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Bass Guitar...

Discussion in 'Bass Area; The Bottom Line' started by The Golden Boy, Jun 1, 2008.

  1. The Golden Boy

    The Golden Boy Member

    Aug 5, 2005

    I've been a bass player for 29+ years. I'm a hack. But I'm an experienced hack. I've played guitar for 25+ years. Again, I'm a hack- but an experienced hack. I've played with some amazingly awesome musicians, and it's only made me a better player. Not just as a bass player, not just as a guitar player, but as a musician.

    To my way of thinking, a "musician" is concerned with creating a piece of work. Not just concerning themselves with their "role" but how their role interracts with everyone else's role. A piece of music is not just one piece, it's the combination of all the parts.

    Recently, I've started REALLY taking issue with bass players that take the issue of being a "bass player" to the "us vs. them" level. In my mind, it doesn't matter if you're pounding the root, or if you're playing some intricate solo- if what you're doing serves the music- that's the point. It's entirely a team effort, and your "role" is to serve that piece of music. Yes, as a bass player, you have so much control over the music- but so do all the other musicians that you're playing with.

    Thinking of music as a painting, and all the instruments as colors in the painting, no color is any more important than any other color- it's how they work together. To function on a "red is the best and most important color" mindset is stupid and ignorant.

    When I hear/see the term "guitard," it makes me angry. Angry that the poster is that ignorant in the roles assigned to musicians. For all the "drooling out of both sides of the mouth" drummer jokes, I wonder about the experience of the posters. As far as bass players go, the only time I've ever heard/read about the term "basshole" is bass players using it as an excuse to use the term "guitard."

    I hear/read about people bitching about being told to turn down, or turn their cabs and being a knob about it... Man, the idea is to create a whole of music that everyone can enjoy- Yes, you're there to create, and be a part of it- but damn- you're generally not "it." For all the complaining about the lack of respect that a bass player gets- I've never heard good and competent musicians complain about a competent bass player.

    You don't have to be "awesome." You have to work to the best of your abilities with what you have to work with.

    Know your role, know the song, know your parts, be able to roll with the changes and the unexpected... that'll make you "the man." Artificially elevating your role and yourself- isn't the way to ingratiating yourself with your fellow bandmembers, or even your self-respect. Doing what needs to be done- is.

    Get over being "just the bass player." Get over the "you've only got 4 strings to deal with" thing. Just as a painting isn't all about the red paint- red goes where it goes, and without it, the whole work of art suffers, but remember, you're nothing without the blues, greens, yellows and blacks....
  2. cwdaniel

    cwdaniel Member

    Jul 3, 2007
    The Furnace, Arizona

  3. Alpha Audio Works

    Alpha Audio Works Member

    Jul 12, 2007
  4. Bassomatic

    Bassomatic Silver Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    western ma
    I'm a basstard striving to be a musician.
  5. Thor

    Thor Member

    Apr 8, 2005
    S.F. Bay Area

    I just ordered your CD -bassed upon what I head from your clips, I am simply striving to be a basstard striving to be a musician!

    As to the OP - this is further evidence that they chose wisely for the man of the year award.

    Time to focus on elevating our own performance and that of those around us rather than putting others and ourselves down.


  6. 2 Loud 4 You

    2 Loud 4 You Member

    Feb 9, 2007
    I try to create interplay between the drums and guitars instead of following 1 or the other. If I can pick up accents from the drummer and incorperate them into the riff I do. I feel it adds more life. As for only having 4 strings, luckily my bass has 6. :)
  7. kingcrimson2

    kingcrimson2 Member

    Mar 25, 2008

    IME, maybe only 1 or 2 bass players I ever met thought it was all about them, whereas he predominate perspective of most guitar players I know is "not enough me".

    I suspect many other bassists have had a similar experience, hence all the guitard comments. Still, I do not supporting "hating", not worth the emotional energy.

  8. otaypanky

    otaypanky Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2006
    the Northern Neck of Virginia
    It may be guys like me that are partially responsible for some bassists to want more of the spotlight. I have been playing guitar since '62 and I'm starting to feel like I'm getting to know my way around the fingerboard. I play from the heart and although I am not a player versed in different styles, I am not often at a lack of what to play (or NOT play) on my instrument. For 15 years I had a Yamaha bass that lived in a closet, coming out on rare occassion to put a few amateurish bass lines on a home recording. But last year my growing curiosity with bass made me upgrade from that to a new Fender American Jazz. Cool ! But, now what? What I mean is, that although music has been a huge part of my life, and I thought I was somewhat competent making music in a group situation, I soon realized I had no idea of what to say musically as a bassist.
    All the great bassists I had heard all those years went by unnoticed in a sense, because what they were playing was so integral to the music, it was indistinguishable to my non-bassist ears. Poor bass players on the hand, stood out like a sore thumb.
    Sure I am able to tell if a player is competent on their instrument, and obviously I'm aware of a well executed solo and I take notice of a really funky or catchy bass line. But for the most part, all the stuff that makes up the foundation that the solo or melody instruments are layering over is not obvious to my ears in the way that guitar parts stand out.
    Sometimes people like me have trouble seeing the individual tree, all we see is the forest. So if you're a bass player who feels unloved, unappreciated, and not in the spotlight enough, it may just mean you're really good ~~~ :dude
    Do I make sense to anybody?

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