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Thread: Where have all the bassists gone??

  1. #31

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    i also believe that bassists need to step it up abit and play not just the bass parts, but also the melody to the song. because no song is complete without both parts. the bass is a beautiful instrument with so many possibilities that many people don't bother to explore, satisfied with being merely a band member rather than a bass player
    That's the wonder of having a 6 or 7 stringer =)

    urthermore bass lines are the background of a portrait. The watercolours used to paint the lines must be used to complement the overall beauty of the picture. This makes it difficult to gauge what colours should be used for the background of the music before the middle of the picture is painted. By right, the background should be painted before the middle to prevent smudging. In all metaphoric sense, the bass hardest to play as it is dependent on the quality of the band.

    I think most important for bass is to have presence... ie give that round full sound to the band and make make it sound majestic (at least for pop)... Style of music also determined by the bassist, we can make it sound shuffle / latin / r&b etc though the drummer plays a simple straight 4 beat. So infact bassist do control the style of music.

    one of the biggest perks of the job is that i get to jump around on stage all the time when we play shows!! hahahaha
    Really a skill to jump around and play bass, my back will break first haha...

  2. #32

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    "I think most important for bass is to have presence... ie give that round full sound to the band and make make it sound majestic (at least for pop)... Style of music also determined by the bassist, we can make it sound shuffle / latin / r&b etc though the drummer plays a simple straight 4 beat. So infact bassist do control the style of music."

    Ok, sorry but that statement needs correction. If a drummer is to play a straight groove, the bassist will have problem shuffling...simple reason: A straight groove is in subdivisions of 2s and 4s whereas shuffle or swing is in subdivisions of 3s and 6s. The biggest problem with inexperienced bassists and drummers is that they tend to understand shuffle and swing as dotted quavers and semi-quavers....

    Now, no individual instrument controls the style of music! Every instrument plays an equal part! Even in grooving! If your guitarist is swinging in 3s and 6s while you interpret swing/shuffle as dotted quavers+semi-quavers...the 2 of you will not be able to play together properly....

  3. #33

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    Actually i meant like the drummer plays like a drum machine (click click click click) to keep the time, we play the style we want, the rest will most probably follow.

  4. #34

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    i feel my bass style shifts from the different needs of the song. there are some songs that are invariably. guitar led, drum led, or bass led. and this variety leads to some really interesting songwriting choices and arrangements.

    i think there are also good bassplayers. and good bassplayers within a band. sometimes the band brings out the best in its players, and sometimes the players bring out the best in the band. make sense?

    in a way, playing bass has broadened my attitude to music because it forces me to think of arrangements and when not to overplay, when to step back so that someone else can step up. and sometimes you also hear basslines that are so prominent that you have to step up and take the shot.

    we bassplayers are just as susceptible to fall in to the same trap of placing waaayyyy too much importance over our instrument, but i think the nature of our roles helps keep our attitudes in check.

    i still have mad respect for my fellow guitarists and drummers who have adopted a similar mentality and are a joy to play alongside. -)
    "good boys don't make mistakes to learn" - the hoard, as cities burn

  5. #35

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    fantastic post litford.

    i agree with you. i love to play with people who know their roles well. it just doesnt seem right when the guitarist just powerchords/solos his way through every song and not give space and play less. or when drummers try to 'overgroove' by filling in too much and fight for attention.

    when this shi* happens, i cant seem to find my space and groove as a bassist. it just becomes crap.

    worse still when they play with no feel. no tension/release, the song is just the same throughout. i really wish these people will start to learn.
    "I have a Fender. I use it to beat the crap out of people who dare touch my Warwick"

  6. #36

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    worst is when your gitarist pump the amp until u feel like telling him: do you still need a bassist?

  7. #37

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    wow very insightful posts there,

    i have to agree with most of you, Ken, Alvin, 3notes, the bass scene in singapore lacks recognition and respect in many ways.

    personal experiences: while writing an original for a class, a guitarist told me to play ROOT notes and said me playing off the 4/4 crotchet rhythm would eat into the vocalist's line. the original was in a "pop/softrock" genre base, and i had many ideas to contribute.
    there was no drummer. i.e. he wanted a driving bassline like a malmsteen/punkrock bassist kinda thing, playing the same note on and on, while he shredded away.
    he got REALLY peeved when i started playing the thirds and others to connect the chords. HE wanted to connect the chords by sustaining his shrill off-pitch note. he even thought that in a Dm Cm Dm Cm progression, holding the Dm chord would suffice throughout the Cm chord (while everyone else was playing Cm he'd just sustain his Dm). Any musician would know this is not part of Pop music songwriting.

    another experience: a bassist i know refuses to play jazz. yet, he listens to US pop music of the 70s, which incorporate walking and jazz chords, such as the jackson 5. Is jazz THAT hated? it may be boring to a few, but we should all remember: THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING TO LEARN.

    and yes, many of those that i have taught do not look at the bass as an instrument that can harmonize with the others, or play melody lines. they look at the bass as "the easiest instrument to play and look cool and be accepted in the band that my friends wanna form". (i hear lots of you going EUGH and wtf*) but it's true. listen to some J-rock! listen to some progressive music of the 90s! listen to some fusion jazz! turn off the damned radio (u can't hear bass on radio, it sounds more like a 3rd guitarist playing his lowest string!) and go to the CD store!
    ♪ひゆう☆ «CrispyEgg»
    "Turn to the light, Don't be frightened of the shadows it creates"

  8. #38

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    Radio hits are cool too... otherwise they wouldn't keep playing them over and over again.

  9. #39

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    yeah,they're good coz they're easy to listen,but if you want to find those songs that's musically 'chim' have to go beyond radio my friend

  10. #40

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    Yup I agree, but pop may sound simple as it is, but difficult to sound unique and different arrangements.

    I admire hindi pop, though I only heard a few songs, but they're rather cool stuff

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