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bassists playing for the sake of the song

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by bassmoxie, Aug 10, 2002.

  1. bassmoxie


    Aug 10, 2002

    i am a big fan of bassists who play somewhat subtle lines..........i respect flashy bassists like flea and les claypool, but i prefer bassists that create a solid, more subtle rythm, bassists like colin greenwood (radiohead), guy berryman (coldplay), adam clayton(u2), nikolai fraiture(the strokes)........i would suggest looking into all those bands for examples of solid players........if anyone can suggest other simillar bassists, that would be nifty........
  2. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    :rolleyes: that's special. It's really great that the bassist's you like are playing "for the sake of the song" and not distracting us with any fancy composition or technique. I wonder if Claypool, Wooten or Flea ever think they are playing "for the sake of the song". Probably not, I'm sure they'd agree with you.
  3. me :/
  4. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    It seems to me like a whole lotta people have been getting up on the wrong side of the bed lately...

    Maybe it's the weather?
  5. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001

    What ever happened to I like this bassist and his/her style and this is why. Everybody has to put in some type of dig when they post, sort of a passive/aggressive self defense mechanism. Either that, or I like (fill in the blank) and I'm posting it for the sake of looking cool in the eyes of others. Blah Blah Blah.
  6. Ive said it before, I'll say it again:

    Flaming, while uncouth and hurtful, is still entertaining. Its unfortunate but true.

    And just to prove my point, I like the Spice girls song 'mama'.
  7. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    i think that it's inaccurate, and presumptuous, to think that a bassist sits down and says "how can i commandeer this song to accomodate my undying need to bass solo".

    i've been accused of being an overplayer by some, and even accused of not "playing for the song". to me this makes me laugh, since i wrote or cowrote all of our songs.

    it's art, there is no absolute right or wrong answer - it either appeals to you or it doesn't.

    i'm not implying that this is what you are saying here, just sorta making a statement (this is not intended as a criticism or a flame, just a comment on the implied message in your question and in the thread title).

    to answer your question, i'd say that roger waters always appealed to me as a more "simple line" oriented bassist - i listen to animals all the time, and there's no massive bass soloist lines in there.

    you know, on that same note, i got "happiness is not a fish..." by our lady peace the same day that i got "show of hands" and "what did he say?" and i listened to the wooten stuff once through each and then put them away and haven't listened to them since. i still listen to that our lady peace cd, and that was around 2 years ago that i got it.

    there's nothing wrong with liking what you like, of course, just don't make assumptions about what motivates people to do what they do. you only do yourself a disservice in the long run, imo.

    blisshead : preach on brother :D

    JBA : :rolleyes:
  8. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    I doubt I've heard a more solid player than Victor Wooten lately. The fact that he likes to display his well-developed technique does not automatically make him a wanker. That guy can groove, oh boy does he groove.
  9. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    yeah, actually, imo, the guys who are known for their supposed wanking ability also have extremely tight timing - les and wooten both are very tight and solid timing-wise.
  10. bassmoxie


    Aug 10, 2002
    wow jeez, i wasn't trying to attack anyones preferences, i guess i should have worded the post better as not to offend anybody............i was simply asking if anyone knew of anyother bassists who played with a simillar attitude as the bassists i mentioned....it seems that some of you folks missed the part of the post when i said that i RESPECT flashier bassists like flea and les claypool......i am actually a big fan of the chili peppers and there is no doubt that these players are very valuable in terms of the music they make. by "playing for the sake of the song", i guess i meant "simple but effective". there, is that better? NOW maybe someone would be kind enough to recommend simple, somewhat conservative players who still bring a strong element to the song. thank you very much for your suggestions.
  11. I prefer bassists with fully articulated arms and legs and interchangeable clothes.
  12. bassmoxie


    Aug 10, 2002
    gee, the purpose of this thread obviously is not clear yet......i heard about this site, and i figured that it would be a neat way to exchange music related information and to have productive debates when called for. rather, this site appears to be frequented by squabbling people who are quick to chew someone apart as soon as they feel that their ego and/or opinion might be defyed in even the slightest way. i simply wanted to learn of some new musicans who played with a conservitave, yet effective style. the majority of these posts have been nothing but petty comments and defensive bickering..................................sure, this post is a huge contradiction, but i guess if i want to frequent these forums, i'll have to spew out a few angry rants every now and then
  13. I can't think of a ton off the top of my head, but the ones that come to mind right now are Tommy Shannon, Nathan East (all the stuff he does with Clapton), Jack Bruce, and that guy from Cake (I forget his name). I realize that none of these guys' styles are considered "simple", but man, are their lines tasty!

    Oh, and let me be the first to welcome you to Talkbass. Seriously, don't let a few comments keep you from coming back. There are a lot of cool and knowledgable folks around here.

  14. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I think it all depends on the style of music. I think, for example, that Jaco "played for the song", even though his lines were complex, because it fit the style of music. I can't imagine how Weather Report would have sounded with a simple bass player - but it wouldn't have been as good. The same goes for Wooten, and others like him. On the other hand, I think AC/DC rocks with the simple bass lines that Cliff Williams plays, and I don't think it would fit the songs better to have a busier bass line. The same goes for other bands like ZZ Top, U2 (as mentioned earlier), and many other bands. So, when you say "playing for the sake of the song", it can mean different things depending on the style of music, and the musicians involved. Can you imagine how Rush would sound if Geddy Lee always stayed on the root? Not good.

    I play in a country band now, so I play fairly simple bass lines, because that is what the music calls for. Before that, though, I played in rock bands playing stuff like Rush, Cream, and Zeppelin. The bass lines I played were more complex, because that is what fit that music.

    If you like bands with simple bass players, more power to you. If you prefer bands with bass players that play complex lines, that is great, too. I like both. It's all good music.
  15. IME, "I play for the song, man!" is too often used as a cover for lack of technical and/or creative ability, and can thus be translated as "I play whatever the guitarist/frontman tells me to."

    Obviously, there are many great bassists whose lines are creative, simple, and functional--Tony Levin, Tina Weymouth, and Sting are three examples that come to mind immediately--but I think one should take Michael Manring's advice to heart: "If you take taste too far, it's not tasteful anymore."
  16. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001

    I'll add to that, Bassmoxie, that you wrote what you wrote. If you change it later to "do you know any simple but effective bassists", that has a very different meaning.
  17. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    Try listening to some of Tony Levin's work outside of King Crimson.
    Also listen to Rick Anderson - a name that probably no-one here will recognize because what he did with The Tubes was so inside the song that he didn't become a household name. Much of The Tubes is not simple, either.
  18. His work with guys like Peter Gabriel and David Torn isn't really much different.

    As for Liquid Tension Experiment and some of his solo stuff, I pronounce a resounding "ENH" upon it. I've been meaning to sell Pieces of the Sun ever since I listened to it once.
  19. Sting's stuff with the Police. (not flashy or complex)

    These two are really pushing it but...

    George Porter Jr. with the Meters (not flashy or complex but OMFG so in the pocket)

    Aston Barrett with Bob and the Wailers. (not flashy, but still some of the most difficult but somewhat simple damn basslines I've ever tried to land in the pocket..one of the best and most underrated)
  20. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    i really like tony's playing on "one world" by dire straits.

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