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bass and piano #2748295
06/30/18 11:44 AM
06/30/18 11:44 AM
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 243
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iamanders Offline OP
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iamanders  Offline OP
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Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 243
Howdy!
This coming autumn semester I will be playing with a duo. Me on piano, piano accordion vocals. The other guy on electric bass (maybe guitar) and vocals. So any ideas on how to play piano with a bass player? Our materials are eg Desperado, maybe a blues and hymns. As a pianist in eg blues you often play the bass lines. What would you professionals advise me to do?
In hymn or desperado I guess you would have to double the bass (although the bass might do a more advanxed version of it but both still play bass lines). What are ypur advice?

Last edited by iamanders; 06/30/18 11:45 AM.
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Re: bass and piano [Re: iamanders] #2748334
06/30/18 02:43 PM
06/30/18 02:43 PM
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 279
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tend to rush Offline
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tend to rush  Offline
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Posts: 279
Listen to piano trios - that's what you'll be playing - minus the drums. You do not play bass. That gets muddy. Your left hand is the middle, your right the top. It's like stride, but the other guy's playing the bass and your left hand is playing a chordal (middle) part against it.

Re: bass and piano [Re: iamanders] #2748389
06/30/18 06:42 PM
06/30/18 06:42 PM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 239
Kent, UK
Simon_b Offline
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Simon_b  Offline
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Hi

As TTR says, in general, don't try and play bass lines. Let the bass player do that and concentrate on a good harmony in the left hand and solid right hand lines/melody/solos.

Whilst I'm not a professional, I've done many gigs with just a bass player and even more in a drummer-less trio with a bass and Vibes player. In all those gigs over a period of several years I never attempted to play bass lines. In fact this evening I jammed for about 3/4 hour with a bass player. Not a left hand bass line in sight on "All Blues", "Mr P C", "Black Magic Woman" and a self-composed 16 bar C minor blues.

That said, perhaps its a reflection on my abilities more than anything. However listen to many of the greatest Jazz Pianists and its very rare to hear them playing left hand lines, when a bass player is present. There are always exceptions of course....

Cheers


Simon
Yamaha CLP535

Play what you enjoy listening to, listen to what you enjoy playing!




Re: bass and piano [Re: iamanders] #2748391
06/30/18 07:00 PM
06/30/18 07:00 PM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 974
Chicago
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jjo Online content
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jjo  Online Content
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Chicago
When I've played bass and guitar duos (jazz only) I play more sparsely than when there is also a drummer or guitar. The bass is playing, at most, four quarter notes, I feel like I don't want to be "busier" than the bass and should leave lots of space. When soloing, I'll use very little left hand. That's just how I approach playing a duo with a bass; there is no right or wrong, only what your ear tells you sounds good.

Re: bass and piano [Re: iamanders] #2748463
07/01/18 05:18 AM
07/01/18 05:18 AM
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 2,510
Israel
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Nahum Offline
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Nahum  Offline
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Israel
In the swing and bossa grooves, the left hand doesn't double the bass part. Left hand can play the root of chord, but in the rhythm of harmony - every bar or every half bar.

Re: bass and piano [Re: iamanders] #2748990
07/03/18 10:19 AM
07/03/18 10:19 AM
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 243
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iamanders Offline OP
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iamanders  Offline OP
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I often see and hear blues pianist playing bass lines.
Are you reffering to jazzy bass lines? I am not even mentioning jazz at all. Maybe desperado or non-jazz blues is to be played with the same attititude, ie not playing LH bass lines?
I am actually confusee by your mentioning of jazz. Isn't jazz another thing although at a jazz jam you might play a "simple" blues at times?

Re: bass and piano [Re: tend to rush] #2748992
07/03/18 10:22 AM
07/03/18 10:22 AM
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 243
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iamanders Offline OP
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iamanders  Offline OP
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Originally Posted by tend to rush
Listen to piano trios - that's what you'll be playing - minus the drums. You do not play bass. That gets muddy. Your left hand is the middle, your right the top. It's like stride, but the other guy's playing the bass and your left hand is playing a chordal (middle) part against it.

Doubling the bass can't be that problematic. It is only when you play jazzy walking basslines that a problem could arise I suppose. Don't you think?

Re: bass and piano [Re: iamanders] #2752177
07/17/18 03:32 PM
07/17/18 03:32 PM
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 8
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Brundle-Fly Offline
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Brundle-Fly  Offline
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Interesting subject. I encounter this challenge when trying to re-arrange a well-developed solo piano piece for small (MIDI) ensemble. My solo piano compositions often have a strong and musically important bass figure played in the left hand with chords and melodic elements combined in the right hand. The solo arrangment usually leaves a fair amount of room for melodic improvisation, but not much space for the bass.

But just handing over the left hand part to the bass player (i.e. yours truly playing synth bass on the keyboard) leaves nothing for my left hand to do on the piano, and I have trouble transferring the chords from my right hand to my left because they tend to be voiced (and the key chosen) very specifically for the physical architecture of the right hand. Plus I just haven't developed the proper Jazz technique of playing melody with the right hand over bass/chords in the left - i.e. comping - so my left hand just doesn't 'know' how to do that.

As a result, I often don't even have a separate bass part in the ensemble version; I leave it with the keyboard part.

Deep down, I know that the only real solution to this conundrum is to put the time into developing that comping technique, but I've never been good (read 'disciplined') about the perspiration part of making music vs. the inspiration part.

Now that I think about it, maybe the trick is to start out by splitting the right hand part between hands... will have to experiment.

Re: bass and piano [Re: Brundle-Fly] #2752850
Yesterday at 04:44 PM
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emenelton Offline
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It is problematic, that’s why you’re getting all the pretty general responses such as ‘dont Do that’ when you have a bass player

Originally Posted by iamanders


Doubling the bass can't be that problematic. It is only when you play jazzy walking basslines that a problem could arise I suppose. Don't you think?


Play 3 & 7 or 7 & 3 in the left hand or rootless in the left while adding something in you right - like the Jeff Goldblum acolyte Brundle-Fly notes he can’t!

Originally Posted by Brundle-Fly


I just haven't developed the proper Jazz technique of playing melody with the right hand over (no bass) chords in the left \

Deep down, I know that the only real solution to this conundrum is to put the time into developing that comping technique,

Now that I think about it, maybe the trick is to start out by splitting the right hand part between hands... will have to experiment.



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