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interesting thoughts

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Classical_Thump, Jul 8, 2005.

  1. Classical_Thump


    Jan 26, 2005
    I was just watching the Bass Extremes dvd and it made me wonder. Vic, Steve, as well as countless other "virtuoso" bass players I've read up on have credited their chops and ears to growing up in a time where there were no tabs, magazines, videos, books,etc. etc., so they really had to push their limits as bassists to get where they are.

    This really made me wonder if all the information out today about bass playing is helping. I myself think its great that bass players have so many resources to develop their playing, but I think so many resources reduce the need for bassists to push themselves. Rather than listening to records and copying them by ear and such, many bass players rely on looking at sheet music or tabs, or some kind of other resource to learn. Instead of developing their own style to play the lines, they play in the styles of others. Vic obviously developed his own style to play the speedy lines of Jaco and Stanley, and Steve developed his three finger and harmonic technique to deal with this. But with some of this "mystery" of bass playing removed, are bass players just trapped in a pattern of imitation?

    just something to think about
  2. AuG


    May 22, 2005
    Fort Collins, CO
    I don't think so. In the beginning, sure. Most beginning bass players imitate the bassists that they aspire to be like one day. Eventually, they fall into their own thing and go from there. What I mean by that is when you take a Stanley, Vic, or Claypool tune and copy it, ok that's cool. Now when you play it over and over again, it gets a little old right? Eventually you start to put your own twist to it, fills here, vibratos there, slides here, but still keeping the tune eventually the same.
    Old school players like Jamerson, Bootsy, Clarke, etc. didn't have the luxury of tabs and the internet, you're right about that. That's why people give them so much credit for being so creative. However, I believe that bass players today are more motivated than ever before, given the amount of info. out there, and seeing as how most of it is free, I think that's one of the main reasons why people put forth the effort into learning. Of course, it goes both ways. Some people may think, "eh what the hell. It's not like I'm losing any money over it" etc.etc. Then they just give up.
    To get back on topic though, eventually, if the player is dedicated enough, he/she will start to compose their own pieces, most of the time without realizing it. It'll be in their own style, with hints of influences scattered here or there. Imitation of *insert bass player name* is just fun. It might pick you up a chick. Or dude, if you're a lady. :smug:

    Oog :)
  3. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Good, then those bassists won't 'make it' and there'll be more gigs for me. :p
  4. Wayner


    May 7, 2004
    Maryland, USA
    Oogenstein.. you're definitely right about influences creeping into people's playing... when I listen to myself recorded sometimes and think back into my memory bank, I can hear other people's playing in my music. It's not a bad thing though, even the legends copy heavily from their own influences.
  5. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002

    I was actually musing on this over in the manring forum just yesterday.

    So, I used to get obsessive about certain players; jaco... manring.... duck...etc. I'd try to copy their sound, style, playing...etc.

    While I was doing that though, my personal creativity was stifled. Sure my chops blew up and I was playing all this ridiculous stuff, but it wasn't ME.

    So, since then I've reevaluated what music, and bass playing is all about. Today, I may find myself playing and it will vaguely remind me of manring or wooten or someone, but I know that it's ME. What has happened, are that these influences have seeped into my playing, but not in an obtrusive or 'false' way. The result, I'm a better player because of it. go me. :p
  6. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    As much as study is an important part of learning, and learning how the pros play their tunes. Jamming with others is where you discover if you have anything to hang your hat on. Regardless of the info, tabs, and hours you spend coppin' licks and scales, how you put it to use is where the challenge is. And how tastefully you lay it all down.

    In a cover band, there's no jamming, and I am in a cover band and I miss jamming terribly.

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