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Soul vs. Virtuosity?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by ben_the_bass, Aug 9, 2007.

  1. Soul Power!

  2. Virtuosic Chops!

  3. Both....duh...

Multiple votes are allowed.
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  1. ben_the_bass


    Jul 12, 2005
    In your personal opinion, which is more important to you as a musician: playing with simple, but powerful melodies that don't require much "definition," or endless streams of notes that show off your technical prowess?
    edit: The point of this thread is not to establish in stone what or how a player should play, but rather to see what everyone's approach to writing a bass line is. That's all, please don't kill me.
  2. For my own playing - Soul all the way...

    ...But I do play in a Soul Band! (boom-tish)

    I'm not much interested in showing off for my own sake. I enjoy playing much more when the band is playing well as a whole and really laying it down. Whether that requires me to play a simple part or a more technical piece - it doesn't matter.

    Whilst I love to hear technically brilliant bass playing - if the music doesn't have a heart technical ability alone can be as interesting (to me) as algebra.
  3. Barkless Dog

    Barkless Dog Barkless to a point

    Jan 19, 2007
    They go hand in hand to be a true great bass player. Playing with restraint & soul but being able to conquer difficult music.
  4. Soul is far more important, by a long shot. I like it when virtuosity is brought in to complement the soul.
  5. GlennW


    Sep 6, 2006
    "With the power of soul anything is possible." Jimi Hendrix
  6. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    They're not mutually exclusive.
    One needs both to express himself.
  7. i agree, but that doesnt mean one cant be more important than the other.

    im gonna say soul, and im also gonna say that there should be a poll in this thread, and im also gonna say that if there was, 95 percent of the people on TB would say soul also. its a gimme.
  8. lefty007


    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL
    Well, you know the answer to that: soul. But ideally, a musician will have both.

    There is a fine line between being a soulful player and being sloppy. There is also a fine line between being a technical virtuoso and being a senseless shredder.
  9. Otso


    Mar 6, 2006
    Virtuosity = technical ability + soul.

    Chops alone don't make someone a virtuoso.
  10. Amen!!!
  11. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    only a few in the world achieve virtuosity. Tons of musicians do not have that, but they have soul.

    Virtuosity is a different level when a player can truly express whatever it is thatis on his mind, not just merely really good.

    that said, if you get to that level, then the phrase 'absolute power corrupts' comes to mind.

    Me personally, Oteil is one of those players that can play what is in his head, but it still has one hell of a groove, a million notes a second or just simply a great melodic passage.

    BTW, there are a fair number or virtuosos that I don't really consider to have a lot of soul, you should note the classical genre for that.
  12. Kobaia


    Oct 29, 2005
    Denton TX
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amp Gruv Gear and Mono Cases
    yeah but look what happened to him...:meh:

    all i'm going to say is Marcus Miller does both.
  13. These two are not mutually exclusive, you can be a virtuoso and have soul and you can be a virtuoso-soulman.

    But that being said, as a bassist, soul'll get you way more gigs.
  14. just cuz he is dead doesnt mean this statement is any less true...its not like he said with the power or acid anything is possible. it wasnt soul that killed jimi.
  15. DocBop


    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA

    Just look at any of the great players that people listen to and talk about for decade(s) later they mainly were know for their feel more than their chops. Those with the famous with chops got their starts and notoriety from their bass lines and feel before their solo chops. Lots of players with monster chops show up on the scene and disappear in a couple years to the next guy with better trick licks.
  16. Yngwie 4String

    Yngwie 4String Banned

    May 3, 2007
    Auburn Nebraska
    If virtousity was important to me Id e screwed, just not blessed that way. Its all about the groove baby!:bassist:
  17. i think people are getting virtuosiry confused with technical ability. even the OP maybe.

    Virtuosity is not the same as being a technical god...virtuosity is having complete command over the instrument, and being able to say what you want with it in the way that you hear it in your head. you dont have to be able to play 60 notes per second to be a virtuoso.
  18. louieeadg

    louieeadg uncle petey?

    Jun 13, 2007
    outer banks, nc
    I would much rather lay down that bassline to 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough' with my band than win a gold medal at the Bass Olympics...
  19. spindizzy


    Apr 12, 2004
    Virtuoso has and always will be a complimentary designation that a person of advanced technical knowledge and ability that is often given by the music loving public.

    To think that it is a word with a counterpart or opposite in the word "soul" is rediculous and just plays to the crowd who is thumping someone's version of the bass player bible.

    A more important question is; how can I develop the technical skill, theoritical knowledge and superior taste (soul if you will) that will allow me the priviledge of being described as a virtuoso bassist?

    To think one has to choose between sound technical prowess and soulfullness at some artificial fork in his/her personal development is...well just plain silly.

  20. jeff schmidt

    jeff schmidt no longer red carded, but my butt is still sore.

    Aug 27, 2004
    Novato, CA

    I've personally found "either/or" & "this vs that" type thinking to be a very limiting place from which to make music.

    But I guess even that can have it's advantages.

    See what I mean? :D

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