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Guitar/bass myth

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by The Lone Strang, Mar 17, 2006.

  1. The Lone Strang

    The Lone Strang

    Jun 28, 2005
    Yeah, you have heard it. Guitarist act like anyone who plays a guitar can play the bass, and we are basically wanna-be guitarist who couldn't cut it, so we play bass.

    Well, I have played guitar for over 30 years, and I recently bought a SX jazz clone. I played bass for my local high school's production of Grease. I was a ball, but is was a total different animal than the guitar. I had to be insinc with both the drums and the keyboard. If I am in the pocket, everything is cool and nobody hardly knows I am there, but if I flub up, it is beyond noticable.

    Nope, bass is not a step below the 6 string world. In fact, it is loads of fun, a different animal, and lots more important than I realized before.

    So, all of you bass players, I salute you! You are the foundation of the sound, and I am proud to have joined the ranks of the LOW SIDE!
  2. wdinc01


    Nov 19, 2005
    Jacksonville, FL
    Right on, man! Spread the word!

    But yeah, I think it's easier to play bass then guitar and not the other way around. We can still play our bass lines on guitar, but alot of guitar stuff can't be played on bass. I play both, but I know I'm a bass player because I prefer single notes over chords.
  3. THUMPER73533


    Feb 23, 2006
    i've played bass for 35 years now, also durms (no neal peart though) and i've tried other stringed instruments, but nothing gives me more satisfaction than doing what i was called to do. i'm a bass player HERE ME THUMP!
  4. I've played bits and pieces of everything (I started on the cello aged 5 for heavens sake). For the last decade I mostly played guitar, dabbling now and then with drums and bass (actually, when I was 18 I had visions of becoming a prince-style one-man-in-a-studio type outfit, but I realise now that I'm nowhere near).

    Anyway, I made the bass my main instrument about 4 months ago, and I love it. Thanks to the internet (and TB in particular) I've come to realise that there is more to do with a bass than a guitar, or any other instroment I've ever played for that matter. Finger-style, picks, tapping, slap. I've not even tried the double thump technique or left-hand slapping yet. The bass really allows for innovation like nothing else.

    Sorry, I'm gushing a bit, but that's the passion of a convert for you.

    Rock that Bass!
  5. DaftCat


    Jul 26, 2004
    Medicine Hat
    I also dabbled in different instruments(brass, stringed) but I prefer bass.

    Sometimes I explain to guitar players and people interested in bass overall this explanation of rock trios.

    Think of the band as a letter L.

    At one end of the L is the guitar player, on the other end is the drummer. The bass is at the 90 degree angle.

    The drummer doesn't have to pay much attention to the guitar and the guitar doesn't have to pay much attention to the drums.

    The bass has to coordinate the band. Bass and drum coexists with timing and groove. Bass and guitar coexists with pitch and sometimes timing and groove.

    IMHO, bass can be the busiest part of the band(looking from the forest, not the trees). A singing bass player in a trio has my respect.

    My .02 worth,

  6. I am a bass player in a band that has two guitar players - both play leads/rhythm - so in our band's case they are sort of 'interchangable'. I was the new guy and had to learn the entire show without the benefit of any rehearsals. Rather it was 'trial by fire' - Show up and the gig, play, hope you get it right.

    Now I did ok under these circumstances. I actually am rather proud of the fact that I could do this so don't get me wrong, I am not really complaining. But this is what I learned about the difference between being the bass player and being one of the two guitar players;

    If I miss a cue, a note or fall outta the pocket (heaven forbid), it sticks out like a sore thumb - and I get the instant 'hairy eyeball' from the other band members because of the fact that my part is so fundamental to the solidity of the song. And on the long ride home, if I had 'one of those nights' I got to hear from the guitar players how I need to work on the set, get the songs down better and so on... duh! Any bass player that has made a mistake(s) in the set and did not realize they had some refresher work to do is, well, you fill in the adjective.

    BUT, and with me there is always a 'but'; but I realized after settling in nicely with the band that my fellow guitar players, with all their, "you need to work on those issues" and their hairy eyeballs, make PLENTY OF MISTAKES themselves throughout the night - regularly! The difference is that they can 'cover for each other' - and DO all the time! One decides he needs to wander back to his amp and pop it once or twice to resolve a fuzz issue, so he looks at the other and gives the old, "cover me" nod... there ya go. OR both of 'em are jamming right along, one screws up the part a little, but hey, no big deal, the other had it covered... so these little transgressions go virtually unnoticed, well, by them anyway. It's not that they don't know they made a mistake, rather they choose not to comment on or take issue with a lot of their own 'missed cues' and other 'less then perfect' performances because it has that much less impact on the show as a whole. Hey, if one guitar player breaks a string, does the song come grinding to a halt? No, not at all... He gives the classic, "look at the mess I have to deal with NOW" look and either grabs the back-up axe, continues playing slightly outta tune, broken string afloppin' or stops playing altogeter - but the song goes on.

    And are they right? Absolutely! That is one of the benefits of their dual role in the band. Without them, there would be NO SHOW AT ALL. And believe me, they have an entirely different set of woes to contend with that never touch me.

    It does not bother me at all... anymore... it made me work that much harder to get my end covered. Cuz if I don't do it, who will?

    And I LOVE playing with my guitar players! There is a double-standard that exists in our world - and it exists for a reason. No one is better or worse then the other, but our roles in the band cannot be evaluated by the same set of rules.
  7. whitedk57


    May 5, 2005
    Franklin, NC
    Yeah, what Tzer said...
  8. puff father

    puff father Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2006
    Endicott, NY
    I have two good friends that are two of the most gifted guitar players I know. One is the most well rounded player, the other is a terrific lead player. Neither of them display the familiar ego issues we've all seen in those that can play well (or at least think they can).

    The well rounded one would like to try some bass sometime but admits it would take some practice to learn the feel, the lead player recognizes the difference in aproach there is in playing bass and acknowledges this difference also. It's pretty easy to discern a "guitar player" playing bass as opposed to a bass player.

    One the other hand, another local guitar "hero" told me once that he's never been impressed by any bass player. My take on that is: he has technical chops but is lacking in the musicianship area.

    As has been said here already, the bass part may be simple or not, but it is essential for the overall sound. Most of the time I feel that I'm doing my job if the listener iisn't really aware of me and what I'm doing (support), but if I drop out it's really noticeable. Also I love the fact that, for me, bass is a back line instrument so I'm not in the spotlight, yet I have virtually total control over the feel and even direction of a particular song! Nobody knows you're there yet you have the power! Bass is sooo cool! :bassist:
  9. Wow. It is SOO fu**in nice to hear (read) that from a guitar player. You are literally the ONLY guitarist I've ever met or heard of that knows what he's talking about (no offence to your brethren).
  10. Bigger

    Bigger Banned

    Oct 18, 2005

    i never did quite understand the analogy that the bass was NEEDED to keep the guitar and drums in tempo. its not really true. its a fluff yes but not NEEDED. their seem to be quite a few bands coming out (local and other) that dont have bassists. mainly because its a rareity to find one more and mroe. i also have played guitar with a drummer and no bassist and it sounds fine. the fact is a guitarist has to stay in time jsut as much as anyone else or eveyone sounds like crap. also i have played bass and totally "F" ed up and no one has noticed but played guitar and "F" ed up and everyones face will cringe. and yes most guitarist can and have douibled as bassists at one point. but its very less likely to find the alter of that arrangement. yes im sure it happens but it is less likeley.

    this is just to show that most of these bassist purpose lines are just myths and not serious thruths.
  11. One of my guitarists recently referred to me as the best bass player in the world. Not an accurate statement, but nice to hear. He has also made nice comments about certain fills I play in our songs. What a guy.
  12. flatwoundfender


    Feb 24, 2005
    Music generally requires some equivalent of a bassline. It might be played on an organ(Jimmy Smith), or via rhythm guitar like on some old blues. The best thing for this though is a bass. Most guitar players who double on bass end up playing to much or ignoring the groove. While this is not true for all guitarist/bass players, it's generally true for the guys who say bass is easy. Plus hand them an upright, or an electric with heavy gauge strings and high action and they'll be in pain.
  13. Bigger

    Bigger Banned

    Oct 18, 2005

    So then they won’t play on an upright or heavy gauge bass. They can play a medium gauge and set the amp different. Most audiences wouldn’t notice. And should you want to play more? I realize knowing when and not to play is a big thing but I think bassist should start playing more and standing out (if they want some credit and not the stereotype bass is easy and a monkey could be taught to play). That’s why guitarists get the glory and fame because what they do LOOKS technical and savvy. Bass looks lazy and frumpy. Plus so many bass players sound the same now a days. Just root notes behind guitar chords. Very few bassists do ANYTHING different. I suppose this is why I see so many of them just sitting in the back playing and looking at the ceiling.

    Look I do like bass, it’s a neat instrument to goof on, but as far as importance "TO AN AUDIANCE"; its just not. Like you said you could slap an organ, a keyboard, hell I’ve I’m seeing so many local bands with pre recorded bass tracks from their guitarist or keyboardist while they play too. That’s impressive. Unless popular bands bass players start playing more and standing out more instead of the few that think "oh if I just jump around like I’m on caffeine ill get noticed" bass will NEVER have the notoriety, respect, or credit ANY other instrument will.

    One of the best bassist quotes I’ve ever heard was on a radio interview with 311.
    Singer: “Yeah I have this little island I throw parties on all the time.
    DJ: What about you P-Nut? Do you have an island?
    P-Nut: “Hell no I have bassist money not Singer and Guitarist money.”

    But rock on either way.
  14. d8g3jdh

    d8g3jdh Guest

    Aug 9, 2005
    Before the rage sets in, could everyone stop and think for a moment. Bigger has come on to a bass forum and has devalued the role of bass in a band setting. In an alternate thread, he called all bassists "failed guitarists". In this thread he has not only made a direct comparison between 2 different instruments, but has called the bass the worser of the two. All of this is being done on a bass forum. He is also saying that no one notices the bass. He is also whitewashing the music of todaywhen in fact there are many bassists with great talent, you just have to dig a little. He is also oblivious to the concept of playing an instrument for more than money. All of this on a bass forum.

    In summary, Please do not feed the trolls.

  15. Bigger

    Bigger Banned

    Oct 18, 2005
    wow dont you get offended easily. i dont post anything unless it pertains to the original thread. its on topic and i cant help if people get offended.

    im not trying to actually be mean, just giving the poitn of veiw i and the people i know have.

    yeah i made a thread a LOOOOOOOOOOONG time ago about guitar and bass (somehow bass being considered lower than) but that was off another thread and i also stated in the new thread.

    im not directly trying to insult anyone. if anything im trying to help by saying bassists dont do enough and or stand out enough. yeah you could be talented but if your not standing out in a band then your the easiest to get rid of. guitarists just have it easier to be noticed so they have a one up already.

    look at "the darkness" who recently fired their bass player. im sure if he was more popular and stood out more and was an audience grabber they couldnt have just let him go. where will he go now. probably just fade away into the pool of empty strving artists or working at a dairy queen. he was decent but because he was not popular he will probably never reappear.
  16. d8g3jdh

    d8g3jdh Guest

    Aug 9, 2005
    If this is the case then you aren't really a troll. But you are phrasing your posts in a trollish way. And if this is your point of view, why do you play bass and not guitar? And if you do in fact play guitar and not bass (or both), why are you on a bass site and not a guitar site? I'm sure UG would accept you as one of their own in no time, whereas here the outcome is destined to be undesirable.

    Edit: Nope, you're a troll after all. :)

  17. Yeah man, you got the right Idea. Hey , while we're at it, lets get rid of all instruments that don't play in the treble clef! We'll do away entirely with the bass clef and just play upper octave, annoying **** ! Everyone will love that.
    I'm tellin you bro, we're gonna be rich with this idea. Matter of fact, We're only gonna get Bigger! Oh lord I just made a pun.....somebody kill me!

    With my good looks and your bad grammar......we can't go wrong!
  18. Bass and guitar are simply different instruments that do different things. I've played bass for coming on 30 years and I am still exploring and learning new things about how to work with the instrument in a variety of ways. Aside from using one to improve my bass playing by relating to chords a bit more or to learn how to think more like a lead guitarist (to be able to harmonize with solos from my guitar player), I have no interest in playing guitar - I'm having too much fun with bass!

    By the way, in all of the time I've been playing I have never been called a "failed guitarist" or had anything other than respect from my bandmates (and others) for playing bass. This competition thing is just a tempest in a teacup. Let's talk about more interesting things.
  19. d8g3jdh

    d8g3jdh Guest

    Aug 9, 2005
    Nevermind what I said about you not being a troll, you most certainly are.

    I could do this with some of your other posts, to really show your desire to not contribute and merely antagonize the others on this board, but I think this post effectively sums things up.

    Actually, just to drive the nail in:

    You are not a bassist, this much is clear. You are not contributing or helping, that much is also clear. Why are you here?
  20. You're definitely in the wrong forum to be making fun of bass players. Not only are we pretty proud of our chosen instrument, but many of us here have the music background to prove your arguments into the ground. So, please, stop trying. Lets remember why we are here, to celebrate The Lone Strang transforming into a bass player!! Hooray!!:hyper:

    And, if you don't completely make the transition, this enlightenment will help your understanding of music in your band.

    Rock on

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