Is a bassist really needed?


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Woodlediedoo
01-11-2010, 05:26 PM
Hey,

My name is Roan and I'm starting a band with my friends. We've got a:
- Drummer
- Two guitarist
- Singer
- Synthersizer (me)

I have some questions regarding to the band. We're very new to this, we haven't played in a band before. My main question is: Is a bassist really needed? We're all friends and we don't have anyone who can play bass. We're starting with music like green day, maybe black sabbath, some easy songs. We're hoping to progress and then play some harder songs, like muse. Is it really necassary to have a bassist? Can two guitars cover it up or won't it sound good? I can play bass on my synthersizer too, is that an option or doesn't it sound the same?

Also, I know this is a guitar forum but I couldn't find any keyboard/synth forums with a large audience ;D So I hope someone maybe knows: When you play in a band as a synth, how do you know what to play? I know it's a very stupid question, but guitars can just look up tabs and stuff and drummer too, but how does that goes with a synth? Can you look up the chords anywhere on a site like this?

Thanks in advance!
-Roan

Sumlover41
01-11-2010, 05:32 PM
Is a synthersizer really needed?

jfreyvogel
01-11-2010, 05:34 PM
It is required. The bassist is like the foundation of a band. The bass is really underrated and unappreciated.

aaciseric
01-11-2010, 05:34 PM
Is a synthersizer really needed?

Yeah, doesn't really seem like your in a position to call other people unneccessary really TS (not that you did, i'm just saying). And yes, a full rhythm section is essential. More important than having two guitarists. Frankly it's more important than having one.

As for your second question, it'll be very helpful for you if you learn to read stave, because most keyboard music is written that way.

Carl6661
01-11-2010, 05:34 PM
I say just make one of the guitarists do bass. It's not like any of those bands you listed NEED a second guitar, Green Day have a second guitarist but they were going years before he joined.

EDIT - jfreyvogel and aaciseric both hit the nail on the head there. :)

ChucklesMginty
01-11-2010, 05:35 PM
Is a synthersizer really needed?

Exactly.

A bass is very important unless you're going for an extremely stripped down, minimalist approach.

You're probably just thinking 'but you can't hear the bass very well on most modern stuff, so does it really matter?' Yes, it takes up all the low end frequencies and fills out the sound. Unless you're playing in Drop A, the mix will be something, and that's where a bassist comes in..

As for your second question, you really should learn to read sheet music. But if you work from guitar pro files (which are usually much better imo, and actually tell you the rhythm...) They'll usually include the keyboard parts, and all the other instruments.

stratd00d
01-11-2010, 05:37 PM
I say just make one of the guitarists do bass. It's not like any of those bands you listed NEED a second guitar, Green Day have a second guitarist but they were going years before he joined.
I agree with that. You definitely need a bassist. A second guitarist and a synth are absolutely unnecessary at the point you're at. Actually, you'll sound better the less people there are in the band since you're just starting out. It's hard at first to get everyone playing together.

Vezdehod
01-11-2010, 05:38 PM
There are a lot of things that can impact your overall sound. The size of the venue, the walls, etc. Since you have two guitars and are going to be playing rock, you can try turning up the bass settings on your amps a little bit, but that will definitely not be a substitute for a bassist. It would probably sound better with a bassist.

As to your question about keyboards, I don't think that there's a site devoted to just keyboards. Of course, 911tabs has some keyboard tabs, but overall they're shit. Just Google whatever song you're going to be doing and just play along with the chords.

Peaceful Rocker
01-11-2010, 05:39 PM
Is a synthersizer really needed?
:haha

I think bass is very important, yes you need it. You don't need two guitarists

scrambler_66
01-11-2010, 05:40 PM
Since there's no set of rules (it's called music theory, not music law) I can't say "Yes, you have to have a bassist," but I will advise you that it will sound better, especially if you're doing covers of bands that have a bass player. Now to completely contradict myself, The Doors did not have a bass player, their keyboard player played the bass part, and they turned out pretty well. So in conclusion, it depends on the type of music you play and the sound you are out to get.

As far as what to play with a synth, knowing standard notation is a great help. Also, you could read guitar tab and convert that over to a keyboard, or play the same chords as the guitar. I'm not a synth player, but that's what makes sense to me.

jfreyvogel
01-11-2010, 05:44 PM
If you really don't know what to play on your keys start with this:

If your playing a supporting rhythm then take the rhythm guitarists chords and play the first chord of each phrase. then try harmonizing chords. Then try adding accents over either of those. This will hold you over till you get a better idea of what youre doing.

If your playing a leading section then loop the guitarists rhythm and find all the notes that are in consonance. From here you know which notes you can use and you can figure out what chords and scales will work. Also the notes that arent in consonance you know are dissonance notes. Pick the ones that coincide with the genre of music you are playing and use these to step through between consonance notes or chords.

QuantumMechanix
01-11-2010, 05:45 PM
The Doors didn't have a bassist and they did fine.

That being said, YES a bassist is extremely important and unless you can really cover the bass parts with your synth (I'm guessing no), then you better find a bassist or get one of your bandmates to play bass. Between your 2 guitarists, you, and singer, I'm sure someone would be willing to take it up

DaddyTwoFoot
01-11-2010, 05:50 PM
Since there's no set of rules (it's called music theory, not music law) I can't say "Yes, you have to have a bassist," but I will advise you that it will sound better, especially if you're doing covers of bands that have a bass player. Now to completely contradict myself, The Doors did not have a bass player, their keyboard player played the bass part, and they turned out pretty well. So in conclusion, it depends on the type of music you play and the sound you are out to get.

As far as what to play with a synth, knowing standard notation is a great help. Also, you could read guitar tab and convert that over to a keyboard, or play the same chords as the guitar. I'm not a synth player, but that's what makes sense to me.
What does theory even have to do with discussion?

Also, theory is kind of "laws." It's just laws on how to describe musical concepts, not write music.

TS, get a bassist.

DoomsdayArsenal
01-11-2010, 05:52 PM
Is a synthersizer really needed?
:haha: :haha: :haha:
:haha: :haha: :haha:
:haha: :haha: :haha:

...

Nothing is "needed."

Definitely not two guitars; have one of them switch to bass.

Bass is pretty important to rock music.

ep1kz
01-11-2010, 05:52 PM
your only option is to fill the low end with your synth, honestly

BladeSlinger
01-11-2010, 06:08 PM
your only option is to fill the low end with your synth, honestly
Pretty much. You'll have to adapt each bass part to synth and really hover over the bass side unless you can play some simple melodies along with the bass part.

The Doors didn't have a live bassist but they had a studio one. It isn't needed but then again, sounding 'good' is purely subjective.

SilentHeaven109
01-11-2010, 06:10 PM
The Doors didn't have a bassist and they did fine.

I really don't like it when people constantly bring up one example like this to try and prove a point. There's a reason that only them and a few others have succeeded without bass players. Besides, The Doors played simple rock and roll, if you're playing punk or metal you will need the low end power, trust me.

TS, you should really get one of the guitarists to play bass. In situations like this, your guitarists may feel as if they are being "demoted" to bass playing, that's a personal issue you may have to deal with yourself, I don't know what your guitarists are like :rolleyes:

I find a bassist essential simply because my old band had a few practices when the bass player couldn't make it, we sounded tragic and were begging for him to come back quickly :D

iwannabesedated
01-11-2010, 06:19 PM
For the kind of music you play, yes a bassist is needed.

If you wanted to play maybe techno, or industrial, or something like that, synthesizer is just fine.

MPica
01-11-2010, 06:32 PM
Let me try and understand this...
You say you want to play stuff like Muse, but you don't wan't a bassist...?
There are so many things wrong with that logic. Go and actually listen to some Muse. Hear all that awesomeness? It's the bassist...

QuantumMechanix
01-11-2010, 06:45 PM
I really don't like it when people constantly bring up one example like this to try and prove a point. There's a reason that only them and a few others have succeeded without bass players. Besides, The Doors played simple rock and roll, if you're playing punk or metal you will need the low end power, trust me.

Read the rest of my post. I agree with you

dullsilver_mike
01-11-2010, 06:55 PM
Let me try and understand this...
You say you want to play stuff like Muse, but you don't wan't a bassist...?
There are so many things wrong with that logic. Go and actually listen to some Muse. Hear all that awesomeness? It's the bassist...

Even his greenday reference, I don't really know anything they've done in the last 7 or 8 years, but I remember a lot of the early hits had really prominent, important basslines--very atypical for their genre.

TS cold just play all that on the synth, but it sure misses out on a big part of the songs' feel that way.

TheGuitarFumblr
01-11-2010, 07:01 PM
No bass guitar needed, imo.

smb
01-11-2010, 07:04 PM
Why don't you take up the bass?

Bass frequencies are pretty much essential, sure there are odd examples of bass free bands but they are generally shit. Synth bass is alright, but it's not the same as having a real bass player. And you definitely won't sound like Black Sabbath, Green Day or Muse without real bass.

Heylo12
01-11-2010, 07:15 PM
Playing it with the keys just isnt the same... unless you get a fancy one ment for bass (ala ray manzarek... doors). Bass is essential to the sound. I agree with other people here... theres 2 guitarists, a singer, and a a keyboard player that could all play bass. I would recomend you... its not that hard to do some really cool bass bits for that kind of music, and theres not allot of keyboard in punk anyway. Or one of the guitar players or singer... whatever

Uber Man
01-11-2010, 09:30 PM
bass is far more important then two guitarist or a synthesizer, especially if your playing sabbath songs...

shotdownNflames
01-11-2010, 09:38 PM
Turn the treble up on your stereo and the bass down. If you like that sound then you dont need a bass player. If you think that sounds like crap like most people do, then you need a bass player.

Fiire
01-11-2010, 09:46 PM
seeing how you underrate bassists, either

change one guitar to bass
change synth for bass
make the singer play simple bass lines (or like Sting)
get a bassist and be a massive 6 guy band

BladeSlinger
01-11-2010, 09:52 PM
Find a bassist. A 6 piece could have so much potential.

stewart32
01-11-2010, 11:02 PM
Haha as if you said that, do not think you are ready for a band if you are asking. Without bass the band will sound empty and you will not sound good live.

Either get the keyboard player on the job or one of the guitarists.

stewart32
01-11-2010, 11:04 PM
Oh, also to play green day you really do need a bass player, a lot of green day songs are bass driven.

its_alive
01-11-2010, 11:50 PM
My band started out with two guitars and no bass. We thought we'd be well off, but the sound was always lacking something. After a few decent months we finally picked up a good bassist, and our sound has definitely improved.

I wouldn't say its necessary, but if you could get one, I highly recommend it.

Wiegraf
01-12-2010, 12:19 AM
My band started out with two guitars and no bass. We thought we'd be well off, but the sound was always lacking something. After a few decent months we finally picked up a good bassist, and our sound has definitely improved.

I wouldn't say its necessary, but if you could get one, I highly recommend it.

The same thing happened to me when I first started playing music. Two of my friends were pretty good guitar players, and one of them had a neighbor that was a drummer. Their jams sounded good, but not "complete". I figured that bass would be easy to pick up and tried, and even with my pretty bad (at the time, I hope) bass playing it sounded better.

Also, if someone in the band ends up switching to bass, I hope that they don't feel like they're being demoted to bass duty. There's a ton of great bass players out there. It's not "only bass". Look at Flea, or Chris from Muse. Both of them have pretty cool bass lines that really carry the song. (Also yeah, you can't play Muse covers without a bass.)

Though, you probably could try using a whammy pedal like Jack White from the White Stripes. It'd sound like this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psbs_8kkWqg#t=0m27s Not bad, but not half as good as a real bass, I think.

Guitarfreak777
01-12-2010, 01:25 AM
Hey,

My name is Roan and I'm starting a band with my friends. We've got a:
- Drummer
- Two guitarist
- Singer
- Synthersizer (me)

I have some questions regarding to the band. We're very new to this, we haven't played in a band before. My main question is: Is a bassist really needed? We're all friends and we don't have anyone who can play bass. We're starting with music like green day, maybe black sabbath, some easy songs. We're hoping to progress and then play some harder songs, like muse. Is it really necassary to have a bassist? Can two guitars cover it up or won't it sound good? I can play bass on my synthersizer too, is that an option or doesn't it sound the same?

Also, I know this is a guitar forum but I couldn't find any keyboard/synth forums with a large audience ;D So I hope someone maybe knows: When you play in a band as a synth, how do you know what to play? I know it's a very stupid question, but guitars can just look up tabs and stuff and drummer too, but how does that goes with a synth? Can you look up the chords anywhere on a site like this?

Thanks in advance!
-Roan

Get a bassist. The bassist's of Green Day and Muse are the backbone of those bands.

Woodlediedoo
01-12-2010, 04:34 AM
Thanks alot for all the quick replies!
To clear things up, I didn't say I don't think a bass is needed, It's just because we don't have anyone who can play Bass so our hope was two guitars can cover it up. But from your replies I can see a bassist is really necessary ^^
And I know a Synth is less important then a bassist in a rock band, but I started the band with my friends so it would be kinda stupid to leave me out. :p

Anyways, thanks alot for the quick replies, I have another question: If you're a guitar player does it mean you can play bass also? Or is it a total different instrument? Because maybe one of the guitarist want to play Bass, does he need lessons or something, or is he able (because he plays guitar) to play bass quite good? I'm sorry for my lack of knowledge, I'm really new to this ;D

I appreciate all the help!
-Roan

Phil Starr
01-12-2010, 05:13 AM
Bass players (that's me by the way) do two things within the band; we define the chord changes and we set the rhythm. At least that is the way it works with most bands.

Bassists talk about playing in the hole, they tend to be the only band members who listen to all the others and the trick for a bassist is to fill in the gaps (musically) that the rest of the band leave with the result that everything holds together better.

Obviously you can use any instrument to define the chord changes and the drummer can take responsibility for both rhythm and tempo but this will change the way the rest of you play and you will sound different.

There is a long history of bands using keyboards to fill in the bass and Keane, for example played live without a bass for a while though there is some bass on their recordings. A lot of shnth and techno bands do the same thing.

Don't worry about it, just get together and play. Once you have a few songs you know well you can experiment with using keys to provide bass if you feel you need it or the guitarists can each have a go. Playing bass is about temperament as much as skill, it is about supporting and nurturing rather than grabbing the limelight and it suits some people.

Be honest about your sound, if you think you need a bass then you do but remember lots of innovation in music comes about when a bunch of musicians make the best of what they have and the Doors are a great example of this.

zhilla
01-12-2010, 06:15 AM
So you've never been in a band before and you just got together? In that case you don't need anything except to have fun - a bassist would help as the bass helps hold the whole band together, but if you don't have one and your guitarists would both rather play guitar then I say just cover the bass line on your synth.

If you guys really gel and you decide you want to gig at a later date, then look into getting a bass player if you think you might need one. For now, if there isn't a bass player readily available that you want to jam with then don't let it stop you.

Edit: If you can play guitar reasonably well you can generally fudge your way through on bass - at least with a pick, and using tabs. Thats not the same as being able to play bass decently though. A decent bass player understands his instrument and how it fits into the band - thats the bit most guitar players are likely to struggle with imo.

aaciseric
01-12-2010, 08:48 AM
Thanks alot for all the quick replies!
To clear things up, I didn't say I don't think a bass is needed, It's just because we don't have anyone who can play Bass so our hope was two guitars can cover it up. But from your replies I can see a bassist is really necessary ^^
And I know a Synth is less important then a bassist in a rock band, but I started the band with my friends so it would be kinda stupid to leave me out. :p

Anyways, thanks alot for the quick replies, I have another question: If you're a guitar player does it mean you can play bass also? Or is it a total different instrument? Because maybe one of the guitarist want to play Bass, does he need lessons or something, or is he able (because he plays guitar) to play bass quite good? I'm sorry for my lack of knowledge, I'm really new to this ;D

I appreciate all the help!
-Roan

There are certain elements that will help, like the basic knowledge of how you play a string instrument, but essentially he will have to start from scratch again as bass serves a completely different purpose and the general switch from 6 to 4/5 much thicker strings will be a jump. He shouldn't neccessarily need lessons if he didn't take them for guitar, he could just get a bass guitar, an amp and then start off by learning covers and then move onto theory, which is the way I did and I know how to play my instrument successfully. Though everybody is different. Just tell him to try it out and see how it goes.

SilentHeaven109
01-12-2010, 09:47 AM
Anyways, thanks alot for the quick replies, I have another question: If you're a guitar player does it mean you can play bass also? Or is it a total different instrument? Because maybe one of the guitarist want to play Bass, does he need lessons or something, or is he able (because he plays guitar) to play bass quite good? I'm sorry for my lack of knowledge, I'm really new to this ;D

Just because someone can play guitar, it doesn't mean they will instantly be a great bassist, it will still take some practice. However, it will be much easier for a guitarist to start playing bass than anyone else, as the instruments are so similar their guitar skills will tranfer to a degree, but they won't be amazing at first.

And to QuantumMechanix, I wasn't having a pop at you or anything, it's just that whenever someone asks whether bass is necessary, someone always brings up The Doors, regardless of context, little pet peeve of mine :p:

Woodlediedoo
01-12-2010, 12:56 PM
Thanks again for all the replies, we decided to just come toghetter first, play and jam toghetter, and when we're progressing maybe get a bass player. One of the guitarists has a 7 string guitar so he could play in Drop A. I love it how you guys know so much about music and are willing to help other people :3

Anyways, my final final question, do you guys know an easy song to begin with? Like really easy, but not something as Smoke on the water or something ;D We want to start with an easy song but that's still easy to play. I hope this isn't a stupid question, becuase I can imagine it has been asked alot. Would "Word Up" by Korn (originally from Cameo) be to hard? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1q-k-uN73Gk) Appreciate all the help!

Sicus
01-12-2010, 01:26 PM
Thanks again for all the replies, we decided to just come toghetter first, play and jam toghetter, and when we're progressing maybe get a bass player. One of the guitarists has a 7 string guitar so he could play in Drop A. I love it how you guys know so much about music and are willing to help other people :3

Anyways, my final final question, do you guys know an easy song to begin with? Like really easy, but not something as Smoke on the water or something ;D We want to start with an easy song but that's still easy to play. I hope this isn't a stupid question, becuase I can imagine it has been asked alot. Would "Word Up" by Korn (originally from Cameo) be to hard? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1q-k-uN73Gk) Appreciate all the help!

Try it out, would sound shit without bass tho. If not there's a suggestions thread.

SilentHeaven109
01-12-2010, 01:29 PM
Thanks again for all the replies, we decided to just come toghetter first, play and jam toghetter, and when we're progressing maybe get a bass player. One of the guitarists has a 7 string guitar so he could play in Drop A. I love it how you guys know so much about music and are willing to help other people :3

Anyways, my final final question, do you guys know an easy song to begin with? Like really easy, but not something as Smoke on the water or something ;D We want to start with an easy song but that's still easy to play. I hope this isn't a stupid question, becuase I can imagine it has been asked alot. Would "Word Up" by Korn (originally from Cameo) be to hard? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1q-k-uN73Gk) Appreciate all the help!

First of all, I wouldn't use lower tunings as a substitute for a bass player, it will probably sound awful unless you are all in the same tuning. If neither of your guitarists want to play bass, which would really be the best option, just play without one for a while and get one later when you start to play shows.

As far as song choices go, Word Up would be fine skill wise, but Korn is a very bass driven band, so it may not sound great, but go for it if you like it, it's probably best to pick songs together that you like rather than asking for advice on it.
Find some bands that you all like and pick songs by them, you'll have much more fun playing stuff you love than you would playing stuff just because it's easy.

Scribbllez
01-12-2010, 10:40 PM
It is required. The bassist is like the foundation of a band. The bass is really underrated and unappreciated.

White Stripes.

/Thread.

The Arsis
01-12-2010, 10:42 PM
White Stripes.

/Thread.


Muse, Rush, and Dream Theater.


/Thread.

Scribbllez
01-12-2010, 10:46 PM
Muse, Rush, and Dream Theater.


/Thread.

The White Stripes kills all three.
They're good, but nothing's better than thinking outside the box.

TS, you don't need a bassist. Make some original music with what you've got, it'll sound good as long as everyone is in agreement as to what you all want to sound like.

The Arsis
01-12-2010, 10:55 PM
The White Stripes kills all three.
They're good, but nothing's better than thinking outside the box.

TS, you don't need a bassist. Make some original music with what you've got, it'll sound good as long as everyone is in agreement as to what you all want to sound like.

:haha: WHAT!?!?! The White Stripes are better than Rush, Muse, and Dream Theater?!?! :haha


Seriously, TS don't listen to this idiot. Do not take anything this guy says seriously because it is clear he knows nothing about a band or the essentials of a band. Bass is extremely important in a band. Almost 98% of all bands will tell you this themselves that Bass is extremely important in a band.

Scribbllez
01-12-2010, 11:05 PM
:haha: WHAT!?!?! The White Stripes are better than Rush, Muse, and Dream Theater?!?! :haha


Seriously, TS don't listen to this idiot. Do not take anything this guy says seriously because it is clear he knows nothing about a band or the essentials of a band. Bass is extremely important in a band. Almost 98% of all bands will tell you this themselves that Bass is extremely important in a band.

I can tell you're one of those pretentious assholes that enjoy music centered around multiple complex riffs/tunes/whatever. Try something simple, play it for someone, and then play something you enjoy from Dream Theater or any other band you choose.

Ask them which they think is better.

A band doesn't need any set instruments. Does every band have a bassist? No. Does every band have a guitarist? Of course not. Does every band have a drummer? Most, but not every. It doesn't matter what instruments you have in a band, it's how you structure them.

You sir, are the idiot.

The Arsis
01-13-2010, 12:10 AM
I can tell you're one of those pretentious assholes that enjoy music centered around multiple complex riffs/tunes/whatever. Try something simple, play it for someone, and then play something you enjoy from Dream Theater or any other band you choose.

Ask them which they think is better.

A band doesn't need any set instruments. Does every band have a bassist? No. Does every band have a guitarist? Of course not. Does every band have a drummer? Most, but not every. It doesn't matter what instruments you have in a band, it's how you structure them.

You sir, are the idiot.

That is where your observation gets a spot in the "I have no idea what I'm talking about" section. If you took a look into the type of music I mainly listen to and write. It is the opposite of the "multiple complex riffs/tunes/whatever" you are talking about. Just take a look in my signature. I have listened to the White Stripes from the beginning from The White Stripes - Icky Thump and even watched the documentary called "It Might Get Loud." I'm a fan of popular music and etc. So, trust me, I have listened to my far share of simple stuff.

So, you judge music based on the popularity and not the musicality? In my opinion, that is idiotic.

I agree that a band doesn't need specific instruments but they need instruments that cater to specific frequencies like bass.

Seryaph
01-13-2010, 12:19 AM
A good band will generally be able to cover a very wide range of the sonic frequency.

Does a band need a bassist in order to sound good? No.

Will having a bassist (or an instrument that can cover the lower ranges) make your band sound fuller and maybe even better? Yes. Absolutely.

I know a great band from back home who played for years without a bassist. For a long while they had a keyboardist with MIDI keyboard who held down the bass end of the spectrum. As their music has begun to get more serious they eventually got a bassist because they felt as if something was missing.

A good bassist will hold down the groove like nobody's business and help to link the drummer, or the beat, to the rest of the band. Personally, I think that they are essential. But that does not mean that you can't make music without a bass. In the end it is all about personal taste, but in my personal opinion, a band lacking a bassist will most likely be missing something in terms of their sound.

P.S. I also believe that a band should strive to cover as much of the sonic spectrum as possible. That is very hard to do without a bassist or at least an instrument that covers those frequencies.

SomeoneYouKnew
01-13-2010, 12:21 AM
Guys, stop the "the band I like is better than the band you like" nonsense.
And drop the "idiot" stuff going along with this.


If you wanna cite examples of how to work without a bass, fine.
But don't turn this into a pissin' contest. You'll both walk away with wet feet. :eek:

Foxy Roxy
01-13-2010, 12:40 AM
Well if he wants to play like Black Sabbath, be prepared to not play Black Sabbath without a bassist.

JazzNick67
01-13-2010, 12:58 AM
For the songs you want to cover and the music I think you'd write, I'd say it is important for you to have a bassist.

However, not all bands don't necessarily NEED a bassist to sound good. You can still make good sounding music without one. A couple of good examples are the White Stripes and Explosions in the Sky.

Anteaterking
01-13-2010, 01:43 AM
Except the reasons the White Stripes works is because it's a two person band. Having five people in a band and no one playing bass is just oversaturating some of those frequency ranges. Bands that the TC named that he would like to play like also feature bass. You shouldn't have to pigeonhole your genre based off the instruments you have. You should play what you want to play.

wahain
01-13-2010, 01:47 AM
If you are going to play songs like Muse and Green Day I would suggest getting a bassist because bass is a big part of those bands.

the humanity
01-13-2010, 02:00 AM
I think if you dedicate one hand to the bass part and keep on it, you could do well for Muse, songs like Time Is Running Out were recorded with synth in the studio. Green Day might be a little tough, I'd suggest using a bass for some songs and synths for the others.

Zycho
01-13-2010, 02:07 AM
You don't NEED any instrument. Plenty of bands have found success with strange lineups. So no, a bass player is not needed. Would one be beneficial? Quite possible.

Blind In 1 Ear
01-13-2010, 02:54 AM
yes you do. and i dont mean an actual bass, but you need something for the low end. the doors used the keyboard player as both organ and bass player. even the white stripes do bass lines in the studio. imo, they sound terrible live because of the lack of bass.

in a lot of songs, the bass, along with the drums, is what drives the song and gives it stucture. having some gutiar players strumming and a drummer keeping beat just doesnt quite cut it.

plus, it evens out the sound. you have basically 3 mid range instruments. i mean, keys can obviously go lower or higher but for the most part its in the middle. plus a singer puts 4 thing in that range. having a low end really helps fill out the sound. if you are good enough, play bass on the syth like the doors.

some stuff ive heard can be alright without bass. check out this version of "fits ya good" by bryan adams. two gutiars and drums. sounds pretty decent imo. but its rare. ad as good as it may sound, i still think it would sound even better with a bass.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzilYDj2b9k

Primus2112
01-13-2010, 03:05 AM
See; The Doors.


/thread

JazzNick67
01-13-2010, 03:08 AM
More like

Explosions in the Sky

/thread

lusion01
01-13-2010, 06:45 AM
No one mentioned the Yeah Yeah Yeahs! But I think they include some bass in the studio.

Cobrevolution
01-13-2010, 06:51 AM
No one mentioned them with good reason.

Scribbllez
01-13-2010, 07:31 AM
That is where your observation gets a spot in the "I have no idea what I'm talking about" section. If you took a look into the type of music I mainly listen to and write. It is the opposite of the "multiple complex riffs/tunes/whatever" you are talking about. Just take a look in my signature. I have listened to the White Stripes from the beginning from The White Stripes - Icky Thump and even watched the documentary called "It Might Get Loud." I'm a fan of popular music and etc. So, trust me, I have listened to my far share of simple stuff.

So, you judge music based on the popularity and not the musicality? In my opinion, that is idiotic.

I agree that a band doesn't need specific instruments but they need instruments that cater to specific frequencies like bass.

Just a few things:

1. This is off topic
2. I never once said I judge music off of popularity, I believe I said any instruments can be used in a band properly, and, if done right, can sound good.
3: Frequencies my ass. If it sounds good, it sounds good.

Dan_5893
01-13-2010, 07:32 AM
If you try to play Hysteria (Yes i know it was originally a lead part) without a Bassist, or several other bass dominated Muse songs (read; Uprising, Fury, Futurism, The breakdown from Invincible) then you will struggle to get the right sound. Are you sure neither of your guitarists will transition to bass? The jump is not that difficult in my opinion, and i would know seeing as I play as both rhythm and bassist (in seperate bands)

Don't want to sound negative, try to think of this as constructive please :)

Black Star
01-13-2010, 08:07 AM
White Stripes.

/Thread.

White Stripes record bass in studio, and use an octave pedal live. Please know what you're talking about before posting, thanks. ;)

See; The Doors.


/thread

The Doors also had a studio bassist, and used keyboard live. They still had something to fill the low end, that's how they got by.

As long as you play the low end on the synth, it should be fine. However, nothing is a real substitute for an actual bassist.

Also, sheet music is immensely helpful for any musician. I'd definitely recommend learning how to read it.

Pettah
01-13-2010, 08:12 AM
It would be better to have a bassist yes, it sounds very empty without it

The Arsis
01-13-2010, 09:23 AM
Just a few things:

1. This is off topic
2. I never once said I judge music off of popularity, I believe I said any instruments can be used in a band properly, and, if done right, can sound good.
3: Frequencies my ass. If it sounds good, it sounds good.

1. You're just don't know what you're talking about.
2. You clear never been in a band.
3. Lets just leave it at that.

Zycho
01-13-2010, 12:36 PM
White Stripes record bass in studio, and use an octave pedal live. Please know what you're talking about before posting, thanks. ;)



The Doors also had a studio bassist, and used keyboard live. They still had something to fill the low end, that's how they got by.

As long as you play the low end on the synth, it should be fine. However, nothing is a real substitute for an actual bassist.

Also, sheet music is immensely helpful for any musician. I'd definitely recommend learning how to read it.

The White Stripes only use bass and octave pedals on particular songs. Besides, how do you explain the Black Keys? Just straight up nasty ass guitar and drums. No studio bass. No live bass. You don't NEED the low end. It's usually a good idea but insisting that it is necessary is just being narrow minded.

dullsilver_mike
01-13-2010, 01:09 PM
No one mentioned the Yeah Yeah Yeahs! But I think they include some bass in the studio.

Yeah, so do the doors, white stripes, and pretty much all of the other "bass-less" bands that these people are listing.

druggietoad2k5
01-13-2010, 02:31 PM
Ok, put it simply.

Imagine Green Day without Mike Dirnt, or Sum 41 without Jason McCaslin, or Blink 182 without Mark Hoppus.

How dreadfully shit would those bands sound? (inb4 lol fag those bands suck)

I guarantee you will either end up getting a bassist eventually or splitting up. I remember seeing a support act for *cough*Bryan Adams*cough* called "The Black Daniels" and they had no bassist.

They were shit.

TL;DR: Get a bassist. It just sounds far fuller and rounder.

JayLacelle
01-13-2010, 03:15 PM
More like

Explosions in the Sky

/thread

that is incorrect. they actually have a bass player, but he sometimes switches to guitar live. most of their better works have a bass track.

Northernmight
01-13-2010, 08:04 PM
Yes. a bassist is needed. For basically everything besides acoustic folk-music, bass is very needed.

Apart from that, find someone who can play guitar and make them play bass. It will be simple root-note-hugging at first, sure, but as time passes the fella will progress and things will evolve..


PS: Going from Black Sabbath to Muse is like going from Genius to Monkey! Don't do it! .. opinions opinions, i know.. meh.

Black Star
01-13-2010, 10:27 PM
The White Stripes only use bass and octave pedals on particular songs. Besides, how do you explain the Black Keys? Just straight up nasty ass guitar and drums. No studio bass. No live bass. You don't NEED the low end. It's usually a good idea but insisting that it is necessary is just being narrow minded.

As far as I know, The White Stripes use something to fill the sound on every recording. Sometimes it's a keyboard/synth, sometimes it's a bass, sometimes it's octave, but there is always something there. As far as live, I know it's not every song, but it's still entirely inaccurate to say that The White Stripes use strictly guitar and drums.

Now, The Black Keys I can't argue, because I haven't listened to them very much, but as far as I'm aware, they do some strange tunings at times, which could compensate s little bit. A quick look at some tabs showed Open G tuning? On top of that, the guitarist usually sticks to the lower end of the guitar, so it doesn't sound as thin. Regardless, they are a very good example of basslessness(?) gone right. However, not many bands can truly pull it off.

Also, just to clarify, I wasn't completely disregarding the idea of no bass. But for a general rule of thumb, you need something to fill the low end.

EDIT: ^Have you ever actually listened to Muse? Black Sabbath was amazing, but come on. Muse is one of the most original mainstream bands out there today.

Dan_5893
01-14-2010, 01:43 AM
Have you ever actually listened to Muse? Black Sabbath was amazing, but come on. Muse is one of the most original mainstream bands out there today.

Amen. Without Chris Wolstenholme the band would suck. And to prove my point about the transitioning, Chris started out playing guitar and drums before Matt asked him to play bass for Muse. And look at him now, probably one of the worlds leading bassists. So yeah, just ask one of the guitarists to try being a bassist.

Lucd
01-18-2010, 11:10 PM
how can you even say your gonna maybe play black sabbath and not have bass your lucky geezer doesnt come to your house bitchslap you and eat your first born child!

J-Smack
01-20-2010, 11:05 PM
The Doors didn't have a bassist for while...

DaddyTwoFoot
01-20-2010, 11:11 PM
The Doors didn't have a bassist for while...
That's been said a million times. Pointing out one notable band that it's worked for (and they used keyboards to fill in the low end anyway) is not an effective deterrent.

J-Smack
01-20-2010, 11:52 PM
^^Yeah, I figured. I didn't want to read the thread, and it was pretty much a joke anyway.

captainsix
01-21-2010, 03:03 AM
The bassist is important. I mean, The Doors didn't have a bassist, but bass parts were still played via Manzarek's organ. There's atmosphere to be had in it.

EvilAngel93
01-23-2010, 01:03 AM
A classic example of the ignoring of a bassist....sigh. Rejoice people, this is our stereotypical world.

............................

YES. YOU DO NEED A BASSIST. END OF STATEMENT. THEY ARE NOT ENTIRELY WORTHLESS LIKE ALOT OF PEOPLE LIKE TO THINK.

kyle62
01-23-2010, 09:26 AM
Bass is pretty essential for most bands, but if you're a good keys player there's nothing wrong with keyboard bass. It's a different sound, and you need decent amplification for it to sound good, but it works fine.

Hobble
01-23-2010, 10:18 AM
Yes, you need a bass. Actually for most styles of music a bass is far more necessary than a guitar or a synth for that matter. Especially if you're playing Black Sabbath and Greenday, two bands where the bass fills in a lot of space.

connelly73
01-23-2010, 10:26 AM
Yes a bass player is needed. If you were to take the bass out of most rock songs it would be very noticable. It complements the drums and the guitars and gives the music feel, depth and bass. Try playing a song on your mp3 or whatever and use the EQ to turn the bass right down and it will give a little but of an example.

Mr.Cuddles
01-23-2010, 10:32 AM
you mention Muse in your post, so I'm assuming you know how important a bass is seeing how chris can hold down a song and matt never really needs to touch his guitar.

in my opinion, id rather have a band with me on drums a bass player and a singer
than
drumming, 2 guitarists and a singer.
Come to think of it I'm sick of being in bands with guitarists, keyboardists can do more and bassists are always more fun to jam with.

OT:get a bassist and get rid of one of those useless guitarists, (im assuming you play keyGoard and synth) a decent key player can replace a rythm guitar any day(IMO)

gorkyporky
01-23-2010, 11:37 AM
Well just yesterday, a band that played after us didnt have a basist, just a drummer, singer and a guitarist. They were awfull, but thats cause the music was shit. And the lack of basist couldnt have helped about that, it was just a wall of random guitar noise, that a base line would have fixed up plenty in my oppinion. So yeah, pretty much necesary, except if youre jack white.

Black Star
01-23-2010, 12:43 PM
Well just yesterday, a band that played after us didnt have a basist, just a drummer, singer and a guitarist. They were awfull, but thats cause the music was shit. And the lack of basist couldnt have helped about that, it was just a wall of random guitar noise, that a base line would have fixed up plenty in my oppinion. So yeah, pretty much necesary, except if youre jack white.

But if you're Jack White, you're using a synth and/or an octave pedal to replace the bass ;)

Of course, even Jack White uses bassists, too. I believe The Raconteurs have a bassist.

EvilAngel93
01-23-2010, 02:44 PM
OF COURSE YOU NEED A BASSIST! THE BAND HAS NO BALLS WITHOUT ONE!

:bonk: :argue: :fight: :gunsfirin :gun:

J0RDANM
01-23-2010, 02:59 PM
Well I kinda skipped over a few posts, but I don't think he doesn't want a bassist. I think its more so he doesn't have one and wants to know if its really needed, you don't have to have one but you would have to create your own songs or play songs that don't use a bassist.

OR CLEARLY you just need to distract everyone with blazing keyboard solos!

SuperMaximo93
01-23-2010, 03:25 PM
Even though I think that having a bass is very very important (I'm a bassist myself), I reckon you could do some bass on keys/synth if you went down low enough. A keys bass sound I presonally like is from Murcury and One More Chance by Bloc Party. But then again if you're playing rockier stuff then I think you should definitely get a bass guitar, unless you want a sort of electro vibe

ibanez87
01-25-2010, 08:57 PM
If you only played bass lines on your snyth it could work. As long as something fills out the bass sound, its good (unless you're the Black Keys, and they get away with it because their guitar tones are so bassy). You need a bass instrument. BOTTOM LINE. If you're not happy playing only bass lines, then get a bass player.
The Doors never actually had an official bass player. At concerts, the keyboardist would actually play his keyboard parts with one hand, and play basslines on another keyboard with the other hand. So your if as coordinated as him, that could work, but that takes alot of skill

xCurlyx
01-25-2010, 10:04 PM
Well no instrument is really needed. However, basses will help your sound alot. Heck you could do without guitars, drums, or even vocals. I personally find that bands can do well without basses- given that the rhythm guitarist turns his bass a little higher than normal. The music you play also is an important factor. I could see you playing metal without a bass, but if you're gonna cover a RHCP song without a bass- forget it.

J-Smack
01-25-2010, 10:15 PM
The Quarry Men used a tub or something.

6stringbassist
01-26-2010, 12:42 PM
Muse- Their bass player does the synth parts on his bass live, but they actually use a synth to record it live.

A bass player is essential. It's as important as having drums. More bands have 1 guitarist and a bassist then have no bass player and 2 guitar players.

TheMooseKnuckle
02-18-2011, 10:43 PM
Lol, I think everyone pretty well nailed this one... that a bassist is recommened.

If you want to see for yourself take a song any song really. But for example we'll use "whats going on" by Marvin Gaye. Marvin is one of the greatest singers in the last 50 years, I think most people will agree on that. But take that song turn the bass on your stereos EQ off and listen to it. Then take the same song and crank the bass way up... and tell me you dont need bass?

Marvin was an amazing singer, but James Jamerson was the heart and soul behind that song. Without his bassline even Marvin can't save that song!!!

jakesc8
02-18-2011, 10:59 PM
You need a bassist. Have one of the guitarists switch, have the vocalist take up bass(like my band did) or do it yourself. You wont sound as good without one.

C_Miller
02-19-2011, 02:47 AM
Lol, I think everyone pretty well nailed this one... that a bassist is recommened.

If you want to see for yourself take a song any song really. But for example we'll use "whats going on" by Marvin Gaye. Marvin is one of the greatest singers in the last 50 years, I think most people will agree on that. But take that song turn the bass on your stereos EQ off and listen to it. Then take the same song and crank the bass way up... and tell me you dont need bass?

Marvin was an amazing singer, but James Jamerson was the heart and soul behind that song. Without his bassline even Marvin can't save that song!!!

I like that you brought in Marvin Gaye and James Jamerson, but I'm pretty sure the OP has already figured it out, seeing as he posted his question over a year ago.

Ryan Rage
02-19-2011, 03:56 PM
Yes.

zincabopataurio
02-19-2011, 05:07 PM
If anything play the bassline on your synth.

Tmusician
02-19-2011, 05:07 PM
A bass player is more important than a rhythm guitar player.

TheMooseKnuckle
02-19-2011, 06:44 PM
I like that you brought in Marvin Gaye and James Jamerson, but I'm pretty sure the OP has already figured it out, seeing as he posted his question over a year ago.

Lol, thanks!

Yeah I noticed right after I posted... that the original was from 2010 not 2011. Think we could get a Mod to close the thread seeing as I have brought it back from the dead :facepalm:

BrickIsRed
02-19-2011, 07:11 PM
I'm a bass player, and even I say you're better off with synth bass. It cuts through ten times better.

pandora_grunt
02-20-2011, 04:39 AM
I'm a bass player, and even I say you're better off with synth bass. It cuts through ten times better.

Thank you. bass-synth through a PA is a very filling way of doing things. And it's a nice little gimmick :P

However. I'd still suggest a bassguitar in this situation. This way the synthesizer get's to have even more usuable room in the frequency ranges. This diversity can work great for catchyness and diversity in sound.

All in all both options are a possibility. However since this thread is so old its ready to be closed now.

Yumishe
02-20-2011, 04:40 AM
Yea bassist are needed. they can help you kep beat and know when th chord changes happen.

Crizzle
02-20-2011, 07:53 AM
When our bassist misses practice I hate it :/ Everything just sounds so weak and lifeless y'know? Imo bass is pretty essential, but your synth could fill out the low end I'm sure. Also listen to Hysteria by Muse and longview by green day, you need a bass for those songs :P