Bass vs. Piano

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jackmurray, Nov 18, 2005.

  1. I'm an a**hole and the only reason a band would ever hire me is because there's no other bass player around. Luckily, this is the case. What I'm wondering is if I have to compete with pianists.

    Can a piano take the place of a bass? It can play in the same register as bass, but does it really lock in with the drums? Is it the bass guitar that's inportant, or just how low you play? If a pianist came along could my band kick me out and replace me with a pianist? Am I the only one that thinks saying pianist is funny?
  2. well, if it were my band and you really are an a** hole...then yes, i guess piano would be the better option ;)
  3. Well it's not your band, and I am really an a**hole. No one likes me. But that's not the real question. The question is whether a piano could credibly substitute for a bass.
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Maybe not a piano, but a keyboard can, sure. All depends on your definition of credibly, though. Lots of small bands have keyboard bass. Sounds OK. Fortunately, most people favor actual bass with strings.
  5. When I be an a**hole and decide to take a solo the keyboardist plays bass, but it never seems to lock in with the drums. It just doesn't seem to have the same effect as a bass. Maybe that's why bassists are still in buisness, albiet not much (for me, anyway).
  6. Racsen


    Dec 6, 2003
    Keyboards cant use double thump ha ? :)
  7. Dont worry jack, you're safe as long as the keyboard player doesnt hit the button marked "Calypso", and start one of those preprogrammed beats with a bassline.

    No bass player could compete with that...

    Oh, and to answer your other question, it depends on if its a small pianist.
  8. Haha. That's exactly what he does. And then he and the guitarist jam to it and think they're funny while me and the drummer shake our heads.
  9. Buy some maracas, or a big cheesy tamborine, and shake it vigourously whilst dancing up and down whenever the keyboard player even thinks about doing something stupid.

    He'll learn.

    He'll learn good...
  10. No, I shouldn't encourage him. I just have to say "No, bad keyboardist. And stop playing in my register."
  11. Seriously though, I dont think a keyboard/piano could sub for bass. It doesn't have the dynamics, and I have yet to see a keyboard/piano player hold a groove throughout a track with his left hand. Probably too busy changing lightbulbs with it...
  12. mattwells


    Mar 19, 2003
    SouLive anyone? Only keyboards in that band (drums, keyboard, guitar) and there are very few people on this board who can groove harder than the keyboard player. He can swing your face off and is always right on with the drummer.

    Can it be done?? Yes, and done well. But he is the exception, you have to be a monster player to do it. Most players don't have the chops.
  13. Stevie Wonders new CD, like many of his others, got along fine without a bass player. Though he has Nathan East on about four tunes off the new CD, and when he plays you can tell the difference. I can't remember if you said what type of tunes your band plays, so, I guess that might make a difference. Though with so many band gigs being cut back because of lack of $$, it would be easy to see who'd be the first to go. Maybe the reason you feel so 'a-holeish' is because you don't really like what you're doing, because of the music you're playing or the people you're playing it with. ..... My guess, it's the latter. ..... Life's too short, go out and find some like minded 'a-holes' to play with. There's pleanty out there.
  14. I was joking about the ******* bit. Kind of. People around here don't like me much. I run the band so I won't be dropped, and the keyboardist won't be taking my place, I don't even let him play in the same octave as I am. I was just curious. I know a band needs a bass (obviously there are exceptions like you said) but I didn't know if it was the actual sound and feel of a bass or just the register it plays in.
  15. Wolf


    Jan 30, 2004
    Actually, based on my experience - keyboardists are often
    more expendable than bassists. Especially in the clubs.
    Most listeners are more than willing to sacrifice a harmony
    part just to hear/feel that thump. It's a neanderthal tribal
    kinda thing ; )

    On the other hand - there a great many keyboardists who
    can hold a groove like it's nobody's business, and a great
    many bassists who can't hold a groove for the life of them.
    Joey Defrancesco can lay down a walking line better than
    I ever could, all while conjuring one of those freightfully
    fantastic solos that would make Bireli Lagrene vomit with
    envy. Well, maybe not Bireli... but you get my point...
  16. The Lone Strang

    The Lone Strang

    Jun 28, 2005
    The Doors used a keyboard bass on many of their early songs. "Light My Fire" uses keyboard bass. It will work, but you don't have those dynamics that a vibrating string and hands will give you.

    Think of it this way. Would the Beatles "Come Together" have sounded the same without that punch.

    Or, look at early Zep. It might work, but it wouldn't be the same.
  17. I tend to think (and this is just a mind-set) that pick players don't work as well either. I feel like they have the same effect as keyboards. They work, but it doesn't have the same effect as plucking a bass.
  18. I think it depends on the type of music. A fender P played with a pick is great for punk/metal etc, but I think (and this is just my personal opinion - check the sig) if you really want to groove, fingers is the way to go. But thats another topic really...
  19. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Apparently not ...;)

    He only plays on 2 tracks and Nathan Watts plays on 2!!