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Bassists that you think, think out of the box

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by cnltb, Mar 8, 2014.

  1. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    As usual, the title says it all...which bassists do you think , think 'out of the box' with this reflected in their writing and/or playing.

    In other words...who do you think is really unique and original?
    What is it that you think makes those players unique, what is their 'out of the box-ness'?
    thanks! :)
  2. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

    Aug 22, 2011
    I think Mick Karn, through a combination of brilliantly unique inventiveness/imagination and a healthy dose of musical ignorance, forged an incredibly distinctive style on the instrument that rarely functioned like a traditional bassline. He wasn't just "out of the box", he was in another universe.
  3. Great thread idea, especially the question "What is it that you think makes those players unique, what is their 'out of the box-ness'?"

    Peter Hook comes to mind, with all the high-up-the-neck melodic playing.

    Colin Greenwood, for his sense of space.

    Les Claypool, for his wacky (playing) theatrics/bombastic repetition riffing.

    I'm sure someone will say Geddy Lee...
    Another name sure to come up is Pino Paladino.
    Jaco, of course.

    I'll let somebody more knowledgeable fill in the blanks on why those guys are "out-of the box".

    Jimmy Blanton, for his melodic horn-like soloing.

    PS: "Mick Karn", great first reply to the OP
  4. jeff5311


    Jan 27, 2008
    Atlanta, GA
    Richard Bona.

    He makes me want to put the bass down and never play again.
  5. jamerson.

    Before him, it was nothing but roots and fifths in popular music.
  6. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    Tony Levin
  7. ghostfather


    Oct 26, 2013
    Peter Hook

    He doesn't play the bass like a bassist at all. I rarely touch the G string or venture past the sixth fret but Hooky lives in that part of town.

    New Order - Sunrise

  8. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    very interesting choice, and one that I'd share.
    The out of the box-ness of levin , to me is the fact that I find it rather difficult to pin point what it is that is special about him.
    Doesn't sound special or at least not overtly so , at first or second listening.
    His 'vocabulary' and how he applies it is interesting to me.
  9. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    I am not talking about 'popular' music only!
    The question is equally NOT..'Who is your favorite player and why' ? :)
    Mark Dresser is another player I'd like to mention in this context.
  10. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Nice choices...all.

    Mark Dresser, agreed.
    In that vein, add Dave Holland, William Parker, Avashai Cohen, Ben Allison, Fima Ephron, John Lindbergh, etc.
  11. Milk


    Sep 16, 2013
    Montreal, Canada
    Interestingly Hook developed that style a bit by accident. The gear he had at first apparently caused the lower notes to get lost in the mix, so he kept going higher and the guys in joy division encouraged him cause that's the only way they could hear him. I have to say he still occasionally uses a fairly lower register, sorta, in JD, what happened with New order is they used synths a lot and basically had electronic bass. So Hook was basically left with playing guitar lines on the bass.

    It was fairly common in a lot of post punk to use the higher register. I'm sure Hook had his influence on that but i also think that's was kinda just part of the sound.

    I did learn to play bass along to a lot of those bands (but not JD or New order, i got into them later, for some reason), as a result my E string is barely ever used and i'm anyhwere between the 5th and 17th fret, most times.
  12. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Chris Squire.
  13. SlappyWhite

    SlappyWhite Banned

    Mar 6, 2014
    volker likes this.
  14. M0ses


    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    Miroslav Vitous. Every note he plays is deliciously unexpected.
  15. beebassdude

    beebassdude Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2008
    Sterling, VA
    Ben Shepherd is my favorite out of the box thinking bassists. a lot of his lines are very strange and counterpoint but somehow always seem to fit. he doesnt have the most difficult or crazy parts, but they always work so well and its just cool to see them fit.

    Burden in my hand and Jesus Christ Pose are two that come to mind. bass parts are just straight strange haha.
  16. Boom762

    Boom762 I AM the one who Booms! Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2013
    Lubbock, TX
    Right iff the top of my head I think Justin Chancellor of TOOL. I used to be so obsessed with this band. Multimeaning lyrics and odd time signatures.

    Edit: oh i forgot to add why. He plays solos as a guitarist would sometimes where its hard to tell if its even a bass anymkre. Some of his work on gheir last album 10,000 days was really fun. "Right in two" hsing a digitech pitch shift and harmonics for a really cool sound. Really any song on that album in particular hes not doing the standard boring "follow the guitar" or slow scaling walking so many other bassist wrongfully make their millions by.
  17. The Ox.
  18. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum.

    Jun 5, 2011
    Geddy and JPJ were and are amazing bassists, but I would hardly call them out of the box. They started from a standard rock milieu and evolved from there. Geddy's said he puts a heavy rock spin on the styles that influence him (speaking primarily of the jazz and fusion influences that crept into late 80s Rush music).

    As for out of the box, I think Phil Lesh was definitely out there, as he didn't learn bass with any preconceived idea of being a supporting player. I think that's key: If you start from a different point from the majority of bassists, then you're going to end up in a very different place.
  19. Li Youwei

    Li Youwei

    May 4, 2008
    Mark Sandman.
  20. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist Bassist for Michael "Epic Mic" Rowe

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    One of my heroes and biggest influences! David J Haskins of Bauhaus :bassist: