I had an argument with a pianist friend last night who stated flat-out that bass guitar is a wholly inferior instrument to the double bass. When asked to explain his reasoning, he went off into some crap about "wood" and how bass guitar sounds "plastic-y," and that pitch is unimportant for a contrabass instrument anyway. I realize that this is one guy (he has also claimed that trombone is an "inferior" instrument, FWIW), and his biggest influences are Keith Jarrett, Oscar Peterson, and Brad Mehldau--guys for whom take-no-prisoners eight-octave cadenzas, rampaging all the way down to A1, are a way of life--but I've gotten this from other pianists and a ton of horn players, albeit mostly in the straightahead/neotraditionalist vein. Why is it that so many straightahead pianists and horn players are willing to put up with DB players who use magnetic pickups and super-low action that make them sound more like stereotypical slabbers than the slabbers themselves, yet recoil instinctively at the thought of playing with a bass guitarist in an otherwise acoustic context? Obviously, guys like Michel Petrucciani, Sonny Rollins, Dizzy Gillespie, and Michel Camilo are/were exceptions, but they more or less prove the rule. One of Cornell's best BG players took up DB--and not very skillfully, at that--because he was told by Joshua Redman, "The double bass is the heartbeat of jazz, man." I remember hearing an interview with Marcus Miller in which he said, "What am I supposed to do if I want to play 'jazz' like [the neotraditionalists] want me to? Sell my electric bass, buy an upright, and put on a three-piece suit?" My friends keep bugging me to take up DB, and quite frankly I don't have the time to do that and achieve the level of skill I desire on SLAB. Am I forever doomed to be on the jazz periphery because I really have no desire to take up an instrument on which I will never be anything but piss-poor?