Bass players: Why?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by skinvoyager, Jul 15, 2019.

  1. aussie_owner

    aussie_owner Member

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    A guy I graduated from HS with played piano and susaphone. Long story short, he went into the Air Force, and wound up doing his four year stint in the AF marching band. Whatever works, I guess.

    I had always played guitar, but a few years ago I picked up bass to play in Rocksmith. I find bass to be a lot of fun, and I actually learned enough to play bass at jams.
     
  2. MikeMcK

    MikeMcK Supporting Member

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    Easy answer for the bar-band crowd: gigs. Good bass players are extremely busy. Case in point: I had to sub for my bass player on a gig this past Sunday, 6 - 10. The only way to do it was to have one guy come in from 6 - 7, then leave for his 8:00 gig (yes, on a Sunday night) while the other guy came from his 3 - 6 gig to finish the night; it was his 3rd gig of the day.

    That first bass player was actually a local guitar hero back in the '70's. I didn't even know he played 6-string until after I'd known him about a year, and walked into a club wondering who was playing all the Gatton-style hot Tele stuff. I was floored when I got in and realized that it was the guy I always knew as a respectful, tasteful bass player.
     
  3. jens5

    jens5 Silver Supporting Member

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    And can be an instrument to itself. Don't think anyone has mentioned these two/

     
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  4. FokenBusker

    FokenBusker Member

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    A few people I know who play bass do so not because they prefer it over guitar but because they're good at it and it's more in demand than guitar players are. It can be a good living when you are in 3 active bands that are doing relatively well.
     
  5. theruley

    theruley Member

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    I am originally a bass player because of this guy.
     
  6. patshep

    patshep Supporting Member

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    If i could go back in time, I would have played bass more, and here are some reasons
    1. everybody needs a bass player (nobody needs a guitarist) the days of classic rock are over and we are old
    2. the best all around musicians i've known are bass players (i think this comes from having to deal with the rhythm and the harmony at the same time)
    3. grooving with a drummer is awesome...
    4. I love reggae a lot, the bass in reggae is the coolest, the guitar just plays on the 2 and 4
    5 this is just my opinion, but now that I record and write a lot, I just love the feel of bass playing, and it makes me write better
    6. if more guitar players played unselfishly like a bass player, people would want to play with them more, including working on timing and rhythm more
    7 my personality is not a glamorous one, i'm more than happy being 'behind the scenes' not that i'm not egotistical, i am... just feel better in the background (also i'm sort of a minimalist)
    first cup of coffee ramblings are over for now lol
     
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  7. Mad Wombat

    Mad Wombat Member

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    I'm still primarily a guitar guy, but I was always a little "bass curious" :rolleyes:
    I love the sound of a deep but clear bass tone. Plus Geddy, Jack Bruce, Entwistle...
    Then one day I spotted a great deal on a Yamaha TRBX and jumped in. Bass is also a lot of fun. You can make a decent sound fairly easily, but like chess the basics are simple but mastery takes a lifetime.
     
  8. edward

    edward Supporting Member

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    Yessir, can't agree with this enough! :D

    Edward
     
  9. 70' s Tone

    70' s Tone Member

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    The Gibson RD Artist (late '70s) with it's spectacular sound, stunning looks - and the fact everyone else at the time was playing Fenders - made wanting to play the bass a no-brainier. :) All these years later, they still deliver! ;)
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. 70' s Tone

    70' s Tone Member

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    Lets' not forget:
    Marin Turner (Wishbone Ash)
    Paul McCartney (Beatles - Wings)
    John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin)
    Billy Sheehan (Talas)
     
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  11. therhodeo

    therhodeo Member

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    My dad listened to an oldies station when I was a kid. Do you remember any motown guitar lines? I don't. I do remember Jamerson though.
     
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  12. StratoCraig

    StratoCraig Member

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    Seriously? "My Girl" and "Cloud Nine" come to mind instantly. But I know what you mean; the guitars at Motown tended not to draw attention to themselves a lot of the time, especially in the early years.
     
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  13. Silent Sound

    Silent Sound Member

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    Bass players are the most important person in the band. They're the ones who keep everyone from killing each other. So when the guitarist is crying inconsolably that no one appreciates his minor 7th chord transition coming out of the fifth bridge, the drummer is trying to cut off his own toes because he's drunk on brake cleaning fluid (again) and the lead singer is stuck in a Zamunda prison for something to do with an underage goat, it's the bass player's job to make sure they all still make it to the show on time, ready to play.

    Without a bass player, your "band" is nothing more than a unmonitored psych ward.
     
  14. RayBarbeeMusic

    RayBarbeeMusic Member

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    Gary Willis
    Stanley Clarke
    John Paul Jones
    Geddy Lee

    That's why.
     
  15. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Member

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    True, except for the lead bass players that one runs into on occasion...
    Motown records always had (at least) two guitar players playing neat little interwoven parts...just listen...
     
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  16. carrjimi

    carrjimi Member

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  17. therhodeo

    therhodeo Member

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    I'm well aware. But thats not what caught 13yo me's ear.
     
  18. ricstudioc

    ricstudioc Member

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    I've noted several people mention McCartney, who moved from guitar to bass with the Beatles, but don't think I've seen anymore mention his take on the change. Paraphrased, he said that although he made the change rather grudgingly, it dawned on him that the bassist could change an entire tune by changing a single note. And if you go thru his catalog he certainly took that to heart, for his time he was one of the most melodic bassists out there.
     
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  19. Scary Uncle G.

    Scary Uncle G. Member

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    Obviously you have not heard me “solo.”;)
     
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  20. meterman

    meterman Supporting Member

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    There is tremendous power in the bass. Not only can you drive the groove you can drive the harmonic structure. The feeling of locking in the pocket with a good drummer and seeing the crowd respond is awesome. And if/when you want to you can take a solo but you're not constantly screaming for attention. I get it.

    Plus practically speaking there are at least 10 guitarists for every bass/drums/keys player so it's a whole lot easier to get a gig or find a band.
     
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