Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

In your opinion, what makes a good bassist?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by cassanova, Mar 28, 2003.


  1. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    Im sure this has been done a time or 2 in the past, but I havent seen one done anytime recently. LOL could be because I havent been here.

    But I was curious to know what everyones opionions were about what makes a bassist good to them.
     
  2. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    To me, a good bassist is someone who nails the groove while keeping the song interesting either melodically or harmonically. A great bassist takes it to a new level and incorporates slick accents to enhance a song TASTEFULLY.

    John Entwistle used to do that. On studio recordings, if you listen really closely, you can hear how he expands well beyond the rythm, melody, and harmony, and accent drum fills.
     
  3. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    Single most important thing:

    LISTEN.

    Your primary job is to support everything that is going on around you, big ears are extremely important to doing this well.
     
  4. Bazzist

    Bazzist

    Dec 7, 2002
    Nova Scotia
    Versatility
     
  5. lneal

    lneal

    Apr 12, 2002
    Lee County, Alabama
    A huge package and a cool haircut.




















    :D :D :bag:
     
  6. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    The single most important attribute of a good bass player IMO is TASTE.

    Skill is important of course, but if a bass player overplays then a song can sound like crap.

    By the same token, if a song demands a complicated line, a bass player with good taste and good technique will be able to recognize that and have the skills to play that line.

    The same bass master that went ape**** on "The Real Me" and "Dreaming From The Waist" played "I Can See For Miles" perfectly.
     
  7. Exactly. A lot of times I see bass players doing fancy stuff but lose the grove and low end. In my mind you have to hold your own spot, while not forgetting about what the other people in the band are doing.

    jtbp
     
  8. Toony

    Toony

    Jun 15, 2001
    Texas
    Generally what everyone has said, except lneal. =p

    I won't go as far as repeating everything already said, but I will also add: experience and creativity
     
  9. lneal

    lneal

    Apr 12, 2002
    Lee County, Alabama
    :D
     
  10. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Good Bass Players also can help make good songs better, and great songs hits.

    Like Gard said too, listening, knowing when to play, and when to lay back.
     
  11. Davehenning

    Davehenning

    Aug 9, 2001
    Los Angeles
    big ears, tone and time
     
  12. Well, it's when a man and a woman fall in love, then one thing leads to another and.....
     
  13. Taste, Precise fingework, and a good learning ability.

    You also have to have the ability to work w/ others, and feel out a situation. Maybe this is why bassists tend to be level-headed. Lot of stuff coming our way, and have to make the best of all situations.
     
  14. Gotta have good time above anything else imo.
     
  15. lneal

    lneal

    Apr 12, 2002
    Lee County, Alabama
    Just so everyone knows, I wasn't trying to make light of the subject at hand with my comment. It was intended to make a point, which is that this is a rhetorical question. The answers given here really don't shed any new light on the well known requirements of the bassist and I, for one really didn't expect them to. Besides, that which makes a good bassist can vary.

    For instance, a huge package and a cool haircut could very well be the requirements, if that's what you're going for. OTOH the job may require huge ears and cool tone, and actual musical skills.

    So, to reiterate my point:
    There are no new, insightful answers to this question, really. At least not at this point in the evolution of the bass.
    YMMV :cool:
     
  16. heart
     
  17. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Filling the requirements perfectly doesn't mean someone's a good bassist, does it? If you're talking about image, what does that have to do with the quality of the bassist?

    Were you expecting a new method of rocket science?:p :rolleyes:
     
  18. lneal

    lneal

    Apr 12, 2002
    Lee County, Alabama
    Maybe.
    Nothing.
    Nope. Read the post:
    :meh: :rolleyes:
     
  19. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Ability to make your bass go "clickity clack".
     
  20. mans0n

    mans0n

    Jun 15, 2002
    someone who doesnt need to make their bass go clickety-clack (slap) to impress.... even if they could