Study finds bass guitarist most important band member

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by John Le Guyader, Aug 16, 2017.

  1. John Le Guyader

    John Le Guyader Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2006
    DC Metro
    Hopefully this hasn't been posted before..,

    News | Guitar World
    Study Finds the Bass Guitarist Is Most Important Band Member
    Posted 03/01/2017 by Christopher Scapelliti , photo by

    It’s official: Bassists are more important than guitarists.

    A study conducted at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, set out to determine the importance of low-frequency information on music listeners. Their results, published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, were revealing.

    The study notes that music contains streams of tones throughout the auditory spectrum and is polyphonic, or multi-voiced. And you don’t need this study to tell you (but it does) that the most important melodic information is carried by the highest voice, such as the lead singer or lead guitar, and the most vital rhythmic information by the lowest voice, i.e. the bass.

    In the study, participants were played high- and low-pitched tones simultaneously, with the tones sometimes shifted in time: either the high-pitched tone was off the rhythm or the low-pitched was.

    The study found that listeners could more easily detect when low-pitched tones were out of rhythm, “indicating better timing encoding for lower-pitched compared with higher-pitch tones.”

    “The low-voice superiority effect for encoding timing explains the widespread musical practice of carrying rhythm in bass-ranged instruments,” the study’s authors state, “and complements previously established high-voice superiority effects for pitch and melody.”

    What does all this mean? It means that if you play rhythmic music like rock, metal, blues, jazz or what have you, listeners are more likely to start grooving to the bass than they are to the guitarist’s slick fretwork.

    Have a look at the study here. Just don’t tell your bassist.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2017
  2. twinjet

    twinjet Powered by GE90s; fueled with coffee. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    Thought they could keep this a secret from us? Ha, they've probably never heard of TALKBASS.COM!

    47th Street, Spidey2112 and jleguy like this.
  3. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    do a search for that university on here & you'll see heaps of threads about this study:


    I think this is probably the most recurring story on TB :roflmao:
  4. John Le Guyader

    John Le Guyader Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2006
    DC Metro
    oh well...maybe the moderators can take this down...should have searched firtst
  5. dtripoli


    Aug 15, 2010
    A study about bass players by bass players

    And in other news...
    Study finds Drummers Most Important Member of band,
    Study Finds Vocalists Most Important Member of band,
    Study Finds Guitarists Most Important Member of band,
  6. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    No worries... I'm sure if you perform the search next time, there will be even more new evidence uncovered, stating how awesome we are...
    Giffro, 47th Street and jleguy like this.
  7. bobba66


    May 18, 2006
    Arlington, Texas
  8. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    May 16, 2022

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