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Playing acoustic guitar with bass player


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  • Playing acoustic guitar with bass player

    Almost all of my playing has been done solo or with sidemen but NOT a bass player. Since I play solo so much, I have developed the habit of playing a lot of bass notes as I strum or pick. What I'd like to know is... I'd like to try using a bass player as a sideman... will my continuing to play as I described mess up the sound, since he will be hitting many (and often, all) of the same notes? Or I guess he would be at different frequency? Does that make it okay?



  • #2

    Any time you're playing with another person as opposed to solo you have to adapt your playing style.


    • #3

      Agree with Iz4005 - you'll both adapt a little bit. When you play solo a lot, it's common to play rather 'busy' with extra notes to fill up the spaces. Playing in combination with others means playing less - a more lean style where you leave those spaces for the other player to fill.

      It's a positive step, though it requires a little re-thinking. You can work out with each other exactly who plays what on important passages (generally the hook or signature 'theme' of a song is where you may get specific). Just work out if someone will play an octave, minor 3rd, flatted 5th or whatever at the important points.

      But try to stay loose about it - the best playing comes from pleasantly surprising each other.

      Ita Erat Quando Hic Adveni
      I play guitar, bass and drums with equal enthusiasm and lack of skill.

      "Never attribute to malice, those things which are adequately explained by stupidity." - Hanlon's Razor


      • lz4005
        lz4005 commented
        Editing a comment

        You can also make room for a bass player by EQing out some of the lows from your guitar. Depending on how you both play, that may be all it takes for you to sit well in the mix together.


        I had a regular gig a couple years ago that was basically always the same set, but at different times we were a 2, 3, 4 and 5 piece band. I'd never done that before and was sort of amazed at how differently I had to play the same songs in order to sound 'right' with the different instrumentation. It was definitely a learning experience.