fingerstyle bass technique on guitar.. i mean you CAN but its not practical with the smaller string spacing..

    I agree its becoming more and more blurred, but there's still some fundamental differences to how you approach them.
     
  3. distressed_romeo

    distressed_romeo F'king ............ Forum MVP

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    There's similar considerations when you compare electric, classical and acoustic guitars though...those require different enough playing styles to be considered different instruments on some levels.
     
  4. All_¥our_Bass

    All_¥our_Bass Deathly Chuuni

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    :ugh: *hides* You mean I'm NOT supposed to!? :lol:

    And to that ERB that was posted!! :metal: :flex:
    Erep for you.
     
  5. Metal Ken

    Metal Ken Hates the Air Contributor

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    i didnt mean you 'cant', i meant, like i said, the fundamentals of them are different ;p
     
  6. dpm

    dpm Oni Guitars Contributor

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    There's one thing missing here. We use the term 'bass' as an abbreviation of it's real name - 'bass guitar'. Essentially they're all guitar family instruments, and even within 'normal' 6 string guitars there are several distinct instrument styles which 'inter-develop' with distinct playing styles.
    For instance, there's classical, flamenco, various size steel string flat tops, archtops, solidbodies of various types, etc..... and each distinct type of guitar seems to be more appropriate for a playing style than others. Are the players choosing guitars to suit them? Or have the guitars shaped how people play? I think it's a little of both.
     
  7. metalfiend666

    metalfiend666 - Forum MVP

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    That's a very good point Dan. Now with the advent of midi guitars and the Variax technology things are going even further. Suddenly we can have a solid body guitar sounding like an acoustic, a resonator or even a church organ. At the end of the day they're all tools to creating music, and I say the more variety the better.
     
  8. 7 Dying Trees

    7 Dying Trees Forum MVP

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    I think the lines are drawn according to the dynamic of the group of musicians playing together :) In such a situation, most "versions" of instruments find their place (or "role") within the end product as a whole.

    Let's not forget that it's not just the physical embodiement of the instrument, but the attitude of the person playing it, and their position within the final end product.

    To me, that is how the lines are drawn.
     
  9. metalfiend666

    metalfiend666 - Forum MVP

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    Is that a posh way of telling me to shut up and learn my bass parts? ;)
     
  10. dood

    dood Hello!

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    Hi everyone.. well.. I have been on the board, what seems like 5 minutes and I have been name checked in a previous post already! Thats sooo cool!

    To be honest, I haven't a great deal to add that hasn't been said already. My own experiences are that whilst my 7 string 'looks' like a bass and indeed has a range that drops below a 5 or 6er, and reaches up into the guitar range, I have actually had the bass set up to feel a bit more like a tap style instrument. (Although I primarily play it in the more usual bass function.. I'm still learning tap style!!) . I treat my playing from a bass viewpoint but quite often use the instrument to cover pseudo keyboard and rhythm guitar parts. (One of the great things about being in a 3 piece!) - That may change in my next project.. but, really the point I wanted to make is, that despite being tagged 'a bass player', I'd like to think that I can offer more in terms of what is expected of the bass player. Flexibility I guess. I think I just don't like to be forced to do one single thing!
     
  11. Garry Goodman

    Garry Goodman 8-0ctaves

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    I think where guitar stops and bass begins is a personal experience.

    I am from the church of 8 octaves. The bass is a bass guitar just like a bass clarinet,is a clarinet. So the standaerd 6 ,7,8 and 9-string guitars and 4-11-string basses are just pieces of my 12-string,which is like a "Grand Guitar'.
    Then there is the question of scale length preferences.
    The gap between bass and guitar strings is closing. Before it was "one,or two sizes fits all" , but now each player can choose from many options.

    What's left? Not so much the instrument, but what you play on it. I have firend who walks bass on his 7-string guitar,and you know guys play "lead" on those ERBs.I for one play bass and guitar at the same time on my Adler 12.

    My good friend Al Caldwell plays his 11-string bass with midi and he is an excellent Banjo player as well. He plays guitar,bass and orchestra on his 11-string.
    Just like the keyboard has a 97,88,76,61 and 44 note(keys) version,so now does the guitar.
     
  12. Desecrated

    Desecrated Guest

    Good thing that you came in garry.
    Do you still consider yourself a bassplayer even with that monster you have ?
     
  13. All_¥our_Bass

    All_¥our_Bass Deathly Chuuni

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    I know. I was making a sarcastic comment about my bass playing style.
     
  14. distressed_romeo

    distressed_romeo F'king ............ Forum MVP

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    The comparison with keyboard instruments is the main thing I was thinking of when I started this thread. We're reaching the point where the differences between 'guitar family' (how's that for a catch-all term?) instruments is becoming more a question of tone and touch than one of design, in the same way a keyboard player will use a subtly different touch on, say, piano, synthesizer and harpsichord.

    I'd say it's all for the best. Think back a century or so, and the guitar and mandolin were treated as a bit of a joke by 'serious' musicians. Nowadays we've got all the possiblities that keyboard, string, brass, percussion, and even electronic musicians have.

    It'll be great to see what the next fifty years throws up...:shred:
     
  15. Murder Soul

    Murder Soul SS.org Regular

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    So my question is, how do they sound in comparison? I'm a bass player, and I'm getting into guitar because I want to do the things guitars can do, instead of walk bass lines. I would like to be able to do both, but I can't afford a $10,000 custom like Jean Baudin or whoever.
     
  16. Variant

    Variant Banned

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    You know Gary, being both a guitar player and bass player myself (both seven string... at least until I get my 8-string RG2228), I look at them as having sonically overlapping roles so far as dynamic range is concerned... it's really the tonality (or "personality" if you will) of each that separates one from the other. Generally, a bass will replicate lower notes than the guitar, but there is no reason to reside there at all times. While many can't see the necessity for guitars with extra low strings, or basses with extra high ones, my jazz sensibilities make me think otherwise.

    I took note of it last week while enjoying a Thursday night dinner at My Big Fat Greek Restaurant, watching a pretty decent jazz trio. You've got a drummer with pieces from a kick and a full size floor tom, to a 6" cymbal, a bass player with a six string bass (low B to high C), and a piano player with a full grand. For all intensive purposes, the three have a similar (and full) dynamic range to cover and have no qualms about doing so.
     
  17. Garry Goodman

    Garry Goodman 8-0ctaves

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    I consider myself a musician who can be a bassist on any instrument such as left hand piano,Tuba, even play bass lines on a traditional guitar.I've played some "leads" on a bass. I have voiced string quartet writing on m 9+ string instruments. So it's whatever the job or situation calls for. I think of this in terms on my U. F. I. or Unlimited Fingerboard (fretboard) Instrument concept.

    The monster simply allows me to have U.F.I. concept in place. Guitar riffs,Bass grooves, touch style two-handed playing. It's my "master controller" that lets me use my bass/guitar/Touch chops.
     
  18. Desecrated

    Desecrated Guest

    You should add a midi to it, would probably be pretty nice. Get 2 outputs so that you can split the signal.
     
  19. Garry Goodman

    Garry Goodman 8-0ctaves

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    I use my 9-string in a jazz trio setting and it is all about how I use the instrument in that setting. Doing what serves the musical situation.

    Right now, the instruments are expensive,mainly because of the work involved to make them really sound and play as you would expect them to.

    I like creating new grooves that span 6 octaves or playing bass with one hand and "lead" with the other or playing a two handed piano tune.I strive for even tone and volume across 8 octaves which requires new strings and new electronics to be developed and lots of practice.

    I like to create bass and guitar parts and use the U.F.I. concepts to make new sounding music. Some players want to get that 1968 Clapton sound or another established guitar or bass sound. Although I like to be able to acheive that sound at times, it's not why I wanted more strings.

    I think your comment about going lower on guitar makes sense. You may want to play solo or a duo at some point. That is why I say you are a musician first,who can play guitar,bass or both and you are not limited to just playing guitar or bass and the two never overlap. Right now,prices are higher because the instruments are still developing. And we have to have a concept in order to use such instruments effectively.

    In the future,yes. I am just getting things in focus after two years of getting familiar with the 12-string.
     
  20. distressed_romeo

    distressed_romeo F'king ............ Forum MVP

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    Do you reckon it'll ever be possible to build these instruments in such a way that they won't cost thousands of dollars?
     

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