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Info on learning gypsy-style bass

bumkneezbumkneez New
edited March 2011 in Bass Posts: 7
Where does one find basic info on playing gypsy -style bass?
There is plenty of data and interest in guitar. I haven't heard anyone mention they wanted to play bass. Is there anything available, or does one just study the music and apply thier bass knowledge to it?
Musically yours, bumkneez
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Comments

  • dennisdennis Montreal, QuebecModerator
    Posts: 2,040
    there is no gypsy style bass per se... my advice is to study with someone familiar with early 20th century jazz bass technique... or even a bluegrass bass player....

    furthermore, a lot of GJ bassists these days also use the modern technique and walking basslines... it's good to mix and match
  • ChadChad Bellingham, WashingtonNew
    Posts: 45
    I play upright although I avoid doing it for Gypsy Jazz, only because I'd rather play guitar. Any beginning is good, rocking rythmically between the 1 and 5 works well for most folks. Next, learning passing notes is good and then getting going with the full on walking part is pretty fun, but it can get tedious if you dont mix it up a lot. I would say, if you are going to be a one trick pony that just doing a tight job swinging the 1 and 5 is best. It can take quite a while to get really good at just doing that. I have hacked through so much of that for so many years, it doesnt hold a lot of interest for me anymore. That and hauling a bass around all the time is a big commitment. That being said, I always take my bass to guitar camp (http://www.psgw.org) only because there are so many really good guitarists I can get more time in with the big boys and learn if I play bass... (sigh)

    Chad
    Wholly Man
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,790
    Hi Chad!

    One thing I've noticed is that a lot of the Euro Gypsy jazz bass players like Simon Planting (played with Fapy for like 20 years) play pretty stacatto. They clip the note much shorter then most American players. Over here you hear a lot more legato bass playing which is more modern to my ear.

    'm
  • ChadChad Bellingham, WashingtonNew
    Posts: 45
    Hi Chad!

    One thing I've noticed is that a lot of the Euro Gypsy jazz bass players like Simon Planting (played with Fapy for like 20 years) play pretty stacatto. They clip the note much shorter then most American players. Over here you hear a lot more legato bass playing which is more modern to my ear.

    'm

    That is true Michael, I guess I never analyzed it much before, but a shorter sustain would certainly work better with the Pompe. Also, when you are playing at 320 BPM, you are hauling ass on any instrument. Not much time to let it ring...

    Chad
    Wholly Man
  • marcus johnsonmarcus johnson mauiNew
    Posts: 16
    Yeah, a gypsy bass forum...now yer talkin'! I'm hoping to learn a lot here.

    One thing that happens a lot more when I play Gypsy music vs. later styles; I tend to use a two-finger pizz more than I would in later styles of jazz, where I might use alternating fingers or one finger exclusively. It seems to sit really well against the rhythm guitar.

    The other thing concerns the amplification of the bass; I usually try to use the mic (AMT S25B) more than the pickup, if possible. The pickup is nice if I'm trying to cut thru the drums and the mix, but the mic really sounds great with the guitars and the violin.
  • bumkneezbumkneez New
    Posts: 7
    T[/size
    Thanks for the feedback. I''ve never attempted to play Gypsy Jazz , so it is all new to me.
    Looks like we are getting off to a good start concerning the bass.
    IT has been years since I've owned an upright, and it is definitely not in my budget to get another one.
    I have just converted a 7 string Ibanez solid-body to a 4 string Tenor guitar and 3 string Bass guitar..I am teaching myself two-handed tapping on this instrument. I also own a 4 string bass + a 6 string guitar--both semi-hollow body.
    I am definitely interested in learning Gypsy style rhythms and voicing.
    Though I won't be playing on the normally accepted types of instruments, my playing is for my own enjoyment.
    So now that I've made you aware of my unique situation, please be kind and share your knowledge with me.
    Musically yours, bumkneez
  • ScotsmanScotsman MinnesotaNew
    Posts: 31
    [So now that I've made you aware of my unique situation, please be kind and share your knowledge with me.
    Musically yours, bumkneez[/quote]

    Try some flatwound strings on your semihollow, dial in a fat sound and you should be good to go. :D
    Good luck and have fun,
    Steve
  • just the bassplayerjust the bassplayer Huntington, NYNew
    Posts: 40
    Will wonders never cease? A bass player section- I feel vendicated at last.
    Yes, the idea of flat-wound strings strikes me a just right. Currently, I'm using Thomastic-Infeld Jazz flats on my Jack Casady (hollow body) and running it through a 15 inch SWR amp.
    The Thomasic strings give a lovely upwright sound, a nice deep, warm sound with no string noise. These strings are well polished, play exceptionally well with long sustain - no deadness to them.
    We've noticed that the tone is a great match for playing with an acoustic guitar in the Django style.
    So many of the Django recording have poor recordings of the bass, so it means that we have to fill in the bits that are appropriate, to make the music swing. Django didn't think much of bass players, and neither do most guitar players for that matter, so we have to do our supporting part well.
    Thanks for the forum!
  • AndoAndo South Bend, INModerator
    Posts: 319
    Django didn't think much of bass players, and neither do most guitar players for that matter
    Now that's a shame. I sing bass-baritone, can read bass clef, play piano, and have played bass in some ensembles, and I can't tell you how many times bass can either elevate or destroy an ensemble. Good solid bass playing just enlarges everything and makes everyone sound good. Bad bass playing is like death. All you good bass players, you are wonderful.

    I saw Dajo De Cauter in New Orleans last year. He could simply play solid bass, nothing fancy, and it still swung like mad and could stand on its own in terms of interest and feeling. Into his ensemble (the Waso Quartet), he injected a fun, living, interesting, and swinging foundation. He made bass playing seem like FUN, like throwing a party where everyone has a great time and no one notices how skillfully the host has arranged things.[/quote]
  • bumkneezbumkneez New
    Posts: 7
    Thanks for the info on strings, etc.
    How is that Jack Cassady Bass? I've got a 1970 2 pup in red, looks real good next to my ES330TDC in cherry. Mine is a Rivoili model.
    Would you care to go into detail on how you accompany the guitar--types of lines, accents, etc.? Either on the forum or directly to :"bumkneez@yahoo.com".
    Really enjoying this forum.
    Musically yours, bumkneez
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