Uber bassists- I don't get it.

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Paulabass, Jun 14, 2019.

  1. Paulabass


    Sep 18, 2017
    Am I the only one who finds the quote "virtuosos" boring and just plain wanking? Michael Manring, Les Claypool, Stanley Clark, Alain Caron, Just about anybody who endorses Fodera, including Victor Wooten and many others.
    I admire their proficiency, and technique, but then say to myself 'Now play a song'.
    There are highly adept players I love- Phil Lesh, Chris Squire, etc. that CAN play that stuff, but somehow always keep the music first. I NEVER thought that John Entwhistle was wanking, no matter how fast he was playing. Mark King is about the only guy who ever slapped a bass that I could listen to a whole song.
    I'm not saying everyone should play bass like Chris Hillman, or Timothy Schmitt, there's lots of room for advancing the art, but most hi-tech players sound like they are only playing to impress, not drive the song.
    btmpancake, tindrum, ScotRFM and 73 others like this.
  2. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    All the bassists you mentioned above all play and can play simple even though they have chops galore. Wooten's got tons of tunes where he's just supporting.
  3. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    So you don’t like something, and you want to make sure that lots of other people share your dislike of that thing. Why?
  4. Paulabass


    Sep 18, 2017
    Not at all. I just said I admire their abilities, but the music leaves me cold- Discuss. Sorta the original purpose of a forum- The free exchange of ideas and opinions. Show me some great links to some of the named players and change my mind- I'm always open to learning something.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
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  5. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    I prefer Lyft bassists.
    And I, Craig22221, chaak and 160 others like this.
  6. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    I don’t have an interest in changing your mind about players with virtuosic technique. You hear what you hear, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But you are painting a lot of players with a broad brush. I’m pretty sure Victor Wooten (for one example) would do a great, grooving, and musical job if you hired him to play a country or classic rock tune. But so could a million other players. Victor can do many things most other players can’t. So he does. Nobody is required to listen to it if they don’t like it.

    I understand, their technique leaves you cold. But it’s art, if you don’t like someone’s playing, you just don’t. I personally dislike Phil Lesh’s playing and tone. I’ve found things in his playing that I have learned from, and past that I just try not to listen to him when I can avoid it.
  7. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
  8. Paulabass


    Sep 18, 2017
    Smeet- You are correct, and if this turns into a bashing post I will delete it.
  9. Mushroo

    Mushroo Guest

    Apr 2, 2007
    Hi Paula, great topic! I think we can have a good discussion and keep things civil. :)

    This is the song that convinced me Michael Manring "has something to say" musically, and isn't just all about the chops. It's a tribute for his friend Michael Hedges (RIP).

    duncmill, smeet, Jerry J and 23 others like this.
  10. Roland GR 88

    Roland GR 88 Commercial User

    Sep 16, 2013
    Ontario Canada
    Retail store manager
    If you're really curious just look up the discography of their work as sidemen. Stanley Clarke and Micheal Manring in particular are on hundreds of recordings simply playing what's required for the song and artist and Bela Fleck and the Flecktones weren't exactly showcasing Victor Wooten either, despite his talent.
    Solo bass albums are a different breed and their sales figures go a way towards proving your point but as usual, there's more to the story....
    Jerry J, Mr_Moo, robmclucky and 19 others like this.
  11. Cave Puppy

    Cave Puppy "Humph Bo, he's wond!" - John Lennon

    Jan 13, 2015
    Uber bassists - they play uber because they can, because it's there (like climbing Mt. Everest). I am of the same mind as you, though I'm glad all those folks you mentioned are out there doing their thing.
  12. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    Sounds like a very roundabout way to say you don’t want to discuss or hear about the OP’s original question.

    Why so combative?
  13. It sounds more to me like you don’t care for the type of music they play. You listed a bunch of top jazz players and les clay pool versus classic rock guys.
    To me that’s like saying I don’t like bananas because they aren’t apples.
    I do like some of those guys you have listed and I don’t really care for yes and the Grateful Dead.
    Mr_Moo, lostark98, Ikkir and 4 others like this.
  14. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006

    Solo albums and shows where said bassist has the spotlight are a totally different animal and need to be assessed using different standards.

    A circus performer is probably perfectly capable of waltzing across a room with perfect grace and style. But when he or she is in the spotlight before a crowd that paid to get in, most attendees want to see them perform death defying feats on the high wire.
    Ian Lewis, Mr_Moo, foxadn and 11 others like this.
  15. GretschWretch

    GretschWretch Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2013
    East Central Alabama
    I prefer the old-school hitchhiker bassists, who just use their thumb.
    Mr_Moo, foxadn, rllefebv and 19 others like this.
  16. mellowgerman

    mellowgerman Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2008
    Orlando, FL
    I feel like we have very similar perspectives on this matter, but I suppose it all comes down to taste and what a person is looking for in music. I have a few friends that could sit all day and watch/listen while Victor Wooten tears it up on his Fodera. There's definitely a market and audience for it, I just can't get into it myself.
  17. Bassndrums73


    Mar 13, 2018
    I can listen to super players and enjoy them when I’m in the mood for it. I liked Stanley with Return To Forever among other things he’s done. I can see Paula’s point though. I’m that way about music in general and not just the bass part. Sometimes I just like a good song where everything fits together like a glove and is well crafted but I can enjoy more complicated music also. Personally I can’t listen to much slap bass but that’s just my personal taste. I realize there is some talent there and work has to go into it to do it but it just doesn’t appeal to me.
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  18. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    I was calling out a post I felt was intrinsically combative. Would you think it was combative if I started a thread saying how much I hated some genre of music (or maybe all players who play flats and don’t play fills)? Asking who else hates something you hate is not a neutral thing. Unfortunately I’m seeing more and more of this on talkbass, and yes, it bothers me.

    Maybe a better way to phrase it would be to ask for examples of that genre that showcase musicality or whatever you feel is lacking in that style.
  19. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Not only that, but much of Clarke's film scoring work has no bass solos at all. In fact, it's usually low drones.
    Mr_Moo, Loring, Ikkir and 9 others like this.
  20. Although I appreciate those who are exceptional @ the supportive role of bass, drums, guitar, keys, etc.

    Once in a while, it is fun to hear some spit and fire. "how-dey-do-dat" ??? |c: ???
    Jerry J, Mr_Moo, Passinwind and 6 others like this.