i"m a newbie in bass and i noticed that some songs especially ones with loud elec guitar strumming or distortion have bass that cant be heard at all. its like if u dont play the bass or if you do play it, it makes no dif to the song. so whats the use if u have a bass player in such bands? i feel that bassists lose their purpose in these bands. or is there a purpose? im lost....

though i also notice that bands with plucking elec guitars only (without strumming) can give space to very creative basslines . So as bassists, i also wanna know what combinations u guys like the best?>>>
1. acoustic strumming+bass+elec plucking
2. elec pluck + elec strum +bass

i prefer no.1 cos the bass n elec plucking can be heard n appreciated.

n do u guys with bands have such problems whereby ur guitarist keeps strumming louder n louder though he knows clearly that even god cant hear the vocals , plucking n bass? wow what a long thread.
Generally the bass player is there to lay the foundation of the song, of course that is dependant upon the style. Most of the time in heavely distorted songs the bass player is there to give the bass drum beats a fuller sound, of course you may disagree; however, that is how I see it.

While the creative bass walks are great, they are lost most of the time in the rest of the mix. So unfortunantly we are stuck alot of the time playing roots, 3rd's, 5th's, along with other small variations.

I'm pretty sure everyone has run into the "star" guitarist problem before. Simplest solution to the guitarist problem is to simply turn them down and tell them it's a band, not a "hey look at me contest." Or something along those lines.
In my band the bass very much drives most of the tracks, so i never feel the way you guys do. my bandmates look to me to provide a solid groove which they sit on. it's very much about the bass. have a listen, tracks in myspace. Both my guitarist turn up their amps, but not to the point where the bass is drowned out. And of course, i always use the old stage trick of turning my volume down on my bass for soundcheck so i have a little boost if i want to during the set. Plus, you can never hear yourself properly on stage so you will always turn it up, bass, guitars...all the same.
if you choose your notes right, you will always be heard.

...unless of course they've turned down your amp.
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I always think for heavy down-tuned metal the bass isn't obvious to listen to, but if it isn't there it sounds awful. It makes the guitar powerchord-stuff sound much heavier and gives it a defined bottom end.

EDIT: I'm a guitarist by the way
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The thing with bass to the average person, is that you'll only notice it if it's not there, take, for example, a heavily distorted guitar track with bass, take out the bass I guarentee it'll sound like crap.

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without bass, a chord driven non acoustic song will sound ****e. But if you wanna be heard, 5ths are your best friend. And skipping strings. Implied harmonies(?) is also fun. Look at Californication, for example. Learn the notes that can be played over chords, or the implied chords if the music is single note picking (like Californication's intro).

Try to use the bass to link the drums to the vocals, so the guitarist can bugger off with his distorted heavy ass chunky riffs with little variation- all metal "lead" guitarists are actually rhythm guitarists with solos:P Try playing the offbeat every now and then. I've come up with some good sounding offbeats. Avoid being too punchy and staccatoed when playing a melody bass line over a crunching riff though, sorta ruins it a bit. Have fun. Listen to bassists who don't just follow root notes- Ryan Martinie (Mudvayne) is an excellent example, as is Justin Chancellor from Tool, Jeff Ament from Pearl Jam and Michael Todd of Coheed and Cambria (he is such an underrated bassist)
I think that when bass is not heard in metal songs its down to a **** mix. The bass should have its own sound seperate to the rest of the mix. Unfortunately bass is the easiest thing to lose in a mix.

The best way to combat this is to turn the mids on the guitar up. Or the mids on the bass up.

Some metal bands you can clearly hear the bass. Such as Watchtower. Where bass solos are common.

Geddy lee has a very non bass tone, As in you can tell its bass but it has its own sound that is easier to hear then most bass.

Also one problem is most metal bassists are really unimaginitive.

I have been in many metal bands and have been chucked out of all of them because i dont play "proper" bass. Pricks.
I think that hearing the bass is dependent on your music style. SOme styles are strongly driven by bass. Others have bassists that just play roots, etc. I always like to be in the mix.
Quote by Forcemaster
The thing with bass to the average person, is that you'll only notice it if it's not there, take, for example, a heavily distorted guitar track with bass, take out the bass I guarentee it'll sound like crap.

very very very true
Listen to Rage Against the Machine or Tool, then tell me that bass isn't audible with heavy guitar distortion. If you're really desperate, just add some distortion to your bass.
I always enjoy bands that have bass an an instrument, rather than just playing a root here and there. Usually when I play with a guitarist and drummer, I use to pick just to try to cut through...
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you dont notice the bass because it's synced in perfectly. the bass is htere, u just dont know it, like you said ur still new, your ear isn't trained to pick out the bass notes yet.

honestly you can't expect bass to stand out so much. we do have a role, and thats to bridge melody and rhythm, and its a hard thing to do, so we have to keep it simple most of the time or it'll ruin the music, trust me on that.

ill end with this, its one thing to train ur fingers and play stand out runs, but to train your ear and really breathe music, is a whole different thing.
yay! thnx guys!

no wonder my(well, "OUR") band...wtv.......

our song's chorus has loud distortion strumming n i decided not to play root notes n instead, i followed the bass drum with super low pitched notes n the vocalist said it sounded great.

whew u guys introduced many new terms to me ...better read up on those.

n forcemaster ur right, i told the guitarist to play distortion without the bass n it sounded like the drums n guitar didnt come from the same song.....like its one guy playin guitar n another playin drums from two dif countries n someone else plays the two instruments together......im confusing myself.......

n i dun have a bass oni classical to practice on... DARN getting out of topic