Well, yesterday I was talking to my guitarist in my band (my band's a trio, guitar, bass, and drums, we play a a fusion (pun intended) of jazz, rock, funk, and reggae) and we were discussing the role of each instrument in each group. Then when we came to the role of the bass, my guitarist had a strong opinion that the bass was definitely an important instrument, but it was primarily a rhythm instrument and that it wasn't meant for soloes. Well I kind of made this thread just to discuss and see what other bassists thought about this issue, so yea. In my opinion, I think the bass is just as much a lead instrument as it is a rhythm instrument. I mean, the guitar was originally just a rhythm instrument, until T-Bone WAlker and Charlie Christian turned it into a lead instrument. I think any instrument (including drums) can be a lead instrument, its being a rhythm instrument thats unique. Now my guitarist's argument was that it sounds empty and boring when the bassist soloes and thats because it has a low frequency and duznt sound good compared to a guitarist or horn soloing. Well, i think the reason why bass soloes sound so empty and boring is because no one else even bothers trying to play rhythm behind the bass except for the drums. If you listen to some Return to Forever, Slam Stewart, Paul Chambers, or Stanley Clarke records, you see that when each of those guys starts soloing, the keyboard OR guitar immediately takes the bass's role and starts playing a solid rhythm, which is what most guitarists and keyboardists neglect to do, and just sit there and watch like the lazy bastards they are (just kidding ). He also argued that if that was the case, how come there are a lack of bass soloist nowadays if it does have potential, well if you really think about it, in the 1900's when jazz just started with dixieland, the bassists just werent that good because most of them werent actually bassists, they were just coverted tubists or trombones. and the during the swing era (despite jimmy blanton and slam stewart) bassists still werent soloing because you cant play over a big band. and in rock, the bassist tends to be the roadie who hangs around the band or the person who is worst at guitar, which is probably the reason for the lack bass soloists, becasue the majority of bassists back then and still nowadays barely know how to play their instrument. But now, i think it really depends on what kind of band and music you are producing that determines the kinds of soloes, but in this case, which is just a small group of ppl like 7-3 ppl, i think if the other rhythm players just kno how to back up the bassist like we all back them up, then bass soloes can become very exciting, which means that the bass deserves to be in the front just as much as every other instrument does because the bass can and should be a lead instrument as well as a rhythm instrument. Your thoughts/opinions?