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The myth of the bass player and lead guitarist

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by enkiluk, Feb 27, 2002.


  1. There is a myth around where i live that a bass player is only in a band because he/she has to be.
    Most lead guitarists i've played with see themselves as the most important person, when we all know in a band situation, everyone is supposed to be equal (or at least that's my view).
    Being influenced by players like Jack Bruce, i have a tendency to improvise alot, which results in lead guitarists shouting at me because i'm taking the focus off of them. has anyone else had this problem?
     
  2. bass2020

    bass2020

    Aug 27, 2000
    Memphis, TN
    Yes.
    Most of the time, Lead guitarist have BIG egos.
     
  3. rhythmrod

    rhythmrod

    Oct 27, 2001
    Austin, Texas
    Lead guitarist tend to be a little egotistical, but that could be because in videos and concerts they tend to be the focus of attention. I've been lucky, my band is pretty tight and we don't suffer with that problem. We also just auditioned a rhythm guitarist who's pretty darn good. So if ego's do develope, these two will cancel each other out (Just Kidding). Anyway, I play a 12 stringer, so if they ever act up I'll just pump up my amp and blow them away!
     
  4. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    this doesn't belong in basses. we'll try miscellaneous.
     
  5. in all fairness, are you sure that's why he yells at you? it could be that you just suck at improvising and aren't holding down the groove well.
     
  6. Every band has either an official or unoffical 'leader'. In a lot of bands, it ends up being the lead guitarist. Guitarists, especially lead guitarists, are usually extroverted and 'alpha' types. Bass players are usually the quiet, good-looking, intellectual types that should get all the hot chicks, but don't, because the freaking guitar players get all the atten.....wait, where was I? Oh yeah, it's probably just a personality thing.
     
  7. Gabu

    Gabu

    Jan 2, 2001
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    I think any way is okay... great bassist, good guitarist, great guitarist, good bassist, or great bassist and guitarist. The thing that needs to be working is teamplay.

    If your band members are all working together towards a similar goal, then it will work out.

    I have seen plenty of bass players making fun of guitarists here, I used to be one of them... But it got old after a while. Guitarists, bassists, singers, drummers, keyboardests, brass... etc etc They are all equally important.
     
  8. Actually, the lead guitarist for my band is pretty well mannered...I've known him for nearly 11 years (!) and a few times he's a little overbearing but I take the classic bassist attitude and say "Whatever you want to do, I'm just the bassist (and I set up all types of keys, key changes while keeping the beat, tempo, and style)."
     
  9. frankencow150

    frankencow150 Guest

    Oct 17, 2001
    The guilt will make him snap!
     
  10. IronBass

    IronBass

    Jan 31, 2002
    Dallas, Texas
    I agree with gabu, just work with each other, suggest and talk to each other about what ya have made up and get each one opinions. Basically, I think, it all works out good when your bandmates dont care if you start doing your own thing on bass.
     
  11. Captain Awesome

    Captain Awesome

    Apr 2, 2001
    PDX
    I think Dancehall has a point there. I know that when I was starting out on bass, I probably thought I was Flea or whatever and I did get complaints, probably not enough, when I attempted to improvise. That was because I sucked but didn't realize it at the time. Now I don't get those complaints any more because my timing and sense of groove is much better than it was.
     
  12. I like funk, where there usually is no "lead" guitarist - just a guy doing a three string "chank".
    I prefer guitar as a rhythm instrument rather than a melodic one.
     
  13. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    My guitarist doesn't have a choice. I'm a full 1/4 f the band. He can't fight it more than anyone else, so he's gotten use to me being up front and in your face w/ my playing.
     
  14. PunkerTrav

    PunkerTrav

    Jul 18, 2001
    Canada & USA
    I havent had any of those kinda problems with my buddies. The guitarist and i started music in a classical settign so we get the balance deal. And our drummer playes guitar and bass too. He plays the funky slap stuff so he think the bass player is important

    Travis
     
  15. John Davis

    John Davis Guest

    Mar 27, 2001
    Houston, Texas
    I get yelled at if I'm not doing enough. :D
     
  16. I tend to agree with DHC and Gabu; too many bassists these days want to slap, slap, slap all day and not actually lay down a supportive line. Now, I don't have much thumbstyle ability (I can barely get through Les Claypool's "The Awakening," which isn't intricate at all), so maybe I shouldn't be talking, but I really have to wonder about these guys who sit around practicing Primus or RHCP stuff all day rather than working on their rhythm and their sense of harmony.

    Mind you, I can't abide egomaniac shredhead lead guitarists--I've been in a band with a Vai/Petrucci-wannabe, and it's not fun--but I don't think that any instrument should always be in command of the group's sound. There's a time and a place for 16th-note slapping, just as there's a time and a place for sweep arpeggios and Neil Peart drum fills.
     
  17. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    All I can say is, you can have a band without a lead guitarist (and many do), but you don't see any bands without a bass player. Bass may not get the glory, but it is essential. I look at bass like offensive linemen in football. The running backs get all the glory, but without the linemen opening holes for them they wouldn't be successful.
     
  18. Josh Ryan

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

    Mar 24, 2001
    Any tonal/rhythm instrument can create a groove, any tonal/rhythm instrument can take a lead spot. What this should come down to is what the band and players in the band want. If the bassist is great and wants solo time, and the band wants him/her to have solo time, good! Then the guitar/whatever should lay down the supporting groove for the bass to solo over. If a member wants solo time but kind of sucks at it, then it's up to the band to let the person know they need to go back to the proverbial woodshed until they can play a solo. Roles in bands are purely defined by the people, not the instrument. Sorry for the rant I just can't stand people saying "but the bass has to supply the groove!" sure if the bass wants to, but there's nothing stopping the guitar, horn, fiddle, keys etc. from grooving as well!
     
  19. All the lead guitarists I've ever jammed with LOVE it when I come up with a bass solo or do something other than the typical rythm. Maybe I'm just lucky...