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Remember, keyboards were sopposed to replace Bass

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by yamaha, Apr 14, 2006.

  1. yamaha


    Apr 7, 2006
    I had a sudden memory flash, going into a music store in about 1985, and seeing maybee 20 basses in a huge music store, yet the keyboard departement was expanding like crazy. They all knew how to play Jump and Axel F. (I guess that was the keyboardists song, like Stairway to heaven is to guitarists.)

    I asked one of the salesman what was going on, and he explained to me how easy it was to replace bassists by keyboardists and sequencers and tone generators, and that bassists would be extinct in the future. They would become historical musicians, like bards.

    I just want to know what happened to all those JUNO and DX7 players. Are they plotting their return, do they have an underground movement, or have they been replaced by groove boxes.

    Just wondering.

    PS. This is not a thread against keyboardists, I love them, as long as they don't ask me to help bring in their Leslie and B3.
  2. zeronyne

    zeronyne Recovering Keyboard Player

    Nov 24, 2003
    As a keyboard player, I would say this is more of a thread against the salesman being really shortsighted.

    There's always excitement about new technology. I've done countless pieces of music for clients that have a ton of strings in the mix without hiring a single cellist or violinist. I can't remember the last time I had a complete drum kit in my studio.

    There's room for every configuration of instruments out there. No need to crowd anyone out.
  3. It looks ridiculous now, but it could have easily happened. Had the trend towards completely electronic instruments continued through the 90s, the electric bass could be a much smaller part of the industry today. Obsolete? Never. Look at the double bass - in many ways it's much less efficient and convenient than the electric bass, but in many others, there's just no substitute. The electric bass' ability to keep up with rock music's demands (volume in particular) was essential to its survival and the main reason why it is more common in popular rock music than the double bass. Similarly, if electronic music continued to be the driving force in the pop market, the keyboard could have been the better choice for musicians and producers and pushed the electric bass down. However this didn't happen, luckily for us.
  4. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    I remember hearing the tail end of that junk. The problem is, the more you take out the human element in the songs, the less it sounds like music.
  5. Why not replace basses with keyboards? Aren't lots of people crazy about D'Addario SS strings which are advertised as having a "piano-like" bass tone? Hey, I play a bass guitar and I want it to sound like a bass guitar, not like the left hand portion of a piano. My wife plays stride and boogie with a very active left hand, but we still find plenty of sonic space for my bass to make a contribuition.
  6. JansenW


    Nov 14, 2005
    Cambridge, MA
    Remember? I know keyboardists that still think so. :rolleyes:
  7. ClassicJazz

    ClassicJazz Bottom Feeders Unite!! Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2005
    Delray Beach, Florida
    I do remember back in the late 80's early 90's when I was on the road playing in Nevada (among other places). The general trend was the pay bands were receiving was going down due to the economy. Thus the size of the bands were shrinking. Usually I found that the bass player was the first to get the boot. The bass was then covered by the keyboard player or sequencer.

    I came across many bands that were without bass player.

    Well since I was part owner of my band....I surely was not going to get the boot! We found other ways to cut expenses.

    I can't tell you how many times (mainly in casinos) we had bands come up to us and could not believe we still had a live bass player! And even more the drummers would tell us how much they missed playing with a bass player.

    I think even now-a-days you don't see as many bands with multi-players, again many of the parts being covered by the keys.
  8. KayCee


    Oct 4, 2004
    Shawnee, KS
    The salesmen, the keyboard players, and the bassists were all replaced by DJ's, until the DJ's were replaced by ipods. :rollno:
  9. Mabee you just haven't noticed that just about every form of modern dance music, commercial and underground, is overwhelming produced with electronic or synthetic bass. It's not as though it is any less of a valid way to fill out the low end of a track.
  10. Valid, but dance music is not likely to be anything more than a niche product in the United States anytime soon. Clubbing, which is really the only context in which dance music can ever be commercially viable, simply is not a big deal in this country in the long and short of things.

    The closest thing we have to an indigenous form of dance music is hip-hop. Of course, that genre also makes extensive use of synth bass and sampling, but oftentimes hip-hop producers will call upon the services of live bass guitar.
  11. vision

    vision It's all about the groove!

    Feb 25, 2005
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Endorsing Artist: MTD Basses, La Bella Strings, and 64 Audio IEMs
    I'm a bass player who also plays keybass...its a totally different type of sound and both sound good in the right context. Keybass is used on alot of R&B and pop stuff still now, and on some tunes when you're playing them live it sounds better on keybass than on live bass.
  12. v-12


    Mar 3, 2005
    FL Panhandle
    even the new touring versoin of the doors has a bass player iirc

  13. It's not as though using synthetic bass is limited to a small niche maket of club music. It's just a reality of modern commercial music production in a market where hip-hop asthetics are bleeding into most other forms pop music. Not that I care for most contempory pop music. But just take a look at what is selling lots of records these days and you will see that electric bass is a lot less prevalent on the current musical landscape.
  14. I always tell my drummer I will replace him with a drum machine.
  15. vene-nemesis

    vene-nemesis Banned

    Jul 17, 2003
    Bilbao EspaƱa
    Well, Jordan Rhudes (sp?) of dream theater can easily replace many of the nowadays popular guitarrist...

    Since I heard L Arc En Ciel, a japanese pop rock band, i've been thinking that the japanese music industry could be using computers to create extremely cool riffs based on several patterns, maybe im just ofuscated by the fact the that band has some of the coolest bass lines in the pop rock market in ALL OF THEIR SONGS and to me that is certainly suspicious.
  16. Spector_Ray


    Aug 8, 2004
  17. You wouldn't be talking about Steve's Music Store would you? Being a keyboardist, I found the new technology really interesting and enjoyed checking out the Rolands, Korgs and Yamahas of the day (which I couldn't afford).

    Keyboardists don't necessarily know how to come up with good bass parts, bassists do. Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on your point of view:D ) drum machines didn't replace drummers either.
  18. Bassic83


    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    Heck, I just switched over to bass. Problem solved- sometimes I play keys with my right hand and bass with my left. It's like the best of both worlds!

  19. With a harmonica in your mouth, a tamborine hat on your head, and a kick drum tied to your left foot!
  20. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    Yeah, one bit of the '80s I'm not sad to see go by the wayside. Even to my less-educated ear back in those days, it drove me nuts to see a band with a bassist and drummer in a video, and what I was actually hearing was a rhythm section obviously sequenced on a Fairlight.

    I'm not totally against synth bass though. In some situations, it's what's called for. I'm never gonna give up my Moog Taurus bass pedals!

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