i was just wondering if anyone has any ideas as to how to approach a gig where you are playing standards and there is a drummer and singer but no bass player.  personally i think its crazy to have a drummer but no bass.  

anyway what's are some options to approach your lh in this situation do people think? doing walking bass in the lh is probably required a bit to fit in with the drummer, but then again soloing over a lh piano walking bass sounds a bit annoying after a while i think.  its hard to think of what will work well in the lh and fit in with the drummer. if anyone has any suggestions it would be much appreciated, thanks.
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play with an organ sound or walk bass, but to be honest i'd just sub it out, this sounds like just the worst kind of gig.
try practising without the pedal.  check out the lessons on this site and keep playing with enthusiasm.
i meant play with an organ sound and walk bass. but really, sub it out unless you're really hurting for cash. i can guarantee you it won't be fun.
ooh baby baby
oh i don't know it's that bad.  i would say you should just use your lh in your solos as you would on a solo gig so mix up walking bass (2 and 4 feel), stride patterns, chordal phrases etc.

nina simone used to play with just a drummer from time to time.  check out her version of feelings:


there's also a famous concert from ronnie scott's in london with just piano and drums.  here's my favourite song from that gig:


playing with singer gives you a lot of freedom as you're not playing the melody.  chances are, people will be listening to the singer and not your solos especially anyhow - that's all part of the joy of being a piano player i'm afraid!

the piano duo is a very common format and just treat the drums as icing on the cake and play in the same style as you would if it was just you and the singer.

for suggestions of great albums to listen to for ideas, check out the following:

the tony bennett/bill evans album  
'undercurrent' by bill evans/jim hall  
'people time' by stan getz/kenny barron  
'the power of three' by michel petrucciani/jim hall/wayne shorter

the latter features wayne shorter only on some of the tracks but is still a masterclass on playing without a bass.

hope this helps.  playing without a bass can be hard but rewarding as you have a huge amount of freedom on where to take the music.  if it's getting annoying or boring then that's a failure of the pianist and not the setup.

good luck, hope some of this helps...
i did some gigs like that but i was singing so there wasnt nesesity for many solos,what i did was also hook my left hand part of keyboard midi out to other soundmodule which played bass and that i transposed and octave lover so i had two sounds going and left hand piano lines were thus oktave higher so it filed the space even for solos
and lf never playd chors but just bass lines.
in the early days there were also trios with no bass,but that was all probably stride stuff ,boogiewoogie and such
great point about the earlier trios.  i can't believe i forgot about the unbelievable playing of teddy wilson in benny goodman's trio.  that band was drums, piano and clarinet and never sounded like it missed anything. definitely check teddy out.
i played in quite a few bassless trios in the 70's and 80's.  if you use a rhodes sound you can have left hand bass and chords without everything sounding muddy.
reminds me of the joke about the two musicians and a bass player that walk into a bar...

i've have had several occasions where i ended up playing acoustic piano with just a drummer...it sounds scary at first, but once the gig gets started and you get used to the sound sans bass, it's just another gig - like a solo piano gig, but with the added help of a drummer...just do your thing and try to enjoy yourself:)
a lot of bass players are slightly out of tune and many also have a weird time feel. often they amplify thgeir instrument and play too loud. so it can be a good thing to play without a bass player.
awesome combination.  enjoy it while you can.  most likely you will not get the oppurtunity to do many gigs with just a drummer in your life so enjoy this one to the max.  just an awesome fun combination.
i have ussually aproached it very similar to how i play solo. but i might add i am a very walking bass lh kind of solo piano guy.  i might start a night soloing over a lh walking line and never stop all night.  so i never think "soloing over a lh piano walking bass sounds a bit annoying after a while" as you do... neither did the greatest solo pianist who ever lived like dave mckenna for example who often walked all night long as well.  but playing with just a drummer is so much fun it has been a while but i remember stoping walking just so i could ( and for lack of a better way to explain it) fuck around with them.  this is your chance to improvise rhythms without worrying about whether a bass player is with you harmonically.  it is a wicked gass.. just can be the most fun gigs of your life.
man, i agree with mike.  not having a bass player is like a blessing. you have complete control over the harmony and melody, you can do whatever you want.

walking bass, rootless voicings, stride, you can do anything.  like someone else said, it's a solo gig with a drummer backing you up rhythmically.  

i have a group called the scot ranney eclective.  it's me and a bunch of drummers and percussionists :)
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check out craig taborn´s playing on the chris potter album "follow the red line: live at the village vanguard". it´s just drums, guitar, sax and rhodes. modern jazz with no walking bass or stride whatsoever.
very nice rhodes work.  the bottom is supported by the way the bass drum is accented and recorded.  a bass is not even missed.  i also love the bass clarinet.
i've played bassless gigs quite often with just a drummer or percussionist. it takes some getting used to, but not hard if you can do solo gigs. and don't worry about always playing wlb (walking lefthand bass) or stride, whether swinging or not. there is no rule that says bass notes have to be played constantly.
as george gershwin would say.  "a bassist is a sometimes thing."
life is what happens between bass players.
majority of nonmusician audience cant hear him anyway,but they like to see a mass of carved wood and someone doing things to it
lol  i like barry's comment "life is what happens between bass players"
   really as much as i have said it has been cool to gig a couple of times without a bass player what barry says is more the reality sort of.
   the fact is that for a piano player bass players become such an important part of our lives that we can often define our lives by which part of our life was it that we were with which bass player.  they become so critical to our very existence in so many ways.  once you are hooked up with one... or god forbid not hooked up wtih one.
i remember recently i had a particularly talented student leave me to go off to college for music.  he was looking for advice on all fronts.
i told him   try to meet other players to jam with...  but if you meet a bass player that can play... buy his drinks.  i told him if you can hook up with a bass player that can play it will change your life.  i have had two primary bass players in my life.  kevin frieson from west virginia and rich hill from cape cod.  between the two of them i owe most of what i know about music and what i can do as a performer.  i learned much more from playing with them than i did from
attending berklee for example.  the greatest bass players always take it upon themselves to figure out what really makes an ensemble tick.
they are the ones that know why something just does not sound good when no one else can figure it out.  i might even go so far out on a limb as to say if you have never played with a great jazz bassist you have probally never really learned how to play jazz.
my wet dream would be to play with ray brown.
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