No Compromise

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Stingus, Jan 9, 2004.

  1. I feel compelled to post now that I'm a supporting member, and this is something I've wanted to talk about for a while.

    What is the deal with Electric Bass? I mean, for being "easier to play" and louder than it's upright brethren, I don't understand why there isn't more being done, especially from a harmonic/melodic standpoint. Did it all stop with Jamerson or Jaco? I mean, yes there are slappers and tappers, etc. but these are largely in the realm of specialist 'bass' albums. I mean the last true electric innovator in mainstream music would probably be Les Claypool.

    I mean, there are so many upright champions, past and present--why is the electric so limited? Is it the type of music? Rock music, being so harmonically limited, won't allow for expansion?

    Am I totally off base here? (no pun intended)

    Thanks for any response, just wanted to float this idea out there.

    (btw, I am watching the Marcus Miller 'Ohne Musik', DVD. Amazing! This is the kind of bass playing that makes me smile.)
  2. Probably the numer one reason is that if you are not making a solo bass oriented album you have to think about the bass in context with all the other instruments. There are tons of great players that make bassplaying progress in their type of music but ot isnt that noticable since their style of music isnt very bassorientated.

    Guys like John Myung(Dream Theater), Steve Digiorgio(Death, Testament, etc) and Martin Henriksson(Dark Tranquillity) have opent my eyes to how the bass can be used in interesting ways in a such guitarheavy style of music as metal.
  3. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    great post.

    i think along similar lines. have yet to be inspired enough yet to bring the bass to another level, but it's a frequent thought of mine. there must be sooooooooo much more that we can do, so much more that we're just not realizing. yet.

    i think like this about rock and roll (and other music in general) also. especially when people tell me you're getting too old for this. too old for what????? who's making rules here???? rock and roll is a measley 50 years old. 300 years from now (if we last that long) this will be considered the infant stages of rock and roll, electric intruments, and all of the music we now call modern. there are so many molds to be broken, so many more beatle like bands to be had, so much more to create, so much to invent, sheeeeesh!

    i may be the first 85 year old to have a cd go platinum. i may be the first 60 yr old teen idol. i may the person who changes the course of music the way elvis did. the way les paul did. i may be the first person to find out you can do THAT with a band, THAT being something i have yet to discover. :)

    did all that make sense?????

    ps. i get upset when people call nirvana great innovators. i call them pop rehashers who's timing was perfect. flame me if you like - it's my opinion.
  4. Ego


    Jan 10, 2004
    be your own innovator

    yeah, Les is the most recent riegning king, but that's because he found a guitarplayer like Ler who can play amazing things and still stay out of the way. i've been a hardcore Primus fan for the past three years, but in a way i think Flea is more impressive - he does complex things with a more normal guitar player

    you should also take a closer look at Tony Kanal of No Doubt (don't talk to me about anything since Tragic Kingdom - i know it sucks. but they've got three good ones too, selftitled, Bacon Street Collection, and TK) and DeLeo of the Stone Temple Pilots. for mainstream artists, these guys are really good

    if you're looking for bass oriented music, check out reggae and ska, or yeah, make your own.

    edit: as a note, i compose music on bass. i own and am fairly adept at guitar, but bass is what i love. i think the main problem is most bass players are failed guitar players
  5. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products

    oh dear.

    your screen name seems to be accurate. and i think you're going to be in trouble soon. :D
  6. Ego


    Jan 10, 2004
    i work in a music store, man. i've seen it. i don't mean to imply that most people HERE are.
  7. Stephen Soto

    Stephen Soto

    Oct 12, 2003
    indeed :D.
  8. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Don't know about your area...
    IMO, back when I started('72), it was "unusual" for a newbie to start with an electric bass as a 1st instrument.
    I do recall the music store salesmen trying to convince my mom & me into getting an acoustic guitar FIRST...the "Everyone learns acoustic guitar FIRST" spiel. Thank God I'm a stubborn putz.

    Personally, I can't recall ever meeting any bassist around here who was a 'failed guitarist'.
    I have met a couple that were ex-drummers, though...& they were pretty damn good bassists.
  9. Ego


    Jan 10, 2004
    "i don't mean to imply that most people HERE are."

    anyone likely to take the time to come to a site devoted only to bass is not likely to be a failed guitar player

    and yeah, failed drummers tend to make great bass players, because either way they care about the rythm. 90% of guitar players play guitar to shred, to be the forefront center of attention. rythm players aren't gonna be like that
  10. I don't know where you are coming from but I think everyone in a band is there to have a good time and play some music.
  11. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    I'm working on it, I'll get back to you later ;)
  12. stephanie


    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    No one's mentioned Steve Lawson or Michael Manring yet? I believe they take the electric bass to a different level.

    Remember...there are only limits to what an instrument can do if you set them. Play pass those limits. Be free.
  13. There are lots of guys out there doing cool stuff you just have to keep your ears open for them.
  14. Right, stephanie, but you are missing what I was saying, that is that 30 years ago, you could turn on the radio and hear McCartney, Sklar, Jamerson, Kaye, or any other great bassists playing on mainstream music. I don't think you're going to hear "Red Light Returning" on the radio anytime soon. That would come under 'specialty music'.

    I guess I look at it this way: who do you think has more musical knowledge--your average upright player or your average electric player?

    I don't think the 'failed guitar player' thing is TOO out of line. I played guitar for a while, but I loved the sound of the bass, and knew while there were hundreds of great guitarists, there were only a few great bass players...

    Which brings us back to the topic at hand.
  15. Lovebown


    Jan 6, 2001
    In a way I think you've answered your own question. One reason why double bassists (jazz) are generally more advanced are because of the kind of music they play, and the kind of interplay they're involved in.

    I think the way to open up the minds of bass players (particularly electric) is to think of the instrument more than as a accompanying instrument and acknownledge it's vast melodic and harmonic possibilities. Bassists I'm reffering to are guys like Scott Lafaro and Jaco who took the instrument to a new level. I think the key to transcend borders here is to compose, transcribe and just let your creativity flow.

    What I'm trying to say is to break out of conventions you have to do things that seem unnatural at first but then become more and more internalized. For example such a thing would be to transcribe music not written for bass at all and learning to play it .

  16. stephanie


    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    'Suppose I read the thread wrong. Sorry. :( :meh:

    Well, we all know the music of today is different then it was 30 years ago. Back then there weren't many 'official' bass players in bands and they had to call in session bassists like Carol Kaye to record the albums. I mean, you can turn on the oldies station and hear 3 different songs by 3 different bands and yet it'll still be Carol Kaye on bass on all the songs.
  17. [​IMG]
  18. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Oops. When I said "here"...I meant SE VA & not Talk Bass. Everyone already knows TB is full of "failed guitarists".
  19. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    It's not so different in fact, there are few 'official bands'. Ever wonder why 90% of the stuff on New Country radio sounds pretty much the same?

    BTW, 30 years ago was 1974 & things were hopping with bands & their 'official bassists'...maybe you meant 40 years ago?
  20. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    In the spirit of post-season NFL, I'm going to hand this off to my miscellaneous running backs - embellisher and josh. (Maybe let the rookie take this one, jeff.....)