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Bands that want unskilled bassists.

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by The Juice, Oct 19, 2019.

  1. It’s been becoming increasingly clear that many bands in my area who audition for a bass player want a bassist who fits a certain stereotype... You know: the bassist who sits in the background, plays roots, has their mids cut completely, inaudible, doesn't give any creative input and is basically in the band to take up space figuratively and literally. Now don't get me wrong there’s nothing wrong with lying in the back and keeping your bass-lines simple, but there really is a culture in the music community that believes bass’s only role is supposed to be a utility instrument that fills in the sonic space that the rest of the band doesn't; the bass should be felt not heard. I know this is highly dependent on genre, but I really do believe that this is probably why there’s alot of bands with unremarkable bassist. Worse yet, sometimes bands get a good bassist and relegate that said players role to one not unlike Jason Newcomb’s role in Metallica. What are your takes on this, Talkbass community?
    Dr Gero, Crunch61, jamro217 and 13 others like this.
  2. Thorny1


    Jun 16, 2019
    *Jason Newsted

    I've been there, done rhat, ran the hell away. It's no fun, and bands like that stagnate fast. Good musicians always have their ears open, and dont disregard an entire instrument just because they dont personally play it.
  3. Ran in to that in my area too, keep looking until you find the right fit. Took me a couple years but now I’m in a band that appreciates my skills
    Dr Gero, jamro217, MVE and 3 others like this.
  4. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Just like any other instrument, there are times for the bass to shine, and times for the bass to shut up and hit roots while others shine. You need a good combination of confidence and humility to navigate when to do each.

    No band, song, or genre requires bass wankery from beginning to end.
  5. SpazzTheBassist


    Jun 20, 2006
    Unfortunately, many guitar players believe the entire musical universe revolves around the guitar.....I learned a long time ago when I was a budding player from an older vet that, if I ever want to do what I want to play in a band, that I should start singing and form projects around myself instead of joining someone else's idea......it was the best advice I had ever gotten... now I pass that on to you readers :D

    But don't make the association that "simple pocket player = unskilled".....that is a huge erroneous assumption.....as I get older, I care less and less about playing chops, flashy slap parts, and fretboard gymnastics.... just because a player doesn't do something doesn't mean they can't
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
  6. In my experience, the musicians who think that way, usually aren't very good musicians. Specifically, it's almost always guitarists (or singers) who are only marginally competent on their own instrument.

    Perhaps it comes from their own insecurity as much as lack of knowledge.
  7. 4 Strings Good

    4 Strings Good

    Mar 6, 2014
    This guy's made a whole career playing as boringly as possible.
    He has numerous signature model basses.
    Any amateur can play most of his basslines on one string.
    So what do I know?
  8. Afc70

    Afc70 Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2004
    Northeast Arkansas
  9. No offense but I think I covered that in my post already.
    JohnArnson, jdc866, Mr_Moo and 3 others like this.
  10. I triggered the Troll.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2019
  11. I agree with your analysis on guitar, but I never said anything about root players being unskilled there’s nothing wrong with laying back and playing a groove. It’s the mentality that people project onto the instrument that is bizarre to me. Some bands let you breath, but others are constricting .
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2019
  12. Theres nothing wrong with lying back and playing a groove with roots guys; I already pointed this out in my post. Its like a-lot of people posting here haven't read what I wrote at all; so full of assumptions people can be. Sheesh. Im talking about the culture of disrespect or outright ignorance that us as bassists have to deal with; well, not all of us.
    Dr Gero, FretFree, Mr_Moo and 6 others like this.
  13. Volker Kirstein

    Volker Kirstein Supporting Member

  14. He was in the right place at the right time, he’s aesthetically pleasing looking, in a commercially successful band, and has great marketing.
    Stumbo, barrenelly, Doug4321 and 2 others like this.
  15. Oh yeah.
  16. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    You mean the guy that (quite likely) came up with bass parts that work really well in many hit songs?
    That guy?
  17. TreySonagras


    Aug 11, 2013
    Here are my ideas. Any ensemble is only as good as the musician playing the bass line. Doesn't matter if its a rock band, polka band, or a marching band. The bass line provides rhythmic and harmonic stability. I also believe that in the TRULY great groups the bass player is the best musician on stage. Even if no one can tell.
    Dr Gero, dan1952, danesdad and 13 others like this.
  18. I don't think his playing is boring. He plays the song - while "The Edge" plays with delays and modulations and "Bono Vox" preaches.
    BassLaird, Dr Gero, Bob DV and 10 others like this.
  19. jbrew73


    Dec 24, 2006
    Am I the only one who doesn’t know who that guy is?

    Edit: now I know based on the other post.
  20. Thats a great observation, Trey. Ive noticed that when a bassist messes up everyone tends to blame it on the drummer, lolz.
    Dr Gero, jamro217, JavierMarr and 3 others like this.

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