Connect with us

Latest

The Evolving Bassist by Kilian Duarte

Published

on

Meet Killian Duarte –

Of all the living creatures that have scurried across the face of this big, blue planet we call our home, very few have been put through the rigors at such a rapid rate of expansion/advancement in knowledge than those who holding down the nether regions. And while scientists may find this conclusion rather ridiculous, if you ask any passionate, professional low end guru, they would whole heartedly agree.

Bassists hold a unique role in a band. While they are required to have the finely tuned rhythmic sensibilities of their drumming brethren, a greatly developed sense of melody and harmony are also essential to truly make the Bass come to life and enhance a piece of music. The responsibilities are great, with far less publicly acclaimed glory that is usually bestowed upon more popularly played instruments such as guitars and drums. The role of the bassist is truly an underdog role that holds together all the elements of a band.

As times and genres change, the challenges facing the current professional are quite varied and sometimes very demanding. The enhancements in Bass guitar manufacturing as well as the myriad of effects available to alter the instruments sound have both expanded the technical as well as the sonic range of the instrument. It is not uncommon for a bassist to be doubling on upright as well as electric at a gig, while also enhancing the lead parts with ever increasing roles being added to the player. Since the 1960’s, bass has been made to not only be plucked and bowed, but also picked, slapped, thumped, popped, strummed, and even e-bowed. The instrument has also reached extended range levels that are at the very least quite daunting.

So how does one get all these things under their belt without feeling overwhelmed? Well, first, take a breath (sigh), and realize you are only mortal. That being said, all the greatest bassists on the planet are just as human as you and I. Stress is the enemy. It can make things seem a lot harder than they need to be and can stifle your musical development. Make a list of priorities…what is most pertinent to what you will be playing in the near future, or what projects do you want to conquer. Take on these goals at a calm pace if you can. Once again, letting a small problem seem like a bigger one will only hurt you in the end. Breath again (bigger sigh), and start to play your instrument in ways that slowly but steadily take you out of your comfort zone.

For example, if you are a jazz bassist, learn a classic rock song you’ve always enjoyed, and vice versa. Like the great Victor Wooten says, “Music is a language”. Once you understand it, picking up all the different “dialects and accents” are just a matter of familiarization. A common mistake many players make is failing miserably at developing personal self confidence in their abilities. Evolution and adaptation demand persistence and a lot of confidence, so insecurity is the enemy. Many young players will hear songs such as “Donna Lee” or “A Show of Hands” and just automatically consider these things impossible…rocket science works of genius their inferior brains will never grasp. This is the key mistake that stifles growth. Both Jaco Pastorius and Victor Wooten are human beings, yes indeed very gifted human beings, but none the less people. A player must realize that the right attitude towards approaching something daunting is the key to overcoming it, and growing.

Now that you have your new found sense of confidence, its time to push things a little further. Play a style that you would never usually play but you enjoy, or at the very least tolerate. Try to incorporate the grooves into your vocabulary. This is one of the first steps in becoming a more flexible bassist which will help increase your gigs and develop your own voice. The next thing to undertake is working with different tones and sounds. If you can, buy a synth pedal to recreate hip-hop or dub step bass lines. Try out some reverb and delay pedals and experiment with some ambient music. The possibilities are endless, and now you’re evolving not only as a player, but as a full fledged musician. Start writing more music using your bass. Create lead lines, harmony, and rhythm all off the one instrument.

While these steps may seem rather drastic, remember, it’s only your lack of knowledge that hinders you. Embrace the foreign and the unknown and realize you are capable of great things. Slowly you’ll see growth, and you’ll begin to evolve into the modern bassist that is required in today’s fast paced world. Never give up, and keep on thumping.

Latest

This Week’s Top 10 Basses on Instagram

Published

on

TOP 10 Basses of the week

Check out our top 10 favorite basses on Instagram this week…

Click to follow Bass Musician on Instagram @bassmusicianmag

FEATURED @meridian_guitars @adamovicbasses @anacondabasses @mgbassguitars @xylembassguitar @officialspector @edwinpaanakker @alesvychodilbasses @boyarskycg @dmarkguitars

View More Bass Gear News

Continue Reading

Bass Videos

Interview With By the Thousands Bassist Adam Sullivan

Published

on

Interview With By the Thousands Bassist Adam Sullivan

Bassist Adam Sullivan…

Hailing from Minnesota since 2012, By the Thousands has produced some serious Technical Metal/Deathcore music. Following their recent EP “The Decent”s release, I have the great opportunity to chat with bassist Adam Sullivan.

Join me as we hear about Adam’s musical Journey, his Influences, how he gets his sound, and the band’s plans for the future

Photo, Laura Baker

Follow On Social

IG &FB @bythethousands
YTB @BytheThousands

Continue Reading

Bass CDs

Album Review: Mark Egan, Cross Currents

Published

on

Album Review: Mark Egan, Cross Currents

Mark Egan, Cross Currents…

It is exciting every time I get a new album from Mark Egan as he is such an amazingly versatile player and I never know what to expect (except for excellent artistry!) In his latest release, Mark has teamed up with Shawn Peyton on drums and Shane Theriot on guitar to bring us “Cross Currents”.

This collection of eleven tracks transports me to the Gulf Coast (New Orleans specifically). Mark’s fretless basses lay down a solid groove and lots of juicy solo work for this rootsy collection of funk, ambient, swamp-rock, second line, ballads, Cajun and even Indian Raga.

This trio is super-tight and the musicianship is flawless as each member has ample opportunity to shine. Even though each player is very talented in their own right, I feel that the collective energy is greater than just the sum of the players on this album. Each musician contributed to composing music for this project but the lion’s share are Mark’s original pieces.

I spent the summer of 1981 in New Orleans and this wonderful music takes me back to those fond memories. I participated in a wacky raft race on Lake Ponchatrain and this opening track elicits images of fun, sunshine, music, and great food.

This is another superb album that everyone will enjoy. Get your copy today! Cross Currents is available online at Amazon.com. Visit Mark online at markegan.com.

Continue Reading

Gear Reviews

Review: Joyo Tidal Wave Preamp

Published

on

Review: Joyo Tidal Wave Preamp

Joyo Tidal Wave Preamp: A Tribute to 90’s Iconic Sounds

Disclaimer: This pedal was kindly provided by Joyo for the purpose of this review. However, this does not influence our opinion or the content of our review. We strive to provide honest, unbiased, and accurate assessments to ensure that our readers receive truthful and helpful information.

In the realm of bass preamp/DI pedals, capturing the essence of iconic tones from the 90s can often feel like an elusive pursuit. However, the Joyo Tidal Wave Preamp emerges as a great option for bass players seeking to replicate the signature sounds of that era, particularly the revered tech21 SansAmp. With its robust feature set and compact design, the Tidal Wave offers a faithful homage to classic rock tones and low-gain distortions, all while providing modern conveniences for today’s bassist. Let’s delve into why the Joyo Tidal Wave stands out as a versatile and budget-friendly tool for both stage and studio.

Specs:

Measuring at 130 * 110 * 50 mm and weighing 442g, the Joyo Tidal Wave strikes a balance between portability and durability, making it ideal for gigging musicians and studio enthusiasts alike. With a power consumption of just 100 mA and a working voltage of DC 9V, the Tidal Wave ensures reliable performance in a variety of settings.

Controls:

At the heart of the Tidal Wave’s versatility lies its comprehensive control set, allowing bass players to sculpt their tone with precision. Key features include:

– Level: Sets the overall output volume of the pedal.

– Blend: Blends the dry signal with the cab-emulated signal, offering seamless integration of the pedal into any setup.

– Presence: Controls the dynamics of the high upper-mids, crucial for shaping drive tones.

– Drive: Introduces low-gain distortions and classic rock sounds into the clean tone.

– Treble, Middle, and Bass: Provides a 3-band EQ with frequency selectors for bass (40Hz – 80Hz) and mids (500Hz – 1KHz), offering ample control over tonal shaping.

– Middle Shift and Bass Shift: Allows for further fine-tuning of midrange and bass frequencies.

– Ground Lift: Helps eliminate ground loop noise in certain setups.

– DI Attenuation Switch: Adjusts the level of the DI output signal.

– LED Light Switch Control: Allows users to customize the ambient lighting of the pedal.

Performance:

True to its inspiration, the Joyo Tidal Wave excels in delivering classic rock tones and low-gain distortions reminiscent of the tech21 SansAmp. Whether you’re seeking gritty overdriven sounds or pristine clean tones, the Tidal Wave offers unparalleled flexibility and sonic versatility. The inclusion of a headphone out, XLR DI out with cab simulation, and throughout for the original bass sound make the Tidal Wave a versatile tool for both stage and studio applications. From practicing silently with headphones to crafting quality recordings in an ampless setup, the Tidal Wave delivers on all fronts with clarity, definition, and unmistakable character.

Pros:

The Tidal Wave boasts an array of advantages that set it apart from its direct competitors:

– Headphone Out: Transforms the pedal into a convenient practice tool.

– Size and Weight: Compact and lightweight design for easy transportation and setup.

– Rugged Construction: Durable build quality ensures longevity and reliability.

– DI and CabSim: Offers professional-grade direct recording capabilities with authentic cab simulation.

– Familiar Tones: Faithfully replicates the classic rock sounds of the tech21 SansAmp.

Cons:

While the Tidal Wave excels in many aspects, it does have a few drawbacks:

– Plastic Knobs: Knobs may feel less premium compared to pedals with metal controls.

– Cab Simulation Only on XLR Output: Limited cab simulation functionality may require additional routing for certain setups.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, the Joyo Tidal Wave Preamp stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of classic rock tones from the 90s. With its faithful homage to the tech21 SansAmp, comprehensive control set, and modern conveniences like headphone out and XLR DI with cab simulation, the Tidal Wave offers bassists a versatile  tool for sculpting their sound with precision and finesse. Whether you’re seeking to replicate iconic tones from the past or forge new sonic territories, the Joyo Tidal Wave Preamp is sure to inspire creativity and elevate your playing to new heights.

Available online at Amazon.com

Continue Reading

Latest

This Week’s Top 10 Basses on Instagram

Published

on

TOP 10 Basses of the week

Check out our top 10 favorite basses on Instagram this week…

Click to follow Bass Musician on Instagram @bassmusicianmag

FEATURED @cb_basses @alesvychodilbasses @odiengcustom @ramabass.ok @mauriziouberbasses @mgbassguitars @capursoguitars @thebassplace @adamovicbasses @ishguitars

View More Bass Gear News

Continue Reading