There is NO substitute for a bass player...

Discussion in 'Bass Guitar Discussion' started by Scott Fernandez, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. angus

    angus SS.org Regular

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    So does that also apply to bass players entering into guitar register? Should they try and keep us out of their fundamental frequency domain? Is this setting a double standard?

    I say this as a bass player who does not ever play a four string bass (to avoid the obvious counterargument).
     
  2. TemjinStrife

    TemjinStrife Power Metal Cellist

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    Fuck that. I play with an octave-up pedal to simulate an 8-string and a crapload of overdrive with my band all the time. If there's space and it fits, take it.
     
  3. angus

    angus SS.org Regular

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    I'm not stating what I think in the question- I'm just asking if it works both ways, especially if we are considering low end to be more sacred ground.
     
  4. Bloody_Inferno

    Bloody_Inferno Silence is Violence

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    For the record, Seven Nation Army was on standard tuning with a Whammy Pedal down one octave.

    :agreed: I do this all the time as well. In fact I do it twice in this one track.

    Hell, I step on higher ground for bass all the time putting bass overdubs almost as much as the guitar. In fact my playing style is the reason this band abandoned the idea of having a keyboardist/second guitarist. :D
     
  5. Scott Fernandez

    Scott Fernandez SS.org Regular

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    I believe that the encroachment equivocates. My point is as stated that there is no substitute for a bass player. No matter how low you throw down or detune. As for bass players playing higher, same stuff... don't forget the purpose of being a bass player and that is to anchor the harmonic frequencies... If you start shredding or wanking in the song than it will go to shit. It would be like taking bricks out of the foundation of a house... It's going to fall apart or at the very least look like crap =)
     
  6. Scott Fernandez

    Scott Fernandez SS.org Regular

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    What you are talking about is very different. An Octave pedal cannot be a bass player but it can be an addition to the artistic expression. What is happening is more of a shift away from the purpose... Additions to the purpose are always welcome =)
     
  7. Bloody_Inferno

    Bloody_Inferno Silence is Violence

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    Naturally I enjoy having a solid low end and I agree that it's a very important part of the sonic spectrum. Of course that won't stop many players who aren't content with just staying in that one role. They will push the instrument's boundaries though only a few of them will succeed with cool results.

    Ultimately, at the end of the day, just like everything else, it's all about what the song calls for. I agree that crossing sonic boundaries needs to be done with taste and in the context of the song. Some bass examples:



    Cliff takes centre stage here, and he fits the entire song effortlessly without stepping too much on the crushing guitar's sonic space.



    Adam Jones and Justin Chancellor literally swap verse parts here, and doesn't comprimise their repective roles at all. I can go on and on about Tool actually. :lol:

    In that example, the low end is still covered, yet I used the bass in a way that's outside it's natural role. The exact opposite of what The White Stripes did with Seven Nation Army.

    Jack White was successful in making a memorable faux bass riff without an actual bass. Technically, no, it's not a bass at all, but he made a well known bass riff by going outside the box.

    Music has come a long way where many instruments are pushing the boundries of their own roles. Guitarists and Bassists have been experimenting with stepping outside their sonic roles now. As long as their ventures serve the music, and the music itself is compelling, then experiment away.

    All that said, I do agree that there is no substitute of having a good bass.




    ...but I do like this track though...

     
  8. Necris

    Necris Bonitis.

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    I will always reject any notion of purpose applied to an instrument.
    Nothing irritates me more than when a bass player helpfully attempts to help steer me back in the "right" direction by telling me "the bass is there to lock into a groove with a drummer", or some other similar nonsense.

    Your job in a band setting is the job you choose to take and will be done how you choose to do it. Good musicians working together should be able to switch between their usual roles now and then without everything falling into oblivion.
    I don't see why some players take it as an affront to the art of bass playing when one player decides that a certain part in the song would benefit from an extra melodic line or some other ornament. If these players feel encroached upon by guitarists tuning lower and lower maybe rather than waving their arms around and screaming "tune as low as you want, but you can't replace me!" it's time to make more use of the harmonic space the guitarists are leaving available, they aren't using all of it at once after all.

    TL;DR: It's always a good thing to strive to serve the song; but don't buy into this "True purpose of bass playing" bullshit that some players perpetuate.
     
    AxeHappy and Bloody_Inferno like this.
  9. quattro19tdi

    quattro19tdi Subcontrainfrasound

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    I don't really get why people even bother to get upset about this, it's music, a form of art, there are no rules, people can do whatever they want. If I want to record music without bass and like it, that should be my business.
     
  10. skeels

    skeels ..to pay the beels

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    Zing!

    Also, +1- for wah bass! Nobody like Clifford!
     
  11. Semichastny

    Semichastny SS.org Regular

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    This is the bass players fault, If they want to be heard and be a relevant part of ERG/downtuned music they need to get circle K strings and lower the guitarists bass EQ when they aren't looking.
     
  12. Scott Fernandez

    Scott Fernandez SS.org Regular

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    Let me clarify because you seem to have misunderstood.... Bass, not the instrument specifically, is intended and used to anchor the harmonic framework of music. Bass Guitar is a representative of that ideal...
     
  13. Scott Fernandez

    Scott Fernandez SS.org Regular

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    It's not a matter of being upset. It's VERY much about practical application. What happens more often than not is that someone who is not a bass player will attempt to disregard a bass player in a band. That is why the title of this is "there is no substitute for a bass player" not "bass get mad and beat up guitar players and then ruin music" or "you can't have art without bass... how dare they".
    d-_-b
     
  14. Scott Fernandez

    Scott Fernandez SS.org Regular

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    I understand what it's like to put bass in the role of everything else. I understand this role FIRST HAND. It's not just about single examples. The generality of the statements is that there is no substitute for a bass player. As there are tons of songs without bass players the lack there of does not define the parameters of artistry... In the grand scheme of music, bass itself barely existed as a viable addition until relatively recently (bass guitar within the past 80 years and then Leo Fender makin' his own around the 50s and the Bass Cleff itself only existing in modern history)
     
  15. Scott Fernandez

    Scott Fernandez SS.org Regular

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    And that, in turn, is my point of saying that there is NO substitute. If they push into your register than push back or play lower... Versatility is the hallmark of a great bass player. That is why we do what we do
    d-_-b

    Also, they don't all have to be Circle Ks =) Ocatave4Plus and Conklin SITs both delve into ranges far below anything a guitar can put on =)
     
  16. Scott Fernandez

    Scott Fernandez SS.org Regular

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    and just so you guys can see a bit of where I am coming from...


    Scott Fernandez - YouTube

    I'm not some shmuck with a grudge... I'm actually a bass player by trade =)
     
  17. Stealthdjentstic

    Stealthdjentstic Banned

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    Yeah i think you all misunderstood scott. If anyone is creative and goes "out of bounds", its scott.
     
  18. Necris

    Necris Bonitis.

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    We're just going to have to agree to disagree. :agreed: I find the "function of bass" arguments inane, whether in reference to bass as a frequency range or a physical instrument that occupies it, attempt to apply a set function to infrasound and I'll disagree with you there too. :lol:

    I'm aware of your stuff though and it's great, I wasn't targeting just you specifically with that comment.
     
  19. InfinityCollision

    InfinityCollision SS.org Regular

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    Might want to be a little more "in bounds" as far as making a point then tbh, as I'm kind of confused.

    How many bands actually don't use bass?

    -Meshuggah (given the pic in the OP)? Nope, they have a bassist.
    -AAL? They don't have a bassist, but there's bass on both records and they Protools (or w/e program) their basslines live.

    That's about all I can think of that comes close for ERG bands, actually. The non-bass bands I can think of (White Stripes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Explosions in the Sky, The Doors, Black Keys) are all non-ERG bands. The Doors and Yeah Yeah Yeahs use keys instead, White Stripes and Black Keys are vox/guitar + drum duos (though the latter has actually had some bass on recent records iirc), and EITS is an unusual case where I'd actually say incorporating bass would run counter to their sound. There's also 7- and 8-string jazz guitarists, but that's an entirely different beast. I'm sure there's some metal band I'm not thinking of/don't know about, but this whole thread feels very out-of-left-field if the intent was to promote the bass' mere existence in ERG music.

    Nothing against you Scott, I love your stuff, I just don't understand this thread.
     
  20. Scott Fernandez

    Scott Fernandez SS.org Regular

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    My friend, you have no idea how much I appreciate what you just did.. You didn't get hateful or remain negative. Just a simple "agree to disagree" and for that you have my gratitude and respect!!!

    As far as the collaborative musical aspect, I am strictly speaking for general and the modern/popularized forms of music. I am definitely aware of peoples who use music with all bass or without any bass at all. The role of bass in music has been and will always be the same BUT that does not define it's limitations.. Just as bass could sing lead in the choir or there is a portion in which the tube defines the melody or the kick drum drives and floor tom defines the rock song. Bass can always be more than it's origins.

    Within the guitars going lower, that involvement in the bass register is fine... Where it becomes an issue is where a guitar player will push a bassist out because the guitar feels like "he's got it"... which is no where NEAR accurate =)
     

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