Brian Krahe plays bass for North Carolina based Progressive Deathcore band Krosis and his start as an extended range guitarist encouraged a unique approach to playing bass. The Nordstrand Big Split 5 pickups are essential to his bass tone, providing the much-needed clarity in the low end.
"Born and raised in Raleigh North Carolina, I began my musical endeavors late at age 18 and was torn between playing bass and guitar. After learning the basics of both instruments, I became obsessed with progressive metal bands that utilized extended range guitars and just had to get one for myself. Jumping headfirst into playing an 8-string guitar made so much sense to me, I had the best of both instruments right at my fingertips!"
"Fast forward to 2015, after playing in a few different bands I was messaged by the guys in Krosis who were looking for a bassist. I decided to make the switch back to bass after hearing their debt EP Mount of Sacrifice and began to apply all that I learned on guitar to bass."
"The techniques I was most excited to transfer to bass were tapping, thumping, and hybrid picking. Tapping helped me keep up with the fast and intricate riffs that are an integral part of the Krosis sound. It also let me use more of the range on my 5 string ESP bass since I now had two hands navigating the fretboard. Thumping (the use of both up and down strokes with the thumb) was incredibly difficult with the small string spacing on guitar now became much easier on bass. Its been essential for my playing live when I don’t have time to switch to my pick for fast tremolo sections, or when I want to really emphasize the percussive nature of using my thumb to slap the strings. Hybrid picking was a natural fit for me on bass since I was so used to using a plectrum on guitar. And as a bonus, it works great with the increased string spacing on bass (compared to guitar) for string skipping!"
I focus on integrating many different techniques into my playing for a few reasons: Choosing the perfect technique for a section makes it much easier to pull off, especially in a live setting when you are also focused on stage presence to keep it interesting for the audience. More techniques also allow for more variety in my tonality. The distinctive attack of a plectrum sounds much different from the warm tone of fingerstyle or aggressive thumping or funky popping & slapping. And finally, it’s just plain fun and helps keeps things from getting stale!
Describe your rig: I am currently playing a Multiscale ESP B-1005SE with Nordstrand Big Split 5 pickups. I run my bass through a Line 6 Helix with a Darkglass Alpha Omega in the FX Loop to a Behringer power amp with Eden 2x10” & 1x15” cabs.
What do you like about you Nordstrand Pickups? The clarity was the first thing that stood out to me. Its been a long search of mine for pickups that can handle the extremely low tunings that my band uses and still retain note definition. In Krosis I drop the top 4 strings to C standard (Low to High: C F Bb Eb) with the thickest string switching between G, F, and finally E, a full octave below standard tuning for bass. The 37” to 34” scale length helps me to use thinner gauge strings and pairs very well with the Big Splits. Starting with a clean and articulate bass signal lets me split my tone into a clean signal and heavily distorted signal, blended at the end for the best of both worlds. The Big Split 5s provide the flexibility I need to use both a clean and dirty tone at the same time. Plus, it blends really well when the clean is EQ’d to cut the upper mids and high frequencies that the dirty tone mainly resides in.
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