Why be a bassist?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by CrawDad, Aug 30, 2002.

  1. CrawDad here. I first started out playing the bass about a year ago. About 2 months ago I bought a cheap 6 six string accustic guitar and started playing it. I cought on pretty fast but I still play bass for my band. People ask me,"Why do I play bass instead of guitar, I answer them, "I love playing bass, it is the backbone of every band and I only play my 6 string when I'm chilln' with my friends at the bay." I was just wonder how many people can play the bass and play a guitar yet you still remain faithful to your love of being a bassist?
  2. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    In my neck of the woods, you get more work.
  3. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    I do play guitar in a band. I started out home recording and it ended up as a band. Guitar seemed the logical instrument for me as I cannot sing and play bass. Also my guitar playing is ...unusual.

    I do enjoy playing bass. I label myself as a musician but if pinned down I would say "Bassist".
  4. baba

    baba Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2002
    3rd stone from the sun
    "I was just wonder how many people can play the bass and play a guitar yet you still remain faithful to your love of being a bassist?"

    I sure can. I started playing guitar and didn't pick up a bass until 6 years later. The rhythmic attributes of the bass is what made it stick. I also prefer the bass tonal range over the shrillness of a lead guitar. Finally, I realized that guitarists are a dime a dozen but a good bassist is in great demand. I still love to play guitar but I'll almost always pick up the bass first.
  5. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    It's way cooler... :cool:
  6. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    I play the geetar and the bass, I like the bass better.
  7. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001
    I just have a lot more fun with it, guess I've always been more suited to bass than guitar. I like having that role where the bass can be melodic, rhythmic, supportive...all of the above. Plus, it's fun to be the one holding it all together, which is how I view my role on bass in most situations. Singing backups adds another challenge, which helps keep things interesting and raises my level of involvement.

    Sometimes, when we collaborate on musical ideas, the drummer will break into something, and then I'll jump in with something too. Even if the line I come up with doesn't incorporate a lot of melodic movement, the rhythmic aspect of bass allows me to jump in with the drummer and play something that gets our blood pumping right off the bat.

    Even variations on something as simple as two notes can groove until the cows come home. During these little musical brainstorms however, all the guitarists I've worked with rarely come up with anything interesting. All they do is solo solo solo ad nauseum. I like a good guitar solo as much as the next guy, but I just don't get the point of that totally self indulgent perspective. What happened to serving the song? or developing a musical idea?

    This is in no way a knock against guitarists as a whole, I realize my personal experiences are by no means indicative of all guitarists out there. It just happens to be a recurring theme I've experienced personally, and I don't understand it. When I pick up a guitar, I attempt to come up with some part of a bigger picture, not to test the limits of my own virtuosity. I guess that's why I'm continually attracted to the bass, I play to serve the song and performance. I don't play to BE the song or performance.
  8. Guitar, some piano, some horns, but bass is my current passion.
  9. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I once had someone ask that of me in a very derogatory manner, as if bass was like some kind of punishment. I said I just like it better, it holds everything down.

    Also, I grew up in a big and very musical family. There were piano players and guitarrists all over the house. Nobody played bass. :) My younger brother took up the drums for largely the same reason.

    It really is more fun, and when you get a good groove going you can get people's heads nodding and feet moving. Only the bass can really do this, drums can't do it alone.

    I find the stressful thing about bass is that there's no room for error. With a guitar you flub a chord and you're OK for the most part (solos are a different story). But with bass, everyone can always hear every note you play, and when you screw up.
  10. RyKnoz


    Dec 22, 2001
    I enjoy it more.
  11. Like Babadingding, I started on guitar, but then when my first band broke up, I realised that there's twelve guitarplayers for every bassplayer, and every bassplayer I knew was flat out gigging. Twenty-odd years of bassplaying later (that's maybe 3000 gigs!) I think I may have made the right decision.
  12. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    This question has a simple answer, It is better to be FELT than heard !
  13. Two little points about that.
    1.) in my town theres only me and some little kids playing bass so i couldnt really say i knew anything
    2.) thanks to my location (england) our bands only had 3-4 gigs :(
    keep going ey

    but yea about the question babadingding said it perfectly
  14. BillSC

    BillSC Guest

    May 30, 2002
    Columbia, SC
    I played guitar for a long time, then switched to bass. I know one thing for sure. I have never knocked pictures off the wall in my house playing guitar, but damn sure do playing bass....I LOVE IT!!!
  15. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    Yep playing guitar for 6 years, bass for 3, love bass more than guitar, because i love the tone of it, it's a more melodic tool, as far as i'm concered. It holds everything together, and when ever i listened to a song, i listened for the bass.
  16. I started out playing on the guitar, but as soon as I grabbed a bass, I fell in love with it.

    I'm trying to learn a lot of instruments, so I started playing, dare I say it, the DRUMS. Shhhh... don't tell the others...

    But I will always go back to bass at the end of the day, for the low end, the groove. It's what holds a song together. Plus, you can do more with a bass. Finger picking, slapping/popping, tapping, picking, and so forth and so on.
  17. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    Actually, first time I played the bass was at music classes during junior high, and thought it was cool. However, I got my mom to buy me a geetar at that point, I've always been digging simple bluesy rock guitar stuff like AC/DC, but for some reason geetar just diden't "do" it for me as bass did.

    I guess that you partially could call me a "failed geetarist" - but at the end of the day I still like the bass more :)
  18. I knew from the start that I wanted to play bass, but I didn't have any money to buy one. My mom had a banjo lying around the house, so I played that like a bass, with fingerstyle and slapping, until I saved up enough money to buy one.
  19. I played bass for 15 years before ever picking up an acoustic guitar and learning how to play it. Obviously, I'm not nearly as facile on the guitar as the bass, but even if I could play the guitar as well, I'd still consider myself a bassist first and foremost.


    The most common answer is that you'll always find work. No one wants to play bass ;)

    But beyond that, it's an instrument that is subtlely powerful. Two different bass lines over the same chord progression can really change the direction of a song. And of course, the bass is the 'bridge' between the melody and rhythm. It's the glue.

    Plus, bass is, with the right reinforcement, felt as much as heard, which is a really cool thing. :)
  20. fadlan bassman

    fadlan bassman

    Oct 23, 2001
    I tried several times to get into guitar, starting with an acoustic when i was 17 (lasted a few weeks) then i bought a cheepy squire starter electric guitar kit when i was 23. My brother played it more than I and he did not live with me!! I picked up the bass 2 years ago and never looked back. I mainly picked it up so I could do something at the house while watching/taking care of my newborn son. But I realized that all the songs that i really liked i was listening to the basslines. I also took lessons and joined a band which helped motivate my practice and learning. Bass just feels right. (or maybe thats just my Spector :p )