What do you think about bands without bass?

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by Richard Sabines, Aug 19, 2009.

  1. Richard Sabines

    Richard Sabines

    Sep 25, 2007
    I just want to know your opinion. I consider that some of the bands without bassist are amazing! :bag: The case of The Doors, The Kills, White Stripes, The Black Keys and one band that has blown me away lately: Tweak Bird, incredible riffs without lack of low end.:bassist:
  2. steamthief


    Jan 25, 2006
    Mentone Beach
    As good as they sound, it would be even better with bass guitar. See the Doors' later catalogue.
  3. becker4567


    Jul 26, 2008
    Very few bands can pull it off. The Doors actually auditioned several bassists (Ray felt he could do it better with his keyboard), but the lack of bass really shows on alot of their stuff. Same with the White Stripes. I've never heard Tweak Bird, but they must be terrific musicians to be able to fill without a bass. Just like the craze in the 80's of having a drum machine instead of a real guy behind the kit, trying to do without a bassist is not something that will get very far.
  4. Deluge Of Sound

    Deluge Of Sound Inactive

    Nov 8, 2007
    I saw tweak bird live a couple weeks ago, and they absolutely tore it up.

    But back to the question, I don't think bass is any more essential to music than guitars, or drums, or vocals.
  5. George Himmel

    George Himmel

    May 16, 2009
    Boston, kid!
    Former Manager, Bass San Diego
    It's not as if the records omit a bass part. The Doors catalogue would sound awful without the studio-added bass parts. Think of LA Woman without the driving line, or Riders On the Storm, or Soul Kitchen, or Peace Frog. No bassist, but a hell of a lot of bass.
  6. PJMiDi


    Feb 27, 2009
    Columbus, OH
    i saw um live in cinci and they def put on a crazy live show, as for bands without bass, there are some decent ones, but i still think all could benefit from having a bassist
  7. Hella
  8. Vetchking

    Vetchking Inactive

    Mar 17, 2008
    President G.P.G. Co. "acoustic" USA
    Vetchking Here:

    The doors we're a unique blend of talented intelligent people. They had enough people in the room. Add a bass player you change the total dynamic........

    They used bass players. They played Rays parts. Cool Idea. Don't screw it up.

    The doors had very personal, musical, interplay.
    How would you find the guy that can take that trip??????.........

    Answer is...... You Can't.

    They knew that.

    So all of you that don't get this. Go back and listen. Most of the doors music is jammed up. Take an idea and hash it around the room till it comes together and all members add their touch to it. WOW. Very cool band.

    I keep looking for the next group of guys to come along and do this......... So far........ Can't find them......

    Also, just like the Beatles add George Martin as the 5th Beatle.

    There we're 6 doors add Rothchild and Botnick.

  9. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    Steve Winwood has no bass player. Keys, guitar, horn player, percussionist and drummer. Caught his show at Montreux this summer.

    Blues guitarist Matt Scofield plays with a drummer and orgen player.

    Musically it works, but I much prefer the attack and sound of bass player.

    A keyboard player subbed for me this past Sunday. I went to the gig (can't play due to broken finger). It was fine. The crowd loved and knew no differently.
  10. Frank Tuesday

    Frank Tuesday

    Jul 11, 2008
    Austin, TX
    I don't see how the Doors it in with the other bands you mentioned. Even if they didn't have a "bass player" they sometimes did, and when they didn't, they had keyboard bass fulfilling the traditional bass roll.

    In my eyes, the rest of these bands are no different from a band like Primus or Korn, which technically have bassists, but the bass doesn't fill its traditional roll. Ultimately, I think these bands sound "thin" without some instrumentation to fill the low end of the sonic spectrum. Great songs, great riffs, great bands? Sure, but in my opinion it could be even better with something filling out the sonic spectrum.
  11. Is a matter of taste... I'd rather listen to some bass based band, or at least with a good bass player, but not all the time.
    Anyway, from the bands you mentioned I only like The Doors, and, as already's been said, they had bassist(s). The same with Keane, another band supousedly with no bass player. The first time they came here to Argentina they didn't bring a bassist. This year they did (though he played mainly bass, he also played another instruments, like big fat drums and some keyborads)
  12. Noak2


    Jun 16, 2009
    If they can pull it off, good for them.
  13. pig destroyer has no bassist, but scott hull is a good enough guitarist. He has said repeatedly "don't you think that if we wanted a bassist, we would have one?". They are pretty brutal, but I think a great bass player would make it even more so.
  14. I caught Local H live about a year ago. Guitar and drums. The guitarist has an insane rig. Bass pickup in his guitar, complete bass rig and guitar rig. It was pretty cool.
  15. Davecg2


    Sep 8, 2008
    Founder, Dave BrowseMyGear.com
  16. Soulive comes to mind. They only have the bass keys, no bassist. Great band!
  17. Lee Michaels had no bassist -- just his feet. But I think bands without bassists (generally) are of little interest to me.
  18. In my listening experience, bands with no bass have to have either a) some other instrument covering the low end or b) a style that is conducive to having no bass.

    The Dandy Warhols or Mates of State come to mind as bands that have no bass guitar, but have keys that handle the job. Heliosequence, like many other bands, has low end on the backing track that they use live.

    Arab on Radar comes to my mind when I think of a band that functions well with no low end. Adding bass to that band wouldn't make sense, because that's their sound.

    I saw the Yeah Yeah Yeahs years ago at a small club and the whole experience was sort of empty. Every song sounded like an intro- I kept waiting for the bass to kick in. I would group them with the White Stripes as bands that sound hollow live because they have low end on the recordings without being able to reproduce it live. They write regular rock songs without the bass, which, in my opinion, doesn't really cut it.
  19. Thor

    Thor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    That was my reaction. It's a bass forum after all.
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