Bands with no bass players.

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by hwystar, Jan 1, 2020.

  1. hwystar


    Jan 30, 2009
    Ok so I live in the Dallas area locally we gave a guy that posts videos of local bands for fun. I've noticed that at least 3 bands did not have a bassist. I sent a message to one of them and a member said they tried to find one and couldn't so just went without one. 2 of the bands had a keyboard player kicking left hand bass and the other had pre-recorded bass lines. Also a local news station had a band on recently that also was without a bass player and also seen a few more on YouTube. Thoughts???....comments??...should we be worried???
  2. Thum5b


    Dec 24, 2019
    There's a few metal bands without bassists, unfortunately with guitars getting lower and lower tuned I feel it will become more common.
  3. kevindahl


    Aug 21, 2006
    I would be more worried if I played guitar and venues that support live music. No solos anymore and the rise of Hip hop and the EDM scene has no guitar or very little. A great bassist will always get work especially if you have vocal capability.
    biguglyman and EdO. like this.
  4. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    My last band no longer has a Bass player...... does that count??? :D
  5. Kevan Campbell

    Kevan Campbell Bergantino Artist, Vibe9 IEM Artist Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2008
    San Antonio, TX
    Cadillac Three is one of my favorite bands right now and I think the slide guitarist somehow runs bass too. I wouldn’t be worried that it’ll become a trend anytime soon though.
    zon5string likes this.
  6. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Fewer bass guitarists (keyboard bass), but I can't see popular music existing without that bottom end.
    Nashrakh likes this.
  7. Clark Dark

    Clark Dark

    Mar 3, 2005
    The want/need for bass will always be there. In my time maybe Bernie Worrell (R.I.P.) and Stevie Wonder and Teddy Riley could flat out sub for an electric bassist.
  8. Go audition for them.
  9. There's a band in my area that books the (highly profitable) summer concerts in the park and they use backing tracks for the bass. No one else notices, and they keep raking in the bucks and getting booked year after year. It ticks me off, so I won't support them at least.
    jchrisk1 likes this.
  10. The best are bands with no bass (or keyboards) and yet..... there is bass and keyboards coming through the PA on every song. MAGIC. My 4 piece country/rock/pop band played second fiddle to a band just like that at a popular local festival in 2018. The event organizers noticed the difference. For 2019, that band was not asked back. We were asked if we could play the prime time (of course said yes and had a blast). Sorry not trying to sidetrack the thread...
  11. mstillman


    Dec 6, 2011
    MetroWest MA
    I'll file this under "What, me worry?" You'll go nuts worrying about things over which you have no control. Maintain or increase your bass playing skills. Learn a new genre. Sing! Learn keys or another instrument. Book gigs. Learn some/more music theory; you'll astronomically increase your song list. Basically, become an indispensable bandmate (or if the band folds, auditioner).

    I play keys, bass, and sing. I'm not great at any of these, but the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2020
    StargazerMP, tshapiro, EdO. and 2 others like this.
  12. kjp360


    Feb 11, 2014
    The Doors never toured with a bass player as far as I know. They were pretty popular a billion years ago and bass players still got gigs after them. The White Stripes were pretty popular 30 years later and still bass players got gigs in their wake. I wouldn't lose any sleep because of it. There are always going to be bands that don't have a bass player due to not finding one that fits or for monetary reasons, but I don't see any growing trend to it.
    zoonose, EdO. and JRA like this.
  13. When I lived in Myrtle beach I saw a lot of acts with backing tracks..Sometimes it was drums, bass and keys..sometimes it was guitar, bass and drums and backing guitar player live or maybe act was a guitar player and a keyboard player and another was guitar and singer..husband and wife team..they all used backing tracks..I was pissed, my friend said why? I said because this type of stuff puts guys like me outta work...

    If you are a bar owner or bar / restaurant owner, you would much rather pay a couple of people with their backing tracks $200 than paying a full band $600 more or less and have more volume and what not. I had one of them tell me that himself..Its not a band with backing tracks, what you got there is musical Karaoke...garbage. Sorry
    StargazerMP likes this.
  14. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Seattle WA
    Yea It bums me out when I catch a decent band that's sans bass guitarist, but *If they're good* and can fill out the sound with keys or lower guitars I'll generally get over it pretty quick. Backing tracks as instruments, OTOH, I personally can not abide :rollno: If I hear drums I wanna be in the same room with the drummer, etc.

    Sure there are entire genres built around electronic instruments and sampling, but not in my record collection or the musical acts I seek out live.
    S-Bigbottom likes this.
  15. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Inactive

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    In the late 60's, early 70's some knuckle-heads were getting their panties in a knot about synths putting bass players out of work. Still waiting. :meh:
  16. ugly_bassplayer


    Jan 21, 2009
    Who cares if the band doesn't have a bass. If it's good I don't care.
    Element Zero, kjp360 and JRA like this.
  17. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    i appreciate your POV. and it would be pretty easy for many of us to "go there" but the fact is: there will never be a lack of opportunity for great players. also: i have been the bass player in several acts which used tracks (for other things, obviously) and it was great fun + great money! ;)

    no. :D

    i'm a musician first, so: if an act can pull off a great playdown/show with or without any instrument = it's still a great show! i like bass-centrism --- it's a great 'part' to play. but if the whole cannot be greater than the parts, summed: it's wanking.
    kjp360 likes this.
  18. ugly_bassplayer


    Jan 21, 2009
    No sampling, no keys, no programming, no electronics.

    You'd be blown away by the number of bands that use such things , even without some of you knowing.

    What about studio edits and punch that "legal"???

    Your old is showing!!!

  19. fretlessbass

    fretlessbass Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2010
    Tucson, AZ
    Perhaps we could start a new thread, along the lines of:
    "A band without a bass is like a ________ without a ________".
  20. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    Every time this topic comes up, there are a bunch of “bassists” that come out of the woodwork to say that it’s cool and that bands without bassists rock just as hard as bands that have them and blah blah blah.

    Personally, I flat-out refuse to stick around for any rock and roll band without a dedicated, full time bassist. Some people might consider that to be closed minded, but I don’t care. Especially in a live situation... why would I want to watch any band without a bassist?
    hwystar and J_Bass like this.