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rhythm or something

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Blunk, Aug 29, 2002.

  1. Blunk


    Aug 14, 2002
    Howdy all,

    I was discussing this with a bass playing friend of mine:

    what exactly defines a "rhytm" (did i spell it correclty?) bass player, because we both think that bass is part of the rhythm section so surely all bass players are rhythm players?

    I think i could be confusing rhythm players with being just root players, for example take Chi Cheng from the deftones, his lines lock in really tight with the drums but he doesn't just play root.

    I think i'll stop before i confuse myself even more:)

    Could anyone help straighten me out please?
  2. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    I've never heard this term used before.

    To me, a good bass line is 1/3 rhythm, 1/3 melody and 1/3 harmony.

    Depending on the song and style you could change the ratio, but the 3 parts are absolutely essential, as you're supposed to link these 3 elements together.
  3. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Instruments in the RHYTHM section include-


    No Horns or Vocalists need apply.

    Whenever a person solely into Rock Music sez "Rhythm Section", they usually mean bass & drums(ie "No Guitar"...and ain't that the truth). ;)

    A "good" bass line, to me, could be 100% rhythmic; that could happen in a Pop tune or some freaked-out Avant Acid tune where there is no harmony &/or melody, per se.
  4. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    I believe it may be people differentiating highly supportive bassists -- those who stay in the depths and play clean, solid, and unflashy all the time (think bluegrass bassists playing nothing but root-five-root-five and grooving their brains out in the process) -- calling them "rhythm" bassists, from those who play more attention-grabbing lines with frequent high notes (think McCartney or Bruce), calling these players "lead bassists". Neither term implies "good" or "bad", just a difference in style and choice. When I think of the term "lead bass", the song that immediately comes to mind is "Come Together" by the Beatles. McCartney's line is almost the whole song -- just it and the lead vocal, and you have the entire song structure.
  5. Blunk


    Aug 14, 2002
    Thanks that's made things clearer for me.

    I think i misunderstood the opinion of rhythm players and "lead" bass players. Its whatever fits with the song that your band is playing. I guess its just like rhytm and lead guitar.

  6. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    That's it, you've got it.

    I have heard guitarists sneer that a particular bassist is "too much a lead bassist", by which they imply that the bassist is too busy -- usually means the guitarist thinks the bassist is stealing some spotlight, which many guitarists believe a bassist should NEVER get. That's the only negative connotation I've ever heard connected to the "lead" bass style.

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