[Dixielandjazz] Bass Solos

David Richoux tubaman at batnet.com
Fri Jul 23 09:38:21 PDT 2004

For me, there is nothing more awful than playing a full set with each 
song going through the same solo order. It often happens on "pick-up" 
gigs and it drives me crazy! Head, reed, trumpet, bone, piano, banjo, 
bass, drums, back to the head. GAAKKK!!!

As a tuba player, I don't ask for (or take) many solos, but there are a 
few songs that really do work well for me - St. James, Just a Closer 
Walk and Wolverines come to mind. Minor key songs somehow let me work 
more interesting note choices into my solos and I like that. The rest 
of the time I get my kicks by playing a line that works, keeping the 
chords and tempo in order without being too repetitive.

 From what I learned in "Pop Psychology of Musicians 101" - I do not 
think a typical bass player COULD have a really big ego because the 
ultimate function of the bass line is to support the melody & solos and 
to move the song along, not be the "star performer."   Obviously, there 
are major exceptions: Eli Newberger is a prime example in my opinion. I 
love hearing him take extended solos, seemingly not worried about 
keeping exact tempo or holding the traditional bass line, yet really 
exploring all sorts of possibilities with his horn in a very musical 
way!  I think many bands would fall apart on every song if their bass 
player did what Eli does...

Dave Richoux

, On Jul 23, 2004, at 5:44 AM, Thompson wrote:

> Which leads me to ask the question.  Why are bass players given a 
> solo?  Is
> it just for their ego?  Or just a way to give the other players a rest?
> Seems no one really appreciates them...
> I LOVE the bass line when played with other players.  BUT solo?  Very
> seldom.
> Rebecca Thompson
> Flower Mound, TX
> -----Original Message-----
>> I have noticed that people do not pay
> much attention to bass/tuba solos<
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