Originally Posted by Blass702
Ask any "professional" musician that is in the studio or on the road, and they will tell you that the player that locks in to the drummer and plays a tad behind the beat I the guy who gets the job. With that said, it is always bad-a when you get to see a sweet bass solo by Patitucci, Wooten, or any of those monsters.
If you want to debat what it takes to be a professional "working" player yes.
But that's not what the OP asked.
IMO, anyone who limits the bass to a supportive role really is just showing themselves to be limited as a musician.
Know the "role" based upon a given musicial situation or a piece of music in regards to a bass as an instrument.
But do not define the bass as having one function and just a few who can/do take it further are allowed to (as you stated Wooten etc...).
Now, that being said, I model myself (or I should say I atempt to!! LOL!) after players like Will Lee Nathan East and the like. I enjoy playing a supportive role.
But I also like playing my INSTRUMENT and not my "instrument-used-to-only-be-supportive".
I think the role of the bass was shoehorned into popular thinking of being nothing more than supportive by over-zealous control freak producers and songwriters.
And also by the players themselves who could "self produce" enough to hold back or to maybe play lines that are not just machine reproduce-able- ala' sequencers.
Take Jamerson and the whole Motown scene for example.
They played some killer, classic lines that even by today's standards are pretty damn hard to play and hardly boring.
Those days of that type of freedom (at least in popular music) are LONG gone.
Again, IMO with the combination of control freak producers/songwriters and players who over play the song.
You can be busy as hell- Rocco with TOP for example, and it doesn't get in the way of the lyric or attract attention to itself in a bad way.
Again, IMO, one of the last stands, in "popular" music anyway, for players to get out of stagnant waters is contempory modern country.
Might not be your thing, but those guys are playing some pretty sweet lines that are all over the radio.
Yes, you can make that argument for a LOT of music- Jazz for one, and gosple as well, but nothing really on the listener level or record sales/radio rotation near country these days.
I like Marcus Miller, Fred Hammond or Isreal Houghton as much as the next guy. The Roots too, but sorry, the latest dicss by Keith Urban Jason Aldean or Lady Antebellum individually sold more than any 3 combined of those guys (if you use the commonly accepted "Grammy" time frame of one year after release date by example).
There are always exceptions to the above- I know that. I was be general.
The whole concept of what a bass guitar should and/or shouldn't do is SOOOOO massivly subjective based on a given musicians goals it's silly.
It's like thinking or saying a Tele is only good for country.
Tell that to Prince.