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I'm "just" the bass player...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Cristo, Mar 6, 2006.

  1. I've heard people say that before, or read it in print.

    I think that sort of self-deprecating, almost self-demeaning attitude is somewhat upsetting. It is a disservice to the greatness that is bass, in my view.

    I don't think the bass is, or should be, the focal point of music from the point of view the listener. I'm not looking to be in the spotlight all the time by any means.

    However, when I hear or read things like "I'm just the bass player," it just disappoints me. I think it leads to a self perpetuating cycle of belief that bass is somehow a second class instrument, played by "failed" guitar players.

    I'm "just" the bass player...

    Your opinions?
  2. This can be a useful tool when confronted by an audience
    member that wants to talk your ear off, or ask too many
    questions, or just in general be bothersome. I've said it before
    to shrug off unwanted attention, or to pass someone off to
    the "leader" for more info. There is some comfort in annonimity.

    We all get our "moment to shine". It's nice to be able to
    step off to the side when you want to.
  3. Helstar


    Nov 26, 2005
    I just tell people that I am just the guy that the band lets hold a bass up on stage
  4. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    I love being just the bass player. It comes in handy at times.
    When the bar owner comes up to me and wants to know when we are going to start the next set I can tell him "I don't know man, I'm just the bass player".
  5. Bassic83


    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    I usually tell them "I'm just the flute player." Gets a puzzled look every time. Either that or when people come up to me and ask "Are you the bass player?" I tell them "No, I play the kazoo."
  6. DaveDeVille

    DaveDeVille ... you talkin' to me ?? Supporting Member

    i confess , i've used that phrase before ...

    most of the time , in jest to other bass players , who
    seem to understand and get a laugh out of it ... :D

    don't take life so seriously dude ,
    you gotta learn to be self-depreciating sometimes .

    a little humor can go a long way when dealing with people ...

    EDIT :
    BTW , i don't think of bass players { bassists} as second class in any way , shape or form ...
    so don't give me that look .
  7. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Reminds me of the title of an Elton John album ... "Don't Shoot Me, I'm Just the Bass Player."

    It would be excusable under certain circumstances.
  8. I am pretty self-deprecating, how else could I put up with being the bass player? :)

    Try googling this quote - there are about 1400 instances of "I'm just the bass player."

    Certainly many of those are repetitions - the point is, why is this attitude so pervasive? What is the deal with this "I don't matter, I'm not important, nobody listens, etc." attitude?

    Here's one off google-

    Favorite RISK color: It would be black, but I'm just the bass player and I don't matter, so I get stuck with grey or green.

    That one sums it up nicely.

    Or one from Mike Dirnt:
    I started playing bass for the same reason everyone else does- I'm a lousy guitarist.

    I'm not going to change the world here - this attitude is already too pervasive to remove. I'm just wondering why people contribute to it.
  9. Lazylion

    Lazylion Goin ahead on wit my bad self!

    Jan 25, 2006
    Frederick MD USA
    Think you don't matter? Try making a mistake! Oh yeah, you matter,all right! I can't believe some of the looks I get sometimes. And from the guy who just made 3 or 4 before that!
    WE MATTER! :bassist:
  10. This is entertaining. Listen to a guitarist trying to play bass. Saying that someone plays bass because they are a lousy guitarist is the most ignorant thing that can be said about the choice of instruments. When I switched from guitar to bass almost 2 years ago, I admitted to myself that this was new territory and started with the most basic instruction book. I did not take on the foolish arrogance in thinking that playing bass would be a piece of cake.

    Paul Mac
  11. One of the great parts about being a bass player is that you can joke about "just being the bass player" because the moment you remove the basslines it becomes empty and thin. The music doesnt work with out It..and yet those damn guitarists think its all about them.........
    "The Bass in a Non-Instrument...thats why we let the Fat kid play it" ( one of our favorite in store bass-player jokes)

  12. +1!
    Watch out for the "Mistake Police" coming to your town soon!
  13. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    I'm just the bass player-vocalist-lyricist-occasional guitarist- keyboardist.

    But I try not to let it bother me.
  14. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    I'm just the bass player, singer, sound tech, recording engineer, and oh yeah songwriter.
  15. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    You are so right. I don't get that. I listen to the singer screw up lyrics all night, the guitar player hit bad notes, hell he even drops out for some unknown reason at times and I make one mistake and everyone looks at me like I have two heads.
  16. villakid 93

    villakid 93 Guest

    Dec 27, 2005
    Swayfield, Grantham
    Can't imagine a band without bass though, we are hard to find! We are unique, we might only be a bass player, but everyones opinions vary.
  17. villakid 93

    villakid 93 Guest

    Dec 27, 2005
    Swayfield, Grantham
    If that made any sense :)
  18. txbasschik


    Nov 11, 2005
    Leander, Texas
    I only say that when I'm being sarcastic (especially to guitarists and lead singers), or when someone is bugging me and I want to get rid of them. (Ask the singer. I don't know. I'm just the bassist.)

  19. Bad Brains

    Bad Brains Banned

    Jan 7, 2004
    Detroit, michigan
    On the other hand, he's not a good bassist either. That quote could work for him both ways.

  20. But hey, that's because bass is so easy any moron could do it, right? Even those not good enough to sing or play guitar... :)

    I know we as bassists joke about these things, because it amuses us that so many people do not recognize the power, beauty, and importance of the instrument and the sounds we produce with it.

    Why don't they?

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