Does a Band Really Need a Bassist?


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Hardin
12-09-2005, 09:23 PM
Long story short: with Lead Guitar, Rhythum Guitar, Keyboards and Drums, would a band truly be incomplete without a bass player? The Doors did it, I know, but they seem like the only popular band who did. So overall, yes or no (and say why) would a band with these instruments and no bass most likely fail or be at a disadvantage?

Gutch220
12-09-2005, 09:27 PM
the doors often added bass, just in the studio though

IMO you need one but if you didn't the rhythm player would take on the responsibility

blinx64
12-09-2005, 09:30 PM
With a keyboard player, it's not nessicary because he could play a bass line, but you need to make sure he's cool with that, plus with a bass player, you could have a seperate bass line so I would recommend you have a bassist.

merfsullivan
12-09-2005, 09:30 PM
AS long as you have the keyboard player playing a bassline independent of the melody, like the Doors did, then I don't see why you would need one. Bear in mind the White Stripes don't make a habit out of using bass and they're pretty famous. Whether you like them or not. So it is absolutely possible, and won't make too much of a difference.

Most bands just use bass to have the bottom end, but you definetly don't need one, especially with the keyboard player. No real disadvantage. Bass players can only help, they can't really hurt. Even if they just follow the rhythm. If you have a good bass player, it'll make a difference.

ibanez4life SZ!
12-09-2005, 09:32 PM
I personally think that a song sounds much thinner without the bass, the rythmn guitarist will make up for it a little, but that restricts him.....IMO, the bass is a very good addition.

twistedsister
12-09-2005, 09:34 PM
well, the doors didnt have one and theyre awesome but then again, the white stripes dont have one either......

TimiHendrix33
12-10-2005, 02:55 AM
You should definetly have a bass. It sounds way better live, trust me.

Freunleven
12-10-2005, 11:31 AM
My band had a jam session last night, and our bassist was missing. The keyboard player and I tried to fill in the gap, and it just wasn't the same.

:satan:

Resiliance
12-10-2005, 11:44 AM
You don't really, if you want to rob yourself of harmonic possibilities and sound incomplete.

Freunleven
12-10-2005, 01:08 PM
"Incomplete" really depends on the sound you're going for. Sure, there are a lot of songs that will sound incomplete without a dedicated bass. At the same time, however, there are probably enough songs that don't really need a bassist - the keyboard and guitar can cover it.

To sum up: If you feel like you need a bassist, find one. If, however, you can make your band work without a bassist, more power to ya, brother.

:satan:

socialtool
12-10-2005, 02:15 PM
You are losing out on a possibility it's not necessary that you have a bass, but ti's not

necessary that you have a guitar either... or necessarily a drummer if you all are really good at what you are doing

I mean a band can consist of whatever instruments you want it too. SO it's ridiculous to ask if one instrument can be removed, yes it can, but you just will have to write songs that sound good without that harmonic element

Iluvpowerchords
12-10-2005, 02:19 PM
If you can make it work, go for it.

deusexbass2150
12-11-2005, 05:55 AM
well i guess its your choice but i think it would sound better if you had a bass, i mean it couldnt exactly make it worse
You wouldnt necessarily fail with the band youve got now if it sounds good but adding bass would be a good choice enhancing sound etc

resi|ience
12-11-2005, 05:58 AM
nah you dont need a bass guitar, depending on what type of band you are in.
my metal band 'Third Degree Burn' dont have a bass, my rhythm guitarist makes up for it cause he's so damn heavy :)

@zzasin
12-11-2005, 06:20 AM
Does a band really need a bassist? - YES
Does a band need a keyboard player - HELL NO

Gurgle!Argh!
12-11-2005, 08:59 AM
no, it doesnt. there are lots of good bands without bassists (two gallants, that fucking tank et al). but anyway, the point is that theyre good bands because they never wanted a bassist; they dont have one because their music is deliberately bassless. if you just dont have a bassist because you cant find one, you'll probably suck.

jesusgonewrong
12-11-2005, 09:20 AM
Bass kicks ass. It should be a essential.

Hardin
12-11-2005, 01:11 PM
I don't want our band to have a bass, since we're going to be writing the music anyway and our keyboardist can always to basslines. Our drummer on the other hand is angry and says that we need a bass and offered to buy one for our keyboarder lol.

roryo
12-11-2005, 03:15 PM
I've always thought a band needs a bassist, it just gives the music more depth. Perhaps if the rhythm player used a baritone guitar it *might* cover for it slightly...

any thoughts anyone?

Hardin
12-11-2005, 08:45 PM
Just curious is there some sort of guitar effect to make an electric guitar sound like a bass?

twistedsister
12-11-2005, 09:34 PM
an octave osounds preety bassy. maybe get an eq and put the bass up and take ou tht e treble. also do that on ur amp

golfskip
12-11-2005, 11:24 PM
True, the Doors didn't have a bassist, but with todays expectations, for a live concert or show you've got to have that big bottom end.
I never got to hear the Doors at a live show but i'll bet they had a very thin sound.
BUT you can bypass the bassist with a keyboard! Ive heard some midi units that canduplicate a Bass to a T.
AS far as guitar effects that make your guitar sound like a bass, haven't ever heard one. A guy could go with a Midi Guitar and not only have a bass sound but all the different midi sounds.

WashburnX25
12-11-2005, 11:28 PM
well,


YES

socialtool
12-11-2005, 11:30 PM
any octave unit will make the guitar sound like a bass. Jack white used one on Seven Nation Army.

BrianApocalypse
12-12-2005, 02:12 PM
Why do you need 2 guitar players?

Make the rhythm guitarist the bass player.

EZLN libertad
12-12-2005, 02:15 PM
ask yourself this
could you have a band without drums?


yeah its possible, not probable though

guitarmonkey4
12-12-2005, 08:27 PM
I made a "how much does a band need a bassist" thread a while ago, and have since come to the conclusion that it's easier to just find a bassist and deal with him than to pass around the various bassist responsibilites to the keyboardist and rhythm player and have to deal with them.

Dirk Gently
12-12-2005, 10:51 PM
You can form a band with whatever it takes to make the music you hear in your heads. Ben Folds Five sold millions of records with no guitars. Morphine replaced a guitar as their lead instrument with a saxophone. I think it is going to sound thin, even if your keyboardist thumps away on the lower octaves, but if you're willing to live with that, who cares? You might also think of throwing a 7 string guitar or a baritone guitar into the mix to fill in your sound if you're completely against using a bassist.

Profound
12-12-2005, 11:04 PM
any octave unit will make the guitar sound like a bass. Jack white used one on Seven Nation Army.
I was gonna say that....It said use a sub octave effect to make the intro but it sounds just as good on guitar on my tabs.

path
12-12-2005, 11:08 PM
maybe you just dont have one ,that't why you are asking about it

socialtool
12-13-2005, 03:08 PM
I was gonna say that....It said use a sub octave effect to make the intro but it sounds just as good on guitar on my tabs.

Sounds just as good but not completely correct. It would be an octave above so it would be similar

inafantasy
12-13-2005, 03:22 PM
If you can make some good music who cares what instruments you have/dont have.

path
12-14-2005, 03:15 AM
inafantasy is definetely right. who cares if you can make terrific music. just trust yourself and make some good ones

EmoRammsteinFan
12-14-2005, 09:19 AM
I am making a Band...but all we have is one Guitar, Drums, and a Bass.....is THAT enough?

I am pretty sure that no Bass is not going to kill the band...n.n

socialtool
12-14-2005, 12:08 PM
I am making a Band...but all we have is one Guitar, Drums, and a Bass.....is THAT enough?

I am pretty sure that no Bass is not going to kill the band...n.n

LEt's see, Green Day, Blink-182, Cream, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, ZZ Top, Alkaline Trio, is that enough examples of three pieces?

BrianApocalypse
12-14-2005, 12:27 PM
LEt's see, Green Day, Blink-182, Cream, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, ZZ Top, Alkaline Trio, is that enough examples of three pieces?

Yeah, but a good few of those bands have an extra guitar dubbed on in the studio and have extra guitarists live.

Green Day or the BRMC for example.

By the way, Octave pedals aren't gonna cut it. Only some kind of hybrid between a retard and a cripple would shadow the guitar line, and also, what if you want to solo? How's that gonna sound?

EmoRammsteinFan
12-14-2005, 12:43 PM
LEt's see, Green Day, Blink-182, Cream, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, ZZ Top, Alkaline Trio, is that enough examples of three pieces?
All very good bands...

socialtool
12-14-2005, 10:25 PM
Yeah, but a good few of those bands have an extra guitar dubbed on in the studio and have extra guitarists live.

Green Day or the BRMC for example.

By the way, Octave pedals aren't gonna cut it. Only some kind of hybrid between a retard and a cripple would shadow the guitar line, and also, what if you want to solo? How's that gonna sound?

It's a pedal, so if the rhythm guitarist with the octave pedal wants to solo... he could.... TURN IT OFF.... Shocker.

It would fill out the sound quite nicely, a local band did it for a couple of summer gigs when the bass player couldn't play because of work.

Green Day, played without the extra guitarist for years. I assume you are talking about Black rebel Motorcycle Club with BRMC but I didn't mention them and if all of their music requires two guitars they aren't really a trio...

Plus most of those bands played without an extra guitarist live a lot of the time. The trick is to learn to beef up your own tone without the music sounding thin, IE gibbons recording his guitar lines with a direct plug into the machine and a miced amp to give it a few milliseconds of delay to beef it up

cactus
12-16-2005, 05:24 AM
For me a keyboardist can be a bassist by playing basslines, but I think that its nothing compared to a real bassist, use your keyboard player to complement your lead and get a bassist for a solid rhythm now, thats the way to go.

phrank
12-16-2005, 08:53 PM
I think keyboards sound really dull and monotonous no matter how fancy it is, and it doesnt look even as close as cool as a bass player! To me, a bass player doesnt neccesarily have to be GOOD- he has to play with attitude, both in the music AND in the live shows. And Ive always found that bass players, since most of the time they dont play much, they get be good backup singers, or just get the crowd riled up!

Hardin
12-17-2005, 09:30 PM
I am making a Band...but all we have is one Guitar, Drums, and a Bass.....is THAT enough?

I am pretty sure that no Bass is not going to kill the band...n.n

Yeah that's fine. Aton of bands have that set-up but they have an extra member who just does vocals (*cough* Led Zeppelin) but in the studio Page would record multiple guitar parts. Live, I'm sure they got another guitarist.

But yeah, that's a fine set-up.

smitherson
12-18-2005, 12:03 AM
I guess it might be original. Who knows, try it.

Four-Sticks
12-18-2005, 12:14 AM
what if you want to solo? How's that gonna sound?

Funky

Hardin
12-19-2005, 08:24 PM
Led Zeppelin used a sub octave and fuzz effect in the "Fool in the Rain" solo and that sounded good, a little thick I guess...

Mr. Clean
12-19-2005, 11:55 PM
You don't need any particular instrument in a band, just some.

mw7
12-20-2005, 09:07 PM
to me i dont think bass is all that important unless its a good bass player, who can make awesome fills, and could actually be heard in the song. lots of songs are just guitar with bass following the same rhythm with no fills or nothing. lots of songs you cant even hear the bass.

primus rules

bassninja
12-22-2005, 08:47 AM
I think keyboards sound really dull and monotonous no matter how fancy it is, and it doesnt look even as close as cool as a bass player!

While I completely agree with that, if you really want to have the keyboardist instead of a bassist, go for a keytar. That'd DEFINATELY get your band noticed (even if its for being weird).

http://img142.exs.cx/img142/4282/spark71qn.jpg

Hardin
12-22-2005, 06:09 PM
lol

Danny7
12-22-2005, 07:02 PM
*sigh*

So many waste-of-time replies. (eg: ^^^).


I think a bass just adds an essential low-end. Even if you have Mark Hoppus style bassing, just playing the root notes etc, it still adds notes in a frequency that would otherwise be void.

The bass doesn't have to be a prominent part of the set-up... I personally like to make it quite a big part, as do bands like Red Hot Chili Peppers and Incubus, but even if it is just a minor part in the music, I think it still has to be there....

But then again, if you can somehow make awesome music that doesn't feel that little bit empty without it, then go ahead.

Panic!TheLegend
12-23-2005, 12:35 AM
Long story short: with Lead Guitar, Rhythum Guitar, Keyboards and Drums, would a band truly be incomplete without a bass player? The Doors did it, I know, but they seem like the only popular band who did. So overall, yes or no (and say why) would a band with these instruments and no bass most likely fail or be at a disadvantage?

:wtf: Of course the bass is neccisary. So many people think of a the bass as a completely minor role in a band that it's ridiculous. Your band might sound okay without a bassist, im not saying your automatically gonna sound like **** but a bass is such a wonderful instrument and it can add so much to your music if your bassist is willing to learn and do more than follow the guitar riff.

Scourge441
12-23-2005, 11:38 AM
Chances are you will sound a kajillion times better with a bassist. I say try to get one. Keyboards tend not to provide enough bottom end.

mud
12-23-2005, 11:42 AM
You don't need any particular instrument in a band, just some.
I agree with this fellow.

My personal opinion is that a bass section adds depth to a band that I wouldn't want to be without, but then it's really up to you. If you think you neither need nor want a bassist then chances are that you don't.

Sir Edwin CBE
12-23-2005, 11:44 AM
You don't need guitar, bass, keyboards, drums or vocals in a band.

You need a melody instrument and a beat + a rhythm instrument if you want.

The more instruments you have, the more possibilities you have - but you could have an orchestra and still make a song sound like crap - it's all about using what you've got and getting the best out of them.

Bulletbass man
12-23-2005, 07:50 PM
i have done it and yes it can work. You just have to have a good beat and make rythm a little more bassy thru the eq. And yes a octave effect can make it sound bassier.

joshsirjoshules
12-23-2005, 10:04 PM
Just curious is there some sort of guitar effect to make an electric guitar sound like a bass?


You could get a Digitech Whammy and put it on the Octave Down feature, and it would kind of resemble a bass.

Anyways, you could just have the keyboard player play a bass line, but if I were you, I would try it with a bass player with the whole band. That's just what I would do.

Guitarplaya27
12-23-2005, 10:06 PM
Bassists give a heavy riff even heavier sounds

TaoAvatar20
12-28-2005, 04:56 PM
There's a band in my hometown I'm VERY fond of called Meniskus (they're on myspace if anyone wants to look them up) and they're a three piece with a classical guitarist, violinist, and drummer and they have one of the most mind-blowing sounds I think I've ever heard. Basically, if you work well together, don't worry about fitting a mold. Sometimes you need all those pieces and sometimes you don't.

PICKS r4 DICKS
12-31-2005, 11:28 AM
you need a bassist, bassist are the bottom line and add the drive to a song.
and you can really tell the difference when you dont have a bass in a song, its very high.
like imaging listening to a concert band with no tuba, its all just melody.

the lead guitar is like the trumpets and clarinets and flutes, the rhythm guitar is like horns and saxiphones, and the bass is like the tuba and bass clairnet and trombone, and obviously the drums are liek the percusion. and just like a concert band sounds ****y without any one of those parts, a band will sound just as incomplete.

Dom_H
12-31-2005, 11:53 AM
Just curious is there some sort of guitar effect to make an electric guitar sound like a bass?

I know there's one that drop it down by a whole octave. Which would be the same tuning as a bass. So i think that would work.

Rocker4500
01-03-2006, 06:03 AM
Just curious is there some sort of guitar effect to make an electric guitar sound like a bass?

Yeah you can get these bass simulation pedals. See Seven Nation Army by the White Stripes for an example. That whole song was played on guitar. Jack White used a bass pedal for the bass parts.

green_day9
01-03-2006, 08:02 AM
if you have got guitar pro, then u can listen to the differencce with and without a bass it deffinately needs bass

Calvero
01-03-2006, 08:48 AM
You can have a band without a bassist, as you can have a band without a lead singer, a lead guitarrist, a drummer... But the bass is such an awesome instrument that gives away a great sound. I play the guitar and i think a cool bass line can make a song good all on its own.

socialtool
01-03-2006, 10:44 AM
if you have got guitar pro, then u can listen to the differencce with and without a bass it deffinately needs bass

That makes no sense, if he is writing his own music then he wouldn't "need" a bass it would "need" whatever the composer thought it needed.

turinbrakes
01-03-2006, 02:39 PM
bass adds the extra dimension music needs imo

Nedir Kire
01-05-2006, 11:14 PM
Does anyone think it's possible to substitute the bass for another instrument.... i.e. keyboard?

fancy_a_cuppa
01-09-2006, 08:53 AM
i remember someone told me this once and i think it rings true

'bass - you don't know its there, but you know when it isn't'

redteamleader
01-09-2006, 09:44 AM
my band's had this drama going on about as long as we've been a band- i think we've been through about 8 or 9 bass players now- and we've bene together less than a year.

we've tried to make it work without one- but we're not interested in having a keyboard player (our lead guitarist has a MIDI pickup on his guitar we use for synth lines instead). the bottom end of my rhythm guitar fills the sound out nicely, but for a number of tunes the bass line is simply essential.

some bands certainly manage just fine- the white stripes, the dandy warhols- but i think it entirely depends on your tunes, your stage presence, you band.

the trick is not just finding one- here in toronto, where band sluts abound- the trick is to make him stick.

Hardin
08-24-2007, 12:49 AM
C'mon though, bassists are just failed guitarists...right? I mean, I bet half of the kids of UG believe me...

D_y_p26
08-24-2007, 02:43 AM
I think you should tell your rhythm guitarist to play bass with distortion. That way to get the bottom end as well as the edgy ness..if you know what i mean

Darukan
08-24-2007, 10:55 AM
i don't think it's realy necessary to take a bass player , look for example @ blind guardian ... just sounds great, they just help themselfes out with a studio musician , but you should at least know some bass players who can play at gigs or in the studio if you are recording , but i also think a bass player adds not just maybe his personal thoughts into the band but also a good possibility for melody and at least the way best method to get a nice riff rhytm you can improvise on, check out this Metal Balad (http://ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=656618)
for example ,then mute the bass and listen to it again , it's just not the same as the music was before , bass is imo next to drums the most important thing in a band to keep a good rhytm , btw. i don't ehink bassists are just failed guitarists as you need very good technique to play bass ;)

Dirk Gently
08-24-2007, 10:58 AM
Holy fucking bump, Batman! This thread is from December of 2005!

Darukan
08-24-2007, 11:06 AM
Holy fucking bump, Batman! This thread is from December of 2005!


well i think this kind of thread is not really to get inactual ;)

Johnljones7443
08-24-2007, 11:10 AM
:wtf: