How not to become an unnoticeable bassist.

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by thewildest, Jun 30, 2020.

  1. thewildest


    May 25, 2011
    Florida, USA
    I am also someone that refuses to “Play in the Pocket” or “blend with the background” .... don’t even know what that means but this guy.... this guy is my hero.

    Be the bass. Take no prisoners.
  2. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    I try to keep the energy up at gigs, move around, smile. When there's room I might show off, when there's not, I don't. I might get noticed, but if I do I'm pretty confident it will be for the right reasons ;)

    (Oh, and I refuse to NOT play in the pocket :smug:)
    bassbooty, dpaul, TrevorR and 3 others like this.
  3. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    The guy is famous, I think he's in Brazil.


    I trip out when folks say they idolize the bass player in some bands, because I look at their arrangements & their lack of anything special & just wonder what the Hell sometimes.
    I guess what I'm saying is, even the most unremarkable players aren't "unnoticeable bassists" once the band has a large fanbase.

    I don't DARE mention who I'm commenting about, because their fans would attack.

    I really really hate it when people record with their phone in portrait!
  4. Want to be noticeable? Move. Groove. Enjoy the precious gift you have that is bringing music to other people. At LEAST - Look like you are having fun. Spend HOURS on being able to play without staring at the fretboard. Sing. Sing backups. Sing leads. Interact!!! Smile at people and talk to them. Say Thank You. When (not if) you hit a wrong note - own it, don’t scowl and shake your head...Have Fun!! If you park yourself in back by the drummer and act like a statue - you will blend in. You will go unnoticed. I’m FAR from great - but by being on the front line, belting out backing and lead vocals, and interacting with the audience - people are aware that I exist.
  5. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Playing in the pocket and blending into the background are two completely different things. If you can't (or refuse to) play in the pocket, you had better find yourself some very experimental music. All the greats play/played in the pocket. It doesn't matter what genre they play/played. Refusing to do so is ridiculous. I don't think you know what the term means.

    Verdine White (as just one example) is an incredible showman who created interesting and melodic bass lines ..... who also plays in the pocket.
    PillO, OogieWaWa, dbsfgyd1 and 8 others like this.
  6. Us mediocre bass players are still important! In the pocket or out, whatever. As a former mediocre drummer I am aware and understand tempo and breaks. I take the original version of all the songs we play and keep close to that groove, but add what's needed to fill some empty spaces during solos and such.

    Despite the limitations we sometimes have to overcome as a 3 pc I love the fact that all 3 of us sing and are vital to the overall sound of the group. We set up pretty much in a straight line with no one really in the "back." No one is more important than the others, we all have a place.

    I know what I play is important in this group, that's enough for me. And I love it.
    rzamites, BassikBrad, J_Bass and 4 others like this.
  7. Jakeman

    Jakeman Swamp Thing Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2006
    New Orleans, LA
    I've found a happy medium. I like being in the back next to the drummer, but am by no means a background player. I prefer to sit on a stool on a second drum riser. I sit down to play due to back problems, but I find that sitting on a riser keeps me at eye level with the other players and more engaged in the stage happenings. It also allows the audience to see what I'm doing, similar to what a riser does for drummers. I'm sure I go unnoticed by the majority of the audience, but there are some folks that give me curious looks that say "what's that guy doing back there?".
    2playbass and WI Short Scaler like this.
  8. This is the same theory we use with our lead singer/cajon player, a riser doesn't have to be huge but it gets her to eye level. Anyway, this was the theory we used when we first used it with our former singer. But he still ended up quitting and told us it was because there wasn't enough focus on him, he was the real talent after all. And he added we'd never be able to replace him. How wrong he was!

    But the risers are great, good to hear it works for you too.
    Randy Ward and Jakeman like this.
  9. bassdude51

    bassdude51 "You never even called me by my name." Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    Wear something "catchy" on stage!


  10. HardNHeavy


    Apr 17, 2014
    lol seen that guy on a fb bass page.i crack up every time.....he's a good player too
  11. I get the sentiment, and I generally agree. And I understand that Junior is a known showman...


    The bass was way too loud in that recording. You could barely hear the singer. It is really weird to see myself type that, because I get being inaudible in a band setting. But I could only take so much of that YouTube video. Too much of a good thing can become a bad thing...
    OogieWaWa and BassikBrad like this.
  12. callofcthulhu


    Oct 16, 2012
    I apologize on behalf of the wet blankets trying to turn your poopiepost into their own personal soapbox.

    This guy is also my hero, thanks for sharing.
    red_rhino and roborend like this.
  13. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Inactive

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    I think I'd rather not be noticed than to be noticed by being an idiot.
    bolophonic, Nashrakh, Ghook and 7 others like this.
  14. scuzzy


    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    I wish I could dance while playing, but alas.....

    If folks enjoy the music and I go unnoticed, I'm good.
    2playbass likes this.
  15. Matty Koff

    Matty Koff Inactive

    Aug 21, 2014
    Dude straight dancing like he doesn't give a :poop:. Lol. I'ma have to give him kudos.
    JRA likes this.
  16. This ^^^^
    Don't get me started! 'Nuff said. :rage: :mad: :rage: :mad: :rage:
  17. Raw N Low

    Raw N Low If I can't hear it, hopefully I'll feel it Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2009
    Denver, Colorado
    Within context -- you can't be a triad bassist playing lead salsa with a keyboard player as your wingman. Ain't gonna happen. Much like Neo-Soul and classic R&B, you better have the chops if you're going to lead.

    Some genres of music DEMANDS a bassist who's not only solid but one that can lead with conviction while holding down the bottom. The guy in the video is responsible for the melody, turnarounds, breaks, rolls, and everything else. The keyboard player is pretty much keeping the fill/rhythm the bassist would normally be responsible for.
  18. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    I "dance" plenty when I'm into the Music.
    I might look like Elaine, but I'm getting some exercise:


    Many will say Death-Metal isn't Rock & Roll, because there's no backbeat, but yesterday I was "dancing" my arse off while playing some Celtic Frost!


    This is why I take it so personally when gigging players look down their nose & comment that a non-gigging player doesn't need to worry about a strap slipping off!
    J_Bass, ObsessiveArcher and JRA like this.
  19. Meh. Overplaying is poor musicianship, and so is trying to get all the attention when the genre calls for a focus on vocals, for example.

    Sure, sneak in a couple of short fills here and there, and take a solo when it's your turn. In most musical genres though, the vast majority of the time (as in nearly 100% of the time) your job is to keep the groove going (aka "playing in the pocket"). If you keep s***ting all over everyone's sonic space, band leaders aren't going to call you back. If you're not a team player, chances are you picked the wrong instrument.

  20. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Nothing wrong with tearing up a bass once in a while. He looks like he's having a ball. That's what it's about.

    Also, maybe more importantly, if the singer is gonna wear a stupid track suit someone has to carry the team!