Rock band with no bass guitar

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by rmerritt, May 29, 2002.

  1. rmerritt


    Apr 10, 2002
    Charlotte, NC
    Saw John Kay and Steppenwolf the other night in Charlotte. I kept looking for the bassist to see what he was playing, but couldn't find him......then I realized the keyboard player was playing the bass line, I guess with his left hand. I wonder if this is done to have one less person on the road...or do they just prefer it this way?
  2. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
  3. mikemulcahy


    Jun 13, 2000
    The Abyss
    The Doors did it too, no bass.

  4. The F***ing Champs have no bassist.. just two guitars and drums. They are killer. The guitar players use 9-string guitars so they get some definite low notes in there. I'm goin' to see them Tuesday night! :D
    Also, there are a couple of popular guitar-drum duos.. The White Stripes and Jucifer.
  5. ndjx


    Oct 26, 2001
    My uncle took lessons from a guy who played bass for the Doors when they were in Minnesota, they may have not had one in the band but they did on the recordings and they did have some guy play bass at the show.
  6. the white stripes, sleater-kinney...
  7. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    The bass is just an instrument. If a band can cover all the "bases:D" without using a bass guitar, they don't HAVE to use one. I think most bands that try that fail, like the two DHC mentioned IMO. <----see, it's my opinion! However, there are a few bands that have a bassist, guitarist or whatever who seem to be entirely extraneous. It's really quite subjective. I don't think you have to follow the formula drums, bass, guitar for a rock band, but it is a reliable one.
  8. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Last summer, I played at a festival where Steppenwolf was on the bill with the same setup but I never asked them about it.

    Not only is there one less musician to pay and depend on, but also, concert-sized bass cabs are no fun to haul on the road......load-in/load-out in a different city every night.

    IMO, there's no substitute for the sound of a musician playing a bass guitar. But considering Steppenwolf's music, Kay's volume, and the bass parts, their keyboards seem to get away with it.

    As Dave says, the White Stripes don't have a bassist of any kind - just a guitarist and his sister on drums.
    To my ears, they sound like a cat fight in an aluminum trash can, but I guess a market has been created for the "minimalist" thing.
  9. As a bassist, I'm not crazy about the fact that they don't have a bass guitar. All I know is, whenever I hear that song on the radio, I start driving a lot faster! If it rocks, it rocks. Obviously, YMMV (pun intended!)
  10. notduane


    Nov 24, 2000
    early on, I don't think The Cramps had a bassist.
  11. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    ...And Justice For All dosen't sound like there was a bassist in the recording studio.:p
  12. fcoda


    Jan 23, 2002
    Some years back I heard a group here in NYC that consisted of 1 keyboard , 1 drummer and 3 bassist. They used fretted /unfretted , 4 to 8 stringers. I can't remember the name of the group. I thought they played very good original material. Only saw them once , guess they didn't catch on.
  13. The no-bass approach was not uncommon in the 80s:

    Living In A Box
    Missing Persons
    Devo (on some recordings like Whip It)

    Synths were doing the bass parts.

    Then again... there is Mexican group Molotov with drummer, guitarist and TWO BASSISTS...
  14. Stupidnick


    Mar 22, 2002 room...
    Good trashcans though
  15. Local H's guitar guy plays bass parts through his gitfiddle.

    Bands without bassists usually do so either because of pratical purposes, or artistic reasons. Sometimes bands are just a couple of friends, 2 or 3 maybe, and none of them want to learn bass, or they don't believe in it. They usually have to sound very distorted in order to compensate for the loss of bottom.It's a minimalist thing again.

    Being all bassists here it is easy to be biased against bands without bassists, still, I think some, like Sleater-Kinney, are pretty damn good. Of course you have to like (or not mind) the distortion. Ultimately, any instrument in a band is disposable, with the possible exception of drums. just my thoughts.
  16. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999

    ...are you telling me that Pat O'Hearn didn't play any electric bass on those records?!
    C'mon... ;)
  17. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    It's worse than that!
    ...I read somewhere these bass parts were sequenced?!
    Steppenwolf...synthetic, sequenced basslines?

    Dammit, that ain't Rock 'n Roll!

  18. Listen


    May 19, 2002
    If your talking about metallica, they did, I have the book for And Justice For All, and Ride the Lightening
  19. Listen


    May 19, 2002
    Slipknot has 3! I think Andrew WC has 3, it's to bad they both suck.:rolleyes: