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Bands that want unskilled bassists.

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

  1. John Carlino

    John Carlino

    Dec 10, 2007
    It does depend on the genre. is Ed Friedland in the Mavericks under utilized?
    The Juice and jeff porturica like this.
  2. Kevin Colt

    Kevin Colt

    Feb 9, 2015
    Bokeelia, Fl.
    I throw my two cents in whenever i can as long as it doesn't step on the vocals or the lead guitar parts. i always play lighter when there is singing or someone needs to stand out. a good drummer is essential.
    Mr_Moo and Mike Whitfield like this.
  3. RBrownBass

    RBrownBass Thoroughly Nice Guy Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2004
    Bonaduce's going to show up and take all y'all's gigs
    jamro217 likes this.
  4. RBrownBass

    RBrownBass Thoroughly Nice Guy Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2004
  5. jamro217

    jamro217 Supporting Member

    There was an interview with Miles Davis in the early '70's in which he defended his hiring Michael Henderson to replace Dave Holland. The jazz purists accused Miles of selling out. Miles said that he liked the way Henderson played a couple of notes. (How a young musician who was Stevie Wonder's bassist prior to being recruited by Miles was less than adequate for a jazz gig is beyond me, but that was the gist of it.) Does that mean that Dave Holland should hang his head in shame? Highly doubtful. The concept of a project leads you to find the right players for it. Volkswagen didn't put a huge V8 in the back of the Beetle because it didn't fit the project, not because V8's are inferior to small, air cooled four cylinder engines. Like anything else in life, to be successful find a niche and fill it.
    Mr_Moo, The Juice and Mike Whitfield like this.
  6. RBrownBass

    RBrownBass Thoroughly Nice Guy Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2004
    Miles was changing the way he played and wrote, and the personnel and instrumentation followed. When he got away from jazz, it should have been understandable that he'd stop using a jazz bassist.
    Mr_Moo and jamro217 like this.
  7. jamro217

    jamro217 Supporting Member

    EXACTLY!!! That means Miles believed Michael Henderson was a better fit for that project than Dave Holland would have been. Because people are individuals with different strengths, weaknesses, influences and styles there is no "better" bassist without considering who they are first. There are Berklee grads who are phenomenal musicians but choosing one out of many doesn't always mean picking the one who was first in his class. The musician who best fits the project is the one who should get the job. In the real world that doesn't always happen, and some bands don't understand the role of the bass in the overall scheme of things. Can you imagine Jaco at the Grand Ole Opry?
    Mr_Moo and Mike Whitfield like this.
  8. Tazziedevil


    Apr 2, 2019
    i didn’t know who it was either!
  9. Gothic


    Apr 13, 2008
    If a band wants me to only pump root notes all night long, I'm out. I'm too easily bored with that and life's too short to restrict and bore myself to death. And to clarify, I'm not talking overplaying/shredding/wanking. But there are many more ways to skin a cat than root pumping. Chris Squire, Geddy and many others made it work in quite complex ensembles.
    Mr_Moo likes this.
  10. Couple of small typos, fixed them for you.
    The Juice likes this.
  11. FWIW I believe he is serving the music, 100% beautifully. Perhaps the difference is that he's working with a band who are willing to stay in their own lanes (or a producer who tells them to).

    Maybe that's why these sorts of melodic bass lines can bubble along happily in soul music of the era - all of the musicians are disciplined professionals, not just the bassist.
    RBrownBass and Gothic like this.
  12. And yet it was Page, as band leader and producer, who nurtured an environment which allowed all four the confidence to create LZ II.

    His lime-light hogging tendencies were more in evidence at the very early shows, and later on when heroin and alcohol were taking their toll on his abilities. But the years when Page was confident and unthreatened by his band mates, they all allowed each other the space they needed.
  13. Tazziedevil


    Apr 2, 2019
    The difference to me with Classic R&B/Soul and modern “busy” bass lines is the soul bass lines aren’t just busy for the sake of being busy and the bassist feeling the need to show everyone how fast they can play. They really give a rhythmic push to the lyrics you don’t hear a lot these days
    PhatBottomBass1 and Mr_Moo like this.
  14. Gothic


    Apr 13, 2008
    The bass can really drive a song if it's a tasty line AND the others in the band (mainly guitarists, really) can curb their ego enough to let the bass do its magic.

    Mr_Moo, The Juice and Volker Kirstein like this.
  15. JohnArnson


    May 28, 2019
    This thread is NOT about bashing root players, it's about people who actively suppress bass players creativity and role in their bands to practically nothing, please read the OP before posting rants about it.

    You may be fine with the level of the bass mix on Metalica's "...and justice for all" and being totally inaudible when playing in your band, but I for one wish we would have been able to hear the bass on that album and want my work to at least actually mean something, else I might as well had practiced miming instead of playing bass.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2019
    Mr_Moo and The Juice like this.
  16. This may not be my first response, but anyway, the 'right' bass line for a song may not be a stand-out line. A 'great' bass player is the one who knows what the song needs and plays it with perfect rhythm, groove, tempo, tone, length, space, dynamics, etc).
    Mr_Moo, Volker Kirstein and PillO like this.
  17. dave64o

    dave64o Talkbass Top 10 all time lowest talent/gear ratio! Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2000
    Southern NJ
    I got started playing late in life and was already 50 years old when I started playing in my first basement jam session (which I still play with, even though it's only a once every month or two thing). Since joining them I also joined two weekly basement jam sessions, although I had to give up one of them this past June when I also started playing with a gigging band. So I don't have the extensive experience most of the other 55 year olds here have.

    However, none of those groups have ever hinted at wanting me to just play roots and stay in the background. Each has expected me to play my part as as close as possible to the arrangement of each song we do and I've also been doing backing vocals and have also been doing more and more lead vocals. I admit to simplying some bass lines at first, especially if they're difficult for me to play while doing vocals (I think that in most cases it's more important to get the vocals "perfect" than the bass line). However, when I do that I will continue working on the bass lines so, over time, I get as close as I can to what was played on the arrangement we're doing.

    Maybe I've been lucky that none of those groups wanted me to just pluck roots and remain "invisible". I'll happily thump quarter note roots when that's what the song needs. No problem there. But I wouldn't stay with a group that expected me to have that kind of limited role in every song, including those that have more involved bass lines.

    Maybe the groups that expect that from their bass player aren't capable of paying their parts correctly and need the bass dumbed down in order to better fit the way they're playing the songs (or to simply not allow themselves to be shown up by a mere bass player :D)? Or maybe the other musicians simply want to have ample opportunity to noodle as much as possible and want a simple bass line so it's easier for them to just wank away over top of it?
    Mr_Moo and oldrocker like this.
  18. danesdad


    Feb 24, 2018
    Western PA
    Some days, you are Les Claypool and some days you are Dusty Hill.
    ArteK and Volker Kirstein like this.
  19. Tazziedevil


    Apr 2, 2019
    I don’t necessarily mind playing quarter note roots all the time, just like many others have said as long as that’s what the song needs. The thing that irritates me, is when the songwriter expects me to play quarter note roots or roots and fifths and that means I’m doubling exactly what the guitar playing. You did the guitar needs to play something more interesting or I need to but we both don’t need to be playing the same exact thing!
    Mr_Moo likes this.
  20. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I agree and I don't. I think several people in a band playing the exact same thing, even multiple guitarists, can sound pretty awesome sometimes. Other times, eh. But when you're the writer, it's pretty much your call, so if the writer isn't me and thinks it would sound good being doubled by everyone, I may present an option, but if the writer disagrees, I have no problem making a massive wall of riff.
    Mr_Moo and Volker Kirstein like this.

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