Cello hip hop. Goodbye bass guitar?

For my last two rehearsals with hip hop band Out from Inside, my beautiful fretless elec. bass has sat in her case, unplayed.  I feel especially guilty since she miraculously survived being run over by a large SUV last month without so much as a scratch.

For persevering I have nothing but praise and amazement for Frau Warwick and her robust bubinga body (that really is the kind of wood from which my bass is made – look it up).  No, it’s no fault of hers, and I’m still not totally sold on leaving her at home…. but I must admit that my cello, Jerry (named after Yo Yo Ma’s jello, ‘Cherry’), has been receiving the majority of my attention lately.

The first time Matt mentioned bringing cello into the band I was definitely skeptical, but for the last couple rehearsals I’ve been plugging in my cello instead of the bass and it’s just such a damn blast.  I’ve been playing cello for so much longer and more intensely than I have elec. bass, it’s like the difference between playing darts with my right vs. left hand, respectively.  Having already learned how to throw with the right hand, transferring that skill to the other hand takes much less time, but all things equal I’ll always prefer throwing with that right (dominant) hand.  But I really don’t want to have to choose so I’m  leaning towards carrying a dart in each hand – although hauling a cello, elec. bass, amplifier, and 2×10 cab is a royal pain in the ass.  It’s still not an upright bass though, so I wave my right to complain (I’d kill for an upright bass….and the right to complain).

Here’s an example of the band with bass guitar –  I can’t really hear this tune sounding the way I want it on cello, and I really don’t want to compromise.  So we’ll see.

This one’s all me with looped cello/frame drum and live bass over top (no need to listen to the whole thing – it’s very repetitive).

This has an über simple cello bassline stored on loop pedal w/ live bowed cello  (like my count-off?  Almost as hip as Jamey Abersold – haha)

So I’ll be posting more about this band because we’re really kicking stuff into gear lately and trying to take it in a whole new direction.  I’m super excited to be playing with these hard-hitters, so check out my description of OFInside on my current projects page.


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