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Can someone explain all the guitars in rock acts: Bass, lead etc?

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Can someone explain all the guitars in rock acts: Bass, lead etc?

Old 01-25-03, 10:38 AM
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Can someone explain all the guitars in rock acts: Bass, lead etc?

How do they function differently?
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Old 01-25-03, 10:46 AM
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Lead guitar is a chance to showboat ... to play all the riffs we remember and solo like a madman.

Backup (rythym) guitar is, to a degree, filler. Most of the time you wouldn't pick it out ... but if it was missing, you'd definately notice. It's like the glue that holds all those rhinestone studs on your denim jacket.

A bass is a totally different instrument altogether. Its purpose is, traditionally, to add intonation to the rythym played on the bass drum. It is often considered more of a percussive instrument, however many have expanded its range over the past 15 years (Les Claypool, Flea).
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Old 01-25-03, 11:28 AM
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BigPete is pretty on the money.

Bass is sort of a low-end guitar... in HT terms, think of it as the subwoofer.

Rhythm/Lead guitar. The "showboat" term for lead is pretty much accurate. Lots of bands get by with only one guitarist, though -- who would handle pretty much both duties. When you listen to a big wanky guitar solo, that's the lead guitarist with the rhythm guitarist in the background. (Of course, they will occasionally change positions.) The rhythm guitar adds density to the music that it would lack without it.

The rhythm/lead differentiation is probably most prominent in heavy metal/hard rock types of music.

To pick this stuff out, you really sort of have to train yourself to hear it. Bass is probably the easiest... just listen for a low-ended thump-thump-thumpa-thump in the mix. That's the bass.

Oh, and bass guitars are different from regular guitars. Most basses have four thick strings and are a little bigger and heavy than a standard guitar, which has six slim strings. Next time you're watching a rock band play, or looking at pictures of bands playing, look at the guitars carefully. You should be able to pick them out by sight easily.
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Old 01-25-03, 12:02 PM
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Don't downplay the rhythm guitar. Y'all make it sound like the rhythm guitar could be extracted from songs not much would change. Rhythm guitar pretty much drives the song. In most cases, when you hum the melody of a song, what you're humming is the rhythm guitar part. Vocals and lead guitar are like the icing on the cake. Lots of contemp bands don't even have a lead guitar. Guitar leads have fallen out of favor in recent years.
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Old 01-25-03, 12:48 PM
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Yes lead guitarists indeed have fallen out of favor, and so is the true guitar skills of a good guitarist of today.
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Old 01-25-03, 12:53 PM
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Rhythm is very underrated, it is quite important, and the basic flow of the song is generally found in this instrument.

Many times, if a band has 2 guitarists they will often switch between rhythm and lead.

Today, not many people in bands would even use the term "lead."

I myself don't play with anyone, thus I'm lead/rhythm and I also play bass. Although, not at the same time
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Old 01-25-03, 01:50 PM
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Bass is sort of a low-end guitar... in HT terms, think of it as the subwoofer.

tell that to Geddy Lee. The guy does things with a BASS that should be illegal.

All are on the money so far, though the music I listen to (Progressive) there isn't a difference between Rrythm and Lead. They are all the same. The "rhythm" is pretty much picked up by an Acostic, or a 12 string.
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Old 01-25-03, 01:50 PM
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Originally posted by Scot1458
Bass is sort of a low-end guitar... in HT terms, think of it as the subwoofer.

tell that to Geddy Lee. The guy does things with a BASS that should be illegal.

All are on the money so far, though the music I listen to (Progressive) there isn't a difference between Rrythm and Lead. They are all the same. The "rhythm" is pretty much picked up by an Acostic, or a 12 string.
or

Les Claypool

Victor Wooten
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Old 01-25-03, 02:24 PM
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Originally posted by db27
or

Les Claypool

Victor Wooten
So those guys can hit the high notes with a bass guitar?

When the poster said low end - he was not referring to quality but tonal range, which is why he clarified it with the comparison to a subwoofer.
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Old 01-25-03, 02:28 PM
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Originally posted by Mr. Music
So those guys can hit the high notes with a bass guitar?

When the poster said low end - he was not referring to quality but tonal range, which is why he clarified it with the comparison to a subwoofer.
yes, high end as well. do yourself a favor and listen to Victor Wooten. imo, the best and most unknown bassist around. he is best know for playing with Bela Fleck and the Flectones.

everyone should listen to him.
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Old 01-25-03, 02:35 PM
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Originally posted by db27

I myself don't play with anyone. . .
So is it fair to say that you play with yourself?
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Old 01-25-03, 02:53 PM
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Originally posted by Bushdog
So is it fair to say that you play with yourself?



fair indeed, at least once a day sometimes even more !!
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Old 01-25-03, 05:01 PM
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Originally posted by Scot1458

tell that to Geddy Lee. The guy does things with a BASS that should be illegal.

Word. Its hard to decide who to follow during a solo, Lifeson, or Geddy, cause they usually are both doing solos at the same time.

The bassline to Driven is just plain sick.
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Old 01-25-03, 06:14 PM
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You haven't heard bass guitar until you've heard a good fretless bass player. It was in style for a couple of years in the early '80s in bands such as Japan (Mick Karn was the player), and Gary Numan used it quite a bit, as well. A good fretless bass player can work that thing like a lead guitar.
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Old 01-25-03, 08:04 PM
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Originally posted by Numanoid
You haven't heard bass guitar until you've heard a good fretless bass player. It was in style for a couple of years in the early '80s in bands such as Japan (Mick Karn was the player), and Gary Numan used it quite a bit, as well. A good fretless bass player can work that thing like a lead guitar.
victor wooten often uses a fretless 6 string bass
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Old 01-25-03, 10:07 PM
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Originally posted by Numanoid
You haven't heard bass guitar until you've heard a good fretless bass player. It was in style for a couple of years in the early '80s in bands such as Japan (Mick Karn was the player), and Gary Numan used it quite a bit, as well. A good fretless bass player can work that thing like a lead guitar.
Geddy used to use one of those. Personally, I'm glad he ditched it. It just didn't work for their style.
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Old 01-26-03, 09:01 AM
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Originally posted by Jason
Geddy used to use one of those. Personally, I'm glad he ditched it. It just didn't work for their style.

When? I don't recall Geddy ever doing Fretless, but I could be wrong.

I do remember these over the years:

Fender Jazz and Precision basses- fretted (Fender makes a "Geddy Lee Jazz bass" for consumers that's really nice. It's bassed on his black and white Jazz with the Black block fret markers)

Rickenbacker - fretted
Wal Bass- fretted
Steinberger headless -fretted
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Old 01-26-03, 09:02 AM
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Originally posted by db27
victor wooten often uses a fretless 6 string bass
Les Claypool uses a FRETLESS six string often with distortion


A little, or a lot of distortion on a bass sounds KILLER
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Old 01-26-03, 09:03 AM
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Originally posted by Numanoid
You haven't heard bass guitar until you've heard a good fretless bass player. It was in style for a couple of years in the early '80s in bands such as Japan (Mick Karn was the player), and Gary Numan used it quite a bit, as well. A good fretless bass player can work that thing like a lead guitar.

The late Jaco Pastorious
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Old 01-26-03, 09:08 AM
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You wanna talk "extended range bass" let's talk Conklin Guitars.

Here's their 7 string bass line. Although they are best for "fusion" and "Jazz" music, a creative rocker could use them and you can definately do solos with these. Conklin and other makers of "extended range" basses have allowed the bass player to get back the position in music taken over by Keyboard players who could aslo provide "bottom end".

I got the red one


Last edited by Giantrobo; 01-26-03 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 01-26-03, 11:10 AM
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Victor Wooten Glad someone else has good taste in music...

Oh yeah this guy wasn't bad live:
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Old 01-26-03, 12:24 PM
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Originally posted by Giantrobo
When? I don't recall Geddy ever doing Fretless, but I could be wrong.

I do remember these over the years:

Fender Jazz and Precision basses- fretted (Fender makes a "Geddy Lee Jazz bass" for consumers that's really nice. It's bassed on his black and white Jazz with the Black block fret markers)

Rickenbacker - fretted
Wal Bass- fretted
Steinberger headless -fretted
I think I may have been thinking of the headless bass used in the Signals/Grace Under Pressure era. Sorry.
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Old 01-26-03, 06:21 PM
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Originally posted by Jason
I think I may have been thinking of the headless bass used in the Signals/Grace Under Pressure era. Sorry.

Hey no problem man! Yeah, the Stienberger bass from that era was headless using "double ball" basstrings but it was fretted. The tuners for that bass are on the same side as the players plucking hand and not on the low end of the neck like traditioinal bass/guitars.


Trivia:

Fender's "Precision" bass is called that because it made bass playing more precise by using FRETS and it made playing fretted basses popular. Up until that point the majority of bass players were using the stand basses which don't have frets. You know, like the guy used to play in the STRAY CATS.
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Old 01-26-03, 10:41 PM
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Like a chello?
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Old 01-26-03, 11:52 PM
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I knew my Rush nerdom would have a purpose one day...er...I guess.

Here is what Geddy was using during the Signals tour from the tourbook.

Rickenbacker 4001, Fender Jazz

and the Grace Tour

Steinberger L2, Rickenbacker 4001, Fender Jazz
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