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Good songs to cover on bass





tingkagol
I can't seem to put down the bass guitar these days, covering songs that I find really fun to play (in my opinion). Some of the ones that get repeated plays are the following:
  1. Generator, Aurora by Foo Fighters
  2. Are You In, Battlestar Scralatchtica, Talk Shows On Mute by Incubus
  3. Interstate Love Song, Plush by Stone Temple Pilots
  4. I'll Be Here Awhile, Sweet by 311
  5. Light Years, Cosmic Girl by Jamiroquai
  6. Chaos, Reset by Mute Math
  7. Cherry Waves by Deftones
  8. ...
Note: I've intentionally chosen songs by popular artists to make it easy for my bandmates to play along. I'm kind of playing with anybody who's willing to right now.

Anyway, I would greatly appreciate it if you can suggest popular songs that are really fun to play on the bass. For some reason, I haven't touched any RHCP songs yet. Probably because Flea's playing intimidates me a bit. Sublime songs look fun to play too.
Ankhanu
They're not really in your style, and people you're likely to play with won't know them, but, a couple really fun basslines (imo) are:
.: Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now - The Smiths
.: Barbarism Begins at Home - The Smiths
.: Love Will Tear Us Apart - Joy Division
.: Cygnux X-1 - Rush (lots of Rush, really)
.: The Impression that I Get - The Mighty Mighty Bosstones

and many, many more.
Ankhanu
Another fun one... but it's just for you Wink

liljp617
Iron Maiden
gverutes
Interstate Love Song by Stone Temple Piolets
tingkagol
Ankhanu wrote:
They're not really in your style, and people you're likely to play with won't know them, but, a couple really fun basslines (imo) are:
.: Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now - The Smiths
.: Barbarism Begins at Home - The Smiths
.: Love Will Tear Us Apart - Joy Division
.: Cygnux X-1 - Rush (lots of Rush, really)
.: The Impression that I Get - The Mighty Mighty Bosstones

and many, many more.
I've always thought The Smiths had good basslines (I think I learned one song a few months back. I think it was "There is a light that never goes out"). But you're right, it's kind of a pain to search for other bandmates who like the Smiths. lol. Anyway, I can't see the video you posted right now (I'm at work). I'll check it out later.
gverutes wrote:
Interstate Love Song by Stone Temple Piolets

Yep. ^_^
Can't go wrong with that Deleo guy. I think he's a pretty good bass player.
tingkagol
Ankhanu wrote:
Another fun one... but it's just for you Wink


That's just a little bit too fancy for my skill level. All those harmonics are going to drive me nuts. ^.^


In other news, I wish I could play like this guy:
Ankhanu
tingkagol wrote:
That's just a little bit too fancy for my skill level. All those harmonics are going to drive me nuts. ^.^


Yeah, it's a bit tough Razz I'm still working on playing it; I can do some of it, but, some of the stretches are hard for my short fingers (i.e. fretting on the second fret and extending to hit an harmonic on the 6th).
Here's a tab of it if you want to give it a shot... figuring it out alone would be pretty tough, as Jaco was doing some pretty innovative things here Razz

tingkagol wrote:
In other news, I wish I could play like this guy:


Yeah, that funk/dance/jazz style is pretty impressive. I can't really do it either... but it's also stuff that I don't listen to and would have extremely limited use in the sorts of bands I've been in, so haven't worked on playing like that since the early 2000s. It is fun though.
tingkagol
Speaking of funk/jazz, those were the genres that really piqued my interest in the bass. I understand that most of the time the purpose of the bass is to just sit in the background and blend in with the music, which is probably its best role in a song, but that style of play has always kind of been "boring" for newbies and other folks who don't really understand that "role". That includes me. Razz I always thought all it needed was a bit of showmanship for the instrument to be interesting, and funk kind of brought that naturally to the table.

Nowadays, I like to think I have improved the way I perceive the bass. Slapping/popping does not automatically equal "interesting" (eventhough those techniques are still pretty hard for me to pull off).
Ankhanu
Yeah, just playing along with roots and the occasional fill can get boring (even if it, in itself can be somewhat difficult to do WELL) that's not how I tend to play Razz

I take a bit of a harmony rhythm sort of approach to the bass, borrowing from some stylistic influences like Chris Murphy of Sloan, Krist Novaselik (sp.) of Nirvana (The bass really drove Nirvana tunes), Mike O'Neill of the Inbreds, Peter Hook of Joy Division/New Order, David J of Bauhaus, etc. It lays down that solid foundation with the drums while adding to the melody of the song as well. I've been told by a few people that my sound is somewhat different than anyone else's in the area and I hear baselines that never would have occurred to them. Not saying I'm skilled or good, just that my approach is different Razz

Ska is a killer genre for bass too. Lots of technical stuff along with an awesome bounce to it. It can be all over the neck Razz
Ankhanu
An example of bass as a solo melody/rhythm instrument:
tingkagol
Ankhanu wrote:
Yeah, just playing along with roots and the occasional fill can get boring (even if it, in itself can be somewhat difficult to do WELL)

Definitely. I've been having trouble with timing and consistency in some songs with just 3-4 root notes on repeat. A good example is 311's cover of Love Song by The Cure. I've had trouble with the little fills in between notes at first, but it's the subtle muting of the fingers (on the strumming hand) that the bassist does that drives me crazy. The muting is so subtle I don't think it can be done with the fingers on the fretboard. My suspicion is maybe I should be playing the whole measure entirely on the 4th string (as opposed to using the 3rd and 4th).

...or maybe i'm just overthinking stuff that wasn't there in the first place.
Ankhanu
I've only heard the 311 version once and was kinda put to sleep with what they did to a great Cure song Razz It's similar to the original, but, I didn't find it worked at all. I'll have to give it another listen and pay attention to the bassline.
tingkagol
Tried playing to it again today. I think it's a combination of semi-abrupt pushes on the notes on the fretboard and muting with the strumming fingers.
Quote:
I've only heard the 311 version once and was kinda put to sleep with what they did to a great Cure song

I remember every time we played the song live back in the day (I was on drums then), we weren't quite sure what version to play to appease the audience the most. Ultimately we decided not to play the 311 version in front of an older audience. They tend to be more pissy about it than when we played The Cure's version to a younger audience. Razz

As a band though, I think we enjoyed playing the 311 version more since it's more guitar-friendly and therefore we thought we emulated it better, whereas the original was heavy on the keys (and we had no keyboardist). The drumbeat was a bit more fun to do too.
tomisme
Try "Every breath you take". I have tried to play and sing along with it, a good one for bass player.
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