your BIGGEST influence: bassists or music?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by arther daily, Feb 1, 2001.

  1. I'm influenced and inspired more to create/write/play music through my bass playing by music in general than by 'bassists'.

    I rarely buy music because the bass player is oustanding and I find that a good piece of music will inspire and influence me regardless of bass and/or technique used in creating it.

    What do y'all think about this?

    How are y'all most influenced by music? - Are you inspired to play when you hear great bass or great music?... or both... or neither?
  2. Oh and I'm not trying to say either is right or wrong, just interested....
  3. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    That's my stand, too. Once I find the music I like, I learn to play it (or past tense at my age). It's why (waiting for flames on this...) I'm not a big Jaco fan. All the technique stuff I understand, and I'm impressed, but I just never got into that style of music, so his genius falls on deaf ears to me. People like Tony Levin, Martin Turner, Jack Bruce, etc. - well, that's a different story. That's probably how some of us pull up names that many people don't know in the "greatest bassist" discussions. Gary Thain was an incredible bassist, but unless you happened to be a Uriah Heep fan, you might not ever hear his name mentioned. It's always been the music first, and the players after that.
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well as far back as I can remember, I have always heard the basslines first and foremost and quite often never even hear lyrics in music. I can remember at school that all my friends were into Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple etc and this was great as there were always bass riffs and lines to listen to. But quite often if you wanted to meet girls and go out with them, you had to go to "discos" where they played other sorts of music. Now my mates would be standing around the floor scowling, but I would be happy dancing and listening to the basslines - though the music (Motown etc) was "soppy" - I loved some of the basslines and spent all night thinking about them in my head! Ever since I have doen this and if a song has a great bassline I will get up and dance and be unselfconscious, but if not, I am lost!
  5. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    Bassists are my influence/inspiration when I play bass.
    But music in general is the driving force when I write songs.
    That said, I rarely write anything these days.
  6. Amen. Same here for Victor Wooten, John Patitucci, etc. I don't really care what any musician is playing as long as the song as a whole has that magic to it.
  7. the Qintar

    the Qintar

    Jul 24, 2000
    both are definetly influences but i think music in general has gotten me into it more than any one bassist.
  8. yawnsie


    Apr 11, 2000
    I'd have to say that music is more of an inspiration - long before I picked up a bass, or even knew what one was, I listened to music. And when I write, I often don't even consider the bass until the band has taken it up, which isn't very often...
  9. ditto
  10. Music is my life,to not hear would kill me.
    But remember the music of vision is a dancer.
    As long as the rhythm of life is in me,I'm happy!

    We are all wrong if all we listen to are bass players.I love the low end,but all instruments add to our style,writing and inspiration.
    Whenever i step up to solo on my fretless i think..
    Play like miles would
    play like miles would
  11. Dragonlord

    Dragonlord Rocks Around The Glocks

    Aug 30, 2000
    Greece, Europe
    music is the main inspiration for me too...glad to see most of you agree on that.
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    But what if these are the same people who come onto this board and say thing like they can't hear the basslines and can't transcribe them - there have been loads of threads like this - people saying things like "how do you isolate a bass part" or "how do you slow down the track so I can transcribe it".

    And what's wrong with being inspired by the instrument you play - if I didn't like bass lines I don't think I would have chosen to play bass. But then I get the impression that a lot of people on this board aren't actually bass players - I'm not saying that this is the case with those who have replied to this thread - but I do get the impression that there are maybe 20 or so people on this board who actually play bass in a band out of hundreds or thousands (?) who post.

    I agree with Oysterman that obviously music inpsires you, but as a bass player I think you do need to focus on the great players and hear basslines when you listen to music. If you are actually going to progress and learn, then you need to be transcribing this stuff all the time and basically every time you listen to music.

    When I am listening to classical music, I am inspired to be a composer an dto think about writing a symphony, but when I hear any music with a bass line, I'm listening to that and thinking how I can apply it to my own playing.
  13. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
  14. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    Both sides of the argument can co exist.

    In some pieces of music the whole thing will inspire you and in others the instrument will.

    I heard some Jaco stuff last night that moved me because he was a genius on bass but I will never buy it. I have liked U2 for 20 yrs but Adam Clayton is never going to win an award for technique without a demand for a recount.

    Some music apeals to your head and some to your heart.

  15. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I wanted to take up the bass after hearing Jack Bruce in Cream, but none of my other early musical heroes and influences were bass players: Zappa, Todd Rundgren, Steve Winwood, Robert Fripp, Capt. Beefheart, Bach, Miles Davis, John Coltrane.
  16. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    This can be a problem, though. Great basslines are only great within the context of the music. If you're only focusing on the bass, then you're not seeing the forest for the trees. This is the approach that creates bass players that have technical prowess, but no clue as to what belongs, and doesn't belong, in certain musical settings. In a lot of ways, we may be saying very much the same thing, but I approach it from the music side first. So, as I'm working up a bass line on something, I might think, "Oh, a bass line like [fill in the blank] would work really well here", as opposed to saying "I need to find a way to put this bassline in here somehow". And, as we all listen and play more and more, these two approaches start melting together. Yes, I always start by listening to the music, but I always end up listening to how the bass works inside the context. Likewise, when I hear a really strong bassline, I'll examine the surrounding music to see why it's making a strong impact - is it a supportive or dominant role, etc.
  17. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    Ain't that the truth. That's who I am. And do not take pride in it - I would give all my chops (the few there are) and one of my fingers for the talent of playing the right thing at the right time. :(
  18. 5156246


    Sep 6, 2000
    "music was my first love
    and it'll be my last"

    Music is IMO still the most important fact of all playing and listening.

    (Maybe that's the reason why so many people like the beatles although they weren't very good musicians?)