The Psycological makeup of bassists.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Joe Nerve, Aug 5, 2001.

  1. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I recently met a woman who said that most of the relationships she's had were with bass players. I've realized that a lot of times people are attracted to certain types of musicians - some people have gone out with lots of drummers (wuts up with that), guitarists, lead singers, etc.

    Anyhow, she said she finds bassists to be the most grounded. They have to be solid, grounded people because that's part of thier responsibility in the music. She also thought they seemed the most humble, as they often are least in the spotlight, and not as ego driven as the other members.

    I know everybody's got their own thing happening, and there could never be any solid rules regarding this stuff - but I wonder what you all think about things that may be somewhat characteristic of bass players.
  2. I think if you ask the questions in the right order, you see a correlation:

    Type of personality will lead to choice of instrument, I don't believe for a second that choice of instrument will lead to type of personality.

    An example, I played the dreaded thin stringed irritating sibling of our beloved thunder-God for 13 years. I never felt completely comfortable in that role. But when I finally followed my initial desire and bought a bass, I was instantly at home. I've always, from as far back as I can remember, been more content to play a supporting role in all things, versus being in the limelight. Offensive lineman or defensive linebacker in football, defender/sweeper in soccer, and my desire prior to becoming a musician was to enter the Air Force and fly transport aircraft.

    Spotlight seekers will choose to play an instrument that will place them in the spotlight, supportive people will choose to play the instrument that supports. In our case, it's the one that's most important to the music but is not noticed as such by the average listener. ;)

    This isn't to say we're milqetoasts as a group.On the contrary, being supportive by no means is the same as being meek. Some of us are pretty forceful people, I'd say most good bassists are: we really run the show within the music we play, just not obviously. We "drive the bus", and our assertiveness or lack of will affect how the music sounds greatly.

    As you have mentioned though Joe, there are exceptions to this trend (Flea, Jaco, JT :D), but overall I'd guess about 85-90% of the time it's pretty accurate.

    Oh, and the last time I checked, we're referred to as BASSISTS, not BASSITS ;). Although I've been called a hound many times....
  3. Hmm...

    If that's the case, I wish I lived where you guys live. No one in Hong Kong likes the guy lurking in the background holding everything together.
    Everything's about looking good, feeling good, and being cool.

    Well, as a bassist, I've got the feeling good and being cool parts down... :D
  4. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Central Texas
    Most bassists I know (myself included) are control freaks, to one extent or another.
  5. Mike


    Sep 7, 2000
    Maybe there is some truth to this. Most drummers I've met are hyper active yappers who can't sit still for a second and if they do fall asleep instantly as if they are narcoleptic (exaggerating of course.) Lead vocaslists who do not play an instrument seem to be self centered as hell and also drive me wacky. (One reason why I will not play in a band that has one.) Most guitarists I've played with are somewhere between drummers and lead singers. Keyboard players always seem to be ultra reserved/painfully shy. And most bassists I know, myself included, are usually laid back Type "B's" (no pun intended) who are perfectly content to thud away unnoticed.

    I'd be perfectly happy sitting behind the stage and playing on a chair as long as I could peek out now and then and see booties shakin' because I'd know it's me that's makin' 'em shake and nobody else. :)
  6. Lord Bishop

    Lord Bishop Guest

    Jul 16, 2001
    Brooklyn N.Y.
    Well here's what I've come to understand in the 18 years I've been playing. The majority of women that Drummers, Guitarists and Singers get are usually above average good looking women, but they all seem to have a some major short comming that to me makes me not want to even deal with their sort. Women attracted to drummers seem seem to be into the physical nature of the drummer. I have the misfortune of knowing a few "Drummer chasers" and they all say the same thing. " look at his stamina, my god he must be a wild man! I want him". I also know quite a few drummers, and 9 out of 10 times when they've met women via music has ended up in one night stands or short term relationships. As for guitarists and singers, I've seen two different types of women hanging around them, and here's the basic scoop on these Emmy Award winners. The first type is the shallow, vain, ego driven type of woman. These women are into the high profile positions (the spotlight) that singers and most guitarists are in. The second type is ultimately subservient and usually cater to the singer's / guitarist's egos. We the bassists, are the lucky ones for the most part. We usually wind up with good looking women who are on an even keel. I woud have to say it's a personality thing. Most Bassists that I've encountered are pretty much in the same ball park as I am. These are just some observations I've made in my 18 years of music. :cool:
  7. downward spiral

    downward spiral Guest

    Jul 20, 2001
    is that I am a person who by personality should be playing guitar or singing lead but I suck at singing and I like the sound of bass over guitar yet I hate how bass is the supporting instrument and not the main one in the spotlight... somewhat of a dilemma.
  8. cafepurgatory

    cafepurgatory Guest

    May 20, 2001
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Interesting that you should mention that, Gard. Just last night at rehearsal, I got so fed up with musically monosyllabic drivel my guitarists have been doing that I set down the bass, took a guitar from one of them, and completely changed the song we were working on writing. It is a giant leap from the kind of thing we've been doing, and everyone in the band loved it. Funny thing is, I don't even know how to play guitar. But because of the fact that I learn as much theory as I can in the effort to become a better bassist and musician, I know more about music than they do, and can therefore write a more articulate part even for their instrument.

    I was quite pleased with myself. ;)
  9. ARA punk

    ARA punk Guest

    Jul 11, 2001
    USA, Shelby, NC
    Jeez man, i am the biggest talker. i tell everyone how the bass is the most important instrument and that everyone else's instrument (guitars, drums, etc) would be worthless if they didnt have a bass behind them. I am rarely humble.
  10. This is crazy, this is how i am and my friends that play instruments are. One of my friends was on the dark side he played guitar. But just recently started playing bass for his band. He fits better in the discription of a bass player then the discription of a guitarists in my opion.
    I think a poll could be comming up of the personalities of bassists, but ill leave that duty to someone else.
  11. ldiezman

    ldiezman Guest

    Jul 11, 2001
    Man I guess I'm in a freak band.. 3 people in it and not one guitar player (jump for joy). We have me on bass and Adam on the piano (the kid is sick on the piano, just crazy) and Chuck on the drums (yeah he is a tasty drummer, loves the cowbell).. anyway Adam and I do most of the singing and what not. We write our music so that noone stands out more than the other person throughout a set.. I don't think it was done that way on purpose but the pianist and I were best friend before we started a band and before I could play the bass. We picked up the drummer and we all just hit it off.. I couldn't be happier with the band.. I guess the piano player can be a ham sometimes and crave attention but a few knocks on the head and he realizes how stupid he is being and he stops... but i recommend a piano bass and drum trio.. no guitar players to let you down :)...
  12. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    Wow. i never really thought about that. they way you are DOES atract the type of insturment you play. ill the bass players i know ARE laid back, considering most people. I make some people mad becasue im not about useless crap. someone made a comment about drummers sleeping all the time, that has our drummer to a tee. hes like "practise? But im playing tony hawk!!!" hes credited with being the lazyist person in the band.
  13. NeoTrotskyist

    NeoTrotskyist Guest

    Apr 2, 2001
    what about multi-insturmentalists?

    all of the bass players i know seem to be on a different wavelength than anyone else. (me included)
  14. A Rock

    A Rock Guest

    Mar 18, 2001
    New Haven, CT
    i noticed that most of the times...the bassist is usually the more "bigger" guy who is the most

    but in the case of the more laid back is kinda tru.
    my band ppl know me as the "dark" one of the band cuz im usually wearing a hoodie and standing dere and not movin as much as the others.
  15. A couple of observations over the decades;

    - those who are attracted to you, in large part, because you are a bassist know more music, and more about music, much better than the average woman, IME.

    - whenever possible, I find it better to not let on that I'm a bassist when meeting women, at least until we've gotten to know each other better. I don't ask them what they do at first and I discourage them asking me. If someone wants to volunteer the info, fine.
    That way, they like the person more than what the person does.
    The "oh, you're a bassist in a band!!!" thing is just a bonus later on.
  16. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    I would have to agree with that. It seems every woman thats been attracted to me because I play a bass, knew more about music than the guitar players, drummers, or singers. I think they also understand the role of the bass better as well, its been my experience, that most of them have said to me, "if you pull out the bass the whole song seems, empty and shallow, and has no rythm."
  17. I think we should send all this info to maby they can make a instrument quiz
  18. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    I play bass and I am not laid back at all. In fact, I am the most high-strung dude I can think of and my temper's always flarin' up like a pack of hemorrhoids. ;) In spite of this (or maybe because of it), I am also the most "musical" member of my band and have the biggest desire to succeed (or suck seed, if the situation calls for it :D).
  19. This is exactly how I've been described by the guys I play with. I have the best/most stable job. I never ever say "Hey listen to this bassline", as opposed to guitarists...who think it's like the birth of a newborn calf everytime they come up with another tired, predictable guitar riff :) And every time someone tells me good job, or that they liked something I've done, It actually bugs me. Kinda throws me off. Now that's an odd reaction huh?
  20. merlin

    merlin Guest

    So the Psychological makeup of bassists= Insane , Freak and down right weird...

    or is that just me?

    OK OK i'm in denial about my insanity, wait a minute, no i'm not. :p