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#1
How do would you describe a good bassist?

What would you say the main qualities of a good bassist is?

Is it, rhythm and feel, Fluidity of notes/scales, Theory Knowledge, Ability to sight read, Tone/gear mania, etc etc.

???
"Whats that noise??"

"... Jazz"
#2
Good bassist = Steve Harris
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#4
^^ Care to go into a little bit more depth?
"Whats that noise??"

"... Jazz"
#5
tight sound with a good presence in the song, not overdoing it but still being heard.

Unfortunately your average bassist either can't locate an E, or wants to play the intro to Seinfeld for everything.
#6
Kinda like Mike Dirnt is good, even though he mostly plays root. It really fits the song. Doesn't need to be overly-complex, as long as he holds the song together, which imo, is what all bassists should be doing.

Yeah, that's probably what he meant.
#7
Yea, I like Mike Dirnt too actually. good presence, strong basslines that compliment the guitar, drums and melody.

and it seems alot of the bassists I read up on in magazines are somewhat tone freaks. which in my opinion a good tone in a song is a much better than an impressive line.
"Whats that noise??"

"... Jazz"
#8
Fills the pocket and brings the low-end, to quote Victor Wooten. Not that he really does that, he's too busy double-thumbing his whammy bar, but it makes sense to me.
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#9
Quote by ZaccB
and it seems alot of the bassists I read up on in magazines are somewhat tone freaks. which in my opinion a good tone in a song is a much better than an impressive line.


It's true, almost every bassist I've met has been fairly anal about tone, myself included.

I've read TheFitz' blogs on EQ'ing more times than I care to remember, and I probably spend as much time fine tuning my EQ and trying out different combinations and orders of effects than I do practicing.

I feel like the singer who spends more time working on their hair than warming up before a show sometimes.
Quote by Marcel Veltman
Being a rather mediocre musician myself, I'm all on the hand of Haanz.

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#10
The bass player is usually the only band member who listens to what the rest of the band are doing. so the most important thing is a good set of ears.
#11
Quote by Phil Starr
The bass player is usually the only band member who listens to what the rest of the band are doing. so the most important thing is a good set of ears.


This is a great comment. My better half and I have started to become the resident rhythm section for a series of workshops, and its amazing to hear how the non-rhythm section members will silo themselves and not listen to what others are doing around them and forget to support the overall sound.

Which ties into what Ben said above. A good bassist does what is the best for the song. I'm not saying we're without ego, but a good bass player plays the line that supports the song and adds to the collective whole. A good bassist plays what is needed, whether its root notes or complicated lines.

And yes, I'll admit to being a tone freak, much more so than when I was a guitarist. It drives everyone I play with nuts.
#12
Quote by Phil Starr
The bass player is usually the only band member who listens to what the rest of the band are doing. so the most important thing is a good set of ears.


Looks like I've found my sig.
#13
hmm. in church last Sunday, the preacher referred to the drums as the Father, the guitar as the Son, and the bass as the Holy Spirit. he said it was, subtle, aqueous, and countermelodic in the same way the Holy Spirit was invisible, ethereal, and counterworldly.

I consider that somewhat relevant, if anyone here is a studied Christian they may see the point.
Quote by FatalGear41
I wouldn't call what we have here on the Bass Forum a mentality. It's more like the sharing part of an AA meeting.

Quote by Jason Jillard
HUMANITY WHATS WRONG WITH YOU.


Warwick Fortress>>Acoustic AB50

http://www.myspace.com/rustingbloom
#14
For me and the styles I play it is rhythm and feel. My best compliment is when the singer and soloists ask for the bass to be turned up on their monitors, it means I am driving the music and they are trusting me to do it.

My second job is to provide the best tone and signal on the line out to the guy working the board since he is the one that will ultimately make or break the show or the recording.
#15
A good bassist needs to be unmoveable.

Thats it imo
Quote by guitarhero_764
I think you need to stop caring what people think about it. I stayed home all day today and masturbated like 5 times. Fucking blast.

Ibanez ATK300 ◈ Sansamp VT Bass ◈ EHX Nano Small Stone ◈ Hartke LH500 ◈ Ashdown/Celestion 115
#16
Quote by the humanity
hmm. in church last Sunday, the preacher referred to the drums as the Father, the guitar as the Son, and the bass as the Holy Spirit. he said it was, subtle, aqueous, and countermelodic in the same way the Holy Spirit was invisible, ethereal, and counterworldly.

I consider that somewhat relevant, if anyone here is a studied Christian they may see the point.

I really like this, it's rather true. It also makes me happy that you don't go to a church where they believe that drums are created by the Devil. Friggin' Baptists...

In my opinion, a good bassist has to have good tone and needs to stay in the pocket. All of the things that a bassist must be to be good, however, can be summed up in what DeliriumBassist said. That and the bassist must also either take up half the stage with his gear and girth, or must be the skinnier than everyone else there.
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Quote by NakedBassist
Welcome to bass, you'll f*cking love it
Last edited by t3hrav3n at Mar 25, 2009,
#17
Quote by t3hrav3n
I really like this, it's rather true. It also makes me happy that you don't go to a church where they believe that drums are created by the Devil. Friggin' Baptists...

In my opinion, a good bassist has to have good tone and needs to stay in the pocket. All of the things that a bassist must be to be good, however, can be summed up in what DeliriumBassist said. That and the bassist must also either take up half the stage with his gear and girth, or must be the skinnier than everyone else there.

thanks.

and oddly enough, I am the skinniest in my worship band...
Quote by FatalGear41
I wouldn't call what we have here on the Bass Forum a mentality. It's more like the sharing part of an AA meeting.

Quote by Jason Jillard
HUMANITY WHATS WRONG WITH YOU.


Warwick Fortress>>Acoustic AB50

http://www.myspace.com/rustingbloom
#18
Quote by ZaccB
^^ Care to go into a little bit more depth?


No real need- it's a simple statement that I find challenging, both in terms of thinking about, and as a musician. Does a good bassist need to be flashy? Nope. Does a good bassist need to only stay in the pocket? Nope. A good bassist does what is required for the song.
#19
Quote by Filip413
tight sound with a good presence in the song, not overdoing it but still being heard.

Unfortunately your average bassist either can't locate an E, or wants to play the intro to Seinfeld for everything.


wow where do u live
I pressed her thigh and death smiled


Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted.
-John Lennon
#21
Good comments all around, hell I feel the urge to compile all the ideas in one, so we have the "definition", or at least a set of guidelines:

-The first duty of a bassist (or any musician in fact) is to his audience, not to himself.

-A bassist must only occupy as much musical space as he has to, unless he/she is playing a lead part.

-A good bassist chooses a tone that best complements his/her position in the band.

-A good bassist not only understands theory, but understands the best way to implement that knowledge in the context of the music he/she is playing.

-Most importantly, a good bassist should enjoy what he's doing, because music is an art and as such, requires your heart and soul.
"I hope I die before I get old"-Words of Pete Townsend, 1945-

"I hope I die before I turn into Pete Townsend"-Words of Kurt Cobain, 1967-1994

Funny old world eh.
#22
Quote by wouldyakindly
Good comments all around, hell I feel the urge to compile all the ideas in one, so we have the "definition", or at least a set of guidelines:

-The first duty of a bassist (or any musician in fact) is to his audience, not to himself.

-A bassist must only occupy as much musical space as he has to, unless he/she is playing a lead part.

-A good bassist chooses a tone that best complements his/her position in the band.

-A good bassist not only understands theory, but understands the best way to implement that knowledge in the context of the music he/she is playing.

-Most importantly, a good bassist should enjoy what he's doing, because music is an art and as such, requires your heart and soul.

You forget that a good bass player must be absolutely airtight, perfect timing is much more important than "not playing root notes"(btw i know that wasnt what you were implying a good bassist should do)
Quote by guitarhero_764
I think you need to stop caring what people think about it. I stayed home all day today and masturbated like 5 times. Fucking blast.

Ibanez ATK300 ◈ Sansamp VT Bass ◈ EHX Nano Small Stone ◈ Hartke LH500 ◈ Ashdown/Celestion 115
#24
Bass is a rhythm instrument. A good bassist needs good timing - this is the most important thing.
#25
i consider a good bassist someone who not only can play proficiently and knows their instrument inside and out but knows what and when to play
I shot JR

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#29
Quote by Phil Starr
The bass player is usually the only band member who listens to what the rest of the band are doing. so the most important thing is a good set of ears.


I heartily approve of this statement. I'm lucky to have a band where pretty much everybody cares about what everyone else is doing, but most bands I've played with are just interested in individual showoff-ing.

I think a good bassist writes lines that improve and compliment the song. I also think that a bassist has a duty to make him or herself heard, and not let themselves get mixed very low.
#30
Quote by the humanity
thanks.

and oddly enough, I am the skinniest in my worship band...

I'm one of the skinniest. Our best piano player is the skinniest, he's a freakin' stick. We were at the mall one day and found out he can fit into size 0 girl jeans.
Millie, my Peavey Grind Fiver
Peavey BAM 210 350w combo amp
Sansamp Bass Driver DI
Modded Ernie Ball VP Jr.
Monster Bass Cable, 21'

Quote by NakedBassist
Welcome to bass, you'll f*cking love it
#31
Quote by t3hrav3n
I'm one of the skinniest. Our best piano player is the skinniest, he's a freakin' stick. We were at the mall one day and found out he can fit into size 0 girl jeans.

you have a best one?

that's just enough for a Jesus oriented "Big Bottom" cover...

I ask for salvation,
upon my good nation,
you make it all alright,
like linen I'm bleached white,
when the waves crash down on me, oh,
you make my life stop like TiVo

We got 'em, we got 'em.
if you want love well my Lords got 'em!!!
Quote by FatalGear41
I wouldn't call what we have here on the Bass Forum a mentality. It's more like the sharing part of an AA meeting.

Quote by Jason Jillard
HUMANITY WHATS WRONG WITH YOU.


Warwick Fortress>>Acoustic AB50

http://www.myspace.com/rustingbloom
#32
Good timing and ability to translate the drums to the guitarist and singer. The drummer's job is to set up phrases and other things, the bassists job it to translate that into something the guitarist and singer can work with.
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#33
Quote by the humanity
you have a best one?

that's just enough for a Jesus oriented "Big Bottom" cover...

I ask for salvation,
upon my good nation,
you make it all alright,
like linen I'm bleached white,
when the waves crash down on me, oh,
you make my life stop like TiVo

We got 'em, we got 'em.
if you want love well my Lords got 'em!!!

Haha! Win.
Millie, my Peavey Grind Fiver
Peavey BAM 210 350w combo amp
Sansamp Bass Driver DI
Modded Ernie Ball VP Jr.
Monster Bass Cable, 21'

Quote by NakedBassist
Welcome to bass, you'll f*cking love it
#34
BAD BASSIST: Thinks that he's taking it to the next level by going out and doings fills/solos every other beat, and meanwhile just creates a chaotic (don't get me wrong, I LOVE chaos) environment for the rest of the musicians. If you're this bassist, slap yourself, not your bass.

GOOD BASSIST: Does his/her (her if you're Tam) job. Believe it or not, we're designed as a rhythm instrument, we're in the background. We're the studs behind the drywall. Unfortunately we MAY end up just playing root notes a lot of the time, but that's not always bad. Look at what Larry Graham plays in Everyday People. One note most of the time, but he fits the song and says what he has to say. Playing a root note with a groove is better than straying from the foundation.

In other words, a GOOD bassist MUST do his job, doing his job PLUS some is optional.
Schecter Stiletto Studio 5
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#35
Quote by Cody_Grey102
BAD BASSIST: Thinks that he's taking it to the next level by going out and doings fills/solos every other beat, and meanwhile just creates a chaotic (don't get me wrong, I LOVE chaos) environment for the rest of the musicians. If you're this bassist, slap yourself, not your bass.

GOOD BASSIST: Does his/her (her if you're Tam) job. Believe it or not, we're designed as a rhythm instrument, we're in the background. We're the studs behind the drywall. Unfortunately we MAY end up just playing root notes a lot of the time, but that's not always bad. Look at what Larry Graham plays in Everyday People. One note most of the time, but he fits the song and says what he has to say. Playing a root note with a groove is better than straying from the foundation.

In other words, a GOOD bassist MUST do his job, doing his job PLUS some is optional.

amen. there are rare times when the song sound awesome with pure improvised note runs the whole time.
Quote by FatalGear41
I wouldn't call what we have here on the Bass Forum a mentality. It's more like the sharing part of an AA meeting.

Quote by Jason Jillard
HUMANITY WHATS WRONG WITH YOU.


Warwick Fortress>>Acoustic AB50

http://www.myspace.com/rustingbloom
#36
Quote by Deliriumbassist
No real need- it's a simple statement that I find challenging, both in terms of thinking about, and as a musician. Does a good bassist need to be flashy? Nope. Does a good bassist need to only stay in the pocket? Nope. A good bassist does what is required for the song.



I have to agree with this. A good bassist knows and feels whats best for the song. He also listens among the group and attempts to force the band faster/slower(sometimes the drummer too)(well at least that's what the band teacher told me to do in jazz band).
Last edited by jazzbasskid at Mar 30, 2009,
#37
I like an active bassist(I'm a guitarist)

my favs ar Jack Bruce(flame me, not him, he's a wounderful bassist)
and Paul mcCartney

they have style, their not the band's shadow, they have good stage presence, and their a great help to the songwriting process, and they IMPROVISE ALOT.

I like jack the most because he played with my favorite guitarist (EC) and knew how to make bass a lead instrument without ruining the whole melody of the song.

they also have great voices, but that isn't a requirement, because another one of my favorites(the ox[John Entinswhitsle]) doesn't sing, but has all the other qualities noted above
#38
Quote by willwelsh816
I like an active bassist(I'm a guitarist)

my favs ar Jack Bruce(flame me, not him, he's a wounderful bassist)
and Paul mcCartney

they have style, their not the band's shadow, they have good stage presence, and their a great help to the songwriting process, and they IMPROVISE ALOT.

I like jack the most because he played with my favorite guitarist (EC) and knew how to make bass a lead instrument without ruining the whole melody of the song.

they also have great voices, but that isn't a requirement, because another one of my favorites(the ox[John Entinswhitsle]) doesn't sing, but has all the other qualities noted above



John sings. He lead his own band for a while.
Schecter Stiletto Studio 5
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#39
Quote by Cody_Grey102
John sings. He lead his own band for a while.

talkin bout my geeeeeneration...
Quote by FatalGear41
I wouldn't call what we have here on the Bass Forum a mentality. It's more like the sharing part of an AA meeting.

Quote by Jason Jillard
HUMANITY WHATS WRONG WITH YOU.


Warwick Fortress>>Acoustic AB50

http://www.myspace.com/rustingbloom
#40
Quote by the humanity
talkin bout my geeeeeneration...


That song is sex in bass form. I liked the John Entwhistle Band's performances of Boris The Spider, though.

EDIT: I can't find one of them, but here's John singing it it with the Who. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWpz2OYf1QU
Schecter Stiletto Studio 5
Ibanez SRX2EX1
Gallien Krueger 1001rbii
Gallien Krueger Neo 410
Last edited by Cody_Grey102 at Mar 30, 2009,
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