I have been thinking about posting this for a while but just kept putting it off. However, several posts in another thread led me to believe the time is right to throw out some questions or food for thought regarding the state of bass in bluegrass. Why is an instrument that is so vital and vibrant some genres (jazz and rockabilly spring to mind) relegated to an almost exclusive supporting role in bluegrass? Please note that I did not say unimportant role because the bass certainly fuels the drive in bluegrass, and a poor bassist in a bluegrass band probably stands out more than any other musician. I dont want this to degenerate into an argument over 1-5 versus moving more into the realm of walking bass. Over the years there have been periodic posts regarding the zen of 1-5 in bluegrass. I usually come down on the side of side of tradition. It is really something special when the groove is locked in tight on the basss pulse. BUT there are tunes that can be taken FAR beyond that if ability and band members will allow. Do we need to take bluegrass beyond the bassics (pun intended) or do we remain content to be the ultimate invisible man (or woman)? I have several other thoughts on the players, technique, etc, but will just get the ball rolling with the above.