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Should The Bass Player Be Worried About Being Replaced By A Keyboard Player?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Cooljazz58, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. Cooljazz58


    Mar 23, 2011
    Saw this on the Best Bass Gear website. Interesting question. What do you think?
  2. Arranger


    Mar 9, 2003
    Depends a lot on the repertoire. The same might be said of replacing the flute player or the strings or percussion. The right keyboard player can mimic a host of sounds, even backup vocals, but the real deal is important and can't be replaced easily in certain cases.

    Funk, acoustic, hard rock and jazz are going to be tough fills for the keyboardist that wants to do it all.

    Hopefully, it doesn't come down to the number of paid players. In that case, the most versatile player wins. That would be a band that could be tough to remain with, however.

    The right bass player with the skills and talent will be very hard to replace strictly with keys. If it comes down to a personal matter, then the music probably isn't the most important interest of the players.
  3. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    A very appropriate reply...coming from an Arranger. :smug:

  4. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Worried? No.

    Is it possible? Yes

    There is a certain "Shock and awe" factor that a bass player has that a keyboard player just can't reproduce. You can certainly play the bass line on keys, (sometimes I try to cop the keyboard lines on bass), but there is no substitute for the epic stupidity of a live bassist.
  5. ThudThudThud


    Jun 4, 2010
    Jeff Beck's "Guitar Shop" album scared the bejeebus out of me.
  6. 1971
    Bass Player to Drummer, "Dude, look at that! a drummer machine and a Clavinet, should we be worried about being replaced?"

    Bass Player to Drummer, "Dude, look at that! a synthesizer with built in drums, should we be worried about being replaced?"

    Bass Player to Drummer, "Dude, look at that! an iPad with backing tracks on stage, should we be worried about being replaced?"
  7. hennessybass

    hennessybass Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2008
    Houston, TX

    People do actually like to see live music, and people love to see people who are good at it.

    We forget because we do it everyday, but being able to play an instrument, and do it in a band setting, and do it on a stage, is a pretty special skill set that is way beyond most people.
  8. Only if one of us is the bass player.

    Seriously, we'll always be around (saith the cockroach). No one will ever get in a lather over "that funky keyboard player."
  9. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Depends...is the keyboard guy named Manzarek?
  10. Dogbertday

    Dogbertday Commercial User

    Jul 10, 2007
    SE Wisconsin
    Blaine Music LLC
    this is interesting. I've been getting into keyboardBass playing a little bit, which so far for me is mostly about getting tones together.

    I don't think we need to be worried about being replaced by keys players, but in some settings bass guitar players are being replaced by guys who double on keysBass.

    This is similar to what happened in the twenties when tuba players had to double on upright and in the 50's when upright guys have to learn electric bass.

    crap!!! i just told you my strategy to stay in work as a side-man... please don't steal it... haha
  11. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Depends on the band and the keyboardist. I did a sub gig once and the keyboardist was so left hand heavy, I stopped playing and picked up some drumsticks and started playing percussion!
  12. Dogbertday

    Dogbertday Commercial User

    Jul 10, 2007
    SE Wisconsin
    Blaine Music LLC
    people may not reference the "funky keyboard player" but on the radio or in the club people think "that's a hot bassline" whether it's played on a bass or synth or guitar or sousaphone.

    remember that the idea of a bass playing a bassline is actually pretty new in the world music scene. cellos are bass instruments, as are bassoons, bass clarinets, timpani, a pianist's left hand, and low male singing voices.
  13. Frank Tuesday

    Frank Tuesday

    Jul 11, 2008
    Austin, TX
    I bet at least 1/3 of the bands I saw at SXSW this year were without bass players (bass guitar or upright). Most of them had some source of low end, whether keys, an octave pedal, or a backing track. I don't care what instruments they use or don't use to make music. As long as they make good music, they make good music.

    No one cares what tools you used to build a house as long is the house is well built.
  14. zfunkman


    Dec 18, 2012
    The answer is . . . NO!

    There have been keys playing basslines for a long time. Think Jimmy Smith the organ player. Also, in today's music there is Soulive; Neil Evan plays a mean bass on the keys and is one of my favorite bass players. Soulive has an offshoot called Lettuce who have a traditional bass player. JJ Grey/ Mofro had their keyboard player doing the bass for a long time and now the have a "bass player." Some bands just work well with the keys doing the bass; the key word is "SOME." Most bands, however, have traditional bass players and there is no "trend" in keys taking over the bass for all music.
  15. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

    Aug 22, 2011
    No. You should be worried about being replaced by another bass player.
  16. pklima

    pklima Commercial User

    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Karoryfer Samples
    Yes. In most genres, it's pretty much already happened, from the producers making big hits to the wedding bands from small villages.

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