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Most pitiful thing youve ever seen a bassist do live

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by powderfinger, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. powderfinger


    Feb 24, 2009
    We all know the stereotypes... "bass is easier than guitar". Or, "bassists are just frustrated guitarists". We all know these are false notions, but there are indeed some bassists out there that are an embarassment to the trade. I was thinking about a guy I saw live not long ago. This is a true story.

    The guitarist was tuning up with an battery operated tuner. The bassist just stood there with his bass, staring at him. When the guitarist was done, he stood up, and stood besides the bassist.

    The guitarist hits his E string, and tells the bassist to hit his E string. As the bassist does, the guitarist begins turning the E string tuning knob, until the bass is in tune with the guitar. In other words, the guitarist tuned the bassists bass for him, while the bassist stood there like a dud. I felt bad for the guy honestly.

    The only other thing Ive ever seen was a cover band back in the day. The bassist had tabultature on a music stand.

    What pitiful things have you all seen?
  2. I know a "bassist" actually a good dude and friend of mine who used to turn down the volume knob on his Pbass because he didn't know any of the songs. after being with the band for 3 years..
  3. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009

    that sounds like my first few gigs!:bag:
  4. powderfinger


    Feb 24, 2009
    Hmmm, you would think that..

    a) After 3 years, he would at least be able to hit some root note action?


    b) The band would find a new bassist.


    BTW- your friend isnt Sid Vicious?
    RandalPinkFloyd likes this.
  5. powderfinger


    Feb 24, 2009
    Actually, the MOST pitiful thing Ive ever seen a bassist do had nothing to do with his musicianship... but I saw a band once, and the bassist was slamming back shots of tequila the whole 1st set. He still maintained a good stage presence, and his playing was spot on. Apparently, during the 2nd set, he hit his limit, and he fell off the front of the stage, and was laid on the floor passed out, face first, with his bass on still. The sound the bass made when he hit the concrete floor was horrible.
  6. The worst things:

    - The bass flip, where they spin the bass around themselves. Although it does often lead to funny youtube videos.

    - Slapping a song that doesn't have a slap part. I saw a younger bassist slap his way through 'What I Like About You' on a 1970's P bass w/flats. Looked as awful as it sounded.

    - Throwing/destroying/intentionally inflicting damage on a bass.

    - Playing root notes all the time. If your head moves more than your left hand, re-think the bass line.
  7. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Most Pitiful Thing?

    Load / Unload the trailer while the lead singer does absolutely nothing........

    That bass player was me, and I still feel dirty.
  8. kevteop


    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
  9. miiitch


    Nov 27, 2011
    hey :|
    i have a bass that i use for tapping only! :p
  10. theretheyare

    theretheyare Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    Most pitiful thing I have done on stage: at a rock gig while wearing western boots, slipping on stage and crashlanding flat out in the middle of my big "solo".
  11. bajocallao

    bajocallao Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2006
    Woodside, New York
    Endorsing Artist: D'addario Strings, Aguilar Amplifiers
    Hope you got a roadie fee too? ;)
  12. boristhespider9


    Sep 9, 2008
    Play guitar.
  13. powderfinger


    Feb 24, 2009
    I saw this once. The bassist was also the lead vocalist. The band would play a set, take a break, then he would come out with an acoustic and play a couple of songs before the 2nd set kicked in. The band was a cover band, mostly nu metal and crap rock bands (this had to be early 00s). They would do Creed, Staind, Limp Bizkit, Disturbed, Papa Roach, etc. When the singer would get up, he would finger pick (quite sadly). He oddly enough used to play Wild Horses (in B minor), and he would played it in open chords, except the B minor, which he would play as a power chord, and it sounded oh so jarring to the ear, when the strings would vibrate and rattle.
  14. haha, no.

    they ended up firing him and attempting to recruit me. flattering but I like the band I'm in. the biggest lesson they learned in how they fired him was that he did nearly all of their booking and promotion. It's been 2 years since they fired him and they've played 4 shows, three of which my band put them on.

    where as with the former bass player they were playing with regional acts with good draws on the regular. guy could network and sell his band like no one I've seen.

    if he wasnt located so far away my band would be paying him to promote us.

    I think you mean "awesome" :p

    the bassist that replaced the one mentioned above does this all the time and just thinks he's the bee's knees... I feel like facepalming every time I see him tapping.
  15. Man, if I had to tune anyone's instrument for them, I'd certainly do it as incognito as possible- to avoid *rank amateurish by association* status
  16. powderfinger


    Feb 24, 2009
    No kidding. It was an hour or so before the show, and I was in the bar early. But there were enough people just hanging out at the bar or playing pool where it was very embarassing for the guy.

    The bassist tho, didnt appear ashamed. And he was the coolest looking guy in the band (they were a metal band). All the other guys looked like they had just gotten off of work at the lumberyard or factory, but this cat had on leather pants, a tank top, a mohawk, tattoos, piercings, etc.
  17. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    It wasn't all that pathetic, but about a year and a half ago I saw a cover band at a county fair, playing southern rock/modern country kind of stuff. They were actually pretty good and the female singer was phenomenal (and half the age of the rest of the band).

    Anyway, the bass player was... competent. Nothing wrong with his playing, nothing interesting either. But he seemed to have this vague awareness that the band would have more stage presence if they moved around. Meanwhile nobody else in the band had heard of such a concept, they played their parts rooted solidly to the stage like they were oak trees that had been planted there. So the bass player, from time to time, would hesitantly, just... drift.... from one part of the stage to the other. He would show up at the lead guitarist's shoulder and the guitarist would kind of startle, like "What are you doing over here?", and the bassist would then... awkwardly... drift... back to his original spot.

    The music was pretty good, not a set list I would personally much care for but not bad either, but the drifting was just excruciating to watch... felt bad for him.
  18. In the 1980's, I was a prog bassist in a country band. I never made a cent with prog; ...oodles of cash with country.. ...even paid taxes! ...I DIGRESS....

    ..Anyhow...I was bored, so I would pull silly stunts... Once, I plugged-in my wah-pedal, while we played an otherwise beautiful version of , "For the Good Times"....

    Drummer sang like a bird; opened with his bell tree..waaaayy too serious...waay to beautiful.. ....Don't look so sad..[ my bass: wah-waahhh....wah..waaahhh].. Now that..it's over..wah..waaahhh..etc...Drummer couldn't do that song straight-faced ever again.

    Another ocassion, I emulated fretless with a slide, too. Guitarist seemed impressed..Next tune, he said...HEY...LET ME SEE THAT..he took it away from me..never used it ...or gave it back...LOL...
  19. notverygood


    Feb 11, 2010
    That's funny.

    Worst thing I've ever seen was Warrent playing Six Flags. The whole band was awful, but the LG and the BP tried to do this weird headbang/jam thing together and the LG had a double-necked guitar (for no reason). You could tell it was getting too heavy for him, but he kept going. It looked like two nerds trying to high-five each other, but missing. He followed it with a truly bad solo. I blame it on his exhaustion.
  20. I've seen blues bass players with a huge book full of notations and annotations about blues tracks. Hmmm...