Poll: What is the most important skill of a bassist?
Poll Options
View poll results: What is the most important skill of a bassist?
melodic skill (crafting tasty melodic lines)
12 11%
speed skill (playing as fast as possible)
2 2%
toneshaping skill (making tone work in context of song)
4 4%
groove skill (finding the pocket and sitting there)
21 19%
rhythm skill (ability to make bass converse with drums)
19 18%
visual drama skill (flying kicks, posing, etc.)
5 5%
versatility skill (knowing different bass styles)
14 13%
improvisational skill (improv lines on the spot)
13 12%
gadgetry skill (knowing how to use effects)
1 1%
ensemble skill (being able to sit in with anyone)
17 16%
Voters: 108.
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#1
So, what is the most important skill to have as a bassist? I list a few in the poll. Of these, which is of most importance to you?
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#2
I see no poll but I think fingerstrength has a lot to do with bass playing
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#3
i agree with findingmyway...and i would also say that playing with ur fingers and knowing scales and stuff (not just play the root note of power chords played by guitar) are essential for a good bass player.
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#4
Playing the right darn notes!
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#6
Aren't rhythmn and groove the same thing in that poll?
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#7
Arg why must you give multiple good choices! you shoulda said top 3 i picked Groove. It's the bassist's first and primary role, and too many times have i seen contemporary bassists disown the notion of the pocket... Even victor wooten saddens me with unneccessary DT'ing
#10
I put melodic skill because it makes a song a lot more interesting.
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#12
i think the improv skill is pretty damn important.
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#13
I voted versatility, you can't become a great bassist if you dont appreciate all great types of bass playing. At least that's what I think.
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#14
i dont like this poll, my priorities are always changing. it started as technique, moved to theory, and now its melody oriented. so i guess ill check all 3?

EDIT: hmm, cant. oh well
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#15
You forgot the skill of just being yourself.
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#16
melodic skill (crafting tasty melodic lines)

No matter how simple the line, it should always be tasty

speed skill (playing as fast as possible)

If you're in a band that requires speed, then yes, it's important. But it has to be in time with the rest of the band.

toneshaping skill (making tone work in context of song)

Without the right tone for the right tune, what's the point?

groove skill (finding the pocket and sitting there)

Groove should be something that's automatically built into every bass player. But just because you know where the pocket is, doesn't mean you need to be just sitting there.

rhythm skill (ability to make bass converse with drums)

Absolutely!! As musicians, we should all have rhythm in every aspect of our lives. I listen to the machinery at work and walk with the rhythm.

visual drama skill (flying kicks, posing, etc.)

Who gives a rats ass?

versatility skill (knowing different bass styles)

While I don't believe it's a necessity, it could very well get you different types of gigs.

improvisational skill (improv lines on the spot)

I like improv, but it needs to be the right amount at the right time.

gadgetry skill (knowing how to use effects)

If you can play bass, who really needs effects?

ensemble skill (being able to sit in with anyone)

If you want more than one paying gig, you should damn well be able to play with just about anyone.
#18
if some1 actually votes for drama style......i'm gunna punch them in the ovaries


gadgetry skill..u mean like tom morello of audioslave? but for bass?...that would b inovative if there was some1 like that.....
Last edited by Crazy Horse at Aug 8, 2006,
#19
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#20
I tkink the most important thing is speech, so you can talk to da ladies after the show.
haha
#21
Yeah, I know. This poll sucks. I started the poll. I just wanted to see how people would react to this poll. Most folks in here would rather had the option to choose more than one, but I just wanted to see where other bassists' priorities lie.

It's interesting to see how the results are evolving, and that the skills I find most important are being represented. By all means, don't stop! Kepp the numbers coming in. I want to see how this ends up in a few days...
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Q-tuner PUs (0X0 configuration) and HG Thor Labs for the best fretless bass tone. MWAH FACTOR!!!
#22
I think ensemble skill would be the most important, as it requires a bit of all the options mentioned to be able to sit in with anyone and do it well. Next for me would be rythm, groove, melodic phrasing, and improv, but again, you need all of that to be able to sit in with anyone.
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#23
i chose groove but i would've preferred to have a couple of choices. And really, you need all those things, perhaps save for the effects knowledge.

Man, i love bass so much
#24
Timing. whatever that fits into. without timing you are nothing...sorry.
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#27
Quote by bassnutz
visual drama skill (flying kicks, posing, etc.)

Who gives a rats ass?




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#29
well, i would say the ability to play the instrument. but thats not an option.

out of those, i would say rhe ability to improv. its fun to do 30 minute jams. makes ideas for songs. hard to do that with people my age. (yay for 40 year old neighbors to jam with)
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#30
Quote by mangablade
Arg why must you give multiple good choices! you shoulda said top 3 i picked Groove. It's the bassist's first and primary role, and too many times have i seen contemporary bassists disown the notion of the pocket... Even victor wooten saddens me with unneccessary DT'ing


i must agree there with you..

i picked melodic skill by the way..
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#31
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#32
Most important skill?

Timing, and the ability to play in time no matter what. I'm always tapping my feet (mentally or physically) along to what im playing, however complex my lines or other instruments lines are. Some people just cant do that and the band loses that nice "tight" sound.
#33
Quote by Applehead
what if you are playing free time?


well duh. you need timing no matter what you're playing. free time is great, but if you cant get the right points to play and not to play (in relation to the other instruments) then it'll sound crap.

granted, if you are playing on your own, i.e. JUST bass, then maybe you could do without it. but even then to be solo youd have to have timing for the structured parts or it'll sound sloppy. you cant play free-time forever.
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#35
Quote by ToolBass_dude
Timing. whatever that fits into. without timing you are nothing...sorry.


i was just going to say that, there is no where on that poll about timing. You could be the CRAPIEST bassist ever, but as long as you have timing, you could play in a band
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#36
Quote by harl91
i was just going to say that, there is no where on that poll about timing. You could be the CRAPIEST bassist ever, but as long as you have timing, you could play in a band

Its like the old joke about the kid who goes to a bass lesson for 3 days, learns 3 strings and then skips the forth lesson because he got a gig. Sorta. Well, maybe I just like that joke...
#37
Yeh fergot the most important one... HEART!
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#39
Most of the ones you put on the poll overlap, as in you need to be able to do x to be able to do y.

Anyway, if I'm forced to choose one on the list, it'd be improvisational skills, as that implies "groove-skill", "rhythm-skill", as well as melodic, speed, tone-shaping, ensemble and versatility skills as well as theoretical knowledge and how to implement it into one's way... Pretty much everything, really.
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#40
When it comes down to it, if you can't put on a show no one will pay to watch you. Thats all there is to it.
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