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dachuckster

Anyone try a keyboard for bass instead of bass guitar????

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As a stringed bass player, I'm opposed to the idea, but you gotta do what you gotta do. If you can't find a reliable decent bass player, and you know someone who can handle the duty on keys, then go for it. It's all about making the music in the end.

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As a stringed bass player, I'm opposed to the idea, but you gotta do what you gotta do. If you can't find a reliable decent bass player, and you know someone who can handle the duty on keys, then go for it. It's all about making the music in the end.

It doesn't have to be like that though.

 

I play bass AND keys - adding key bass allows our band to have more variety and cover a wider variety of material while remaining a 4 piece outfit.

 

Admittedly, not all songs work well with this approach, but many do.

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A while back I took my daughter to a festival that included the "Barlow Girls", an all female, all sisters christian rock trio. The bassist played a 4 string bass and sang most of the leads, and also played keyboards for intros and interludes - sometimes playing the bass guitar with one hand and stabbing out keyboard fills with the other. They impressed me a lot more than any of the other "big name" acts who all used backing tracks etc.

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I prefer a "real" bass myself, but it can work, and work very well. If (other) muscians' perception of you as being an incomplete band without a bass player is what's holding you back, screw that: likely half of your real audience won't even notice, let alone care, that you don't tick the "two guitars, bass and drums" boxes.

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Ah - the ESQ-1 - my first real keyboard.


I sometimes miss that beast - I love how you can switch to a different preset and any sustained notes will continue to sound using the old voice!


No gaps in the sound whatsoever; more modern boards need to have this very cool performance feature.

 

It's for that very feature that I still use it to this day (bought it used back in '90)! :cool:

 

IIRC, Hawkes used the delay built in to his MiniKorg on that lead; most any onboard delay processor would work okay for this kind of thing.

 

I forgot that the MiniKorg had a built-in delay. What a cool little box!

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To the OP, I've seen bands do this before with relative success. I think a lot of it has to do with the keyboard amp you use. If your keyboard amp can match the bump and depth of a bass amp, it might work out.

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I'm a keyboard player and a bass player. I have filled in on left hand bass on many occasions when a good bass player was not available. You can make it work if you know how to express like a real bass player, so it helps to know the instrument.

 

But if a good bass player were interested in working with us, I wouldn't turn him down.

 

There are some styles that are just impossible with a keyboard - slap-n-pop being a good example. Way too many nuances and expressions to pull off with just a keyboard.

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There are some styles that are just impossible with a keyboard - slap-n-pop being a good example. Way too many nuances and expressions to pull off with just a keyboard.

Unless you wanna sound like the "Seinfeld Theme" :facepalm:

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Is that you kickin bass?
:eek:

.

 

 

I wish. I have enough trouble coordinating two hands. I agree that the dude sounds great.

 

acctjm

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Depending on the song, we have bass pedals and keyboard bass as well as bass guitar as options. Our bassist uses a 6-string, so if he's down the dusty end, the low bass notes can be covered by the pedals or by our keyboard player. Some songs need the deep sweepy bass sounds that only a synth will give. Some need the sound of the bass guitar... some need both :)

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We do this for a few tunes where I sing lead and want to just sing (I play bass). It gives me some freedom to move around in the audience and still sing. Honestly, I've listened to shows we've recorded and it doesn't sound too much different. Our keyboardist has done a good job of matching my bass tone.

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Depending on the song, we have bass pedals and keyboard bass as well as bass guitar as options. Our bassist uses a 6-string, so if he's down the dusty end, the low bass notes can be covered by the pedals or by our keyboard player. Some songs need the deep sweepy bass sounds that only a synth will give. Some need the sound of the bass guitar... some need both
:)

 

Right on! While I love the tone of my beefed up Musicman, I also love the tone of the left half of my Rhodes, Clavinets, Moog and Portamento emulators. I'd love to get a hold of some bass pedals, Taurus maybe or even something cleaner.

 

 

And there is seriously nothing wrong with having more than one bassline in a song. In fact I highly recommend it.

 

 

another band that doesn't have a bass player, but have some serious bass groove is Sugarman 3. They got this James Brown kinda vibe, and the bass is the left half of a Fender Rhodes.

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To the OP, I've seen bands do this before with relative success. I think a lot of it has to do with the keyboard amp you use. If your keyboard amp can match the bump and depth of a bass amp, it might work out.

 

 

It works ,, many hit producing bands have done it. My fav was the rascals. One of the big reasons why it worked for them was great vocals and very good songs. If you have great vocals you can pretty well do it anyway you want and have it work, from a solo, to a duo to a band.

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The only group that i know of that was successful with this was the Doors.

Need a killer keyborad player!

We tried it for a year or so and even with a great keyborad player it never really worked. A small band and playing originals might work though.

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