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Author Topic: Bass-ing at church?? Got to be difficult.....  (Read 2558 times)

Offline 4hisglory

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Bass-ing at church?? Got to be difficult.....
« on: November 19, 2007, 05:14:00 PM »
How do you bassist deal with the keyboardist/organist that do not take the time to learn the song and basically gets up there and just put music to these church songs??

Lately, I've realized that this really leaves the bassist in a bad situation.   Does this happen to you guys?
:)

Offline BassMan2000

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Re: Bass-ing at church?? Got to be difficult.....
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2007, 05:23:53 PM »
I hate it.  I have played with some great Keyboard players. They will change the songs, but the basic progression is there and I have played at Churches were I was lost.  I once played at a Church were the Keyboard player only played majors chords. He did not know nothing else

Offline floaded27

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Re: Bass-ing at church?? Got to be difficult.....
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2007, 05:26:07 PM »
yeah, its crazy, and it does leave u in a bad position because everyone tends to clash. basically if i see my organist doesnt have it and its too much craziness to follow, then i just sit out. otherwise if i know the song, i play how im supposed to and he follows me (because danggit, i put in effort to learn this song, so im gonna play it).

But most of the time this happens is when A) the choir pulls a song out of thin air on Sunday morning that they havent sang in like a year or more and the organist doesnt remember it fully (i just sit out) or B) the P&W team pulls out a song that nobody ever heard before or wasnt given a chance to learn (you know u might just hear a song on an album or radio, but just because you like it doesnt necessarily mean u rush to go learn it). so since its usually a P&W song which is usually simple and repetitive, i let the organist get something going and i figure out his pattern and we just go from there.

it is quite a pain though. its so much easier to feel the song when u actually know it.
For my God... let "Golden Axe" prevail.

Offline jeremyr

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Re: Bass-ing at church?? Got to be difficult.....
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2007, 07:31:34 PM »
How do you bassist deal with the keyboardist/organist that do not take the time to learn the song and basically gets up there and just put music to these church songs??

Lately, I've realized that this really leaves the bassist in a bad situation.   Does this happen to you guys?

I hate it, but my ears developed to a point now where I can pick out the progression they're playing after a time around and just run with it. 
It does help train your ears though, i'll give it that..lol
Somebody put me in the key of E#

Offline dhagler

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Re: Bass-ing at church?? Got to be difficult.....
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2007, 08:18:01 PM »
If you can figure out the key and the progressions then you can just play root notes and stay in the pocket.  If the song becomes extended you may have an opportunity to throw in a run here or there.

Offline 4hisglory

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Re: Bass-ing at church?? Got to be difficult.....
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2007, 08:49:34 PM »
I hate it, but my ears developed to a point now where I can pick out the progression they're playing after a time around and just run with it. 
It does help train your ears though, i'll give it that..lol

How long did it take to develop this though?
:)

Offline jeremyr

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Re: Bass-ing at church?? Got to be difficult.....
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2007, 09:07:03 PM »
How long did it take to develop this though?

ROFL... the better part of a year to be honest.
Somebody put me in the key of E#

Offline BassbyGrace

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Re: Bass-ing at church?? Got to be difficult.....
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2007, 10:35:26 PM »
I hate it, but my ears developed to a point now where I can pick out the progression they're playing after a time around and just run with it. 
It does help train your ears though, i'll give it that..lol

Yeah thats me.  My older brother could make amazing grace sound like anything, so after coming up with him, my ears are like satellites lol.  Sometimes if I feel devious, I'll throw some different notes in the progressions that fit, but may throw the keyboardist for a little loop.  Atleast show them that they aint leavin nobody.  If Im feeling nice, I'll just play where they go.   ;D
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Offline bassthumpa

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Re: Bass-ing at church?? Got to be difficult.....
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2007, 10:47:42 AM »
I hate it, but my ears developed to a point now where I can pick out the progression they're playing after a time around and just run with it. 
It does help train your ears though, i'll give it that..lol

Same here.  My MoM and his wife both play, but have completely different playing styles, so when she happens to be playing I have to switch gears and match her style of progressions.

Offline MrEdabass

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Re: Bass-ing at church?? Got to be difficult.....
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2007, 04:18:09 PM »
I hate it.  I have played with some great Keyboard players. They will change the songs, but the basic progression is there and I have played at Churches were I was lost.  I once played at a Church were the Keyboard player only played majors chords. He did not know nothing else

SAAAMME with me too. Especially when you visit someone elses church and they all know the way and you don't. I like ear challenges though and after a couple of bars it gets stuck in.
Jesus

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Offline 6 stringer

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Re: Bass-ing at church?? Got to be difficult.....
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2007, 03:08:50 AM »
Dude I've been through the worst case...... I've had a keyboardist and organist learning at the sametime along with a drummer with no pocket.   Then 3 yrs and a ton of migranes they all leave the church.   Now the process has started all over again.

Offline uriahsmusic

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Re: Bass-ing at church?? Got to be difficult.....
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2007, 06:15:33 AM »
...I have found that the best way to stay happy is to keep the bass rumbling and play a rhythm that makes sense. When you have to guess it is best to be vague! Turn the bottom up so a bad move isn't that discernible and keep the groove going.  Traditional churches offer a better chance of faking it because the patterns are written in stone!....But some of this contemporary stuff is Lyrics written to music instead of music written to lyrics....so you are on your own!

Offline T-Block

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Re: Bass-ing at church?? Got to be difficult.....
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2007, 06:17:28 AM »
How do you bassist deal with the keyboardist/organist that do not take the time to learn the song and basically gets up there and just put music to these church songs??

Lately, I've realized that this really leaves the bassist in a bad situation.   Does this happen to you guys?

I get irked when I have to play behind that mess, but you gotta do what u gotta do.  If I can't catch on by ear good, then I'll watch their fingers and learn it that way.  All you really need to do as a bass player is follow, unless you the main instrument.
Real musicians play in every key!!!
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Offline uriahsmusic

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Re: Bass-ing at church?? Got to be difficult.....
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2007, 11:15:27 AM »
..ya see this is why I prefer guitar...you can tinkle your way out of anything...and people will call you Benson afterwards...just for a few strategically placed riffs!...

Offline bassthumpa

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Re: Bass-ing at church?? Got to be difficult.....
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2007, 04:40:29 PM »
You know in praise and testimoniy service you never know what key someone's gonna start a song in, so you at least need to take a bar or 3 to figure out where they are.  I've played with a one cat a few times (not my MoM) in that sort of situation.  He has some skills, but doesn't always have a good ear, it seems.  A song starts and, as usual, I hear the key and play accordingly, and everyone in the church was singing a song in this particular key (which can be a minor miracle in it's own right).  But this dude took off running from the opening few notes, playing in his own key.  It's happened before, and I can usually get his attention and put him on the the correct key and we get on the same page. 

This particular time, however, I get his attention and tell him the correct key, and he kinda responds like "huh?  oh... umm... I can't play that in key" and kept on going just as he was.  So I can either A) match him so the whole band sounds off comapred to the singing, or B) match the singing so the band sounds divided.

I chose option "C".  After the first verse of the song sounding a hot mess in 2 keys that weren't even close, I gradually faded out then completely stopped for the rest of the song.  I looked over at my drummer (who was sitting out to let one of the youngsters get a shot), and he just looked at me like "man, I know".

..ya see this is why I prefer guitar...you can tinkle your way out of anything...and people will call you Benson afterwards...just for a few strategically placed riffs!...

LOL!!!!

Offline jeremyr

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Re: Bass-ing at church?? Got to be difficult.....
« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2007, 05:21:33 PM »
You know in praise and testimoniy service you never know what key someone's gonna start a song in, so you at least need to take a bar or 3 to figure out where they are.  I've played with a one cat a few times (not my MoM) in that sort of situation.  He has some skills, but doesn't always have a good ear, it seems.  A song starts and, as usual, I hear the key and play accordingly, and everyone in the church was singing a song in this particular key (which can be a minor miracle in it's own right).  But this dude took off running from the opening few notes, playing in his own key.  It's happened before, and I can usually get his attention and put him on the the correct key and we get on the same page. 

This particular time, however, I get his attention and tell him the correct key, and he kinda responds like "huh?  oh... umm... I can't play that in key" and kept on going just as he was.  So I can either A) match him so the whole band sounds off comapred to the singing, or B) match the singing so the band sounds divided.

I chose option "C".  After the first verse of the song sounding a hot mess in 2 keys that weren't even close, I gradually faded out then completely stopped for the rest of the song.  I looked over at my drummer (who was sitting out to let one of the youngsters get a shot), and he just looked at me like "man, I know".

LOL!!!!


next time tell that joker to hit that transpose key!!!  desperate times call for desperate measures...lol
Somebody put me in the key of E#

Offline Main5playah

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Re: Bass-ing at church?? Got to be difficult.....
« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2007, 06:41:24 PM »
It is never good when the church musicians are not on one accord, I also hate it when the keyboard player pulls a song out of 17 century and expect you to know it. There is a difference between "talent" and being "talented". Working with any group in general you will discover that every member is at different levels of musicianship, some levels are higher than others.
Have you ever wondered how the ensembles or choirs that seemingly have it all together got to that level? They pooled their talent together collectively and ensured each member of the band not only knew the music, they understood it. Knowing what your going to play and how it's to be played is pinnacle in order to sound like a band. So the next time your keyboard player decides to play something he knows, but has not shared it with the rest of the band, in the spirit of Christian brotherhood collectively bring it to his attention at the next rehearsal.
Main5playah

Offline momuzik

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Re: Bass-ing at church?? Got to be difficult.....
« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2007, 07:51:51 AM »
How do you bassist deal with the keyboardist/organist that do not take the time to learn the song and basically gets up there and just put music to these church songs??

I'm a keyboardist in the process of learning to play bass. Seems to me that all you have to do is hit your root notes in its simplest form - even if it's just one or two notes that carry you over to the next measure.
We don't have a bassist yet so I run my own basslines, But we have a guy that's learning and when he's ready, I'll have him to just hit root notes. As he learn, then he can start adding to it with runs, lick and fill-ins.
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