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Bands that want unskilled bassists.

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

  1. Chuck Rainey...…….brilliant!!
    RBrownBass likes this.
  2. jamro217

    jamro217 Supporting Member

    I think bands that want bassists who play sparingly (not unskilled) may have had bad experiences with bassists who don't know or care when to play melodically. Trying to get somebody to groove is tough enough, but to have to deal with poorly timed fills, too, is enough to kill any hope of a decent rhythmic foundation. By giving easy parts that can't be screwed up, chances of a train wreck are minimized. It's too bad for them because they're cheated out of a better band with a mediocre (or dumbed down) bass part. It's great for us because we can pick other bands to be in thereby making their choice seem even more stupid.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2019
    Mr_Moo, The Juice and Mike Whitfield like this.
  3. Mike Whitfield

    Mike Whitfield

    Apr 10, 2019
    Amen, for rock and country bands anyway. If the drummer sucks, people perceive the entire band as sucking. The bassist is the same thing, just not quite the strength - it's possible to perceive a good band with a bad bass player, but a bad bass player can also sink the band unless the rest are very good. Others - guitarists, singers, keyboardists - operate in their own space and can sink or swim on their own without coloring the whole band. And I love a lot of Americana and bluegrass acts that don't even have a drummer; either the bassist handles the band's entire rhythm, or it's simply rhythm guitar and banjo/mandolin/dobro. But I completely agree that if there is a drummer, the band cannot be better than the drummer.

    As far as avoiding guitarists, I generally avoid bands without guitars, with the exception of big band-era acts. And I do love Les Claypool and his sound, but that only works for experimental music designed around that sound palette. Les Claypool playing like Les Claypool would be horrible in most bands and most genres. I do think there's plenty of artistic room below that though, like Phil Lesh who often played more orchestral or lead bass lines when the song could support it. Or Chris Alexander with Samantha Fish's three piece. But except for jam bands where everybody gets a chance to play lead in turn, the more band members the less artistic room without spoiling the sound. That may be what the OP is seeing - in a five or six piece pop band, the bassist has to behave until his turn.
    Dr Gero likes this.
  4. You’re way off base. My trainers are black.
    oldrocker, Dr Gero, DrMole and 6 others like this.
  5. HKP


    Oct 22, 2019
    Well said
    Mike Whitfield likes this.
  6. Some people cant help but listen to only themselves when they jam with other people. I've been to band auditions where the guitarist would play a flurry of notes out of time and key, then stare at me like I've done something wrong.
    Mr_Moo, jamro217 and Mike Whitfield like this.
  7. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    i'm sure i'm not the first person to say this in this thread, but simple bass lines don't mean an unskilled bass player.
    Mr_Moo, Humbled, jamro217 and 3 others like this.
  8. PhatBottomBass1


    Nov 24, 2018
    I'm sure it came as a shock to Mr. Claypool when he did not get the gig with Metallica after the cattlecall auditions...he would have bailed sooner than later I would bet...lol
    Mike Whitfield likes this.
  9. i'm just a few months into learning to play bass, but as a lifelong blues harp player I know more than a little about getting no respect. i'm learning bass because I always wanted to but also because as an older guy I want to play and that looks like my only shot. my new mantra "hey, I just play the bass notes".
    Mr_Moo and The Juice like this.
  10. I feel your pain. I walked from several bands because of that very situation, as well as, not having a say in what songs we played. What really gets me is when they're obviously not playing a major chord and I ask what chord they're playing and I get an answer of B or C, etc. and that's it. Do they not understand that chord tones are important to a bass player? It could be ignorance or just the culture of cover bands. However, I don't let it deter me now. I've come to realize that my playing has to stand out, it makes it harder to ignore my contribution.
    Mr_Moo, Gothic, Wisebass and 3 others like this.
  11. PhatBottomBass1


    Nov 24, 2018
    Well, when all else fails in your demanding situations, perhaps consider listening and try a few friendly note choices to figure it out. That would likely double your "contrabution!"

    Dr Gero likes this.
  12. Mike Whitfield

    Mike Whitfield

    Apr 10, 2019
    lol Way, way sooner - and until then, the world would have been a less interesting place. Nothing against Metallica but there were and remain a hundred bands poised and ready and perfectly capable to take their place.
    Volker Kirstein likes this.
  13. PhatBottomBass1


    Nov 24, 2018
    No doubt...lol

    But, in the world of "better gigs than others", not the worst...lol
    Mike Whitfield likes this.
  14. Once guitarists got the word that everybody is really dancing to the bass player, they got jealous and don't want to share the attention ;) Seriously though - in my neck of the woods (MN), a good bass player is appreciated and highly sought. Makes the job easier for everybody else. With a solid rhythm section a band can do anything. If you notice one band member over another you're doing something wrong. IMO.
    Mr_Moo, Dr Gero, The Juice and 4 others like this.
  15. Old P Bass Guy

    Old P Bass Guy

    Nov 26, 2017
    No...I'm the other one.☺
    Mike Whitfield and jbrew73 like this.
  16. Stan_da_man


    Aug 29, 2006
    JPJ stood at the back and still doesn't get enough credit for LZ.
  17. Your not wrong; i’ve mentioned this already in the Original post.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2019
  18. Luckily the basics of bass is pretty easy to get down with some work and effort of course, and considering your music background, i’m sure you’ll make a fine Bassist.
    Mr_Moo and Mike Whitfield like this.
  19. Old P Bass Guy

    Old P Bass Guy

    Nov 26, 2017
    You really think JPJ fits the mold of "unskilled"? Maybe in the eyes of Jaco, Roco and Stanly but not me☺.
  20. Mike Whitfield

    Mike Whitfield

    Apr 10, 2019
    I took his post as referencing players who aren't necessarily flashy or in-your-face (i.e. attention whores) rather than players who are unskilled; Stan said that he deserved more credit. :)
    Mr_Moo and Dr Gero like this.

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