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Female Bassists

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by ModulusQ5-122, May 10, 2011.

  1. I mean no offense to any female bassists on this forum. Is it just me? It seems like eveytime there is a female bassist playing somewhere that is just "ok", everybody talks about how good she is. But if it were a male he would suck. Whats the big deal about a female bassist? Sorry, its just i left a show earlier that had a female bassist and everybody was like, man she is good but in my opinion she sucked. Anybody else feel the same way? I am not knocking them because i have seen a few good female bassists.
  2. erock0138


    Feb 4, 2011
    I completely agree, I guess it's the whole mentality that it's harder for women to do something. (Which is NOT AT ALL What I'm saying) But to non musicians they're much better. I've wondered this before, and sure there are greats, I.E. Tal Wilkenfeld, but in local bands, women bass players do seem to grab more attention, and be regarded as "Better".
  3. waleross


    Nov 27, 2009
    South Florida
    There is one I do think is great and that is Divinity Roxx,she is worth listening to and looking at .......:cool:
  4. MrGotBass


    Jul 28, 2009
    They have boobies, you don't. Therefore, people like them more.
  5. Haha yea thats what im thinking too.
  6. gumtown


    May 7, 2007
    New Zealand
    Put on a wig, some lippy, and shove a couple of mellons down ya top, and you too can enjoy the attention. :)
  7. ThudThudThud


    Jun 4, 2010
    I don't know, Johnette Napolitano would, on the whole, be compared to an 'average' male bass player on technicality. However, she plays EXACTLY what's needed for the songs she sings. Plus her tone is exactly right for the songs too. In my eyes, that makes her a great bassist.

    Is she Tal? No. Is she Victor? No. Is she Stanley? Nope. But she doesn't play that stuff. She's Johnette. A great artist. Comparisons mean nothing unless the context is taken into consideration. I don't care if you can slap like Mark King, if you're playing - say - blues or reggae or hard rock, it means nothing. Playing the song is what makes great bass players great.

    I agree that there are few female bass players who are truly technically inspirational, but many have gigs, and are getting paid. That's more than can be said for many, many male bassists in general. If it's because they are women....well, fair play to them! They have an edge over you. If it's a gimmick, then it's working!

    You went to a show and hopefully you paid to get in. Your opinion that the bass player wasn't Jaco doesn't matter as to whether the show was good or not. It sounds like a lot of people enjoyed the show. She wins. You paid, she played.

    Musicians standing at the back, arms folded and picking apart the individual parts is not why bands play. It's the guys and girls up the front dancing/having a good time that they play for. When you play, are you playing to the musicians at the back, or the dancing fools at the front? If you play to the musos, you maybe should rethink what you're doing. If you're technically brilliant, your solo albums will find their way onto the shelves of many admiring bass players. If you're playing the songs, and having a good time, your albums might make it onto the shelves of the masses.

    I'm not trying to generalise you at all, just trying to show context.
  8. JumboJack


    Dec 31, 2007
    Love,love,LOVE Johnette Napolitano!
  9. Tat2dHeart

    Tat2dHeart Only two strings away from an attitude problem.

    No offense taken by me, OP. I hear the same things being said here when I go to shows, so you have what I consider to be a valid point.

    On the flip side of that, it's not always easy playing around boobs. I have the same problem with golf, too. C'est la vie. I love playing bass and golf, so I have to make the boob thing work. It's easier than ballroom dancing, where I have to do everything backward and in high heels.

  10. You make a good point, I have never thought about the having to play around the boobs thing. It makes a litlle bit of sense and thank you for not taking offense because i meant none at all.
  11. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt

    Sep 20, 2000
    Endorsing Artist: Kiesel, Carvin, Accuracy, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    Wow! Rather than respond to the OP I'd like to turn it over to Rhonda Smith, Carol Kaye, Eperanza Spalding, Tal Wilkenfeld, Divinity Roxx, Tina Weymouth, Catherine Popper and Allison Prestwood.
    They might say all of us play "pretty good-for a guy!" ;)
  12. bassguitar808


    Jul 9, 2010
    dont worry ladies

    most guys that play bass arent very good either


  13. I agree to all of the names that were mentioned but players like that being female are few and far between and i dont find thats the case for males. I wasnt saying all female bassists arent very good i was just comparing their playing skills to males at that caliber. For some reason if there is a lousy female bassist people still think that she is good just because she is a female but if it were a male people wouldnt think he was very good.
  14. Rocker949


    Apr 20, 2005
    Great point. The last female bassist I personally encountered was better than most guys.
  15. Aussie Player

    Aussie Player

    Apr 20, 2011
    Jeff Beck has an interesting young girl (only a teen back then) playing on the second Clapton Crossroads concert in Chicago who was very proficient and better than most males. Jeff has moved on however.
  16. Kaleidescapist


    Mar 4, 2011
    I think that what happens is, because there are fewer girls who play bass at all than boys, the pool of girls who play bass really well is proportionately smaller. Think how many mediocre male bass players there are, as opposed to the handful of truly great ones. I think also that girls who play an instrument competently, whether or not they're fantastic at it, get made more of a fuss over than the fellows do("Look! She can play in tune, mostly! Almost as good as a boy!"), especially if they toss on a low-cut blouse and simper a bit. And a lot of girls grab on to that bit of a fuss being made over them, and don't really get around to bettering themselves because of it. Which is kind of lame, but I suppose it's rather a normal human reaction to acceptance and success of any sort.

    One thing that annoys me a bit is the way all female bass players only seem to get compared to other ladies. I always get people asking if I want to be like Charlotte from the Subways, or Kira Roessler, or Melissa Auf Der Maur. Well no, I really don't. They're all very good players (especially Kira!), and I admire their success - but actually, the players who really inspire me are John Entwistle and Mick Karn, and John Cale, and Jack Bruce, etc. Has nothing to do with gender, just musical style and their particular flavours of tone and inspiration. I don't think of myself as a Girl Bass Player, I think of myself as a musician, so it's a bit irksome how often myself and all the other girls who think of themselves as musicians get lumped into one label and thought of as mostly the same.

    Umm... /end rant. I really didn't mean to come out with all of that, but there it is. No offense meant to anyone (especially to girls who play bass in low-cut blouses - I do understand the importance of using any advantages one may have:cool:), it's just a bit of personal opinion!
  17. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt

    Sep 20, 2000
    Endorsing Artist: Kiesel, Carvin, Accuracy, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    That was Tal Wilkenfeld. She's great. Rhonda Smith played with Jeff in Nashville and she smokes as well. Rhonda has played with Sheila E and Prince, among others.
    I personally think that really good female bassists and guitarists have a harder road than either I or my fellow male bassists. One of my students (a very, very talented and attractive young lady) had to leave a tour with a former American Idol finalist after the lunkheads in the band thought they were all Lynrd Skynrd and she should be the resident groupie!:rollno:
    I for one have never been sexually harassed on a gig but I'm willing to bet a lot of women musicians have to put up with this garbage!
    I guess this isn't so different from the attitude I would see in the Sixties and Seventies: "Get a Black Bassist, you know they have better rhythm!" Please!
    It will be really cool when we can totally take Race or Gender off the table and just all be Musicians, IMHO.
  18. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt

    Sep 20, 2000
    Endorsing Artist: Kiesel, Carvin, Accuracy, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    I do have a 15 year old female bass student who can play Donna Lee, Classical Thump, Silly Putty (including Stanley's solo) and most of the Bach Cello Suites and routinely gigs with her Dad in the Family Jazz Trio playing Standards. She can play better than a lot of my college freshmen.
    I think you're right, but it may be that there is the same ratio, just less female bassists. So if you have fewer female bassists and the proportion of good to bad players is the same it will seem like there are less of them.
    Then again, it's like my friend who is a great female drummer calls the "Circus Factor". A certain bandleader calls her for certain gigs primarily because he likes the novelty of a petite, attractive blonde drummer rocking the house! Sometimes my friend finds this annoying, and I do understand that.
  19. omnimutant


    Dec 14, 2009
    I Personally know 4 female bass players and they are all much more talented then me, on a technical level, so I'm not really seeing the point of the OP. I think it's more rare to find females in a band I suppose. However in Bands that I know of or have seen, that have had female members, most have either been singers or Bass players (or both). When I joined my band I actually replaced the Female Bass player. I've rarely seen any female guitar players (who didn't sing), and I personally know only one female drummer.
  20. jbednarski


    May 31, 2010
    Chicago area

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