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Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Samelot, Jan 7, 2006.

  1. Samelot


    Jun 23, 2005
    HOw do most bass players get big. Do they need to be able to make funky tunes, or do they need to be fast? I wanna know how the big shots got to where they are now.
  2. Minger


    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY

    Don't let your pride get in the way of you getting better.

    If you do, then become a guitarist.

    Finefine, I'll answer: Compliment a song in every way possible with loads of rhythem, and people will notice you more than the guitarist.
  3. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    I would say that 90% is pure luck.

    You still need to practice and develop your skills, you must network, learn good people skills, swallow any and all ego, and just never quit. Then you might have a better chance!
  4. +1!
  5. ras1983


    Dec 28, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    its all about WHO you know in the music industry. heck, its like that in every work sector these days.
  6. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    If by "big" you mean famous and sought after, well known and rich, I 'd say start as young as possible. Learn your instrument inside and out. Play in bands as soon as you can get in one.

    Take any gig that comes your way, church, weddings, car shows, local stage productions, etc. This may require that you read music. It may require at least some classes with ateacher to evaluate your skill set and help you kick it up a notch. You may have to play styles of music you don't particularly like.

    Be willing to learn from criticism. If you frequently hear that you "overplay" or that your timing is off, correct the deficiency.

    Network. Advertise yoru availability to other musicians. Be willing to travel to play even to other cities, states or countries. Be willing to play any day of the week, any time of the year.

    Be willing to sacrifice to buy professional quality equipment. Be able to transport it.

    There is another way...the lucky jackpot way. Somehow get yourself in a band that proves to be amazingly popular. Think Hootie and the Blowfish, for example, or Greenday or Nickleback, Metallica, System of a Down or Creed.

    These bands may not continue to be popular and some haven't, but just by virtue of being in a band that strikes it big globally, you can establish your credentials. How likely is that to happen to any bassist? Highly unlikely. However, it's tough work, but someone has to do it. Why not you?
  7. Earthday


    Sep 22, 2005
    New Hampshire
    With bassists its really just luck. Unless you're a prodigy, the only way you're gonna get big is to get a ride from a guitarist or singer.

    That's just the way it is. Think of all the "big" bands you can. Its amazing that I've played about 3 years, am 18 years old, and am far superior of a writer and player to many of them, and I dont even consider myself good.

    Think about how many bassists the general public knows... Les Claypool and Flea are almost the only ones the average person will know. Les is obviously a prodigy, and Flea is possibly the greatest rock bassline writer ever.
  8. Murf


    Mar 28, 2001

    At the end of the day its down to luck..(look at 90% of top 10 acts to-day..most of the time the bassist couldnt play their way out of a paper bag and more often than not a session bassist has played the parts anyway...seriously, no-one is listening to the bassist..they're just "there"..(no record label is going to sign a band because the bassist is fantastic...sorry, just dosent happen)

    The problem with "taking any gig that comes " (covers/wedding bands etc) is that there's an inherrent snobbery in the music biz which actually looks down on this..so, if you take any gig going (for experience...and believe me its the best experience you'll ever get)..for the love of God dont have it on your resume/cv.

    The music industry has absolutely nothing to do with talent...image is the key.

    (unless you want to be a session bassist and have the best of both worlds ;) ..then you need skills..sight reading, theory, technique etc.
  9. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000

  10. The Clap

    The Clap

    Jan 5, 2004
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Zing! That's what I thought this thread was about at first too...
  11. Minger


    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    Oh yeah, you may want to play lines and sing at the same time like Geddy...

    I still want to listen to Rush but its jsut not my thing, so I'm like :spit:

    I should just suck it in and listen.
  12. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Here's how a musician gets big, no matter what his instrument is...you pay $3 million to radio stations to get them to play your music.

    Getting big is a sham...all the music you hear on the radio is bought and paid for. Metallica, who arguably did their best work long before they ever got a major label deal, got huge because Elektra decided they were worth dumping money into paying off radio stations. They developed a huge grass roots following for 10 years, but it never got them to superstardom until they paid off radio stations to play their music.
  13. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    Okay, since you single out "bass players," that implies to me session/freelance live stuff. Rules of thumb for playing and technique:

    DON'T EVER OVERPLAY. Playing fast does not mean you're playing well.

    Get your rhythm down. Make sure you can get in the pocket every time.

    Learn as much harmony as you can (this means play jazz, and be good at it). Become a good reader.

    People skills. Be a nice, coureous person, make those contacts, make sure people know who you are.

    As for getting into the business, I'm still in the process of getting my foot in the door at Berklee. I'd say if you want to make it as a session guy, hang around studios, volunteer to do janitorial work or something for free. You might just find an opportunity to touch a bass, which might just lead to someone hearing you, which may possibly lead to someone wanting you to play on their record or their tour. Just make sure you have your sh!t together first.

    There's probably a lot more people here who have more first-hand experience. I'm mainly going by what I see where I am.
  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Definitely not "fast"!!

    So there was a good article in Bass Player magazine, where they were talking to a big-name producer who worked in Nashville and who hired session musicians all the time.

    He said :

    "I don't hire bass players to play fast ...I hire them to read fast!! "

    So, the point he was making was that if you can see a piece of sheet music once and play it perfectly straight away - then you'll always get work as a session player.
  15. theshadow2001


    Jun 17, 2004
    If any one of us could truly answer this question they would probably be a millionaire by now