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Lack of Women?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Brendan, May 13, 2001.

  1. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I notice, by and large, there is a lack of women who are "into" music. There are plenty of singers, who dabble a bit in guitar or some other instrument, but I am talking about full blown musical intrument players.
    Not just on bass, but on nearly any instrument, it's like maybe, 7/10 are men, maybe more. What do you think about this? Not to discredit those who do play intruments, and do it well, but, why is there so few instrumentests that are women?
  2. Well, the most musical member in my band is a girl, if that helps. :D
    She has a problem, though. She's ALWAYS speeding up songs, no matter how often we tell her to listen to me through the monitor, seeing as I'm the only member of the band who can hold down the proper tempo throughout the song, she still keeps on speeding up.
    Well, that's another topic entirely, but I just thought I'd mention that the most musical member in my band is female. :)
  3. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Ask Gene Simmons.
    Atshen likes this.
  4. *ToNeS*


    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    i think it's a bit of a sexist area ... for instance, you'll see way more chicks playing bass than playing lead guitar in most bands, as it just seems that the guitarist should be a male as it's more in the spotlight. it's an insecurity thing on the part of most male musicians, i think, some of which undoubtedly see playing an instrument as a competetive enterprise. christ, deep down, we're still all cave men.
  5. I agree. There are too few woman musicians out there. You'll most likely find more in the classical (orchestral) scene. As for pop, women are mainly just vocalists. I don't know any girl that doesn't like singing. I've noticed that most girls will play an instrument in school but rarely a guitar, bass, or drums. Maybe it just doesn't seem something fun for them to do. Only a few girls actually do take up these instruments.. they make a band.. make semi-good songs (sometimes great songs) and they get signed. It's no different from guys.. just doesn't happen as much. so.. yea.. I don't know where I'm going with this so I'll just end it here... :D Later!
    RaggaDruida likes this.
  6. I don't know about other instruments, but for me, and a lot of you it seems, bass is about more than just the music; it's a culture in itself. Sure, we talk about technique, and how to become a better player, but we also talk about parts, and different types of electronics and woods and other little gizmos, a big part of it is that basses are neat. I think that's one of those guy things, the same thing that makes us take things apart for fun. Most girls I know don't seem to have a need to take things apart.
  7. Gia


    Feb 28, 2001
    It's probably because of the many negative reactions they get.
    Aint that so Ulyanov ?
  8. I'm sorry, I don't mean that as an insult or a putdown, it's just that from my experience most girls I know (but not all) are not like guys in that respect. But you are right about the negative reactions, some guys can't handle the idea of women doing something that mostly men do, and they definately can't handle the idea of women doing it better.
  9. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    There is that air around a lot of guys...glad I'm not one of them.
  10. Check your local Symphony sometime...
    I'll bet you find the female to male ratio rises quite a bit.
    RaggaDruida likes this.
  11. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    You might also find that your typical female is more of a fan than a male. The guy is busy picking apart the pieces of what is being played rather than listening to the whole picture. She, on the other hand, cuts to the chase, and assesses the song for it's listenability and accessability. I always asked my girlfriend/wife what she heard because I could count on an unbiased opinion.
  12. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Oh MAN I read BP's article when they interviewed him, and I'm surprised that some feminist movement hasn't strung him up in a tree yet. That guy has some issues.

    I think that women are smarter musicians. When I look at all the garage bands I've known, all I see are guys. But when I look at the school jazz band, and orchestras, there were FAR more females. I guess it's where you look. Personally, I like female musicians. They're easier on the eyes.[​IMG]
  13. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    It's the tounge.;):D:D:D

    Ok...my moment of evil is over.
  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    While I can see that this is intended as a joke, I do think this is symptomatic of the main problem. Women are not taken seriously for what they do, but rather are commented on for the way they look.

    So a guy can get up on stage, be average looking, not pay any attention to his appearance and nobody will comment on it - he is accepted as a musician and nobody would necessarily comment about appearance - does anybody comment about male bass players appearance? Does anybody comment on how Steve Lawson or Michael Dimin look?

    Not really - but as soon as we get a picture of a female bassist, every male feels that they have a right to catgorise or comment on that person's appearance - not on her bass playing but her appearance.

    So why should women put up with this and leave themselves open to being categorised for the way they look every time they play music? I think they just vote with their feet and while a "shy" guy can just get on stage and be left alone to get on with playing bass, keyboards or whatever - if it is a woman, she has to have a pretty thick skin to put up with all the comments she will get, just because she is a woman - so basically we are ruling out a large number of potential women musicians, who don't enjoy being stared at or "commented on". So it's no suprise that there are less of them about - it's only those who are very confident about their appearance or very thick-skinned who are "allowed" to be musicians.
    maxxxie, LeeNunn and hrodbert696 like this.
  15. air_leech


    Sep 1, 2000
    well, the feminists didn't strung him because women don't read bass magazines :)

    j/k, don't hang me! please!

    btw, there is that quartet of very talented girls who play chamber music I belive and I hear they are the bomb now, and they have that MTV look!

    also, look at Rhonda Smith, people here like her because of her playing not just because of her looks(and I'm surrprised she didn't inspire more girls to pick up the bass).
  16. Actually, my high school jazz band was almost all guys, I think we had a female alto sax. Although I'd hardly call it a band, more just a group of people who got together sometimes and played, but nobody was really committed. But, SuperDuck's right, in my school concert band, it was at least 2/3 female. A lot of the guys thought of that kind of music as wussy or something, but I think the real reason is that concert band is a lot of work.

    But even in concert band, you still see segregation among the instruments. Most of the flutes and clarinets were girls, most of the percussion section was guys. But that just may be that we picked our instruments when we were 11, and a big factor was what insrument our friends played.
  17. Erlendur Már

    Erlendur Már

    May 24, 2000
    But anyway..I think most girls (at least the girls I know) just don´t think being a musician is interesting, at least not a rock or jazz musician..
  18. This is a real ad from a local indie/alt paper...

    " SEXY FEMALE GUITAR player, and Sexy female bass player needed for an artist with current recording contract. call......."

    Except for the #, that is exactly the way it appears. Now, it is a local phone # and I can pretty well say that there are very few sexy female guitarists or bassists around here, not that I have seen playing out anyway. Now, I would think that if this guy really has a recording contract, he would want the best player, not the sexiest looking . I might add that it has been running for a couple of months now. There are two other ads of female vocalists looking for bands- neither of them says anything about wanting sexy players.

    I do always enjoy seeing a good looking Woman- don't get me wrong- but I see a band for the music, not because I want to drool over the hot looking bassbabe. If any of the hot looking bassbabes here would like his #, I will be happy to forward it. And if you are a hot bassbabe, do you want to be a hot looking bassbabe, or a hot
    playing bassbabe?
  19. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    fretless - Jeff Berlin wrote an article years ago, "Making It as a Pro," that touched on this and it wasn't gender-specific. It suggested that it was more of the artist's needs/image.

    Cher's people were looking for a bassist and Stu Hamm was one of musicians contacted about an audition. The first question they asked him was, "What do you look like?" Jeff made a qualification saying this was typically L.A.

    But he went on to say, "I used to think that if you played well you could get a gig. Gee, was I wrong."

    I have to agree. If my looks didn't belie my age, I'd probably be playing rental hall weddings. I imagine it's double tough for women because, let's face it, we men, in general, are more superficial, IMO, at least to decide who "qualifies."
  20. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    There's one thing none of you have touched on here and that is one I can speak from personal experience about as a woman and a considerably older woman, at that.

    It is extremely difficult for a woman to make music her life's work. I do not mean as a music teacher or in a symphony orchestra that pretty much plays in one city or near that city.

    I'm talking about a woman musician who makes her life as a touring or gigging musician. When I tried to live that life a a bass player in a rock band, it was so very hard. We'd travel, then not even start to play until ten or later. We'd play in awful dives...toxic places. Then we'd have the long trip home, arriving very late (or early I should say.)

    My husband was never, ever comfortable with the lifestyle and was really glad when I "retired."

    Plus there are the rehearsals and always being with other men. It is a life set up to create tensions between spouses. If you have children, that adds yet another element of diffculty.

    Just look at country music. It has many women stars, but, so many have the most difficult personal lives. And most of them are the front woman or star. A woman who is just a side player has far fewer advantages than a top woman singer.

    And it is very hard for a woman to be a musician who takes gigs as they come. If you don't play with a regular band, but want to be first call, you always have to be ready to accept what comes along, when it does. Well, what if you have kids or want kids? What if you have a husband pouting alone at home?

    A woman who wanted to be a professional pop or rock musician would have to be prepared to sacrifice much and risk much to get to the top of her profession and stay there.

    Then what happens when you no longer look "cool"?
    In rock and pop looks are everything. What happens to Courtney Love when she is pushing sixty? Will she be a sought after rock singer? Mick Jagger can do it. Cher with all her plastic surgery can do it, but how many woman really can?

    If a woman musician wants to earn a living playing music her best choices are teaching or playing in a symphony orchestra. But for her to tour years and years and try to juggle family, husband, children, career, touring, plus keep her looks, energy and ambition. Something has to give unless she has a very supportive spouse and very understanding kids.

    Some woman can do it, but as is the point of this thread, very few do and even fewer do it for a long time.

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