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Why no love for bass players?


BlueStrat

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Need pro bass player for gigs (Sandpoint area)

 

Date: 2012-03-22, 12:52AM PDT

Reply to: XXXXXXX@comm.craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]

 

Need pro bass player who can read lead sheets for dinner sets/cocktail mixers. Will settle for mouth breather with acne, but your girlfriend still has to wait outside. It will save a lot of time if you have your probation officer email us first.

 

 

:lol:

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Yeah - I don't get it. It certainly isn't the case in my area. I've never had much trouble finding guitar players or drummers. Filling the bass player position has been a sticky issue for me on several occasions over the past few years. Heck, one of my projects is in the process of looking for a suitable bass player right now!

 

Seems like it's always the same story ... the guys whose chops are at the level we're looking for are already working multiple projects. The guys who are willing and available possess chops that are sorely lacking.

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I never gave bass players much thought until I got in front of a three piece where the bass player was weak. It's amazing how much a good one will hold up the song and reduce the workload for the guitar player/singer.

 

 

Ain't it the truth. A great bass player will make me feel like a rock star. Effortless! A bad one makes it seem like work onstage, while I'm trying to cover for him or keep him on the right path with strong rhythm parts, leaving out licks and sometimes even solos in the process.

 

I'll take the strong bass player over a weak one any day.

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Ain't it the truth. A great bass player will make me feel like a rock star. Effortless! A bad one makes it seem like work onstage, while I'm trying to cover for him or keep him on the right path with strong rhythm parts, leaving out licks and sometimes even solos in the process.


I'll take the strong bass player over a weak one any day.

 

 

Yeah it's one of those things where they either help or hurt. You'd rather be up there by yourself then be distracted by trying to get everyone on the same page. Same could be said of drummers...maybe the chord progression is right but if the tempo is off, changes the whole feel of song. So let's hear it for good drummers too.

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I never gave bass players much thought until I got in front of a three piece where the bass player was weak. It's amazing how much a good one will hold up the song and reduce the workload for the guitar player/singer.

 

Yep. With a good drummer and bassist you (guitarist) can just stop playing and it still sounds solid, if (hopefully) a little less interesting.

 

So far I've gotten to play our "Sleepin' Alone" with our A drummer and A bassist exactly once, and I was in heaven. No need to play a big rhythm part on it, free to play little partial chords, funky counter rhythms, little funky licks, short lead passages, they got the meat and potatoes covered. Heaven. :)

 

Terry D.

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Yeah - I don't get it. It certainly isn't the case in my area. I've never had much trouble finding guitar players or drummers. Filling the bass player position has been a sticky issue for me on several occasions over the past few years. Heck, one of my projects is in the process of looking for a suitable bass player right now!


Seems like it's always the same story ... the guys whose chops are at the level we're looking for are already working multiple projects. The guys who are willing and available possess chops that are sorely lacking.

 

 

I'm a bassist looking for a gig, not in Detroit though, what would get me in or lose me a spot in your opinion?

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Good bass players need two things at the least. A good and intuitive understanding of chord theory... and a solid and intuitive feel for groove with a drummer. The band should be able to drop out and it should not only sound good... but more exciting.

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Good bass players need two things at the least. A good and intuitive understanding of chord theory... and a solid and intuitive feel for groove with a drummer. The band should be able to drop out and it should not only sound good... but
more
exciting.

 

 

I think you could say the same about all chairs. People talk about how hard it is to find a good rhythm guitar player, and guys with an understanding of chord theory are scarce as hen's teeth.

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Good bass players need two things at the least. A good and intuitive understanding of chord theory...

 

Yeah.

 

I don't really like to, or think it's cool, to diss on the faults of the guys I play with, but I've had an ongoing frustration for years now because the bass player in my band is NOT one of those guys. He's a solid and intutive player and locks in a nice groove with the drummer, but he's got no understanding of chord theory and worse--doesn't even really know how to count. In my experience, the bass player has always been the guy who knows where the song is at--the singer and the soloists might be getting lost in the moment, but you can always look over to the bass player and he'll know exactly how many more bars are left before the bridge comes around again. With my guy, he's always looking to everybody ELSE for where he's supposed to be at... :facepalm:

 

Ah well...such is life I suppose. It's always something. This band is as much about good guys having fun hanging out and playing together as anything else. I'm long, long past the days of replacing players simply to find "something better". So I look past everyones faults and concentrate on their strengths just as I'm sure they all do with me. Nobody's ever been fired from this band in nearly 10 years (other than a bunch of drummers who never really got past the 'audition/try out' stage) and I don't see that changing.

 

But still...it drives me CRAZY sometimes!

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I like a bass player that doesn't have to constantly remind me how influenced he is by Larry Graham/Les Claypool with his playing


Slapping and "lead" bass...a little goes a long way
;)

 

Moreso for the tone associated with slapping etc. There is one surefire way for a band to sound like crap and thats a bassist with "sparkle" in his tone. I would rather feel the bass than hear its clear and sparkly treble wonder.

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In my experience, the bass player has always been the guy who knows where the song is at--the singer and the soloists might be getting lost in the moment, but you can always look over to the bass player and he'll know exactly how many more bars are left before the bridge comes around again.

 

 

Seems to me that's mostly the drummers job, and he'll cue you with breaks, no?

 

I also think that it's the nature of the music. If the bass player is limited to a simple pattern, it's easier to get lost than if you're playing (and thinking in terms of) a longer phrase.

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Seems to me that's mostly the drummers job, and he'll cue you with breaks, no?

Yes he does. But a good deal of those breaks are designed to keep the bass player on track. In my experience, the two have always worked in tandem. With this band, the bass player is following into the breaks more than leading into them.


I also think that it's the nature of the music. If the bass player is limited to a simple pattern, it's easier to get lost than if you're playing (and thinking in terms of) a longer phrase.

 

 

Well, that's why they invented COUNTING.

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Speaking as the drummer, I am usually the one keeping the count for the breaks. It's annoying at times because sometimes I just want to sit back and enjoy the music rather than count 4/8/12/16 bars in my head (ok sometimes 3 bars, but most song writers are lazy and stick to even numbers, at least on the stuff we play).

 

It does make it easier if everyone actually learns their parts and I can cheat a little and listen for vocal or musical ques. But we all know that doesn't happen all the time.

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I recently went from doing guitar/vocals in my band to bass/vocals. It's the first time I've played bass in a band since the late 90s. I'd forgotten how fun and challenging the bassist role is... lately I'm feeling likeit's actually more satisfying that guitar in a way I can't exactly explain.

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It does make it easier if everyone actually learns their parts and I can cheat a little and listen for vocal or musical ques. But we all know that doesn't happen all the time.

 

 

Yeah, there's certainly little cues in different songs.

 

We have the extra challenge of having a singer who tends to get "lost in the moment" and might just take the song anywhere. We tease her about it and she's getting better with it, but the truth is that I learned when she's concentrating on the road map she doesn't sing quite as well and I'd rather having singing her ass off so I've told her to just go for it and we'll follow her whereever she goes. So sometimes the 2nd verse gets dropped and we go straight to the bridge or a turnaround gets dropped at the end or whatever. No big deal really. People just think that's how we play the song, I suppose.

 

But one of the reasons for adding a 2nd vocalist was to have someone up front with her to keep her on track.

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Yep.
With a good drummer and bassist you (guitarist) can just stop playing and it still sounds solid, if (hopefully)
a little less interesting
.


So far I've gotten to play our "Sleepin' Alone" with our A drummer and A bassist exactly once, and I was in heaven. No need to play a big rhythm part on it, free to play little partial chords, funky counter rhythms, little funky licks, short lead passages, they got the meat and potatoes covered. Heaven.
:)

Terry D.

 

lol. You know, the other night I really laid back and leaned on the band more, and people really clapped afterward. I made a joke that everyone claps more the less I play. hahaha.

 

Honestly though there might be something in here that BB talks about. Instead of playing a million notes a bar, but just a few right ones. He's made a career I think by letting lot's of room in the song.(he's got a big band) I am trying to do that more these days, along with an idea that If I let the band come up, let them come though, especially if they do a certain part better, like a turn around, no reason I need to play over them. Good musicians seem to step in a help, but if the other guy sounds better, why step on him. I played with a drummer that was just fantastic, it's like he could play the song back there tonally. Give that guy some room.

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Moreso for the tone associated with slapping etc. There is one surefire way for a band to sound like crap and thats a bassist with "sparkle" in his tone. I would rather feel the bass than hear its clear and sparkly treble wonder.

 

 

A man after my own heart. The worst thing that could've ever happened to bass gear happened. The started putting tweeters in bass cabs. WTF?!?!?! A bass should be solid at 60 Hz. Punch out a 700-900 Hz, and roll off at 3 or 4k.

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