Showing Off. Why Can't Bassists Do It??

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by zeppfan90, Aug 15, 2013.

  1. zeppfan90


    Mar 27, 2013
    I read a lot of threads and hear a lot in person that bassists don't do a lot of slapping or showing off on stage. Like it's not the thing to do? Guitarists ALWAYS show off what they can do. What makes this even worse is when bassists say they don't like to do it on stage. I have even heard stories of a bassists just getting the bad eye or even getting yelled at for showing off or slapping at jams. What the hell?? How come guitarists can get all the attention and show off all they want but when a bassist does it, it's like it is just not allowed or something? My theory, because it's harder to show off on a bass than a guitar, so people get extremely jealous ;)
  2. bkbirge


    Jun 25, 2000
    Houston, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
    Sure there are people who only think of the bass (if they think of it at all) as a support instrument.

    But then again there are lots of ways to show off.
    1. playing fast notes
    2. playing one supremely awesome note
    3. shaking the floor with the low end
    4. grooving so hard that people have to dance
    5. transcribing coltrane or bach pieces for solo bass
    6. slapping like you are a tin can trapped in a giant clock
    7. standing very still while wearing a Bret Michaels hat, long leather coat with fringe, and playing a P bass with tort guard, bonus points for growing a chin beard and/or having rockstar style tats
    8. sing lead vocals

    and last but not least, pretty much the best way for a bass player to get noticed...

    9. don't play at all
  3. 6stringpanda


    Aug 9, 2013
    Because most people are "Sheeple" and anything other than the norm is unacceptable.

    People thing that bass is the instrument you pick up because you fail at guitar.

    I play both and although different, I believe almost anyone can play a few chords on guitar and sound good, with bass you have to be nasty to "Show Off".

    Don't worry though, I just got 2 6 string acoutic basses! Time to "show off" unplugged!-lmfao!!!
  4. Simple. Because unless you're really, really good it sounds like crap.
  5. zeppfan90


    Mar 27, 2013
    bkbirge. I hear you on 7 of those. Me personally, I'm too much of a wuss to sing haha
  6. just because guitarists show off, doesn't mean they should.


    a show-offy bassist.
  7. zeppfan90


    Mar 27, 2013
    LOL do it man!! Pretty soon the chicks will start running to the bassists in no time and forget all about guitarists haha
  8. 6stringpanda


    Aug 9, 2013
    6 string acoustic bass is the instrument I was born to play! LOL
  9. remainthesame


    Sep 24, 2008
    i show off on stage and people love it. but even if they didnt, i wouldnt care.

    do what you gotta do to be happy and dont care about what others think. its your music.
  10. Bassists don't show off because they are not immature children . . . like guitarists.

    That, and what dmusic148 said.
  11. Slade N

    Slade N sunn #91 AZ Bands #?

    May 28, 2005

    not every one wants to show off, not everyone needs to show off..including most guitar players..especially bass players. yes there is a supportive nature to the instrument/role that we play that should be served. you wanna wank? go home and wank in your bedroom to your content. dont do it on doesnt serve the songs the vast majority of the time, it only serves your ego

    ...that being said, playing only roots is lame and if your band doesnt support cool/tasty and even flashy/complicated parts that fit the song then you should ditch the band or educate them on your choices and the reasons behind them..youll find out soon enough if its an ego thing (usually with an insecure singer and/or guitar player)

    playing a bunch of stuff just to try and look impressive = lame
    playing a cool part that fits = cool
    paying a cool part that fits and you dont make a big deal about it trying to look cool = awesome

    ok, my rant is done..that is all

  12. Bassdirty


    Jul 23, 2010

    this way, theyre so used to hearin sucky people try, when a decent fella starts to go at it, people think itl be like the last "show off" moves they heard..and shut it down. ;)

    i doubt a really gread bassist gets told to quit it.

    (then again..i dont consider myself great at all..and I wldnt dare try to "show off" for a crowd..I just play my 3 notes really awesomely..and people think im awesome..but reserved ;). my secrets out.)

    hey dmusic..i see were in the same neck of the shld come to a show when we play out..but dont expect me to show off. ;)
  13. IPA


    May 5, 2010
    Not in my non-existent band they don't or won't.
  14. zeppfan90


    Mar 27, 2013
    Geeze man, don't take it so seriously. And no one said anything about wanking off. Lol
  15. Slade N

    Slade N sunn #91 AZ Bands #?

    May 28, 2005
    i did get cranky there didnt i? ...maybe i need a nap

    wanking isnt literal masturbation, its musical in, no one is enjoying it but you
  16. jrusidoff


    May 31, 2013
    I'm just glad when our guitarist show UP!!!
  17. I think of the the bass as the foundation and not simply support. The proof of that being to stop playing for a couple of bars and watch the reaction of everybody, guitarists included.

    There may be the need for showmanship but even that should not detract from the frontman, unless that`s you of course.
  18. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Who is supposed to hold the groove while you wank?

    If you don't lose the groove you will impress people, if you do lose it, you will lose the crowd.
  19. In my scene...bass players take solo's all the time.

    A lot of people call it 'showing off' and think it is driven by ego. But it's not. It's called studying and working hard to know as much about your craft as you can. It's about knowledge, skills, and virtuosity.

    Is Peyton Manning 'showing off' when he lights up an opposing defense with superior skills? Is a chef with mastery of many challenging cooking techniques a 'show off?'

    I think the attitude that skills, knowledge, and chops are 'showing off' is a huge reason why the half assed music of today is boring and sucks so bad.
  20. zeppfan90


    Mar 27, 2013
    Even though I posted this thread, I actually do not show off a lot either. Haha. And when I do. It is nothing crazy. To be honest I love simple funky grooves and lots of fills thrown in the mix. I'm not going to go up and victor wooten anyone though haha. I would just like to see some acceptance for a bassist! IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK!?? haha