The Beauty of Simplicity

Driving to work this morning Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone by The Temptations came on. I was struck by how simple and sparse the bass line was and how much impact it had on the song. It just goes to show that you don’t have to pay a ton of notes, just the right notes at the right time.

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Miles Davis also belived this…he did pretty ok with this concept too. :thinking:

My sax instructor never stops saying “play less, leave more space”.
He has never once said “play more notes please” - ever.

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R

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I was looking online to see who the bass player was for that recording and came across an interesting story. Bob Babbitt said he didn’t remember but did relay what Wah Wah Watson told him. Apparently Babbitt and Jamerson were both in the the studio but when the producer told him to just play that simple line over and over Jamerson walked out so Babbitt ended up on the recording.

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As my bass coach used to drill into my head, “serve the tune”.

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Great advice for any musician or singer.

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I may be alone here, but I don’t understand what he or she was telling you. :confused:

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It means dont try to show off, do what’s best for the song as a whole.

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Ah, thanks Pam, now I get it and it sounds like great advice.

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Said Gene Simmons NEVER…

image

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I think showing off is what’s required to serve a KISS tune.

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The bass player is left up the back of the stage right by the drummer, very rarely seen but can be heard by all, now that’s what i call fitting into the mix.
Hitting all the right notes to fill a song out, but for the purist’s who know providing the solid groove that brings it all together, less is more, serve the tune and you will shine,
That’s my take on a good bass player,
Cheers Brian

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Duck Dunn was another for fairly simple bass lines…he used rhythm and syncopation rather than busy notes.

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There are quite a few exceptions to this @TNKA36 .

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LOL - well showing off was the whole KISS concept … and then they just happened to have some good music in there too!

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Difference there Mac @REPA ,
Is that those guys are all front men, not just bass players, you can throw Sir Paul into this group as well,
Cheers Brian

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:slight_smile:

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I’d love to throw Paul macartney somewhere. Preferably under a bus.
Lemmy began life as a bass player for the mighty Hawkwind so wasn’t really a front man there.
Anyway I was just pointing out that not all bass players in a band hide in the shadows :+1:

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Hey Mac @REPA
Warriors on the edge of time is a great album,
I like magnu👍Great song
Cheers Brian

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Oh yeah. I do find it really depends on my mood though . Some of hawkwinds stuff is just a bit too much of the time it was recorded if you know what I mean. Probably due to all of the band except Lemmy preferring chill out chemical influences :joy:

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