Comparing two bassists

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Mr M, Mar 28, 2002.

  1. I wanted to start a thread and learn what everyone think about it, don't know if some similar threads have been done before or not but as there are lots of talk about the comparison of bassists I wanted to see your point while making such comparison:

    1. How do you compare two bassists?

    2. What's your point when you say bassist A (fill a bassist name) is better than bassist B (fill another bassist name)?
    2a. Is it the technique, the groove, the creativity, the manner, the attitude, his/her contribuiton to the band/music or anything else is more important when comparing? Or is it the whole helps to make your decision?
    2b. Are there objective points to make comparison, if so what are they?
    2c. Are every comparison subjectives? (in fact this questions is half asked in one previous but anyway)

    3. What's your point when you say bassist A is the best one?

    4. Do you make difference between the one that is your favourite bass player and the one that you think is the best bass player (if there is ONE best)? (e.g. Bassist A is your favourite because he/she's cool but you think a different Bassist B is the best bass player ever lived)

    Same questions may apply to all musicians (e.g. Bach is better than Mozart), bands(e.g. Beatles is better than the Stones), music style(e.g. Jazz is better than rock) etc.

    Please share your opinions..
  2. I don't think there is any real way to compare two bassists, there is no real objective way you could measure. True, you could compare them in their musical knowledge by asking them theory questions. Or you could have them try and trade off solos to see which one was the most difficult. But the role of the bassist is so varied. In a trio or duo or solo situation, the bass will need to establish rhytmn, harmony and even some melody, depending on the situation. In large multi-piece setups, it might be just that it needs to lay down a good root note groove. And what does it matter if someone is a great techinical player if they can't create a good groove or adaequate harmony? Then its not anything but a stream of notes played very fast. Sometimes a stream of notes will work for the song, and sometimes just whole roots will fit better. And you can't really measure musical judgement that well.

    I think what happens is that people like a certain style/player, then they accept their opinion as gospel truth (everyone does it, including me, manny times), and that's were people go off trying to compare players. When I think about it, it is kind of stupid, but that probably won't make me stop trying to compare A to B, just one of people's quirks I guess.
  3. Hoppus is better than Jaco
  4. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    :confused: :confused: :confused:
  5. Aquinas


    Mar 16, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    I just thought i'd give props for the dune quote. Way to go!
  6. Thanks Aquinas!

    BTW it seems that people like to say some bass player is better than another one but don't like to share their points for such decision. I do believe this is an interesting topic(not because I wrote it) and can be profitable for all TB'ers. C'mon let's talk about it!....
  7. I simply don't compare bassists.

    I find it very pointless. It doesn't matter how fast one can play, it's what he does for the band.

    If it fits the song, the bassist is good.
  8. Brad Barker

    Brad Barker Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2001
    berkeley, ca
    i think musical comparison in general is kinda bogus.

    it's more of a crutch for people who can't adequately describe something.

    reading is fundamental.:D