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Help me explain bass to my arrogant guitar friend

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Broach_insound, May 22, 2005.

  1. Broach_insound


    Jan 25, 2005
    New York
    Well me and my guitar friend got into a little discussion about bass and he says "The bassist isnt an essential piece to a band" and that a second guitarist can do the job of a bassist" and that their really is no need for a bassist. I think it really says alot about his knowledge of music and was said in very poor taste. It got me very angry and I tried telling him that "It keeps the song together" and "holds the rhythm" and stuff but I really had a hard time explaining the "job of the bassist' So what I ask of you is to help me explain the job of the bassist and also that a rhythm guitarist cant make up for a bassist. I just really wanna put him in his place :bassist:

    Thanx alot guys
  2. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Dont waste your time on him. if he doesnt understand now, he wont ever.
  3. Well, for one thing, Parliament/Funkadelic would have sucked *** if they just had a rhythm guitarist.
  4. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.
    Some people want to say things like this, I think because they must be lonely, or bored, and want to say something to shock you and get a reaction. Ignore it, and he'll try to say something else to shock you. He just may not have anything real or meaningful to say otherwise. Explain this to him, and he'll get pretty upset, though.

    Or, you could just tell him that bass players are there to:

    a) make the ladies shake what they've got
    b) make guitar players look good (and they need lots of help)
    c) make people lose bowel control at the 'brown' frequency, which guitars don't have

    etc, etc, etc... People who say idiot things like this should just be ignored until they learn better.
  5. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    let me guess, he's a metal or punk guy? Some non dynamic, not technical music he is right.... 3 or 4 guys chugging along in unison, the bass can fall off the stage and it will continue on.

    Don't waste your breath. IMHO if his mind is that closed to different styles, leave him in his little world.
  6. don't be angry, he's just ignorant. arguing with an idiot makes it difficult for people to tell you apart.

    Just for sake of argument; you could say that bass is no more essential than drums, or guitar, or keyboards...it just depends on the style of music and the other instrumentation.

    But in reality, bass is probably the most common instrument across all styles of modern music; rock, blues, jazz, R&B, hip-hop, rap, bluegrass, country, folk, mariachi, et al. you can find lots of examples without guitar, drums or keyboards.

    So, ask him to list 10 songs without guitar, 10 songs without drums, 10 songs without keyboards and finally, 10 songs without bass. It might open up his eyes.
  7. Although I hate the "us bassplayers vs. the guitar players" type crap, if you feel you need to teach him... stop playing.
  8. discoboo


    Dec 25, 2002
    charleston, sc
    i say quit the band and then he will see how unimportant you were.
  9. AuG


    May 22, 2005
    Fort Collins, CO
    U think Larry Graham was important to his band when he developed slapping because they didn't have a drummer? U should quit that band, or at least tell your guitar player friend to just play on the b and e strings of his guitar cause you got E, A, D, and G covered. :bassist:

  10. christle


    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    I did that once. At the end of the sing the guitarist said "That didn't sound right". I answered "Yeah, I stopped playing...". He got the point.
  11. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    Unless you're trying to re-invent Jon Spencer Blues Explosion or The Doors (pointless effort), any modern music band sounds like crappy AM radio without a bass, period!

    HOW BOLD IS IGNORANCE!!!! Don't even waste your valuable time trying to teach nothing to him. Just tell him to fu*k off!

  12. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    :) Thanks. I'm stealin that one.

    I agree. The best defense to a statement like your friends is to smile and say, "ok".
  13. ras1983


    Dec 28, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    i don't know what sort of guitarists many of tbe'rs know, but they don't seem like guitarists. i got my first bass second from a guitarist friend. every guitarist i personally have the previlage of knowing can play bass to a certain extent. every guitarist i know have heard of and admire geddy lee, chris squire, john entwistle; etc; etc;.

    maybe that's the problem these day's; i couldnt tell you a single bass player from any rock band today (except robert trujillo, as he is mentioned many times on this forum).

    if your friend was really a guitarist, he would understancd that rock'n roll (assuming thats the style he plays) was at its peak in the 1970's, and he would be worshipping the guitarists from that era. Ask him if he has heard of The Who, if his response is "Who?" you need to get another guitarist.
  14. BassGod


    Jan 21, 2004
    metal = non-technical? :meh:

    But anyway, I've been lucky enough to work with musicians who don't have this ignorant point of view about the bass. I would just ignore what your friend is saying, as it's probably not worth your time to 'put him in his place', IMO.

  15. DougP


    Sep 4, 2001
    Never argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.
  16. Sad really. I don't care what instrument this guy plays or busts on. He is ignorant. I never cared for a banjo until I heard one used on Dave Mathews. Same for mandolins and any other instrument I have ever heard. They all have their place in music. And in regards to bass? ***? Does this guy worship the White Stripes? Not dissin' on those guys but I can't think of a style/genre of music that does not have a bass instrument. Jazz, blues, rock, funk, Classical, and any electronic music. Where has that guy been? That's like saying tires aren't needed on your car. I guess you could drive it on the rims but you are going to get laughed at and it won't work very well!

    Oh well... it's people like that that make the rest of us look like rocket scientists!
  17. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    the only thing that guy needs to understand about bass guitar is how embarrassed he's gonna be in the emergency room at 4 AM when the proctologist is trying to remove it.
  18. Suckbird

    Suckbird Banned

    May 4, 2004
    The bass is there to make a song flow, what instrument else will make the stage thunder? The bass drum or what?

    by the way, i dont remember the name of the band wih 3 bassist that usually is posted here, i think a bass can do the rhythm guitarist job better than a rhythm guitarist could do the bass job..

    i mean, how could a instrument tuned one octave higher do the same work?

    Music without bass = thin


    Jan 25, 2005
    Des Moines, IA
    OMG!!! No Bootsy = No boo - taY!!!
  20. DemoEtc


    Aug 18, 2004
    Elliot, I notice you're in 2 different ensembles: Broach_insound and Mud Cannon; is this guitar guy from one of those, or some other band?

    Anyhow, in a way, for certain types of groups, he's right, but he's right in probably ways he wouldnl't want to hear. If you bring the rhythm guy into the equation, whether your friend likes it or not, it can make the lead guitar's position unnecessary too.

    Depending on how good the guy is and again, what the group is like and what it's for. For backing someone up, a good rhythm guy can do the trick, doing chords and basslines at the same time (which, well I wasn't going to mention it, but your guitar friend probably has enough of a time of it trying to play the leads correctly, let alone trying to think polyphonically). If it's a band trying to sound like a band, the bass role is no less important than any - if you're doing covers and whatnot. I mean, if the bass in on the recording, you need a bassist.

    Still trying to figure the guy's motives...really silly stuff if taken the wrong way.

    As far as other types of ensembles, there's lots of weird combinations (or we would think them weird) in jazz circles. Like singer-drums-sax, or drums-vibes-flute, and on and on. There's even lots of string quartets and stuff that don't 'actually' have a bass viol in them; the bass part is normally done on the cello. So that's the thing really - which ever instrument (or instrumental arragement) there is, there's always a low part somewhere and it doesn't matter which instrument plays it.

    You quote your friend as saying 'bassists' are not essential, and in a way they aren't. But then you have to place it against the background of 'what style of music' it is.

    He isn't into trying to transcribe string quartets or something, is he?

    Anyhow, so is he in one of your bands or is he maybe trying to justify something in his own mind? Still can't figure the attitude and statements he made.

    Maybe he's just being contrary for the sake of argument?

    ...hmmmm...sounds like something someone would say who is in second semester theory or something. Hehehe, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing :)

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