At what point are you a bassist?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Llaslo, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. Llaslo


    Mar 8, 2012
    So, my question is, at what point is it not insulting to other real bassists to refer to yourself as a bassist or a bass player?
  2. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Are you playing bass? You're a bassist.
    You might be a beginning bassist, but you're a bassist.

    I've seen people behind the wheel of a car who are awful drivers, but they're still drivers - no matter how insulting it might be to better drivers.

    I wouldn't put too much stock in what to call yourself - or not call yourself. Just keep playing and focus on that, instead.
  3. the yeti

    the yeti Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2007
    raleigh, nc
    i doubt it's insulting to many what anyone else has called themselves.

    i have always thought anyone who can somewhat play is a bass player and someone who's truly comfortable on the instrument is a bassist.
  4. NCD


    Mar 19, 2011
    I like to say that I'm not a bassist, I'm a guy who goofs off with a bass.

    In my job (self employed in appliance repair) I meet other bassists in their homes and sometimes they let me use their bass as we play a little and chat. Every one of them has been very complimentary and I think it has a lot to do with my not creating expectations by claiming to be a "bassist".

    Of course, playing Darling Dear without a warm up might have something to do with it as well. Hey, I've played it at least once every three days for two years. At some point it just gets ingrained in the fingers. :D

    Honestly though, to me a "bassist" should know, at minimum, Maj / min / Blues / Pentatonic scale shapes and the 3 main arpeggio shapes (M, m, D) and be able to play, at minimum, root / fifth of any set of chord changes they're handed. If someone works at it this can all be learned to a decent skill level in two to three weeks, or in one if you work hard.

    But in the end those things only make you a bass player... a "bassist" implies, to me, that you can lock in with the drummer and create a real groove, even while repeating only one note. The other important thing is having a good touch, so that you pluck in a way that creates a background groove rather than stepping on the vocals, lead or anyone else.
  5. bassfran

    bassfran Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2012
    Endorsing artist: Lakland basses
    I can't remember where I read this before, but-

    A 'bassist' wears the instrument at chest height, plays jazz and/or world musics, reads, has more than 4 strings, and favors natural fiber clothing and tiny hats.

    A 'bass player' don't. :bag:
  6. the yeti

    the yeti Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2007
    raleigh, nc
    sounds legit.
  7. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    When you stop playing it like a guitar.;)
  8. rubbadubdub


    May 8, 2012
    Whenever you feel that you are. For some people they are what ever they do for a living. I considered myself to be a musician long before I made it my living. It's not about how many scales you know or how many basses you own but about how you want to present yourself to the world. I hated feeling awkward about saying that I was a musician when most people judge you by your job title. I took a huge drop in income so that I could call myself a musician . I would rather be a skint musician or bassist than anything else but other people are different and consider themselves to be musicians or bassists even tho it's just something they do in spare time. If you make music on a bass then I guess you are a bassist. All that matters is that you get what you want out of playing bass.
  9. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Being a bassist isn't just something you do. It's something you are. I'm not so sure you even need to own a bass.......
  10. kevteop


    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    Day one. When you start calling yourself a musician that's when eyebrows will be raised. ;)
  11. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    You're a bass student.
    You're a bassist when you gig out and can
    consistently play 40-50 tunes per night and
    get paid.
  12. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    I am neither ... I am a bass guitarist.

  13. Didn't every Guitar Center radio commercial always start with "MUSICIANS!......"
    The first mental image I usually got from that was some 15 year old kid hammering away with some metal riff over and over again, playing real badly, thinking he's impressing everyone in the store but in reality everyone wants him to stop, unplug and leave the store and go play on his skateboard somewhere.
  14. kevteop


    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    What's Guitar Center?
  15. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    +1 LOL this was just in another thread where's the gasoline?
  16. :D
  17. echoSE7EN


    Jul 1, 2010
    Balto., MD
    When you can play 2112 blindfolded while walking barefoot, across hot coals, into hurricane force winds.
  18. I'll do that minus the hot coals.....
  19. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    When you stop asking the question and just do it.
  20. the yeti

    the yeti Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2007
    raleigh, nc
    clearly you've not seen too many hurricanes.:D