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What Constitutes a Great Rock Bass Player?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by blankstare77, Aug 15, 2007.

  1. blankstare77


    May 19, 2006
    Is it simply being a solid groove player?

    I've been watching what other bassists do and mostly what I see is them showing off. Can I be a successful rock bass player if I simply have a solid groove consistently?
  2. In my experience, you will get more admiration and calls for gigs if you're a solid groove player. The old saying "less is more" applies very well to playing rock bass IMO.
  3. Joe Gress

    Joe Gress

    Dec 22, 2005
    Pueblo, CO
    Solid groove.
  4. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    Yep. Rock steady.
  5. Thor

    Thor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam


    Take a lesson from the Godfather of Soul and STAY ON THE ONE.

    Don't get fancy and make all your changes flawlessly. They
    will call you back.
  6. sublime0bass


    Aug 2, 2007
    Boone, NC
    geezer butler
  7. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Bah...what makes a great rock bass player is to play whatever you play with the confidence of knowing what you're doing is the best thing for the song you're performing. If you're into showing off, make sure that your showing off makes the song stronger. If you're into grooving, make sure that your grooves are happening.
  8. + Lots.

    Having had the good fortune to see both Gerry McAvoy and Colin Hodgkinson this year, that sums them both up - driving it solidly in the pocket all night.

    The Hodge showing off is something to behold.

  9. Woohooo! A Gerry McAvoy fan!! Was he with Nine Below Zero?

    I've often thought when seeing him in his favourite, left lean forward stance when with Rory Gallagher, that he might have been mistaken for Status Quo's bassist instead. But that's when he had a bloody big head of hair he could shake around :) But if he was maybe showy in his action, he wasn't in his playing.

    He complemented Rory. Always consistent and solid and effortless. And truly an inspiration. He made the bass sound easy, and to me, a true artist of their craft is somebody who should make you feel that what they do is accessible to you, even when it's not that simple. Be that music, or any other skill.

    What a great combo they were, with drummer Rod De'ath, who sounds like he should have been from a different genre altogether, and Lou Martin on keyboards.

  10. Indeed he was with NBZ at the 100 Club. Black pre-EB 'ray & a yuuuuuge Trace stack. Plucked with one finger for most of the set but drove it all along (Brendan O'Neill helped a bit too). To say that the place was jumping would be an understatement - one of those magical nights where the band hypes the audience who hype the band who hype the audience who... & everyone goes home knackered & buzzing.

  11. DocBop


    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    You can turn the volume down low and the bass is still musical enough to hold your interest.
  12. omeany2


    Aug 6, 2007
    Austin, TX

    Write parts that embellish the melodies while holding down a strong rhythm.

    I always think of the bass guitar as adding tones to the kick drum. I like to lock it up with the kick real tight and mute to keep it clean.
  13. chicagodoubler

    chicagodoubler Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2007
    Chicago, that toddling town
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland, Genz Benz
    Sublimated ego.
    Great Hair.
    Ampeg SVT.
    Old P Bass.

    In that order.
  14. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    Great Post
  15. Besides grooving hard, showmanship is second important.
  16. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Alip Bob, you're a nice guy and I hate to correct you, but showmanship is always #1.
  17. blankstare77


    May 19, 2006
    If you're grooving hard, you sure as hell should be putting on a good show. They're both important and both interrelated.
  18. Audiophage


    Jan 9, 2005
    Playing rock bass well.
  19. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Exactly what makes a great bass player in any other genre:

  20. You must be correct then, you're the one with the bass! ;) :p

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