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Really hate the misconception about bass players

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by styles720, Oct 18, 2013.

  1. styles720


    May 22, 2013
    I originally wanted to learn the acoustic, but my mom (bless her heart) hired a bassist to teach me the 'guitar'. Honestly that was an awesome mistake she made because I quickly fell in love with the bass and couldn't imagine myself playing anything else.

    A few years down the line, as I really started playing in bands, studio's and churches, I realised that other musicians have this assumption that if you play bass its because you aren't good at playing guitar. I felt annoyed because I didn't want to be looked at as an inferior musician and at that time since I was starting to really like the electric guitar, I decided to pick it up.

    Forward a couple of years to the present, I now mainly play the electric guitar and I am very happy with my decision, but I still play bass. I love both of them equally even though I pay attention and bop my head to what the bassist is playing most of the time lol.

    I just want to know your thoughts on this issue on how others view bassists (as people who can't play guitar) and if there is some truth to it

    PS: I didn't mean to post this at bass humour.
  2. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX
    wrong forum? bassists maybe? or humor? off topic?
  3. lowendmafia

    lowendmafia Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2007
    Sacramento, California
    1950's logic? Non-Musicians will never understand music thus their opinion is invalid forum?
  4. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Rest assured that a true bass player is well respected by his musical peers. There are some ignorant ones that don't value the ability to keep the groove. Most good bands want and need a "Real" Bass player.
  5. basschanges

    basschanges Unconditionally Loving Member Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2012
    Baltimore, MD
    I think most of that misconception is based on a superficial comparison of the instruments. Bass is thought to typically have 4 strings, guitar 6. Its probably easier to play single notes than chords for a neophyte. However, in reality both bass and guitar are extremely challenging instruments to master in their own unique way. As im sure you could tell us, each instrument has aspects that are more difficult to get good at than the other.
  6. Epidrake


    May 24, 2011
    People who think that bassists are failed guitar players are ignorant. Don't give them a second thought.

    I play both and I love playing both. I will probably never be great at both but I'm ok with that. I'm having too much fun playing both ( and a little keyboard too. )
  7. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX
    A non musician that plays bass and guitar? Has been a member since May? Was I being too hard on him or are you derping?
  8. Mojo-Man


    Feb 11, 2003

    So I guess trombone player are failed trumpet players?

    I you play bass then you play bass. Guitar players play guitar.

    I know plenty of good guitar players, who never get the true concept of playing real bass. There tone, attack, and feel are off.
  9. I can only guess, but such statements about bassists usually fall out from bad guitarists mouth...
    I play bass since I was 15 - I was on a wedding, the band had a brake... I saw to guitars - small and big and in one second I knew which instrument is for men :smug:

    But seriously - I don't play guitar, I don't know how to and I'm happy with it - happily all my friends guitarists know their place in band and they understand my situation :D
  10. lowendmafia

    lowendmafia Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2007
    Sacramento, California
    No, I was joking that it could be in a fictional forum called either "1950's Logic" because that is what people said about bass players back then or an additional fictional forum where people complain about non-musicians opinions of musicians as only a non-musician would think that an accomplished bass player is just a guitar player that couldn't hack it.
  11. Gaolee

    Gaolee Official leathers tester and crash dummy

    I don't much care what anybody else thinks, so long as I can make 'em all jump and twitch. That's power!
  12. I wanted to play guitar when I started music, but my mom in her wisdom pushed me towards the bass. Her reasoning was this; "good guitar players are a dime a dozen, but a good bass player is hard to find." Well, 12 years later, a Music Degree, and a dozen albums with my name in the credits shows that wisdom.

    As for the myth. I think it comes from that original statement. Good bass players are hard to find, so they pull an guitar player aside and strap a bass on his shoulders and shout "PLAY".
  13. Batman!


    Oct 29, 2004
    Like most stereotypes/misconceptions, there's usually a significant element of truth. There are plenty of famous bass players who picked up the instrument because their guitar skills were not as developed as their bandmate. I'm sure there are even some who just sit back and play whichever frets the guitarist tells them to hit.

    Heck, I reinforce this stereotype every time I pick up a guitar! Bass is my first instrument, but to the casual observer, it doesn't matter; I'm a competent bassist, but a crappy guitarist.

    Years ago, I was playing with a guitarist/singer one time and he made some statement about the skill required to play bass. I promptly handed him my bass and asked him to play the bass for one of the songs he wrote while singing. It was not pretty. "If bass is so easy compared to guitar, why can't you play a simple root, 3rd, 5th bass line while singing one of your own songs?" Point made. Perhaps bass is an easier instrument to pick up initially, but beyond the beginner stages, it's just as demanding musically as any other band instrument, imo.
  14. jeff7bass


    Apr 9, 2009
    There are no great bands who don't have a great bassplayer. All of my favorite rock and Prog bands have/had SENSATIONAL bassplayers and each has his own style. Some listeners don't get how much a great BP adds to the sound of a band but when they see one, right in front of them, then they get it.

    I've seen them all and each has inspired me in different ways. John Entwhistle, John Paul Jones, Chris Squire, JACO, Stanley Clarke, Jeff Berlin, Tony Levin, Percy Jones, Mike Rutherford, Gary Strater, John Camp, Tiran Porter, Lamar Williams, Bob Glaub and many others. They were as visually exciting as they were sonically.
  15. PJ Muzikmansky

    PJ Muzikmansky

    Jan 4, 2013
    Generally, it is my belief that 'real' musicians, i.e. those who understand and play music with a passion, do not think this way at all. They understand the function of bass in music, appreciate the bass as an instrument and value a good bassist.
  16. lowendmafia

    lowendmafia Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2007
    Sacramento, California
    There are, however, popular bands with crappy bassist... generally they go han-in-hand with the band's crappy guitar player though.

    Play a pop song for your non-musical girlfriend and then play her a Mars Volta song and ask her what she likes better, 99 times out of 100 it will be the pop song. Point being, original, virtuoso-type musical compositions are not often found in popular music.

    It reminds me of a quote from Oscar Wilde: "Everything popular is wrong."
  17. Milk


    Sep 16, 2013
    Montreal, Canada
    I suppose this is true for me too.

    The first instrument i fiddled with was a guitar, my brother's. And i mostly used it to play basslines. Since he already had a guitar, it seemed logical i should play bass. I had never manifested interest in bass before. But the moment i felt those big strings under my fingers and the tone... I knew it was the right instrument for me (plus i'd always play drum beats with my fingers which meant i already had a good sense of rhythm). It was also good because i didn't consider myself a very patient person and it isn't long with bass that you can play along to simpler songs which makes it more rewarding faster. So I agree that to play the basics, yeah, probably bass is easier (though i don't know, all those campfire acoustic guitarists, it isnt harder to learn basic chords than it is to learn basic bass lines) but like ever other instrument, it depends what you want to do with it.

    Anway, when my brother quit playing a few years down the road and I couldn't find people with who it clicked musically, i decided to get better on guitar (i'd never stopped playing guitar too but i wasn't serious about it). I never got good at it, but good enough to write songs (though i generally 95% of the time start songs on bass). But yeah, i define myself as a good bassist but a passable guitarist. I'd like to be better at guitar but to be fair, none of the stuff i like has very technical guitar. So even if i could for example shred, i wouldn't be using it.

    And most other musicians don't value a bassist much...until they get a good one. And then they see what their band had been missing.
  18. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    Umm...I'm a failed guitar player.
  19. That used to bother me a little, but I've come to believe that people in general are fairly dense, and a good number of bass players are indeed, iffy or failed guitarists. Big deal
  20. That really never bother me either playing bass is what I love to do.

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