FDP Home Page / FDP Forum / FAQ's

The FDP is made possible by the following companies and individual members like you.
Please use the links below to show them we value their sponsorship.

Guitar Center

Musician's Friend

Jensen Loudspeakers

Antique Electronics Supply

Yellowjackets Tube Converters

Apex Tube Matching

Amplified Parts


WD Music


Advertise here

* God bless America and our men and women in uniform *

* Illegitimi non carborundum! *

If you benefit and learn from the FDP and enjoy our site, please help support us and become a Contributing Member or make a Donation today! The FDP counts on YOU to help keep the site going with an annual contribution. It's quick and easy with PayPal. Please do it TODAY!

Chris Greene, Host & Founder



Find musicians
in your area!
  Search the Forums  

FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / Attentin Bassists!

Previous 20 Messages  
Contributing Member

Whitehorse Canada

I don't get out much
Jul 29th, 2016 11:02 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic


Sorry for the late reply.
If you use your right hand to keep time for whatever reason....you compromise the available time regarding note duration.
If you do that right hand keep time thing....it's impossible to play legato. Use your feet to keep time and your hands to make notes.
I had to unlearn that habit when in the studio.

If the drummer needs help from you rhythmically,
he should do homework or be replaced.

Lastly.....your right hand is your tone control.


Rick Knight
Contributing Member

St Peters, MO USA

Standing in the back, by the drummer.
Jul 31st, 2016 08:07 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

“I find it easier to do this if I'm physically able to see the drummer's right foot on the bass pedal.”

For this reason, try to set up on the snare side of the drum kit. It’s easier to see his foot on the bass pedal there than on the floor tom side.

“Few in the audience will know (or care) what the bassist is doing.”

True, but they are probably dancing to your part. Someone on the FDP once said something about bass players being the offensive linemen of music - you’re only noticed when you screw up. Try to keep the groove going no matter what. Losing it is worse than hitting a bad note.

Contributing Member

Suburban MD.

Are your prayer beads maple or rosewood?
Aug 1st, 2016 02:36 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I started off playing with a pick and kept doing it that way. It's my style. Playing with my fingers has always seemed 'weird' to me. I still get everything covered (except maybe those crazy Iron Maiden triplets!).
Now that I'm on guitar in my current band (Except for 4 songs where we switch!), I noticed one annoying habit my bassist has... He plays with his fingers, but some notes have less volume than others, and this is in songs where he should be consistent (Ramones/Tom Petty/"Secret Agent Man"...stuff like that. He's still learning (We're sortof a 'school of rock' for adults!) but I wish he would use a pick or alter his fingerstyle to get more consistent attack on those 'driving' songs.



Bass is the place . . .
Aug 1st, 2016 05:06 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'm not sure that using a pick would consistently generate a more even volume.

This sounds more like a finger technique issue to me.

Juice Nichols
Contributing Member

Panama City, FL

I'm just a dude, playing a dude...
Aug 1st, 2016 09:08 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'll add my .02

Personally, as a single guitar player in the band, I would rather the bass player be a little busier and carry the melody a little more. Definitely helps when I decide to drift off into a 10 minute guitar solo. ;-)

Contributing Member

Suburban MD.

Are your prayer beads maple or rosewood?
Aug 3rd, 2016 09:42 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"I'm not sure that using a pick would consistently generate a more even volume."
Been doing it myself for years.

With fingers, it's:
Which finger? Index, or middle or thumb?
More pad, less pad?
Attack the string angled or perpendicular?
As near as I can tell, each of those variables affect tone and volume..at least it does when I play my classical guitar.

Contributing Member


stigg "Geezer, and still lov'in it"!
Aug 8th, 2016 09:45 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Back in the day, 1960s, I got a gig playing bass in a country band. The hard lesson to learn was 2/4 time. I wanted to walk it all the time but the band mates were patient and I began to see how the snare and the bass kept everyone together. If the drummer rushed the tempo I would have to 2/4 to hold him back even when a 4/4 walk was required. If the drummer was aware of what the song needed and held the beat the music worked well and we comped the band.
The bass and drums are rhythm instruments in a band situation. I play guitar too and I have to switch my mind when I play bass so it's bass and not guitar.


Contributing Member

Calif. Foothills

Aug 8th, 2016 12:42 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Another 2 cents!! Like most of you, I am a Bass player from guitar...Took about a year or 2, B4 people were saying good things about my playing....Maybe 3!!
My greatest challenge, and learning curve was when I joined a 10 piece salsa unit.....Wholly Crap, was I initially deficient and lame!
I then began listening to recordings of some greats of the genre, learned a mountain load of ideas, started getting better with the band....etc., etc.....
Now, my brain is bent towards salsa influence....as you perhaps know, the basic classic "Tumbao" in Latin jazz is when the Bass hits the and of 2, and the 4, in an 1/8 note bar....usually not the 1; though sometimes....
It really got me thinking about which beats want/need the bass; conversely, which can be left empty....Also, when, or not, to use long notes, rather than short (i.e. muting the note B4 the next, etc.)...
To make a long story short, I know I learned more new ideas listening to other music genres than Rock, Blues, Pop...!!
Bye, Scotty

Contributing Member

St. Louis

"Thumbpicks don't slide into soundholes"
Aug 9th, 2016 10:20 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

A friend of mine has a group together. I'd only heard them once before so I decided to go to a street dance they were playing. He plays bass ......well! He and I grew up playing together. That said I was sitting behind them about 5 feet from the drummer. For three hours I was treated to the interaction between the two from the backside so to speak and having been a guitar player/ vocalist in every group I have ever been in the experience was a real eye opener as to how much the entire band depends on this team and how they can really lock in. I recommend all guitar players do this once in a while to appreciate what goes on "behind the scene".

Contributing Member

North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Oct 23rd, 2016 10:10 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Other than a couple of years playing the violin all I've ever been is a bass player. I started playing classical on upright in 64.

I played Motown and rock once I got a bass in Germany. I just learned the bass lines that were on the original recordings. For years this worked out well for me, some tunes I play today I still use the original bass lines, some tunes are barely recognizable if you don't play at least a version of the line.

Never pay much attention to the drummer, I notice if the beat inappropreatly drifts and it is pure hell if the drummer can't keep time, I'll take control of the timing and make sure he/she gets back to the beat, it can difficult and a PIA.

What these guys are saying is good stuff, I've never really thought about it. I'm conscious of it, and use the techniques, even if I had to look up a few definitions. I don't speak music or bass in any kind of musically educated way, other than key and intervals. My biggest strength is inventing appropriate bass lines on the fly and my sense of timing.

Tone is in the fingers, this is true for all string instruments and more so with the bass, finger tips, finger nails, pads, thumb, brushing, plucking, I can't slap so I don't, some times I use my finger nails flipping away from the palm of my hand in a Flamingo kind of way, I can pop a string by using a quick finger tap, most of the time I'm using three fingers but will use my thumb when playing three notes quickly or thumbing a note and using the bird and ring finger for a chord, think "If I had a Heart" (sound track for the Vikings Series) I do 4 finger runs for 32 and 64th (yeah, sure like I could pull of a 3264th note "o) edit) using the pinky, but fairly rare.

I pay close attention to the guitar player, particularly when they go into a lead to make sure he is on track to fall back into the proper measure at the proper time, and if not I can adjust to make it seem as if it was planned that way, I often refer to this as being the high wire net to catch the falling guitar player.

Maybe more so than any other instrument bass players are not just playing the right note at the right time but are monitoring the overall health of the tune and making adjustments that keep it on track. Sometime it seems I'm doing this by shear willpower, I would be hard pressed to explain it in depth.

My current band/project is bass, guitar and mandolin, it's actually refreshing to not have a drummer, and a bit surprising that our selections are not hampered without one, well we ain't going to cover Wipeout "o)

(This message was last edited by hushnel at 08:35 AM, Nov 2nd, 2016)

Contributing Member


Christian Slater
Oct 23rd, 2016 10:19 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

mroulier wrote

"...I wish he would use a pick or alter his fingerstyle to get more consistent attack on those 'driving' songs."

A Compressor!

The crappy bassist's best friend!

I know--because I use one when I'm tracking bass.



Fender power to the people!
Oct 26th, 2016 08:14 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Lots of good advice.
It is really as much about mind set as anything.
The bass part is the glue that holds the band together.
Think of yourself as the seem between the drummer and the guitar player.
You have to hold the timing together and be the foundation for the chord changes.
Often the singer will be listening to you and using the bass notes to find the pitch they need.
Don't throw them off with too many random changes.
Be consistant.
Be on time.
Be confident playing even the simplest parts.
You are in the drivers seat, no matter what the others think.

A final thought;
it was once said that there are no boring bass parts, only boring players.

Juice Nichols
Contributing Member

Panama City, FL

I'm just a dude, playing a dude...
Oct 26th, 2016 08:45 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I play guitar in one group, bass in another and drums in another on occasion. My first instrument was drums so bass kind of naturally came to me when I picked it up. I think of it like "playing drums with notes". LOL

Previous 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / Attentin Bassists!

Reply to this Topic
Display my email address             Lost your password?
Your Message:
Link Address (URL):
Link Title:

Moderators: Chris Greene  Iron Man  reverendrob  

FDP, LLC Privacy Policy: Your real name, username, and email
are held in confidence and not disclosed to any third parties, sold, or
used for anything other than FDP Forum registration unless you specifically authorize disclosure.

Internet Application Development

Copyright © 1999-2018 Fender Discussion Page, LLC   All Rights Reserved