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Playing Bass Guitar Solos

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Strangely enough, some hit records of past decades have been bass guitar
solos. The sound of the bass guitar has just as much potential as the
acoustic and electric guitars to inflame the hearts of audiences.

bass guitar solos

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In 1965 British rock group, The Who released a song called My Generation.
Apart from its claim to fame as a rock anthem it also contains the most
instantly recognizable bass guitar solo in rock and roll. This iconic
solo by John Entwistle is typical of the bass solo modeled on similar
solo breaks played on double bass and bass guitar in jazz music. This
type of bass guitar solo is in the form of a question and answer sequence
often found in blues music. The Who's solo also imitates jazz bass solos
in that it is played without other instruments behind it. In jazz such
solos are played unaccompanied because other instruments tend to drown
out the bass.

There have been many bass solos included in rock, funk and jazz but only
in pop music has the bass guitar solo stood alone as a piece of music.
The first pop musician in England to own and play an electric bass guitar
was Jet Harris. He found fame and fortune with The Shadows, Cliff
Richard's backing group who were trying to make their own way in pop
music as a vocal and instrumental group. Harris played on the band's
early instrumental hits featuring the lead guitar of Hank Marvin but
decided to try to make it as a soloist like America's Duane Eddy.

Jet Harris' first big hit as a solo guitarist was in 1962 with his
rendition of the 1940 song Besame Mucho. The throbbing notes of the six
string bass turned a poignant love song into an instrumental work full of
menace. Probably inspired by their former band member's success, The
Shadows released another six string bass solo called Stingray as a single
in 1965.

Meanwhile in America in 1963 a young composer and arranger named Jack
Nitzsche made a lush orchestral single called The Lonely Surfer. The
orchestra was merely the backdrop for a simple melody played on the bass
guitar. The Lonely Surfer never climbed higher than number thirty-nine on
the charts, but that is pretty good for a bass guitar solo!

These days the bass guitar is an important part of any band. It was
actually born in the nineteen thirties but met with very little success
until it was adopted by the early rock and roll groups of the nineteen
fifties. The bass guitar is of course descended from the double bass
which has always been a solo instrument in orchestral music and was often
used for solo work in jazz.

If you want to play bass guitar, you might want to consider learning to
play a regular guitar first. It is not absolutely necessary to become a
lead or rhythm guitarist before playing bass but it seems to be the way
that bass guitar players come into the world. To begin your career as a
bass guitarist you can try playing through the bass tabs available on the
internet. There are also some lessons available for free plus you can
view heaps of bass solos and bass guitar lessons on the various video

Once you have some practice on the bass guitar under your belt there is
blinding variety of bass guitar techniques to try before you begin
seriously to play solos. You can employ a wide range of plectrums or
choose from the many techniques which involve plucking, popping and
slapping the bass with the fingers. To some people this might sound like
hard work but hopefully you will regard it as a labor of love.

Monika Kamal Monika Kamal Jesus
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