#1
http://news.eshac.com/?p=858

Wanted to throw this out to the forum for discussion. What's your opinion here? Is the article true? Simplistic? Exaggerated?

Give it a read and post your comments.
#2
For a general listener, I would say most of it is true. People who are really into music or are musicians themselves tend to notice every member of the band more. The article does do a bit of generalizing because there are tons of bassists who are more active in a live situation.
#3
The uneducated casual listener would agree with the first part. People who have a good sense for music, and all the layers within a song would tell you how important bass is. Without it a song would sound hollow. This doesn't apply to everything, such as the White Stripes, but you get the idea. I'm a guitarist who plays bass in a band so I easily make and laugh at bassist jokes.
A bassist is never late, nor is he early, he arrives precisely when he means to.

The Pit operates under a pseudo-Murphy’s Law state of mind. You can make a comment and "whatever wrong assumption that can be made about it, will be made about it."
#5
How many bassists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

One. He does it very well but nobody cares.

I feel like the people who do not give bass respect are many metal/ rock musicians. There is so much high end in these genres and guitars are often downtuned. The bass will act more like a second guitar with little rhythmic variation. It is an extension of classical music where bass generally did not play a huge role.
"Yes, we do sell out, every single time, everywhere we play." -Jason Newsted

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#6
"There are a few exceptions. Notably, Sting of the Police, Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy, Paul McCartney of the Beatles and Lemmy Kilmeister of Motorhead."
Really? Facking REALLY? Okay, Lemmy and Paul will be heralded in as gods in Bassist heaven, Sting is a great bass player no doubt, but Pete Wentz? Pete Hairflippin' Wentz?!? Whatever man. Don't let any ignorant Rhodes or Dimebag fans/guitarists ( in my experience, seem to be the biggest culprits) tell you the bass isn't important. The bass is just so powerful but still maintains it's subtlety. The listener is supposed to feel the bass. It isn't about soaring riffs. Unless you're Claypool in which case you are more important than the guitarist and the most famous member of your band.
There's a conflict, you see. A conflict between the land and the people, and the people gotta go.
#7
bass is important

bassist...eh


hahah nah bassist can be pretty cool but since i ususally write all(most) the basslines in our band because the bassist is technically gifted but creatively challanged i can see whre the jokes come from
#9
Quote by Deth2Emo
How many bassists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?



I-V-I-V-I-V-I-V


Also, it is easy to miss bass, but it is a fundamental part of a band or an ensemble, and as such is extremely important.
Strauss!
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Quote by AeolianWolf
absolutely what will said

Yay, my first compliment!
#10
The usual rubbish. A bassist who knows how to play is no less bound to the background than a guitarist and in most popular music plays no less a significant role.
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#12
All the said above, but i have to admit that the article does describe the situation as it is for most of the people... And i think that's how many people sees/hears/don't hear us. Still, we don't play necesarily to be recognized by the majority of people, i guess...
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#13
We bassists are not people. We are Gods and Goddesses who wield the mighty thunder of the low end. Those who claim not to hear us when we play are simply too awestruck by our magnificence for their brains to work properly.

ALL HAIL THE PANTHEON OF THE LOW END!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#14
A producer I once worked with said this about playing bass " If no one notices you you're doing something right". Which I feel is often true because most people don't normally see the flawless playing of a bassist but they are than likely to see the mistakes of one i.e. timing, wrong changes, etc.

I play for the groove not to get noticed but quite often I do get compliments on my playing due to my active role on my band. Which is always nice to know people appreciate us bottom dwellers when we are on top of our game.
#15
A Simplistic and whinny article.

After not playing in front of anyone for 17 years, I hit the stage with a really bad metal band at a Battle of the Bands in east TN.

All the people there were following the other bands.

On the Sound Check song I had a competing bassist standing 20 feet away holding his beer against the side of his face screaming at the top of his lungs. He was a Bassist, so he does not count.

But the other people rushed the stage by the second tune and I could barely see my fretboard through the fists thrust into my space and face.

Far and away, if you are something, the People know it. Like 17 years prior coming off my then last public performance in a Christian group there were 50 young girls on the side stage screaming out my name.

Bassists. We get back what we put in to connecting to people. They are not complete idiots out there. And Guitarist resent it, in a big way
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#16
Quote by fudger
A producer I once worked with said this about playing bass " If no one notices you you're doing something right". Which I feel is often true because most people don't normally see the flawless playing of a bassist but they are than likely to see the mistakes of one i.e. timing, wrong changes, etc.

I play for the groove not to get noticed but quite often I do get compliments on my playing due to my active role on my band. Which is always nice to know people appreciate us bottom dwellers when we are on top of our game.

Agree. Bass usually isn't the melody instrument and I think it doesn't have to be. I like playing a song if it sounds good. My part doesn't need to be interesting. For example "Running with the Devil" by Van Halen has the most simple bassline. But I would still enjoy playing that song with a band because that's what makes the song sound so awesome. It has that kind of heavy beat and it couldn't be achieved with an "interesting" bassline. People need to see the big picture, not just their own "interesting" parts. As my signature says: Play what the song needs you to play. I enjoy playing a song if it sounds good and my part supports the music. It can be the least interesting part and it can be the most technically challenging part. But if it fits the song and supports the music, it's good. I don't play music to show off my skills. I play music that sounds good to me.
Quote by AlanHB
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#17
Bass is kind of like sex and air, it's really only a big deal when you don't get any

edit: or when the quality isn't good.
Last edited by TheFerret at Apr 13, 2013,
#18
Quote by TheFerret
Bass is kind of like sex and air, it's really only a big deal when you don't get any

edit: or when the quality isn't good.


Or when you're listening to something that isn't generic guitar-driven rock.
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#19
Quote by Ziphoblat
Or when you're listening to something that isn't generic guitar-driven rock.


There's music that's not generic guitar driven rock?
#20
One thing that always annoyed me as a kid was how almost everyone in school would play bass if they didn't have the skill or patience for guitar which is idiotic because they never seemed to grasp how much skill and patience getting good at bass can actually take.

And I'm sorry but how is Pete Wentz compared to Lemmy, Sting or MCCARTNEY???

Wow. Might as well compare a guppy to some kingfish or sharks more accurately. Damn.
#21
You're taking the authors words out of context. He mentioned Wentz in context saying he is big part of the band that he is in like lemmy, sting, etc. In terms of how they are the more notable musicians in those bands. Not skill or talent or how good or bad you think the music is.
#22
Quote by RevileN
One thing that always annoyed me as a kid was how almost everyone in school would play bass if they didn't have the skill or patience for guitar which is idiotic because they never seemed to grasp how much skill and patience getting good at bass can actually take.

And I'm sorry but how is Pete Wentz compared to Lemmy, Sting or MCCARTNEY???

Wow. Might as well compare a guppy to some kingfish or sharks more accurately. Damn.

They are bassists that most non-musicians know. Actually they may be the only members of the band whose name most people know (of course everybody knows John Lennon but McCartney is another Beatle that everybody knows). The article didn't compare their skills.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#23
Its true, though unfortunate. Most people miss the importance of a bassline. A solid groove can change a track, but even when it does, most listeners wont recognize it.
Quote by jpnyc
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#24
Many times bass players have been 'the other friend' of a group who has least musical ability. And unfortunately, large areas of certain genres haven't called for a vast amount more than root notes.

Bass is equally as important as any other instrument, but it's hard to shake long-standing stereotypes. I actually encourage any and all guitarists to pick up bass for a while. It certainly opened my ears and mind and I write and play better guitar because of it.
404: Sig not found.
#25
Quote by RevileN
One thing that always annoyed me as a kid was how almost everyone in school would play bass if they didn't have the skill or patience for guitar which is idiotic because they never seemed to grasp how much skill and patience getting good at bass can actually take.

And I'm sorry but how is Pete Wentz compared to Lemmy, Sting or MCCARTNEY???

Wow. Might as well compare a guppy to some kingfish or sharks more accurately. Damn.


HEY! I was one of those kids! I only started playing bass because I wanted to play with my friends and there were too many guitar players and barely any bass players. Now I love the bass, even though I also have a guitar, I'm a bassist for life. But don't judge people because of how they started! Don't be a jerk!
#26
What really grinds my gears is that it's only my friends that play the bass and drums who understand it's importance. Seriously, I cannot tell any of you how many times I've been told the bass is useless by a lead guitarist or vocalist. It just... urggg really gets me going. But this article is in fact very true, we are people. But if you take for example Alex Webster from Cannibal Corpse, he is one of the most prominant members of the band. Hell, I knew who he was before I even learned who was on the rhythm guitar.
#27
Quote by ThatOneGuyKal
What really grinds my gears is that it's only my friends that play the bass and drums who understand it's importance. Seriously, I cannot tell any of you how many times I've been told the bass is useless by a lead guitarist or vocalist. It just... urggg really gets me going. But this article is in fact very true, we are people. But if you take for example Alex Webster from Cannibal Corpse, he is one of the most prominant members of the band. Hell, I knew who he was before I even learned who was on the rhythm guitar.



There was a point in the 90's that Bassists were pretty much run off by bands, as Sequencers and Synths or Samplers replaced their presence in the Frequency Bandwidth. It lasted for a while and probably helped Rap move forward because there is really no replacement for the human factor of that instrument which was the first to be laid down in every MoTown hit.

It appears that rejection of the Bassist is that line between Music and computerize crap.

Levin once wrote about being flown into Nashville for a Song and upon arriving at the studio was confused as the Bass Line was in there with the Sampler running.
The writer and producer said that they insisted on a real person interpreting the time.

Only self absorbed Guitarists and singers are too busy thinking of themselves to realize what happens to the time because a REAL Bassist is there giving them their platform.

For the self deluded armatures, Karaoke is good enough. So is singing off an IPad.

Welcome to LA, and the Dallas Party Band Scene.
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#28
Quote by Spaz91
I didn't pick up the bass guitar to impress people.


This.
Sure people don't really notice bass all that much... But does it matter? The bassist probably knows the difference he makes (or at least the difference a bass makes, if he's modest), and he probably enjoys doing it. I know I do, and that's what matters to me.
#29
Quote by Aerynn
This.
Sure people don't really notice bass all that much... But does it matter? The bassist probably knows the difference he makes (or at least the difference a bass makes, if he's modest), and he probably enjoys doing it. I know I do, and that's what matters to me.

Yes. And this is how all musicians should think (not just bassists). The purpose of every instrument is to make the song sound as good as possible, no matter what the instrument is. Every instrument is equally important. Playing an instrument to show off your skills is just stupid. That's not making music. As I have said: Play what the song needs you to play. I play music because I like it. I don't play it to impress somebody.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#30
Pffft, we're not people!
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#31
Quote by Sliide90027
It appears that rejection of the Bassist is that line between Music and computerize crap.


I really shouldn't go there, but I can't resist... there's so much wrong with this statement. Demonizing electronic music which is hardly responsible as being some sort of short-cut to being able to make music despite the fact that becoming a passable guitarist takes a fraction of the time it does to become a passable producer isn't going to help anyone.
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#32
Ziph, I write not only from a technical point, but in the sense of the timeline of technology and what has happened to a lot of music since the Tech came into being.
Ibanez BTB 1006 Fretless and 405 (no Barts)
456 & 455(w/Barts)
Genz Benz NeoX400 112T & NeoX 112T cab.
Digitech BP-8 (x2)
Yamaha PB-1
Boss: SYB-5, PS-2, OD-20, EQ-20, PH-3,BF-3, CE-20, DD-20
Morely A/B
#33
I'd give that article 6/10. Passable writing but the sentence structure and maybe word choice leave room for improvement. IMO of course.
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#34
Quote by Nutter_101
Pffft, we're not people!


That's what I said!

Great minds think like me.
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#35
You don't have to be a technically proficient bassist to stand out. Look at Gene Simmons, Nikki Sixx, or even Sid Vicious.

If you want to be "out in front", you can be. To quote a theater saying "there are no small parts, only small actors".

I personally don't care...