Roger Waters as a Bassist

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Vlad The Impaler
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Post by Vlad The Impaler »

HypatiaAquae wrote:
my breakfast. wrote: can he pitch notes better?
That what I believe that's what he thought, and you all know that headphones weren't widely used onstage yet.

In the old days especially Roger had a problem with pitch and sticking a finger in your ear is an old tried and true method of honing in on your own voice to help keep it under control and try to stay in tune. Headphones on stage later served the same function once wearing them onstage became accepted.

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TheCrazyBassist
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Re: Roger Waters as a Bassist

Post by TheCrazyBassist »

dave2 wrote: Thu Sep 23, 2004 5:10 am I do not understand so many people on message boards (not this one), who constantly trash Roger for his bass playing. I think Roger is an excellent bassist who is among my favorite bassists in rock. His style is very different from many other bassists. He has a real bluesy feel in his playing. He does really innovative things like the groove section of echoes (Live at Pompeii). I think his sound is a big factor in Pink Floyd albums. Each members playing fit really well together. Some of my favorite bass playing of Rogers is on:

1. Echoes ( Pompeii)
2. Have a Cigar
3. Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun (Pompeii)
4. Shine on you crazy diamond
5. Not Now John
6. One of these days

These are just a few examples of Rogers innovative style of bass playing. If anything Roger is often overlooked as a bass player, and is underrated.
In Embryo's version of the BBC archives for 1970-1971 Roger's bass sounds huge.

copy and paste the link
TheCrazyBassist
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Post by TheCrazyBassist »

Jangus wrote: Thu Sep 23, 2004 7:55 pm I dont think hes very good. He played a few good riffs, but his playing wasnt very good.
Who only played a few riffs?
What the hell are you talking about?
Did you ever hear him play?
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Post by TheCrazyBassist »

MikeWaters wrote: Thu Sep 23, 2004 7:43 pm Wow.... roger is good. You all have obviously not heard of JACO PASTORIUS!
Yes, I heard about Jaco Pastorius, but it really doesn't interest me at all.
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Post by TheCrazyBassist »

mosespa wrote: Sun Sep 26, 2004 8:02 pm Leave us not forget that Dave played quite a bit of bass on the recordings.

Hey You, Pigs (3DO), the first bass (and the middle section bass) of One Of These Days are most definitely Dave Gilmour...I'm pretty certain that he played the bass on Brick One, too...but I can't really prove it.

Pretty much any "melodic" bass line could conceivably be attributed to Gilmour.
It's amazing how every time we talk about Roger as a bass player, someone comes up with that famous phrase "Gilmour played this, not Roger." The truth is that little changes what Gilmour has played in the studio.
Roger was almost always the live bass player (except when it came to playing guitar). And he played the same bass lines that Gilmour supposedly plays. It's amazing how you underestimate Waters. That any melodic line can be attributed to Gilmour?
You never heard Roger play.What you say is totally exaggerated.
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Post by TheCrazyBassist »

mosespa wrote: Sun Oct 03, 2004 7:26 pm The beauty of Gilmour's guitar work lies in the very melodicism we are discussing here.

Concocting a vocal melody is quite a different thing from coming up with a guitar melody...or a bass melody.

Taking it even further...compare the melodic STYLE of the bass lines in question (or any of the bass lines...in particular the melodic ones) with the melodic STYLE of Gilmour's guitar solos...each applies the same melodic sensibilities.

Geez...I would figure that's a no-brainer.

Also...take a look at Roger's solo albums and notice the complete absence of melody in the bass lines unless someone else is playing it.

Roger's bass lines are rythmic (this is not a bad thing...after all, the bass IS considered part of the rythym section...)

Gilmour's bass lines are melodic (as is his guitar playing.)

Now...the next person who tries to call shenanigans on what I say in this post ought to offer at least as much deduction in their argument as I have just presented...otherwise, you just look like a silly assed Gilmour Hater/Waters Loyalist.

I am neither...I respect both men greatly.

More Floyd Fans should.
I think it's a lie that Roger only knew how to play rhythmic bass lines. Also, you should keep in mind that most of the lines were written by Roger. If Gilmour hadn't played "One of these days," you wouldn't even be interested in the line.
You should listen to Roger's playing more than criticize him.
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Post by TheCrazyBassist »

mosespa wrote: Fri Oct 08, 2004 6:16 pm
Johnny Rotten wrote:Why did they have a session bassist in the album and the tour of the wall if Mr. Gilmour played all the bass lines?
Excuse me...are you seriously asking this question?

They hired a session bassist for the tour because Roger was so inept at playing bass that they needed someone who knew what they were doing.

Gilmour, awesome musician though he is, is incapable of playing guitar AND bass simultaneously in a live context.

As for the session musician who played bass on the album (and, by the way, no one is saying that Gilmour played ALL the bass lines, Johnny...I'm just contending that he's done it on more than six songs...) who knows why? Maybe Gilmour didn't want to do them all.

No one's ever painted Gilmour as a control freak, have they?

But they have Roger.

Maybe Roger ran into a "wall," so to speak, and Gilmour refused to do any more bass lines.

Do we even know if there's a session bassisst on the album?
Johnny Rotten wrote: or same question about the final cut albums session bassplayers, yes, Gilmour is a talented bass player, it doesnt bother me that he played on 6 songs, which two were his own songs. hell, Roger composed tons of guitar lines, I am very internested who actually did what behind Floyd and I still pursue this quest and debates with him were always fascinating since the facts were always on his side, against G's propaganda.
and I havent seen RPITI for a long time, I remember his posts before all the post accidently got deleted. Some people are colourful people and not all people like all the colours in the world.
As for The Final Cut...Gilmour wanted as little to do with it as possible. When you don't want to be involved with something, the last thing you do is do more than you usually would if you were involved.


To Vlad The Impaler...have you ever posted under another name at a different board? Some of your comments are kind of ringing bells.
I am convinced that Waters is anything but an inept bass player.
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Re: Roger Waters as a Bassist

Post by ZiggyZipgun »

It's kind of hard to defend the guy's bass playing when he has said that he doesn't think if himself as a bass player and he's never had any interest in playing the bass. Most of his solo albums feature session musicians playing very simple bass lines - five different people were brought in for Amused to Death, including Randy Jackson and Flea (though Flea's contribution wasn't used); out of 14 tracks, not one of them has a memorable riff. He really doesn't care. As I said the other day, YouTube is full of pubescent girls that can play Gilmour's solos note-for-note, but few people could write those parts, and it's a resource Roger had at his disposal and used many more time than the six or seven tracks that Dave has gradually taken credit for. There are no official credits - even the liner notes on recent reissues of Meddle don't mention Gilmour playing on "One of These Days" even though he explained that process nearly thirty years ago, and he's the one in charge of those reissues; to him, it was really only noteworthy that he and Roger both played on it, rather than one or the other, but he was proud of the beat-synced delay and vibrato that he'd rigged up for it, which was not an easy task back then. Now, I can say that I've heard Roger play, because I've seen him live, but on the other hand, I've also seen him lip-sync. So who knows - there was always an extra bass player nearby, and he's not above miming.
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Re: Roger Waters as a Bassist

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ZiggyZipgun wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 9:15 am including Randy Jackson and Flea (though Flea's contribution wasn't used);
I mean I guess Flea's particular style might not have gelled with Amused to Death so well, but damned if I don't want to hear what he played now!
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TheCrazyBassist wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 3:08 am
1. Roger was almost always the live bass player

2.Also, you should keep in mind that most of the lines were written by Roger.

3. I think it's a lie that Roger only knew how to play rhythmic bass lines.
1. Except when Snowy White was bassist on "Pigs (Three Different Ones)" on the Animals tour (when Roger is seen playing a Stratocaster,) and playing those fretless basslines that Gilmour played in the studio.

And also not including when the surrogate bassist(s) (it was always Andy Bown, right? I forget,) was playing them...most notably the fretless work on "Hey You," where Roger is seen standing behind the wall with only a microphone in his hand.

2. Roger only wrote the lines he played. I can pretty well assure you that he didn't tell David Gilmour what to play beyond the key and any accidental notes that he might have used.

3. You can think whatever you like. It's my opinion, I'm entitled to it and if you disagree with me then that makes you an intolerant, bigoted, meanie-meanie Nazifascist and I have the right to hope that you go die in a fire.

Thanks for playing. I'll see to it that you get a copy of the home game as a consolation prize.
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Re: Roger Waters as a Bassist

Post by mosespa »

"I may not play very many notes, but I have noticed that the notes I play DO tend to be the right ones."--Roger Waters

Root notes. Not melodic lines.
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Re: Roger Waters as a Bassist

Post by ZiggyZipgun »

☝ Is that an actual quote from Roger? The guy made a living playing octaves and fifths. The only time he ever strayed out of the pentatonic scale was during the early live versions of "Great Gig in the Sky", where his descending chromatic line sure made me think he must be tone deaf.
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Re: Roger Waters as a Bassist

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It's something I saw him say in an interview during the KAOS era, I believe. It was on a VOIO compilation I stumbled across on the 'net one day a couple of decades ago.
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Re: Roger Waters as a Bassist

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ZiggyZipgun wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 2:09 am ☝ Is that an actual quote from Roger? The guy made a living playing octaves and fifths. The only time he ever strayed out of the pentatonic scale was during the early live versions of "Great Gig in the Sky", where his descending chromatic line sure made me think he must be tone deaf.
I think you mean 'ascending line'. It's been noted there's a similarity between this and the guitar solo section of Procol Harum's Whaling Stories. The line is doubled on piano so I doubt it was solely Waters' idea.

Generally speaking, of course Waters' playing is technically basic (the same could be said for Mason's drumming) but that's the PF rhythm section we got for the bulk of their most popular and productive years. If you think the band's output would have been better with different musicians that's fine, but harping on about it is futile really - there are many other bands to listen to. Including of course the later Gilmour-led band doing more proficient versions if that's what you prefer.

Waters loss of interest in being the bass player in the mid-late 70s and interviews years later have no bearing on how the band worked before then between stage and studio. He's certainly not the first person to have opinions on his older work that are at odds with more general views.
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Re: Roger Waters as a Bassist

Post by ZiggyZipgun »

penguinzzz wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 11:41 am I think you mean 'ascending line'.
Quite right - I hadn't listened to it in a long time and was also thinking of the middle bit of "Embryo". Either way, I'm glad it was dropped.

I'd say Roger lost interest in being a bass player no later than 1972, but I don't believe that he bothered with it much in the studio before then either. The Abbey Road footage in the Pompeii film features them all apparently hard at work, but Dark Side was in the final mixing stage at that point, and the director had them mock-up a few scenes as though they were still recording it. If Roger plays "On the Run" on the Synthi-A even though he didn't do it on the album, then I wouldn't assume he wrote the bass line that he plays on "Eclipse".

"There is quite a fair bit of footage in the studio during the making of Dark Side. Its a bit of a con - it wasn't the real recording. It's me sitting on a stool re-doing an overdub to Eclipse, with the same guitar, but when the record was actually finished. And those bits of Roger pretending to do "On the Run" where he hadn't done it in the first place!" DG, 2003