So do u prefer to be a Flashy bassist?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by DSOTM, Mar 14, 2002.

  1. So do u people prefer to be a bassist who is flashy playing or not? I am just a layed back kind of guy who doesn't like to play flashy unless it would be necessary(which is never:D ) its just nothing i prefer. I just like to get the line down and play it and interact with the crowd we play with. not just stand there and try to play something that is a pain in the ass that you cant play and have fun at the same time. so are u a flashy bassist?
  2. Zirc


    May 13, 2001
    Los Angeles
    You call it "flasy playing".

    I call it "stuff that sounds good".

    Opinions differ, I play what I think sounds the best, which you would probably consider flashy playing. I also don't think it's a pain in the ass, I think it's fun.

    What about bass in EVERY ska band? Do you think all the ska bands have flashy bassists?
  3. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Depends on the song. Sometimes, it's just better to just lock in with the kick drum and go at it cro-mag style. Other times, it's chops time. Either way, it's all about the song.
  4. i'll go with Brendan on this one, but if you're playing songs like The Chicken, then, by all means...BLAZE IT UP!!!

    I'm more a fusion bass player...and when it comes to fusion, all the musicians are blazing!!! YEAH!!! (and BEBOP too);)
  5. How do u mean flashy? If you mean flashy as in involvement in teh song, tehn yes I like to be. When I'm playing a song that my guitar player has written, he generally gives the bass a pretty simple part. However, when I write a song, I center it around the bass as opposed to teh guitar so that the bass is a major part of it. Kind of like how Flea's riffs are major parts of most RHCP songs. I'm not comparing myself to Flea, but I definitely try to imitate what he does.
  6. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    I found that the members of my band were concerned when I first joined them that I was "too flashy." After a while I either dialed it back subconciously or they started digging what I was doing. Probably some of both.

    The guy they played with before was very plain and followed the guitar root wherever it went. I resist making the stock basslines that you would naturally lean toward. Sometimes I root, like if I have to do vocals too, but I'll jump off as soon as appropriate.

    It makes my playing more fun and I hope it makes bass players appreciate what I'm doing. I really do try to take into account "What would the bass players in the audience think of this bass line?" But I also put it in the context of the song.

    Flashy? Yeah, I guess. More than you'd expect from the type of music we play. I think it's fun and makes the songs more interesting. I just have to know when to back off.

    I'm also flashier live than on a recording.
  7. craigers2


    Sep 26, 2001
    as a bass player, i really try to be as "tastefull" as possible when i play with my band. there are moments when you can step out and solo or do something "flashy" but as long as it adds to the song and performance.
  8. Josh Ryan

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

    Mar 24, 2001
    I probably am a bit too flashy. The best compliment I ever received was from another bassist, who said, "You have a very cool complicated style, but it doesn't sound too busy, it really fits." I try to achieve exactly that. I'll be the first to admit I have a chip on my shoulder when it comes to bass supposedly being a "background, support, blah, blah, blah" instrument. I've always believed the fusion guys have it right, anything can be in front, anything can hold the groove, anything can be support.
  9. Tom Crofts

    Tom Crofts

    Mar 15, 2001
    Well at the moment we only have four songs...

    I've been playing (teaching myself) for a year and 4 months and our guitarist has 4 lessons a week and has been playing for about 2 and a half years. His riffs are amazing and he just gave me the root and let me work something out. His riff is full on the whole time so I just made up four different riffs to fit the roots. Two of them contain triplets (just had to put them in, they sound so cool:d). So I've overused those loads in the chorus but then in the verse i play roots...

    But I love playing flashier stuff, but only if it'll fit in. If it'll suck then I don't bother. So far...
  10. [QUOTE What about bass in EVERY ska band? Do you think all the ska bands have flashy bassists?]

    I think the important thing in ska, as far as bass is concerned is to just keep it moving. So I wouldnt say a ska band bassist is flashy but is just servicing the song. IMO that kinda bass part is essential

  11. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    One of the best technical bassists I've ever seen was at the same time one of the worst musicians I've ever seen. He could shred like crazy... he was doing 2-hand tapping on his Steinberger back when Billy Sheehan was still in Talas. It sounded great in the fusion instrumental his band opened with. Then the band played "Green Manalishi" by Judas Priest... and he kept throwing in 2-hand shred fills! That continued all night, even during songs by Pat Benatar and ZZ Top.

    Goal #1 is to do what fits the song. I enjoy being a supportive player. If I like the song, then I'll like the bass line, even if I'm pedaling A all the way through. I don't particularly care for soloing all that much... but I do enjoy playing fancier bass lines.
  12. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    I agree with Brendan. When I was in my cover band, I tried hard to duplicate the original bassline, but only to the point where it was recognizable. Nine times out of ten, I'd throw my own little spin on it, but never got too complicated. With our originals, sometimes there was room for me to get a little "freaky," but other times, I thought it was just best to duplicate the guitar parts. I play for the song, not for my ego.

    To answer your question, DSOTM: No, generally I don't consider myself to be a flashy bassist, but I can be if I need to be. I'm more of a "meat-and-potatoes" bass player -- and I am proud of it.
  13. what i mean by "flashy" is someone who is a showoff and shows off at the wrong time and in the wrong type of band. To me i believe someone who has to make a bass line harder than it should be i consider flashy. Kinda acts like a guitarist.
  14. if u goto and download "hardcore" you will hear one of my best pieces with them. They gave me the boot for some talentless bassist(download apocalypse or you told me and you can hear how pathetic he is) it is kinda flashy but when we wrote the song the singer and drummer both said we should add something like that to the song so i just did that and tried to not be too flashy.
  15. Josh Ryan

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

    Mar 24, 2001

    In that case, no, I don't consider myself flashy.
  16. *ToNeS*


    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    i must confess that i have never written a bass line that was entirely composed of backyard root-tooting antics - my and your instrument is capable of so much more than that.

    as Flea says, if you're a musician who's "all flash and no smash", then you may as well shut up until you have something to say. you could have chops to burn (and i hope that i do), but there's a fine line between a meaningless flurry of crap and an exceptionally complex yet meaningful passage. it'll always sound good to your ears, doubtless, but i'd rather move an audience with the emotive use of three notes than 'amaze' them by heading up the neck to grab as many frets as i can in the space of 10 seconds.

    being 'flashy' is a matter of how you view the bass as a whole. if one is taken aback as soon as a bass player hops onto the G string and starts sticking out of the mix a little, hell man, i'm flashy. to most people, just _hearing_ the bass in a song will excite them :D making it kind of an easy job to look impressive as a bassist, because people just don't hear what it's capable of too often.
  17. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    That's not flashy that's tasteless and sh*t.

    Showing off is not flashy... playing something technically difficult or complex is flashy.

    There's nothing wrong with being flashy as long as it suits the song.

    Imagine a few slapped arpeggios and double thumbed riffs in Another One Bites The Dust... that would be crap... but it would be perfectly OK in some dodgy Van Halen guitar cover.

    I had an audition recently. I had 1 track to learn, so I learnt it note for note - and played exact to the CD, apart from my own addition of a 1 bar fill at the end of the song - which mirrored the guitar part so closely that it just blended in.

    If you walk into a room with musicians and w*nk you're playing all over their music you're being very arrogant. You're basically saying "your music is dull and boring without my playing"... nobody appreciates that.

    The metal band I'm in has some flashy-ish bass... mainly because the guitars are just meat & potatos - power chords etc, so i write a more melodic groovy bass line to spice it up a bit. Other times when the guitar really dishes out the riff, I sit back and play roots etc...

    I guess what I'm saying is that flashy isnt neccessarily a bad thing... if done with taste it can really make a performace or sing more interesting.

    We all like to see a fellow bassist play well... I personally get bored just hearing 8th roots over and over.
  18. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Me flashy? Only when I'm wearing a trenchcoat and boots! :D
  19. Brad Barker

    Brad Barker Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2001
    berkeley, ca
    i consciously play "tastefully."

    i try to hear my part before i play it. therefore, i only play what will sound natural and what fits in. occasionally, i'll *hear* a part that happens to draw attention to myself...but i won't "wank it up" just 'cuz i can; that'd be kinda rediculous.

    this doesn't apply when i mess around by myself at my house (PLAYING BASS!! ;) ). but i'm going through a "mellow" phase: longer and fewer notes, more drones, melody, etc.