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How do you decide.....

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Smurf, Mar 24, 2004.

  1. Smurf


    Dec 27, 2003
    Hello Folks,
    I have been out reading around on the web, and have a question. What makes you decided who is a great player? I mean, is it the choice of notes and placement, or is it stage presence? Is it WHO he plays with, or if he does clinics? A lot of what I found states something like this....."I just seen (so & so ) and he/she was so great!"..."He put on a great show"....."I seen him at a clinic, and he was great", with no mention of what recordings and/or bands he/she played with,etc. But out of most of the posts I have read on the web hardly anyone mentions style, lines, etc., which leads me to believe that alot of people just go for the "look" and don't give that much thought to the work that has gone into the creation of the bass part. Not trying to start any wars, just asking. Looking forward to reply's.. :)
  2. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    It's like that oh-so-famous Supreme Court quote about pornography, "...I can't define it, but I know it when I see it." (Or something rather close to that.)

    And thus is art, and by extension, the bassist.
  3. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    This is a good thread IMO. A lot of it can be measured by musical intelligence/education, but a lot of it is also subjective as well IMO.
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    It depends on who you are talking about - on here we have had several discussions about Jaco's innovations in technique - like artificial harmonics using the thumb, mixture of harmonics and plucked notes forming chords in Portrait of Tracy, as well as of his 16th note grooves and fingerstyle funk! Not to mention his great compositional skills in tunes like 3 Views of a Secret etc.....

    I've been involved in many discussions like this about Jazz bassists - but it may be harder for people to pin down why you like somebody's style if it isn't a clear matter of technical or theoretical innovations.

    It's then, just down to personal preference.
  5. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    This is a much more eloquent way of saying exactly what I said, or meant anyway.
  6. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Yeah, and it also depends on what people are "listening for", or "looking for". As a musician, I always listen for the bass player's groove, that's the number one thing. A good groove is worth everything else put together.

    Then, I can sometimes be pleasantly influenced by melodic and/or technical capability, but not at the expense of the groove. I like good tone too, I'm one of those rare people (it seems) that actually "notice" the bass player's tone.

    And finally, I appreciate a good showman. Vic Wooten is great that way, he's the only guy I know who can hold down a gnarly slap groove, while tossing his bass 'round and 'round his body with his hip, while kicking his hat up off the ground with his foot (and catching it on his head).
  7. I think that, for me, there are two types of bass players that I dig - the ones who will make your jaw hit the floor, and the ones who play the best line for the situation. My music tastes generally mean that both of those can't occur simultaneously. However, the exceptions to that rule are the bass players that I admire most: eg. Ryan Martinie and Les Claypool.

    Of course, its impossible to not admire people like Vic Wooten who are just supreme. However, I consider myself more gob-smacked by Vic and co. than I do a fan.

  8. odie

    odie Supporting Member

  9. Anyone that can make money from their craft is good in my eyes. someone obviously thinks they are good if they are getting paid right? being very general here... Thats why I dont bag big recording band bassists, because they are there and I am here, and they are getting paid well so they must be doing something right to someone?

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