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Bassists that make you want to quit

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Ozzel, Dec 7, 2004.

  1. I'm talking about going to a concert and seeing a bass player just completely blow you away to the point that the first thing you want to do when you get home is grab your bass by the neck, break it over your knee and toss it in the trash.

    I had such an experience last Saturday night when my pastor invited me and my cousin-in-law to a Latin-Christian concert at the Jackie Gleason Theater in Miami Beach. There were several groups performing. The last one was Juan Carlos Alvarado, who I was told is from Guatemala. His bassist played a 6-string Ken Smith, looked like a BSR model. I don't know the bass player's name and he's probably unkown to anyone outside Juan Carlos' band. But lemme tell ya, my eyes were almost not fast enough to follow all the things his left hand was doing. :eek: There was one song that sounded like black southern gospel, but with the added spice, energy and speed of the Latin beat. This guy was just, wow, so awesome to watch. Now, I'm just a 4-string player, and I rarely even touch the G string. But this bassist's hands were flying across all 6 strings. Truly inspiring :hyper: and frustrating :mad: at the same time.

    If any of you have had a similar experience, I'd love to hear about it.
  2. Dave Siff

    Dave Siff Supporting Member

    As far as chops go, Oteil Burbridge, Victor Wooten and Michael Manring spring immediately to mind.
    But as the years have gone by and I've realized that I'll never be a monster player, I'm more blown away and driven to smash my basses by guys who play really simple, tasteful and groovin' stuff that I would never have thought of. Stuart Zender with Jamiroquai really had that effect on me, as well as Andrew Levy from the Brand New Heavies.
    Funky Ghost likes this.
  3. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    I'll transcribe something I told to a friend recently in an e-mail message. Just my personal thoughts on the subject: After seeing and listening so many bass virtuosos, now I think like "well, this stuff from (your favorite player here) is extremely difficult, but maybe with LOTS of practice, LOTS of patience and LOTS of years I can approximate his/her playing"... except from one guy: BILLY SHEEHAN. I'm not trying to say that he's the world's best bassist (that question of "who is the best (any instrument) player to you?" is a nonsense to me, BTW), but his technical skills are hardly reachable. Of course, the key for success is practice, but I think there's something else than practice with him. Maybe he sold his soul to the devil...
    todd burns likes this.
  4. NV43345


    Apr 1, 2003
  5. Vic Wooten just makes me loose all hope whatsoever.
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  6. bill_banwell

    bill_banwell Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2002
    I never get smashed down by all these amazing bassists, i always go the other way and get hugely inspired.
    Sneakyfish likes this.
  7. r379


    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    Nobody makes me want to quit, but a lot of players make me realise my limitations. Anthony Jackson is the man.

    +1 Redhotbassist.
    bearhart74 likes this.
  8. Wayner


    May 7, 2004
    Maryland, USA
    Hey ozzel - all these guys with monster chops have had similar experiences. And none of them quit!

    I may be in the minority here, but a player who can make something sound cool by playing fewer notes is more impressive to me than watching someone literally go ape-wild with their axe. A few names that pop into my mind instantly here.. Chuck Rainey, Anthony Jackson, James Jamerson, Rock Jones, Bootsy Collins, etc... JMO.
  9. dmaki


    Apr 29, 2000
    I've experienced both, listening to a bass player that just blew me away and wanting to quit, as well as wanting to grab my bass and play along, more towards the latter. However, I wouldn't spend years and years of my life trying to play like one guy. I like to pick up little things here and there from lots of players and incorporate it into my playing, which I think a lot of people do, and its mostly subconscious. Sometimes you'll be playing and you'll think "oh, how would [name] do this", but most times it just comes out and you're like "damn, that sounded like [name]". And it doesn't really matter how technical of a player you are, its how effective you are. If it takes a single quarter note to nail the moment, its no less significant than playing a flury of dotted 32nd note harmonics.
  10. Many years ago my nephew's band opened for a then unknown Primus. This skipping, raving lunatic shut us all up mid-heckle. They were awesome. Not much later, I saw them at a show in Berkely where I'm pretty sure they recorded 'Suck on this'. I'm old...
  11. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    Oteil, Matt Garrison, Pattitucci (sp?), Gary Willis, Me'Shell - slabs

    McBride, Pattitucci, Gomez, Holland - URB
  12. for me, seeing Jaco was pretty terrifying. Roberto Vally, Steuart Liebig, Gary Willis, and Daduca Fonseca (probably misspelled) all scared me severely to when I saw them. hearing Bunny Brunel and Percy Jones for the first time knocked me out. Laurence Cottle's playing with Itchy Fingers was lethal. oh! and Tom Kennedy! check out his work on the last Weckl double live disc... holy shlemoley!

    Dasgre0g likes this.
  13. daddyo


    Jun 9, 2004
    British Columbia
    Duck Dunn. What the . . .? Duck? I saw Duck playing on the Crossroads DVD and on the song with David Hidalgo, Neighborhood. His tasteful, funky intro and playing really made me realize why he is so great and how hard it is to lay down that groove. Plus he looks great with that beard and those dark shades and bad ass demeanor.
  14. Jason Carota

    Jason Carota

    Mar 1, 2002
    Lowell, MA
    Same here.

    However, when I saw Richard Bona play with Mike Stern last year.......man, I have to practice more. :)
  15. fiebru1119


    Mar 2, 2004
    Orlando, FL
    ditto!! check him out on the drummers collective/bass day 2002 dvd.. good god :bawl:
  16. adam on bass

    adam on bass Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2002
    New Braunfels, Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, GK, EMG and D'Addario
    I have been told by people that I make them want to practice more.
  17. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    No bassist ever makes me want to quit. When I hear someone doing something fresh or new or hip or chops-amazing, or whatever, it just makes me want to practice more.
  18. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Same here, but I'll add Gene Perez from Masters At Work. I did quit for about 2 weeks after seeing Larry Graham in concert.
  19. I have no desire to quit no matter how good some people are.

    The style of my band does not lend itself to fancy solos or crazy bass lines. I like to lock in with the drummer and keep it simple and hold down the bottom end. Sometimes it's harder to play slow and steady than to go off and do impressive stuff.
  20. a friend of mine recently sent me a long email about bass playing. he's a veteran gigging axeman of more than 20 years and has definitely paid his dues.

    he was out in clubs 2 nights in a row. the first night all the players were great, but the rhythm section couldn't lock and the crowd was baffled. the second night, the music was nowhere near as technically advanced, but the band grooved as one rhythm section. not only did the audience react better the second night but so did my friend. it put a lot in perspective for him.

    I think there's more than a little to be said for meat and potatoes bass playing. I have nothing against playing a lot of notes or shelling out some pyrotechnics, but if I the bassist can't lock the groove first and foremost there's no reason to try and step out with the flash.

    and that's my 2 cents' worth. please don't kill me...


    from the lows,