Best Bass Player Rant

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by jblmusic1994, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. Does anyone else recognize the ridiculousness in "best bassist" lists?

    If you go to YouTube and watch video results for the top ten bassists, you will immediately fall victim to the biggest load of garbage your eyes have ever seen.

    I have NEVER seen a nearly accurate list. I know some would say that it is a matter of opinion, but to an extent! There are just too many standards for technicality and musicality that can't be overlooked by a simple "he is better" opinion.

    I know some people will disagree and probably start scolding me, but I absolutely hate when I see Flea on any of these lists.. Especially when he exceeds Wooten and Pastorius (who are even lucky to make the list). In my honest opinion, Flea is just a joke. So overrated.

    Him and Claypool.. Claypool is definitely innovative and has some nice techniques, but he is just so overrated.
    A buddy of mine asked me before to learn the song "John the Fisherman". (Maybe) the one where he is basically playing power chords on bass. (May be another tune. It's the one from a guitar hero game). Anyways, my friend thought that this bass line(riff?) was so crazy and impossible. I gave it a listen waiting to hear some impossible baseline. All I heard was this nonsensical strumming of a bass(something I did to be a clown when I was 14.)

    I know that sounds harsh, but basically what I'm saying is, I respect them, but aren't they just a tad overrated..?
  2. steelbed45

    steelbed45 36 on Ignore

    Feb 23, 2011
    Nolanville, TX
    That read to me like "bless their hearts" or "no offense, but".
    Either way, I read the rant. I didn't see any respect.

    I agree with you on one thing. Those lists are ridiculous.

    Try and have a nice day. :cool:
  3. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Endorsing nothing, recommending much

    Jul 2, 2011
    Milton Keynes, UK
    Disappointed - I wanted to see a list of the best rants by bass players.
  4. Upon reviewing the hastily worded title, I can see how it can be misleading. Sorry :(
  5. Well, I mentioned Les Claypool's innovation and technique. I definitely respect him. flea, not so much.
  6. Flea is not overrated. He is a tremendous player and awesome showman. More people know what function the bass serves and probably picked up the instrument because of him than probably any other modern rock player.

    Claypool too. You might be able to play some of his licks, but he's never even heard one of yours, so what does that say?
  7. SoLongJake

    SoLongJake Supporting Member

    Jul 1, 2007
    Des Moines, Iowa
    Flea is a great player who plays in one of the biggest acts in rock music. Is he breaking ground with the chili peppers? Probably not, but his playing with the peppers and other projects outside of the peppers is solid. His slap stuff isn't for me, but his side project work is always great. He holds it down with what is necessary for the songs. He also makes way more money than I'll probably ever make. Your rant reeks of jealousy.
  8. tmntfan


    Oct 6, 2011
    Victoria Canada
    I think anyone who is advanced in their field will ignore "top ten lists"
    It is like asking who is the best architect(wright), or the best author(Dostoyevsky), or what breed is the best dog (golden retriever), what is the best car(VW Golf)?
    An important aspect is knowing who the target audience is. If you are looking for the best de constructivist architect it wouldn't be wright. The best escapist thriller writer, I’m guessing not the father of postmodernism. Looking for a guard dog, my choice isn't the best. Looking to go out on back roads, my choice of car isn't what you are looking for either. But if you like functional designed space, existentialism literature, family dogs and fuel efficient cars, my list is great. But any list that doesn’t have those as the top things is “wrong”
    However; if you are creating top ten list of bassist for a youtube video aimed at non musicians who barely understand what a bass is, you are likely to put up some names that they will recognize. If not the bassist at least the band name.
    To take it even further if here on talkbass we were to try and create a top ten list it would have to be very specific. for example who is the best funk bass player?
    Francis Rocco Prestia vs Larry Graham.
    Two masters with totally different playing styles. So it would have to be refined even further-who is the best funk slap player. At this point the ppl who care about the top ten is getting smaller and smaller. To a point that it won’t appear in pop orientated youtube vid.
  9. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA

    OP, it happens when dealing with pretty much ANY topic. People are OBSESSED with trying to figure out what "the best" of anything is. Sports stars, rock stars, prettiest woman on Earth, best car, best coffee grinder, best kitchen knife, etc. It isn't just bass players. That's just the one that got your panties in a wad today. (By the way, what are the best panties to wear when you know they are going to get into a wad at some point?)
  10. Lowbrow

    Lowbrow Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2008
    Allentown, PA!
    Put that way it says that he is a bassist who has become successful in a business in which talent and hard work are no guarantee of success. ;)
  11. Lowbrow

    Lowbrow Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2008
    Allentown, PA!
    NO WAY.
  12. esa372


    Aug 7, 2010
    Nothing at all.

    What are you trying to imply? That popular music by "famous" people is better than obscure music by unknown artists?


  13. tbz


    Jun 28, 2013
    You've obviously never heard or seen Primus live. Claypool is an incredibly accomplished bassist. One could argue that portions of the recorded output of Primus are overrated, Claypool is not.

    Just because your friend asked you to learn to play one of their simplest songs doesn't diminish his ability. Learn to play the Seas of Cheese version of Tommy the Cat accurately, on a six string fretless. Then we can talk.

    That being said, yeah top ten lists are pretty lame. I would not rank Claypool in regards to Mike Anthony, for example. It's like comparing a gourmet tofu dog, with quinoa aioli to a all beef braut with home made kraut. One guy is the leader of the incredibly eclectic Primus/Frog Brigade/Sausage/etc, the other held down the low end for one of the better hard rock acts of the 80s. Tofu dogs to brauts.
  14. lwknives


    May 6, 2012
    Flea would definitely make it into my top 10 list! Jaco and Wooten would not. Moving your fingers really fast doesnt make you a great bass player. I think Flea writes bass lines that sound extremely cool and fit the RHCP sound perfectly.
  15. Not at all, I'm just saying that calling an accomplished, successful, talented (and famous) bassist is overrated is as ridiculous as listing the top ten bassists. He complains about quantifying bassists, but has no problems qualifying them.
  16. Lowbrow

    Lowbrow Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2008
    Allentown, PA!
    Hey Moe, he's givin' us the shim-sham!
  17. The Bass Clef

    The Bass Clef is modulating in time. Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2010
    Southern California
    The object of music to me, is to touch people in one way or another. Both Les and Flea have accomplished that to a degree that very few musicians, let alone bassists, actually reach. Jaco was an amazing musician too, in a very different way. Honestly, his playing touches more bassists than people in general. Same with Wooten. Those guys helped "write the manual" for bass guitar. And so did Les and Flea, but they are also guys who both my niece and my grandma know, unlike Wooten or Jaco.

    I personally like the music of all the people mentioned, but while Flea's technique may not be as efficient as Wooten's. Flea helped to get me interested in playing bass. I didn't even hear of Wooten until I had been playing for a few years (and if not for being a musician, I would probably never have heard of him). So I think inspiration counts for a lot.. at least as much as technical skill does. And I tell ya what.. I can think of a few riffs from both Jaco and Wooten, but I can think of several entire songs/basslines from both Flea and Les. Music is not a sport and no one gets paid by the note. Really, I think technical ability is only as good as the piece of music that it's in.
  18. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Mount Prospect, IL
    I think we should just enjoy bass players and quit comparing them. It's truly pointless. Let's listen to the people we like and let others know about how cool they are.
  19. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    To me, it just takes a little balance between "like" and "respect". I don't like Claypool's playing at all. I would rather listen to my 18 month old cry for two hours. However, I respect what he has done to move the instrument to different areas. I respect the fact that he obviously has reached a pretty high level of skill at his craft. I just can't stand his style. So, if I had to "rank" bassists, he would be pretty high up on the list even though I don't like what he does.

    The problem with most bassists is that they give high ranking to those whose STYLE they like, even though other players might be able to "play circles around them". This is where the problem with ranking bassists comes in. Ultimately many of us put our favorite players on top and get offended if someone else doesn't "get it". (Much like some of you right now are probably offended that I can't stand Claypool's playing.)

    Short version: If you asked 5,000 bass players to rank the top 10 bass players you would probably get 5,000 different lists. And none of them would be "wrong". So why bother?
  20. john paul jones and peter hook....