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Better than a bassist?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by f'nar f'nar, Apr 6, 2005.

  1. I was in a Billy Hyde's music store the other day. I was sitting there jamming on this superb Spector, as you do. Then this guy walks in and sits down and plugs himself in with a nice little warwick thumb, that sounded awsome.

    Anyway, he starts playing this very familiar slap line, that I realise seconds later is Go Skate! by suicidal tendancies. So I get into the conversation with him, and we get talking about Robert.

    He seemed really into rob, he almost seemed to worship him. Then he said something that sickened me. He claimed that because he could play most/all of Rob's songs perfectly, with some effort to spare to add in extra notes and whatnot, that he was BETTER than Rob.

    Now im not saying he isnt, cause I dont know the guy. But does a persons ability to play what another person has writen and recorded, make them better than them? Whats your opinion.

    By the way, I wasn't as good, I screwed him over by asking him to whiplash at the speed rob was playing it with his fingers. He knew the song and nailed it with a pic but HAH! I dont thing he likes me anymore... :bag:
  2. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Did he come up with the line?

    Well then we dont know if he's any good at writing music. Thats whats really important to consider in my eyes.
  3. NOISE!


    Jun 20, 2004
    In your mind
    If you are copying you are not surpassing.

    Plus, who knows what "better" bassist's lines Robert can cop himself.
  4. Suckbird

    Suckbird Banned

    May 4, 2004
    How can he "almost" worship him on the same time he thinks he can play better than him?
  5. cetera


    Apr 29, 2004
    Surrey, England
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses & Cort Basses
    I'm sure Rob has written/played basslines which best suit the song.... not to show off his prowess to the max...

    This 'Rob' fan sounds a little sad to me.... and very insecure...
  6. popinfresh


    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    It's like kids who think they're as good or better than Flea because they can play most of his songs. Not that Flea is great or anything, it's just the kids are clueless.

    By the way, where abouts you live? And does Billy Hyde have a M-Pulse 600 in yet? I'm going there tomorow to check some stuff out and get some strings..
  7. Yep, and I can play 90% of Geddy's lines - but could I ever write them??? Probably not. Am I as good as him??? Absolutely not.

    You have to ask the question - if this kid is better than Rob, why isn't he in a hugely successful, internationally renowned band??

    hmmm :meh:
  8. Dublin-Bass

    Dublin-Bass Guest

    Sep 24, 2003
    Dublin, Ireland
    I could be wrong but believe Jaco was a bit of boaster in his time. Didn't he once claim that he was the best Bassist in the World? I remeber reading that in a 1990 issue of Bass Player.

    Also, Mark King of Level 42 is bigheaded at times. I've heard him saying that he was a better Bass Player than Lemmy or Duff McKagan, which, of course, technically he is, but I felt like telling him its not about Technicality most of the time, but more what makes you comfortable and whats right for you. Not everyone is gifted at 'slapping and pulling' on the Bass.
  9. this guy is either totaly full of himself or has people constantly over congratulating him, I get some people act like I'm god when they see my play tommy the cat or something like that, they say im the best the've ever seen, I say they haven't seen much of anythng then, now if i could write somethign like that and play it perfectly I'd probly be cocky, but I'm still very much a newb, I've only been playing 3 years, I'm nowere as good as claypool or probly even half the people reading these forums. I guess what im tryin to say here in my rambling is that this guy that says he is better then Rob is because people tell him he is that don't know anything about music.
  10. The most memorable compliment I have ever had as a bassist is not that I am better than such and such a player, but that I have a good ear. This meant so much to me, because I have tried over the years to not rely on flashy stuff so much and concentrate more solidly on what the music requires from me.

    The whole "shredder" scene in the hair-rock 80's died pretty quickly because after a while, it really didn't matter who could pull off the quickest sweep-picking arpeggios. And it became fairly comical when guitarists were recording Bach etc.

    Taste is something that you learn, and with that comes the realisation that you are probably more accomplished technically than someone else, but that its not a competition and you should just enjoy what you, and every other, bassist is out there playing.

  11. bassjus


    Mar 30, 2004
    I agree with you on everything else you said, but this argument means NOTHING. There are plenty of phenomenal bass players that get absolutely no recognition, and some that aren't nearly as good that get way more.
  12. +1 Every song cries out for a bass part that will complement it. The part that I put down might be vastly diff than the part someone else puts down. Neither is wrong. But to come up after the creative input is completed and add frills and TADA, "I'm a better bass player" is someone on their own headtrip.
  13. Kazuki


    Aug 14, 2004
    I met many musicians that think they are the best thing that happened to music becasue they can play all of the songs of X or Y band "easily". And those that, when you hear a piece or line you like, make a comment the likes of "Oh, that ? But that's EASY."

    Easy to play does not mean easy to come up with. A good, tasty line, as easy as it may be to play, might be harder to come up with than one that is filled with 16th notes. It's all in the choice of notes...

    I guess I am not from the school of superior technicality = superior music. Technique is a good tool, yes, but without feel, it's just that. A tool.

    As for that person, well, I think some of them feel a tad jealous not to have recognition when they can play the whole repertoire of a given artist. But... Being able to imitate, like others have said, does not mean you are better than said bassist. Perhaps on the same level technically, but technicality alone does not make the bassist.

    Anyway... those are my two cents. :bassist:
  14. Southpaw, I agree with you.

    Writing and playing are too different things. When people say better what do they mean exactly? Is it techniquewise or compositionally based?

    Just because you can play something doesn't mean you're better than the original player.
    In some of my band's songs I have loads of opportunities for playing flashy stuff but i hcoose not too because a lot of itmes less is more.

    I guess in reality, no one is better than anyone, it's just who composes the better lines or maybe who has a better knowledge of what sounds good where
  15. HamOnTheCob

    HamOnTheCob Jacob Moore Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Cambridge, Ohio, USA
    Endorsing Artist for Warwick Basses, Mesa Engineering, Joyo Technology, Dr. J Pedals, and Levy's Leathers
    I've met guys who could play lines faster than greased lightning, who had absolutely no clue how to write a bassline. I've met guys who could play Anesthesia frontwards and backwards in double time who wouldn't know how to write an amazing solo if their lives depended on it. I've met guys who could slap like Wooten who had no clue about groove. I've met guys who had every fundamental building block completely perfect, but lacked feel.

    There are a lot of things that make a musician a good one. Some of it is ability, some of it is taste, some of it is tone, some of it is feeling. I'd argue that any musician who says he is better than anyone else lacks at least taste, if nothing else. And probably most of those other things I mentioned as well! Possibly the biggest things that contribute to labelling a musician "good" are his or her ability to LISTEN and his or her respect for other musicians and people in general.

    I don't care how good Jaco was... if he was cocky, he wasn't the best. I'd take a mediocre player I could get along with before I'd take a fantastic player with an attitude problem any day of the week. The fact that most people are like this contributes to the fact that most of the most successful bands are groups of mediocre musicians. They get along, so they have chemistry. Chemistry makes for good music, and good music makes for album sales. Get 4 guys who are "the best in the world" at what they do, who have the egos to go along with said titles, and you end up with a band who has a whole catalog of technically awesome pieces of music, with absolutely no good SONGS. You'll hear fantastic drumming, solid bass playing, blistering solos, and a great singer. One thing you probably won't hear though? A great band.

    Just my thoughts on this topic...
  16. dave64o

    dave64o Talkbass Top 10 all time lowest talent/gear ratio! Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2000
    Southern NJ
    I would have asked him to explain why HE'S playing Robert's bass lines instead of Robert playing HIS bass lines.
  17. Kazuki


    Aug 14, 2004
    +1 to that. I couldn't have said it better.
  18. john turner

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

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    think of what happened to dime bag darrel and then run the other way. dude's a psycho.
  19. barebones

    barebones Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2005
    Denver, CO
    One thing I know for sure: I am absolutely, positively, one hundred percent as good as me.

    Maybe even better.