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Bassists vs. All Other Instrumentalists

Discussion in 'Bassists [DB]' started by Jake, May 20, 2011.

  1. Jake


    Dec 11, 1999
    I am working on a compare and contrast essay for the college writing class I'm currently enrolled in. I was hope you nice folks at TBDB could give me some ideas.

    What makes bassists different than all other instrumentalists?

    What makes bassists superior to all other instrumentalists?

    Any good musician jokes that would apply?

  2. tzadik


    Jan 6, 2005
    Bass players always refrain from generalizing. :bag:
  3. mdwallace


    Apr 1, 2010
    New York City
    What makes bassists superior to all other instrumentalists?

    Bassists do it deeper.
  4. Elrend


    Feb 24, 2008
    The choice of instrument.

  5. dbass87


    May 16, 2010
    I think one theme for a bassist, and not in all cases, or in every circumstance, but is one of supporting other musicians, of providing that floor that every else stands on in the group. Even in a group that features the bass with solos or whatever, he still oftentimes plays the role of supporter and of helping keep everybody in sync by supplying the groove, as well as the foundations for many of the chords being played. Also, as John Patitucci said, what notes the bassist plays affects the rest of the group, as they will be influenced in what they play by what they hear from the others, and the bass supplies a large part of that influence. So these things sort of make the bass stand out from other instruments... Not to mention that if one really wants to match up to the soloing prowess and dexterity of say a horn player, he has a much more difficult job in some ways, since the bass by nature is a bit more cumbersome and in the case of the DB, much more difficult to play in tune consistently. And physically, the DB is much more demanding than most instruments.
  6. Tommy el Gato

    Tommy el Gato

    Jul 6, 2007
    It seems to me, with most instrumentalists mastering a musical or a technical concept is a matter of starting slow (with a metronome, of course) and then speeding up. Once it's up to speed, with most instrumentalists there's no real need to slow it back down. But with bassists (and with cellists, violists, violinists as well, but not as much so) it's necessary to keep practicing stuff at an agonizingly slow pace, even when you've got your chops up to speed, in order to fine tune your hearing as well your muscle memory.

    But that's about all I've got. I don't see why the bass should be superior in any way to any other instrument, other than personal preference towards timbre.
  7. The Low-brass loves us best.

    Seriously, though: that's a difficult question to answer, I think. I don't have enough experience to answer is accurately, either.

    Nothing, I think. But we're different. Our instrument is different. It's weird, it's huge, it's...smooth and you feel it when it starts to rumble. It's like a musical earthquake.

    It's soothing, to me, and when it hits you, you don't just hear it like a violin, viola or cello, you feel the bass section. We go the farthest, we are the loudest and in the end, we're what everything is built off of. Without us, there is nothing and in that, we have a sort of responsibility to take on.

    One of the things I love about modern music (especially Electronic and some Dance), is that the bass in it can be used so well. I don't mean the "Rapper" version of bass where it's constantly blasted into your ears, it lets the melody hang light on its own for a while until it almost gets to the point that your ears feel as if it must fall or it's going to get boring and then the bass comes in, and adds depth to the entire thing. It transcends what is just sound, and again, adds feel and adds the real backbone and spine of a lot of music.
  8. skwee


    Apr 2, 2010
    Bassists are (gasp!) not superior to any other instrumentalist. They are part of the entire picture. Specifically, they are the voice that, along with percussion, provides the rhythmic pulse and harmonic foundation of a song or piece of music.
  9. Staccato

    Staccato Low End Advocate

    Aug 14, 2009
    Bass clef instrument (along with keyboard player), low status compared with guitar players (in the eyes of many), confusion among members of audience that see a guitarist with only 4 strings on the instrument, confusion among women in the audience-that feel an odd sensation in the bottom of their seat (or in their belly).
  10. Plantbrain


    Oct 9, 2006
    Might want to chose a different topic, say law and order vs anarchy.

    Classical vs blues.

    Jazz vs pop........

  11. Jake


    Dec 11, 1999
    Just to let y'all know, my paper is not meant to be serious or factual.
  12. Beginner Bass

    Beginner Bass

    Jul 8, 2009
    Round Rock, TX
    A&R, Soulless Corporation Records
    Bass is superior because it is. It just is. That's all there is to it.

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