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Bassists - a dying breed?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Peter Squire, Jul 2, 2005.

  1. In my town, the three biggest show bands all use MP3 backings - NO Bass player.

    This makes me worried as a bass lad, I don't think we are replaceable. Some years ago, when drum machines came out, there were some cries that it would end the career of drummers, which hasn't occurred.

    I know there will always be a place for bassists, but this trend toward scaling down the band into the computer worries me.

    What say you?
  2. DeepCalls2Deep


    Jun 25, 2005
    East Texas
    I do not think there is any reason to fear.

    People know good music, and live band is not "live" unless the whole band is there.

    I do not care how good a recording is, it is never the same as a live player.. the feel is all wrong. There is no color, no life, no personality to it.

    Just MO.
  3. McHaven


    Mar 1, 2005
    So true. My band was looking for a drummer for a long time and we would use a drum machine during practices. Now that we have a drummer, its alot more fun. I've got something real and dynamic to lock in with and I can look over at him and give him a cue with my head and he'll do exactly what I was thinking.

    Drummers rock. Drum machines don't.

    Bassists rock. Recordings do not.
  4. thanks guys

    actually, i am promoting our band as a "real" band, and we are getting work out of this.

    it's just a worry when venues will book "live" bands when the reality is that they are more kareoke than a band.
  5. Slade N

    Slade N Supporting Member

    May 28, 2005
    portland, or
    here in phoenix there is a outfit. cant call them a band. but its karaoke with what looks to be a live band. sure the
    drummer is hitting the back beat but he and the rest of the group is basically backdrop. they could walk off and most people wouldnt notice. its a top40 hits gig thats all tracked. vocals included. the 2 vocalists sing along. now from the clubs point of view, they dont care because people come and they dance and they spend $$$$$$$$$. its a sham and a shame. :crying:
  6. mmmzactly!!! this is what is happening in my town! it sucks!

    the only other avenue is our hardcore scene. Adelaide is well respected for our punk/hardcore scene, but that doesn't help me.

    I'm a rock/groove player, so I'm finding it hard to accept the MP3 f***ers
  7. Karaoke is something that imho is simply a tape playing, not a band.

    What a real band does is play its own version of the songs they cover. And there's so much more you can do live if you're backed by real people. Something as simple as playing a part over again (My band did that last night with 'Tequila' by the champs because it was going over so well).

    And there's always the look: having a live bass player looks (not to mention SOUNDS) a lot better than any tape.

    Bass players will never be replaceable. We might lose some jobs to people using machines, but would you really want to work with people like that in the first place? I know I wouldn't.
  8. That's not a problem over here. Off course we have karaoke -bars, but nothing like that. Every place that features live music has a real band playing.
  9. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Are they just playing recordings of a bassist? And playing with it? I'm not sure if I get this... that's nuts. We've been threatened by the left hand of keyboard players for a long time now, but people want a live bassist wheter they know it or not! It sounds like something is missing when you've got a "robot" in the band. Fake drums are awful, fake bass is awful.
  10. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    I refuse to support, in any way, a "band" that doesn't use a live drummer and bass player. There are a few of theses creatures around, and if I end up someplace one of them is playing, I will always let the door guy know WHY I'm not coming in. It's glorified karoeke, and it SUCKS.
  11. The band Im in now, they actually got refused several gigs and were told not to talk to the people doing booking for certain bars because they didnt have a bassist. Its all good now.

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

    I have been seeing alot of bands replace bassist with keyboard players lately.
  13. budman

    budman Commercial User

    Oct 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Formerly the owner/builder of LeCompte Electric Bass
  14. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    There is a funk band here in Dallas called White Chocolate, which has no bass player.:rolleyes:

    They aren't half bad, but it would be a lot better with a bass player.

    The keyboard player creates sequenced bass parts for some of the songs, and others he bangs out with his left hand. His bass parts are actually decent for a keyboard player, but still, a funk band without a bass player?
  15. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    It's been going on since the late 80's really. There's always gonna be that element that wants to skimp and do it on the cheap and easy. But the people usually worth working with want the real thing. Of course, it's out there and one of the many reasons I would discourage a young person from taking the up as a profession unless they REALLY love to play more than anything else in the world, and that's not many people.
  16. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA

    I'd like to say I feel threatened, but I don't.

  17. - GUITAR PLAYERS Lay down the bass beat while you crank on guitar!

    Well, there it is............with no real bass player to get in their way they can "crank" themselves to high heaven.
  18. I say we gather an army and pillage , burn and rape those jambass bastards! Whos with me?!?!??!?!
  19. canopener


    Sep 15, 2003
    Isle of Lucy
    Yup, that's what I was thinking. I wouldn't doubt some guys could pull off a decent sound with a recording, but I wouldn't imagine it would be anything spectacular without someone laying down a groove.

    IMO, it would be either a big hassle to re-program an .mp3 player for every gig or very boring playing along to the same setlist with the same order and no variations whatsoever.
  20. Against Will

    Against Will Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2003
    Big Sound Central
    Bass playing is doing pretty well around these parts. A lot of bands don't even bother with guitarists, and there are some groups around the underground that are bass and drum or keyboard playing along with sequenced tracks. If anything, I would argue that guitarists are a dying breed. Though their numbers may be strong, their musical relevance is waning. They've stayed alive by sheer ego and bravado, but right now the most interesting guitarists are the ones that can come up with a compelling melody as opposed to just wanking (people like Graham Coxon, Ted Leo and Asa Osbourne).

    Electronic equipment can be a boon or bane for any musician. You can replace a bassist with a sequencer or sampler, but you could just as easily have a bassist replace the entire band with samples, sequences and MIDI. With the rise of hip-hop, house and other dance-oriented or electronic based music, there's been an increased emphasis on tightness and groove between the bass and drum parts and everyone's burned out on over-the-top guitar solos. I think that electronic music opens doors for bassists, or any musician for that matter, that had previously been closed. Now it's possible for a small group of like minded musicians to create the music they want without having to deal with dullards or prima donnas.

    Of course, whether or not it sounds good, or is appropriate for the kind of music you want to play is a personal thing. Though electronic music has grown with astonishing leaps and bounds over the past 20 years, I don't think the bassists has to, or will die off because there are more than enough creative bassists out there that are willing to take a risk and forget about guitarists, keys and horns and start making the music they've always dreamed of making. They may use electronic equipment, they may not. It's a tool like any other, the same as the electric guitar and bass were both tools for musicians when they came out.

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