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To be or not to be a bass player

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Mayers, Apr 18, 2010.

  1. Mayers

    Mayers Guest

    Sep 28, 2007
    I don't know if it belong here but well... I'm sorry if not.

    Do some of you feel like you're not a bass player ??? I explain myself.

    I don,t seem to have the same vision as everybody else on this forum. I don,t see myself as a bass player but as a musician who happen to like the sound of a bass.

    So I play like a soloist.

    Many here seems to be funk/rock and be all about Jaco, Wooten, Flea, JPJ and Entwhistle.

    In other word : slap, funk groove and keep the fondation.

    While I'm good at those stuff I prefer to play more like John Patitucci, Manring, Jeff Smith, Joe Pass ( I know he plays guitar ).

    In the end ... I guess I feel alone in my approach. Anybody else do that ??? Or feel similar with what they do ???
  2. If you want to be a soloist probably best you get a solo instrument. On the bass playing as a soloist is fine when you have the solo. Definition of solo. "A single performer or a passage that is to be performed by a single performer".
    Well -- IMO - The bass is to be played as a solo instrument only during the bass' lead break. How often does the bass get the lead? Couple of times in a song.

    How often does the lead guitar get the lead? When no one else is doing the lead. How often is that? Couple of times in a song.

    So..... in both cases when others have the lead (are doing their solo) you are comping or laying down the beat. Augmenting every one else until its your lead - then your can play solo.

    Around 1:05 in the video Clapton passes the lead from his guitar to his voice -- what's he doing on his guitar when his voice has the lead? Chord accompaniment.

    You gotta do both.
  3. play it the way ya feels it son.....i'm sure you'll find some like minded guys here


    Apr 16, 2010
    Yea... you are a Bass player. For sure. It might be a hard thing to do, but you must get out and interact with other
    musicians. It will keep your sanity. Your style is not his style or that style. No matter. The absolute best advice I can give you is don't worry about getting out and finding other players.
    Your style will be accepted and you will grow as a bassist.
    Do it!
  5. DizzyExiled


    Jan 22, 2010
    Chico, Ca
    In the words of the bassist/vocalist who inspired me to play bass...

    "Why do you want to be a bassist? Don't be a bassist."
  6. Mtheory


    Nov 2, 2009
    i think playing the bass qualifies you as a bass player.
  7. SpamBot


    Dec 25, 2008
    St. Paul, MN
    This. Just because most people play an instrument one way, no one can tell you that it's wrong to play it another way. Look at Bela Fleck for an example, he might play banjo but they doesn't mean he can't play jazz fusion on it.
  8. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Brand Identity & Development, GHS Strings, Innovation Double Bass Strings, Rocktron
    You are certainly not alone. I share a lot of the same ideas that you've expressed here. Manring is one of my prime influences for his voice in the solo bass arena, but also for how he approaches the bass as a sideman. If you can get ahold of his "Equilibre" album, I think you'll understand what I mean. He's a FANTASTIC sideman on that album when he's backing up the guitar, but it's apparent it's still him the entire time.

    In short, don't feel alone in your playing style, or vision. There are lots of people that share it.
  9. TheBasicBassist


    Jan 8, 2009
    Newark, DE
    Endorsing Artist: Rosado Guitars
    Your still a bass player, since you do play the bass, no matter what style.
  10. MEKer

    MEKer Supporting member

    May 30, 2006
    Then you feel and are like Victor Wooten and Les Claypool and several others in mindset if not yet in playing ability. Yes, you are a bassist. Nothing wrong with bass oriented and melodically driven songs.

    Bass can more than just the groove or the rooted foundation, more than just sitting back in the mix, more than just being the backseat.

    There is no reason those important elements cannot, indeed, be driven in the song at the same time as having the main voice. That is NOT to say the other instruments do not have a time to shine in the song or that you cannot suddenly turn down to groove and allow the lead guitar to perform lead guitar or whatever.

    Remember the BAND is about sharing the song. And if you are the focused instrument (if not purely solo) the same rules apply.There is plenty of room to be the focus instrument and at the same time have others shine in the arrangement as well. It can be all the time if you want a band like that, or it can be on occasion as appropriate.

    This can be in a band setting or be in a soloist setting with accompanying instruments/hired guns (there is a difference). Then it just depends on the quality of the song/arrangement.

    I do as you are doing as well. I am an aggressive bassist and have no problem soloing as I write complete bass songs frequently. But I also have parts in for others where I can lay back and share the fun of the song.

    You are a bassist. Hey, maybe you'll be a Manring or Clarke one day.
    Keep playing away and enjoy yourself.
  11. GregC

    GregC Johnny and Joe Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    I hope this doesn't come out as harsh, but I can only assume you haven't hung out here much despite your 2007 signup date. Even though your preferences are very different from mine (I certainly consider you to be a bass player, there's room for plenty of styles here), I've run across a number of TBers here who often perform solo. Take a look around, you'll find them.:)
  12. ggunn


    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    You handle the low end? You're a bass player. That thing in your hands, is it a bass? You're a bass player. Quit feeling "alone" and find an ensemble that lets you play to your strengths. There are no rules, only conventions. Break them.

    No offense, but you sound a little whiney. Cut it out. :D
  13. MonkeyBass


    Mar 22, 2009
    Denver, CO
    Play whatever you darn well please! A bass is an instrument... an instrument is a tool. In this case it's a tool of your musical expression. So who cares what other people do with it. If you enjoy playing it your way, keep playing that way.
  14. Hotrodmick


    Dec 7, 2009
    I read this yesterday and thought about it a little. I have played 6 different insturments in the last 40 years. I play guitar and harp in a Christian classic rock band and play BASS in a Christian/secular rock/blues band. In one band, I am a guitar player, in the other I'm the bass player and in the past I've been a harp, banjo or horn player. So, I think you are what you are, a Musician. And with that said we should be proud we are music makers.

  15. bass_snake

    bass_snake Banned

    Aug 13, 2008
    Stouffville, Ontario
    I hear ya. :) I went to an audition one time and played a little bit of solo. They didn' t like it.

    Oh well, I think it' s just my style is different. :D

    Good luck!

  16. ggunn


    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    What kind of harp? :D
  17. Hotrodmick


    Dec 7, 2009
    I'm one of those harmonica players everybody hates:spit:
    I've been playing it for 35 years. (Neil Young , Super Tramp, Long Train Running and of course The Blues):p
  18. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    You are either young or new here...LOL. There are so many players here that share your thought and approach. I see similar threads here often. You are an artist, a musician first, and feed your ego with being out front. Welcome to the world of performing arts, it a commonality we all share to varying degrees. Embrace it, enjoy it, and exploit it for all you can. Play, feel, embibe, and create. It will continually fuel the passion. Passion is the basis.
  19. ggunn


    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    It was a lame attempt at a joke, sorry. Plays harp in a Christian band -- I'm thinking wings, halos, puffy white clouds...
  20. i actually disagree with some claims that "you play bass, your a bass player". plenty of people play guitar are they guitarists? not usually. its easy to be play bass to be a bassist is hard.

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