I've been playing bass for about 8 months now and I was talking to my friend Dave online and we had a conversation that went like this. Steve: Bass is great Dave: haha no it isn't bass is good in synths, but the actual bass guitar is squaresville Steve: maybe the average bass player just isn't creative with fx Dave: fx is expensive and you still have a lame signal to work with hah Steve: so the average bass player isn't expensive Dave: the only way a bass player becomes relevant is when he branches into other areas. It is such a weak area. Steve: like when he plays the melody sometimes and things like that? Dave: haha if he does play the melody it's in a fairly boring song, I'm sure you can bust it out in limited genres, but when you go further than, "I play the bassline" other instruments can do other things...a bass can't. It has such a limited harmonic spectrum when compared with drums/cymbals, and the guitar. Steve: a lot of what the bass does is fill in the lower end for the guitar Dave: when one is using filters and things, filtering a bass is pretty limited and boring (see the new NiN), but guitars, synths, and drums have a lot of options. Which is depressing if one were a dedicated bass player Steve: depends on the music though Dave: i'd say that synths do a better bass than a real bass, in almost all genres, good mono's have a far greater range of tones and abilities. Still can't beat the bass for simple applications though. Though it's easily emulated by synths if need be. Steve: drums and guitar can be imitated on synths too Dave: a real guitar can't be emulated, and neither can live drums. Steve: although it would be harder to improvise on a synth Dave: actually it's easier, along with more options, you can change your base signl, wav which is used, filter type, envelope types (of filter and amp), all while playing the bassline. Steve: so you're saying practicing bass is a waste of time because I could just practice synth? Dave: i'd say doing only that is a waste of time. Dave: realize the limited applications of it (I mean really limited)> Steve: I dunno Steve: bass is in a lot more music than guitar Dave: there's a reason almost all of the good bass players are involved in synths and keyboards. Dave: maybe more music, but is that music good? Dave: there's nothing wrong with learning bass, but don't think it's going to take you a lot of places, because it's pretty limited Dave: learn guitar as well. Is he right? Are synthesisers more versitile? Would Flea or Lez Claypool or whoever be better off to play synths unless they are doing a really simple plain bass sound?