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With individuality not nurtured

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by JAUQO III-X, Mar 16, 2009.

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    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    With individuality not nurtured,while clones are treated like geniuses. Is it hard to recognize a bass player that really have they're own voice.
  2. Mudfuzz


    Apr 3, 2004
    Meh, geniuses are overrated anyway recognized or not. It's best not to care what others say and do and just make a big loud noise.
  3. funkometer

    funkometer Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2006
    Birmingham AL
    Almost sounds like a haiku
  4. There is something "genius" like about those who can be a chameleon ala' Will Lee.
    Very generic. Can "clone" almost any style/feel really.

    But I agree, there are TOO many that are held in VERY high regard who are nothing more than caricatures of true geniuses.
    YouTube is a great example of this.
    A bunch of Marcus/Victor clones getting rave comments.

    There is a young kid here in Detroit, mid teens (maybe 17 now?) who can play.
    A lot of local guys elevate this kid WAY up (living vicariously through him is my guess). And they should encourage the younger generation, but this boarders on silly really.
    Anyway, he's really nothing more than a Marcus clone with no real voice being developed, that I have heard in the last few years that I've heard him play anyway.

    If he was say in his early to mid 20's, he wouldn't really get a second look other than guys saying he's nothing but a Marcus clone.

    Just one example.
    And IMO naturally.....;)
  5. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    so who's being touted as geniuses these days?
  6. 3toes


    Aug 30, 2006
    Charleston, South Carolina
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    I agree whole-heartedly... But finding one's own voice can be a little difficult.

    I think we're all subject (to some extent) to our influences. I listen to a LOT of old Meters grooves, therefore I'm always going to have a little bit of Porter in my playing. I think the key, or at least the first step, is to maybe add a bit of a twist on those influences.

    edit: Read the post a little wrong (it's early...). Is it hard to recognize those players? Yes and no. I think it depends on how much you truly love music (and new, original music on top of that). I think the truly great players will always stand out immediately to those who have an appreciation for the craft. Unfortunately, in terms of the population at large, some people just want to hear the same thing they've heard a thousand times before.

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.

    I don't necessarily agree with that. Again if individuality was nurtured,there wouldn't be so many clones.

    I think most players are content with trying to sound like some one else and when they are constantly being told that they sound so much like they're hero that they just leave it at that.

    I thinks it's easy to have your own voice but not to search for ones own voice usually falls in the category of just plain laziness.
  8. Joe Gress

    Joe Gress

    Dec 22, 2005
    Pueblo, CO
    Can you name a recent bassist with an original approach and sound?
  9. Mongo Slade

    Mongo Slade Supporting Member

    Dec 1, 2005
    Northern New Jersey
    I think everyone who plays has their own voice. It may not be distinct enough for every listener to pick up, but nobody is a complete clone of another player. That would imply only one influence, and it's been my experience that most players are influenced by many players. They take the things they like from each, but in that amalgamization comes a unique voice. It may be subtle, but it's there.

    If any one of us are geniuses, then we are all geniuses.

    Just a thought.

  10. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I think a lot of today's young bassist focus way too much on gear, flash and soloing versus supporting an ensemble. Do we need to hear a solo from every bass player in every band at every gig? Is there even a need to play so fast that individual notes can no longer be heard? It's fine to have a 'voice' but I'd much rather hear a really tight ensemble. I don't think I, personally, have a "voice". I have taken bits and pieces of different players and incorporated into my own way of playing but I've never tried to sound like anyone.
  11. Mongo Slade

    Mongo Slade Supporting Member

    Dec 1, 2005
    Northern New Jersey
    By the way, I love Jauqo III-X's posts and probing questions.

    Thinking about things like this makes us all better artists.

  12. 3toes


    Aug 30, 2006
    Charleston, South Carolina
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    Again, I agree completely. :)

    Yeah, and I think it's a shame.

    I can see your argument, and I completely agree with the latter. I guess it's not so much that it's hard for me to find/have my own voice... It's just hard for me to be completely satisfied with it sometimes. I'm quite critical of myself. But I think that's not so much in the style/voice as it is in my actual song-writing/composition.
  13. Ed Goode

    Ed Goode Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    It's easy to "conform" to whatever the current trend is. If speed slapping (for example) is "trendy" then that's what the average guy will do. As stated above, it's much too easy to take the lazy "creativity' route and copy the trends, even when those trends may require a fair amount of practice to play "just like Marcus" (again, for example, but not limited to only that trend). Just imagine what could happen if those hours of practice spent copying someone else were applied to releasing your own creative voice?

    I believe that if you play long enough (and consistently enough), over the years you will develop a sound that could be called "your sound". It's probably a composite of a variety of influences and if you're lucky, maybe some of your own stuff is tossed in there as well. But it probably isn't uniquely your own voice .... even the greatest musicians of our time have been influenced by others .... :cool:
  14. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    I personally think that "trying" to find ones own voice is a fairly reliable way to not finding it.
    We all have our own perception on how we should serve a certain son or piece. We also have heard how other musicians(not only bassists) have polayed a certain piece. This will inform what we do.
    There is also a reason why people play certain things on certain songs...it works.
    Trying to be "different" has often resulted and does often result in lesser an results that if we just accept that we all are in fact different, stop worrying so much about it and start to think MUSIC again.
    Yes we may at times sound a little like x,y or z, but at the end of the day a "personal voice" will likely develop with time, and with doing what we do.
    Opening up to many different genres, players instruments etc will most probably help.
    I personally have not seen many cenarios where individuality was not encouraged and nurtured.
    However , never at the expense of the music
  15. scotch

    scotch It's not rocket science! Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    Albany, NY USA
    Please see Profile for Endorsement disclosures
    I definitely see your point, but I think:

    a) I think that creativity and individuality are nurtured! Granted, not by the 'masses-at-large' and the popular music consumer, but I think it's fair to say that Jauqo II-X has found a community here on TalkBass that encourages & supports - no? It's likely your local community recognizes your individuality as well, I suspect...

    b) Of course the commercial music industry isn't going to go out of their way to recognize emerging bass guitar innovators! It's all about marketable hooks and profit margins to them! The same for the average guy on the street. He just wants something with easily-absorbed themes and familiar grooves. However, amongst many bass players and other musicians, there's a whole increased level of interest and recognition. I think it's safe to say that I'm the only person at my family reunion interested in discussing the life's work of Niels-Henning ├śrsted Pedersen!

    c) I think there is also a fine line between "individuality" and "novelty". One requires a commitment to articulating, with your instrument, a new way of really communicating. The other only requires creating an alphabet, but without fully-formed words. I think I've seen equal proportions of both over the years!

    It's important that we, as bassists, seek out & support other players who have developed a fresh 'voice'!

    And, if you're inspired & have something you need to say, then go out and work on what's in your heart. Try to find collaborators that understand your "language"!

    I think there are a lot of musicians trying to be individual, but have nothing to communicate - the result is uninspiring. There's nothing wrong with emulating other players (we all do it). And, if that's your thing, fine! I'm not going out of my way to go hear a Wooten clone, but the Wooten clone has every right to do what he/she is doing, nonetheless!

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    I'm not to sure of that. It goes back to the masses and what the masses are used to hearing(recognizing)that's coming from a player.

    I totally agree but it comes back to what is nurtured.

    I fully understand. I remember when I was leaving for New York after Ornette Coleman sent me a ticket. I was on my way to where I wanted to be but a lot of my friends were more interested in trying to get with the Billboard chart topper at the time. Ornette was to me what Charlie Parker was to Miles Davis.

    Individuality is almost none existent for sure :)

    Novelty is close to and related to copying what made the last artist so successful and making sure the one doing the copying is trying extremely hard to sound like that artist,even though they may be a few years to a decade late/behind :)

    I agree but at the same time I think it's very hard because most of the bass players listening only recognize what they've already heard :) And sometimes that individual voice goes right over they're head.

    Neither am I(my heart feels no need to).

    Yes that clone does.
  17. emblymouse

    emblymouse exempt Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2006
    I think it has become much more difficult for a player to have a unique voice due to the increased availability to others voices. It's almost inescapable, an overexposure in my view. I just think it can be harder to hear your own voice if you are flooded with others at a critical time of your formation. Some gifted players can just eat it all up and disregard the extraneous, but I think this flood of input bamboozles lot's of us. I am needing to be careful what I allow in my head anyway.

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    I think that's just a weak mind.
  19. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    and what if this original voice's stuff is wack? should they gain recognition purely from developing their own voice? id rather listen to someone that is derivative and yet musical than originality for originality's sake.
  20. kcolyar


    Feb 28, 2007
    Moab, Ut 84532
    I think there are alot of musicians who don't use music as an expression of themselves. They are technically talented, but not in expressing there own voices. It's like when I first started as a musician I played trumpet. I was first chair all the way through high school. Technically I could play trumpet, but I never could express what I wanted to say musically with a trumpet. I knew all the notes, could read music and was impressed with myself (LOL).

    Now as a middle aged man, I try to use bass as the tool to express myself. I don't find alot of bassist as influences to me. There aren't very many that have a unique voice or that I recognized their playing as soon as I hear it. These cats are who I dig! Some of these players with tons of technique and chops aren't communicating to me.

    To me there are a couple of different schools of bass playing, laid back in the pocket, supporting the band or singer or guitar player. There are the technical tapper, slapper and solo dudes. There also seems to be some that are just trying to communicate ideas or emotions and they chose bass.

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