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How good do you have to be to be in a band

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by trust24, Dec 16, 2008.

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  1. trust24


    Nov 4, 2008
    Ive noticed that when looking at bass tabs by bands like oasis etc they generally just use root notes and the bass lines are very boring. Is this because they are best suited to them sort of songs or is it because the bassist isnt very good
  2. i think it is safe to say that the "simple" bass lines you are referring to, are not played because of limited ability, more likely - an ability to "simply" play what is needed.
  3. Asking this question means you are not good enough to be in a band. Give up now.
  4. Calebmundy


    Apr 5, 2007
    Well it could be both, but you can probably bet that someone with a major-label debut has plenty of experience at least at playing the kind of music that they play (notable exception being the 2nd and-I believe-current bass player for Travis, who was only on the instrument for a couple of weeks). A lot of what you see if also probably producers asking the players to back off the notes. From a pop perspective, the less-is-more is generally the mature experienced way to do. There are lots of delicious exceptions.

    "Good enough to be in a band" doesn't really need to be very good at all. If you're making a sound that works for the other players, then you are good enough to be in that band.
    tunejunkE likes this.
  5. Vakmere


    Sep 6, 2007
    I dont understand the question....
  6. TrevorOfDoom


    Jun 17, 2007
    Austin, TX
    i'd have to counter the idea that these simple basslines are best for the song. sometimes yes, sometimes no.
    i have a theory about the way that music has evolved that essentially maintains that every stringed instrument now plays the bass role, so that all a bassist is allowed to do to stay out of the way, is play super simple, boring lines.
    to back up my claim, look at the role of lead guitarist.
    in the 60's and 70's, a good lead guitarist was melodic and lyrical with his lines, creating a new melody, or taking the established melody in a different direction.
    they had skill and talent.
    today's lead guitarists all want to be The Edge. just play arpeggiations of the chord progression, rarely do they have a discernable melody, and never are they lyrical.
    in fact, the arpeggiations they do used to be a trick of the bassist to take up room while the lead was soloing.
    now, it's all rhythm, with very little melody.
    yes, i'm biased, but if you listen for it, you'll hear it too, and it will piss you off.
    jimi66 likes this.

  7. hahaha

    i agree, but don't give up... listen to great songs and what the bassist is playing.. then decide if it suits the song, if so then it is good... you only need enough technique to convey your creative ideas... and that's different for everyone.

    hello, fellow Toronto bass player!
  8. trevor - "never" is a dangerous word.
    TrevorOfDoom likes this.
  9. Toshiro


    Jul 21, 2004
    It completely depends on the song. For Oasis, to use OP's example, the songs don't really lend themselves as much to
    busy bass parts.

    You could have stopped at "yes, I'm biased". :D

    There are plenty of new-ish bands who's bass players play lots more than root notes. For example, I really like what the guy in Kaiser Chiefs play.
  10. Kings of Leon is another great band with a bass player that doesn't mind tryng new things..not flashy, but unique and song-oriented
  11. kraigo


    Jun 21, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    There are no small parts, only small actors. A simple line played with strength and a supple groove is a very elusive thing. Take a deep breath, play it perfectly for the duration of the song. No bum notes. Dynamics and placement just right on each note with the right mental attitude and intensity all the way. That's not easy to do.

    instrumentalist and dragon68 like this.
  12. also, you shouldn't have to look at bass tabs to hear what a bass player is doing.

    sorry, that's my teacher side showing!
  13. Surly


    Feb 2, 2007
    South Florida
    I agree. I think creative simple grooves sound better. Think of the stuff that's fun to jam. Like Rage Against the Machine, Helmet, or many punk bands. I don't like progressive rock or metal. Tone is all opinion, of course.
  14. kenlacam


    Nov 8, 2005
    akron, ohio
    I wouldn't say give up, either, but I agree with the sentiment.
    Maybe get some lessons.
  15. trust24


    Nov 4, 2008
    Im not very good i know that, Ive only been playing a few months. I see what you mean though, it probabaly wouldnt sound right having a band like oasis with a bassist like john entwhistle
  16. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2008
    Hillsdale, Portland
    You have to as good as the band. You start where you start. Getting everyone on the same page is the hard part: professionalism; musicianship; ego checks. It's all about just trying to get better (Pat Methene, jazz guy, has a documentary film out entitled "Just trying to get good").
  17. Swerve


    Nov 22, 2002
    Just keep practicing and find some people to "jam" with who are better than you. I played in my first band after 8 months on the bass and those guys were WAY better players but I grew and learned much faster that way. Learn the notes and basic scales. Play along to your favorite songs.

    Most importantly HAVE FUN!
  18. trust24


    Nov 4, 2008
    Yeah i have a couple of friends that play guitar that i jam with somtimes, the biggest problem i have is when im at home on my own i can sit there and play along with a few songs etc but as soon as i jam with my friends all of it goes out the window and i keep messing up stuff and loosing my place ect
  19. davecanady

    davecanady Guest

    Aug 24, 2008
    Are you playing as part of the percussion section (Metalica), the rhythm section (Chili Pepers) or both (Sublime, Led Zep)

    Any bass player is going to track the root chords, but like any good drummer, what you do with the fills can make a big difference. Less is better. Stay on beat with the drummer and avoided much of the rhythm guitar's syncopation.

    When it comes to the bottom end, start simple. A lot of your notes get found hanging out with the kick drum.

    As you grow in skill, you will do songs that track with the lead guitar. Listen to Sitting with the Dogs by Jimmie's Chicken Shack. Or, just track root cords but in a really great way...Cake's version of I Will Survive. There is a ton of room for expression using the bass.
  20. Flintlock


    Jul 3, 2007
    I think I've heard Oasis play My Generation, the bass player nailed the solo.

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