They love us and hate us

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by disenchant, Oct 20, 2006.

  1. disenchant

    disenchant You can't plagiarize yourself.

    Aug 9, 2006
    Elgin, IL
    I check the musician board on Craigslist Chicago a lot. It seems like bands are always looking for bassists and drummers. I guess everyone wants to be a singer or a lead guitarist!

    Recently there were some postings on how to get along without a bassist...with suggestions such as adding a bass pickup to your guitar and wiring it into a separate amp. They also suggest that bassists won't give one band all the attention because they're juggling 5 other bands or they'll leave if they don't like you because they know they're in demand.

    It seems like they want us, they need us...and they hate us.

    In my only band experience everything was all about the lead guitar, and the drums and the bass were just there to back it up. The music didn't sound right when I wasn't there, but when I was there I was supposed to be helping the lead guitarist/singer look like a star. If that's how it is, I can see why there aren't many bassists...and why a bassist might choose to leave a band.

    What's your experience?
  2. The antagonism comes from the fact that a good bassist is hard to find and sadly, the stereotypical guitarist/lead singer tends to relegate us to playing straight-8th roots to make themselves look better.

    Something that I also find humorous is the common tale of the guitarist who picked up bass because the lead singer told him to. Such an utter lack of groove typically follows... >.>
  3. disenchant

    disenchant You can't plagiarize yourself.

    Aug 9, 2006
    Elgin, IL
    That is so true! My first bass teacher was the lead guitarist and when I quit his lessons and started taking lessons from a bassist he told me I played the bass like a guitarist LOL!
  4. Lazylion

    Lazylion Goin ahead on wit my bad self!

    Jan 25, 2006
    Frederick MD USA
    LOL that won't suck very much! :D Unless you're Charlie Hunter...
    Guitarists need a big ego to convince themselves that everybody wants to hear all that wheedly-deedly crap. Same with singers for all that yowling and screeching they do. It's the nature of the beast. We just smile tolerantly (cause we know we rule) and get on with convincing them to do the songs with the killer grooves. Bass/drums is the steak, the rest is just the A-1 sauce! :bassist:
  5. teej

    teej Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    I'm in the same boat as you. A friend of mine plays acoustic/emo kind of stuff, which I don't particularly care for (I wanna rock!), but he's been a good friend, so I decided to play bass for him. Since then, however, he's kind of acted like I was of less importance, or that he doesn't need me. And it's hard for me to express myself or my playing ability in his songs.
  6. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Usually such guitarists or singers who don't appriciate other players but just assume they need to have them are not worth playing with. It just shows the lack of understanding how a band works, their lack of imagination and usually their egoistical nature too.

    For some reason many of these bands seem to be cover bands doing very specific music, often decided by the lead person as it's "his project", usually such where certain instrument tends to be the star. This kind of groups usually start to dissolve and go through many line-up changes when people decide they want to do more than just cover certain songs and the single player cannot maintain the control over band style.

    I can understand such guys seeing the bass player leave for other projects when there's someone to play with who understands how musicians should interact with each other to create new energy and not just copy someone else. I can also understand such guys bitching about it and generalizing that "all bass players" are the unreasonably party while the "band foundating" guy is never the one to blame.
  7. Brad Maestas

    Brad Maestas Sono est omnia Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 26, 2003
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    Luthier and Instrument Tech at Kala Brand Music Co.
    Some people do bite off more than they can chew. I will say that. Surely some bassists contribute to this sterotype (if it can be called that) that we're all jaded and that we take our endless supply of gigs for granted. I think that's incredibly short-sighted though because ANYONE, no matter what instrument you play or how many groups you play in, is capable of doing this. I've met plenty of unreliable and unprofessional musicians who were in just one band.

    I haven't had this happen to me recently but back during college, I was juggling about seven bands and it was a common occurence. I would meet a singer/songwriter who wanted to build a band and he/she would ask me why I was in so many projects. "That's how I make my living," I told them. They just didn't get it. It's not like we're getting married! Is it cheating if I jam with my buddies? :rolleyes:

    Why can't people just deal? Perhaps not surprisingly, people in NYC seem to be pretty cool about this. One drummer I play with performs with eight different bands and no one so much as bats an eyelash! If you want a good bassist, why not choose someone who's busy and/or experienced? There's some kind of lame power struggle that goes on because they want to OWN you! **** that!! I'm Brad Maestas. You don't own me! :spit:

    I love being a sideman, don't get me wrong. It's just when people start saying, "we'd be better if you were only in ONE band" or "why are you wasting your time with them" that I start to get upset. If you say that the whole band would be better if I was dedicating all my time to you then what does that say about the rest of the band's musicianship? On the other side of the coin, are you insulting my professionalism? That's like saying I am not prepared enough at rehearsals/gigs! :mad:

    I think people have such a hard time with it because they're not exposed to it enough and because they can't comprehend the fact that you CAN put your heart and soul into a group and not be totally anchored. It's one thing if you're in a national touring band. Then, you usually don't have time for much else. But if you're trying to make a living as a freelance bassist, especially in the Midwest, your only choice IS to play with as many different people as possible. Gee, and wouldn't you helps you become a more diverse player, too! :)
  8. ric1312

    ric1312 Inactive

    Apr 16, 2006
    chicago, IL.
    I can see your point if you are making your living off of bass. You kind of have to have multiple bands. Before when I just sang though I often saw how bands whores could really screw with a band. I was in a band that that really was very close to doing something. Problem was the drummer and bassist, who were killer, were always missing practices because of seperate country/wedding acts to make side money. Often not because it was the same day as practice, but because they were too beat the next day.

    The guitar player would just pull his hair out, because he would constantly have to pass up huge gigs that were offered because one of them had to play such and such a gig because it paid them 200-300 dollars and they needed to make rent. And they were not players that could just have someone stand in.

    I don't think it's that anyone want to own you, but that they want you at more practices to put in more creatively and help the band gel Without all the members at practice it's kind of hard to do.

    I've also been in other bands where the bass player is in one or more other projects. At first he says won't be a problem, I'll make it to practice yadda yadda yadda. What always happens.... can't make it cause the other band is gigging and we need to brush up extra or the other band is doing this. It ends up in a stupid little band competition, whichever band is gigging and getting paid or just doing something more interesting gets the bass players focus. May not be the same with you but that is what I have found with multiple band players. So, I just don't do it anymore.

    I've also been the singer in two bands at once. My second band was much better than the first, which was also my first band. My first band ended up getting ugly with me and jealous after coming to one of the other bands rehersals, and seeing a band at the level they were struggling to acheive.
  9. Lazylion

    Lazylion Goin ahead on wit my bad self!

    Jan 25, 2006
    Frederick MD USA
    You brought the worse band to the better band's rehearsal?
    Waiter, could I have a triple-thick Bucket-o-Drama please?
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