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Can a bassline make/break a song

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Fire-Starter, Oct 29, 2004.


  1. Fire-Starter

    Fire-Starter Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2002
    MINNESOTA
    So I am listening to some old school E/W/F etc, and I was really checking out the bassline for some reason, I mean, there are many other instruments playing as well, but I was thinking to myself, what if Verdine (the bass player for E/W/F) just played very basic bland basslines? sounds dumb maybe, but I guess I am trying to see form the bass players here at TB, if people really listen to the bass THAT MUCH in songs, and determine the song will flop, or be a hit if we just change the bassline, or is it just us, the bass players that pay so much attention?
     
  2. I dunno, I really think production can make or break a song. If you have a massive guitar sound, and massive drum sound, do you have to be tinny? no, but you have to make sure you have a simple bassline to anchor it all in, and at least make it sound like it's cemented together.
     
  3. Absolutley. I don't see how it couldn't break/make the song. There are alot of songs I listen to just to hear the bass.
     
  4. I think the bassline can (& does) make or break, at least for me. I also think a lot of people may not consciously pick it out but would sense something 'missing' if you covered a familiar song but lamed up the bass.
    Oh, & speaking of sending the praise up, check out Fred Hammond & R.F.C.'s "Let the praise begin" for a crucial-to-the-song bass part. I get to play this in Church!
     
  5. Rhythmalism

    Rhythmalism

    Sep 25, 2004
    I've heard a few bad basslines ruin songs. Usually when it sounds like the BP's playing in a different key, or even a completely different song, then it's bad news.
     
  6. Fire-Starter

    Fire-Starter Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2002
    MINNESOTA
    OH YEAH! I have had the task of playing that song also in church, Fred Hammond lays down some bass lines for his bass players that are OFF THE HOOK :hyper:
     
  7. karrot-x

    karrot-x Banned

    Feb 21, 2004
    Omicron Persei 8
    The White Stripes....


    enough said ;)
     
  8. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    My Sharona. 'Nuff said.
     
  9. {OE}

    {OE}

    Sep 23, 2004
    Connecticut, U.S.
    +1

    IME, most peeps ( ie. non-bass players... :p ) do not even notice the bass until it is gone....

    Ultimately one should play whatever the song calls for. Some songs that have a very simple bassline would not sound "right" w/ a busy line....
     
  10. Corwin81

    Corwin81

    Mar 18, 2003
    Ames, IA
  11. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    It depends on the song for me. I will say that most of time, yes it can.
     
  12. lbanks

    lbanks

    Jul 17, 2003
    Ennui, IN USA
    I'm a believer in the bassline. Even when I played guitar, a long, long, long ago.
     
  13. it most definitely can. While there are some songs I like that have substandard bass lines (music is not all about bass), a good bass line will definitely improve the song. What would the Brand New Heavies sound like w/o Andrew Levy? What would the Who have sounded like without John Entwistle?
     
  14. I believe that there can be multiple basslines that can work for the same song, but no matter what line is chosen, it must outline the chord progressions and provide some type of groove and feel. If not, the bassline can definately ruin the song. Being a bassist, its the 1st thing I listen for. For non-bassists, most don't listen for it specifically but they hear it and it must fit.
     
  15. Man...I just went to a gig...last night....and the band that was performing doesn't have a bass player......which totally wasted my time and money for the beers......

    yeah....without a bassline...a song can be ruined.
     
  16. DubDubs

    DubDubs

    Aug 23, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Depends on the song. Generaly I'd say no. You hear songs all the time with almost no bassline either becuase it's just not a bass song and/or because there's almost no bass in the mix. Some of these songs are really good. Other songs would be awful without the bass but again generaly I'd say no.
     
  17. If the bass is carrying the song's melody or hook, then yeah, it can make or break the song. If you take a song that is driven by the bassline and try to cover it, and screw up or alter the bassline, it's going to lose its essence. And it doesn't matter if people know that the bassline is different, they are hearing it but because they dont have the ability to analyze music the way a musician does, they just get a general feeling that something isn't right.
     
  18. ERIC31

    ERIC31

    Jul 1, 2002
    Maricopa, AZ
    Word. How about Level 42 minus Mark King...RHCP without Flea...Iron Maiden without Steve Harris....Rancid without Matt Freeman.....you know what I'm saying.

    Now that I think about it, how many classic funk songs would even exist without the bassline (bass or synth)? Not too many that I can think of.
     
  19. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Uh technically everything about a song can make or break it... example... if my bassline for a beautiful ballad was me throwing distortion on and throwing my bass against the wall, then picking it up and shredding in the wrong key... or every key... I feel that would break the song. But then again, if a vocalist sang about world peace in a high soothing clean voice over a death metal song, it might clash. Basically yes the bass is important, but then again... so is the... triangle player.
     

  20. I think you've just described every new Cradle of Filth song...