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Thread started 09/06/19 7:24am

JoeyCococo

His Bass Playing

You don't usually hear people talk much of his bass playing on the song Adore. You marvel it all of the rest of it.....but if you can focus and listen deeply enough to hear his bass playing on this song, it is truly as if you are hearing a totally diff dimension. It is too bad the CD sounds so so bad but the marginally better version on Girl6 allowed me to listen closer. His playing is just so so awesome. He always did something...diff or unexpected. Hearing bassplayers of his calibre (Sonny .) is such a pleasure b/c you actually hear the song very differently.

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Reply #1 posted 09/06/19 9:01am

Sydney

Prince was always an insane bass player but late in life I felt he seemed to fall back in love with the instrument, almost favouring it over guitar on the later albums. The playing in "Time" is unbelievable and the bass solo in "Shut This Down" is one of his fiercest.

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Reply #2 posted 09/06/19 2:53pm

jdcxc

Yes, his Bass was wicked on those tunes. Alphabet St. is another song that has a deceptively funky Bass line.
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Reply #3 posted 09/06/19 4:39pm

Hamad

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I would say he was at his most comfortable playing bass as well as rhythm guitar, always always always on the pocket. Listened to "2 Nigs United 4 West Compton" earlier todat and its soooo testimonial of how monstrous of a bassists he was.

Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future...
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Reply #4 posted 09/06/19 5:14pm

jjam

Prince was a great "pocket" musician. Great feel as well.

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Reply #5 posted 09/06/19 5:27pm

WhisperingDand
elions

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I used to play that 10-second clip where he's at the studio console jamming on the bassline while recording the extended mix of "Partyman" like a hundred times.

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Reply #6 posted 09/06/19 5:37pm

WhisperingDand
elions

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Also, I used to read/watch a lot of Miles Davis interviews and books--he was adament Prince had both intimated and spoken to him directly about how his "sound" was intentionally lacking prominent basslines. I feel like this has more to do with them being low in the mix in those 80s records than the CD quality... he was intentionally mixing them low.

He clearly changed perspectives/sounds in regards to bass after the 80s, but in this interview here Miles says he went out to Prince's New Years party and asked him,
"Hey Prince, where's the bass player?"
"Did you hear him?"
"No, I can't hear him."

"If you heard him I'm gonna fire him."

https://youtu.be/FETPaGyPNKI?t=162

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Reply #7 posted 09/07/19 10:03am

JoeyCococo

WhisperingDandelions said:

Also, I used to read/watch a lot of Miles Davis interviews and books--he was adament Prince had both intimated and spoken to him directly about how his "sound" was intentionally lacking prominent basslines. I feel like this has more to do with them being low in the mix in those 80s records than the CD quality... he was intentionally mixing them low.

He clearly changed perspectives/sounds in regards to bass after the 80s, but in this interview here Miles says he went out to Prince's New Years party and asked him,
"Hey Prince, where's the bass player?"
"Did you hear him?"
"No, I can't hear him."


"If you heard him I'm gonna fire him."


https://youtu.be/FETPaGyPNKI?t=162




I think Prince knew that bass changes the climate and mood of the song. However, he was not about to show how he changed the weather with the bass mixed too clearly. Amazing
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Reply #8 posted 09/08/19 1:15am

mediumdry

I am a bass player for life and have had Prince in my life for most of my life. At the same time, I love Prince's music in many aspects, but I never found his bass playing extraordinary. Sure, the rumbling (that Brownmark started) is funky and he's got a few marvelously bass driven songs (like Let's Work or 777-93-11), but his way of playing bass is mostly either slap/pluck without the mid-low oomph that, say, Larry Graham had in the 70's or it is fusion style finger soloing that is fast, but doesn't generate groove. He plays it like a solo instrument as opposed to an earthy meaty groove machine. And if he didn't use it to solo, he generally buried the bass or removed it.

.

For my money, I'd prefer something like 60's and 70's George Porter Jr of the Meters. Powerful, groove pushing bass. Not as a solo intrument, but just pushing the songs.

.

So, yes, he had great technique, but to me he isn't a hero on the bass, even though I love bass and he's a hero of mine in so many other ways.

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Reply #9 posted 09/08/19 6:50am

JoeyCococo

mediumdry said:

I am a bass player for life and have had Prince in my life for most of my life. At the same time, I love Prince's music in many aspects, but I never found his bass playing extraordinary. Sure, the rumbling (that Brownmark started) is funky and he's got a few marvelously bass driven songs (like Let's Work or 777-93-11), but his way of playing bass is mostly either slap/pluck without the mid-low oomph that, say, Larry Graham had in the 70's or it is fusion style finger soloing that is fast, but doesn't generate groove. He plays it like a solo instrument as opposed to an earthy meaty groove machine. And if he didn't use it to solo, he generally buried the bass or removed it.


.


For my money, I'd prefer something like 60's and 70's George Porter Jr of the Meters. Powerful, groove pushing bass. Not as a solo intrument, but just pushing the songs.


.


So, yes, he had great technique, but to me he isn't a hero on the bass, even though I love bass and he's a hero of mine in so many other ways.




Can't argue with a real bass player but..I just find his bass lines fresh and different. He was communicating through the bass...maybe this is what you mean too when you said he played it like s solo instrument. I just live it.
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