There is NO substitute for a bass player...

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

  1. Dayn

    Dayn silly person

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    I beg to differ. A synth is a pretty good substitute, actually.

    It's also a good substitute for anything, really. All hail our electronic overlords.
     
  2. Scott Fernandez

    Scott Fernandez SS.org Regular

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    Thank you for the clarification and WONDERFULLY informative bit of info =) Seriously, I love the examples.

    The post itself is, as defined, an advocacy for Bass Players and Bassists. There are many local, underground, low level, mid level, and a handful of popular/famous bands that attempt to negate and disregard the bass player. This post comes from a place of encouragement as there is no real substitute for what a bass player can do in a band.

    -Messhuggah - Bass Player. Check. I've seen this first hand where a young band will do without and say that "we tune down low enough that we don't need one. lol."

    -AAL - No Bass Player BUT they do do the bass related frequencies with the tracks. Similar justification used for this next crop of bands

    -White Stripes - He does his thing. He's got the dissident hard driving guitars thing and does his mixes in a way that the sound wall isn't missing too much.

    -Yeah Yeah Yeahs - no bass player and at times it is unfortunate BUT they derive a lot of that anchorage from the drums and overtones from the effected and delayed/looped guitars. As for the newer stuff they are synth bass-ing the heck out of those tracks..

    -Explosions in the SKy - similar mix down as the YYYs and similar approach. They fill the air with more simple layering sounds so that the anchor of the harmonic frequencies comes from those overtones.

    -The Doors - I don't dig them so I don't know anything about what they do... Sorry =(

    -The Black Keys - After seeing the way they write music, I can understand why they don't... they LITERALLY rip off tunes where there really wasn't a bass in the first place, aside from vocals. It is LITERALLY a rip off... not a kind of sort of thing.. They watch and listen to old and unlicensed and un-owned music and put it on distorted guitars. I just can't accept it and I would be amazed if any other bass players could ;)


    The jazz community rarely disregards the bass. They may encourage it to "stay in it's place" but they rarely do without it. The jazz guitar itself when doing it's walks is an attempt to emulate the bass BUT rarely jazz guitars record without it. I've seen trios and duos without bass, of course, but that may have more to do with not wanting to pay another band member for this low paying gig.




    Remember, the purpose of it is that there is no substitute... there are a lot of additions and brother instruments and other things that can help but there is no substitute.
    d-_-b
     
  3. Scott Fernandez

    Scott Fernandez SS.org Regular

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    But bass synth is a lack luster approximation. I don't mind it but it's always obvious when it's done. Most of the time because it's done on a keyboard and thus sounds like it.... and that may be a bit of my bass player ear getting in the way of my musical ear ;)
     
  4. Scott Fernandez

    Scott Fernandez SS.org Regular

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    And for the record... THANK ALL OF YOU!!! You guys are proof that while disagreements happen on the internet... they don't have to be all shitty and hate filled and fucking... well... shitty. I am truly grateful to all of you and thoroughly impressed by intelligent you all have been. I wish some of the older people I get into arguments with on the internet were as open minded, receptive, and respectful as all of you... Especially the ones who attempt to convince me that my bass is not a bass =)
     
  5. InfinityCollision

    InfinityCollision SS.org Regular

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    Alright, thanks for clarifying. I think I may be out of the loop here then, or at least it's not something I've really seen around here. I agree with the overall point regardless - bass is a wonderful instrument with its own unique sound :yesway:
     
  6. Bloody_Inferno

    Bloody_Inferno Silence is Violence

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    This is where things become a little hazy. Sure your opinion on it is "lack luster" and that's fine, but for me, if it fits the music well, then it doesn't matter.

    Bass synth will always sound like a synth not so much as a bass guitar. It will still fit the role of the low end, naturally in the context of electronic music in general.

    The Yeah Yeah Yeah's was an interesting example too. The guitarist, I believe, uses a POG/HOG to compromise the lack of bass, thus giving their bass/synth tone that suits their style well.

    I'd also like to bring up other solo based instruments like Organ, Classical guitar and your typical acoustic folk singer. The first 2 cover the role of the bass quite well. In the Classical guitar context, of course it's 'no substitute for a real bass instrument' but it doesn't really matter when the music is arranged in such a way. Organ players play bass pedals to cover low end = John Paul Jones is an example of covering low end so well regardless of what instrument he plays. Kashmir has bass in the studio, but in the live context, he'll be on the organ, and while not the exact same as the original, he can still fill the low end so well that it doesn't matter anymore.

    Scott, I can fully understand where you're coming from and as I said before I do love a good bass or even 2 or more. :lol: But there are some others who can eskew the notion of having a bassist and still write compelling music and that's fine too. I'm cool with guitarists covering the low end every now and then, and vice versa, granted that the music is good of course. The John Spencer example I put earlier is one of my favorite examples of that. And I'm not big on the Black Keys either.

    And just to get this out of the way, I'm aware of your music Scott. In fact, I think what you're doing is fantastic. I admire what you do with only one instrument covering so many sonic space, and I always enjoy players who push the boundaries with their chosen instrument. :yesway:

    Also just to celebrate the awesomeness of bass, this needs to be posted:

     
  7. Semichastny

    Semichastny SS.org Regular

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    Push back? I'd go gorilla on their asses! and I say that as someone who picked up guitar first!
     
  8. Scott Fernandez

    Scott Fernandez SS.org Regular

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    In the quoted example is really the only point in time where it was full on subjective. That is the main reason I clarified with a good ol' mention of my bias bass musical bass ear. I don't TRULY mind, in the slightest. If that were the case than I would really have to adjust my views on music on the whole but as for now I truly enjoy all music, so long as I have taken the time to listen and generate an honest opinion of it (ex: I've never really taken the time for the Doors because I've had things that I've enjoyed soo much more and I never remember to listen to them when I actually have time to. Aside from Blood on The Dance Floor I have NEVER in my whole life hated any music that I've heard)

    As for writing music without a bass, I mentioned a handful of posts earlier about how I'm aware of BEAUTIFUL compositions that do not involve bass at all, albeit the instrument or otherwise. I also mentioned music where it is nothing but. The beauty of artistic expression is that the form requires no rules. So as to clarify, this post is to uplift the bassist who feel disregarded and discouraged by those who attempt to justify there lack of a "need" for a bass due to the detuning and lowering of their register on their instruments =)
     
  9. Scott Fernandez

    Scott Fernandez SS.org Regular

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    IMHO (in my handsome opinion) Bass is the BEST instrument and all other instruments are dumb and I hate them because they're stupid. The. End.
    :shred::shred:
     
  10. Scott Fernandez

    Scott Fernandez SS.org Regular

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    I got you!!! Let's run this bitch...
    :nono::nono:
     
  11. VBCheeseGrater

    VBCheeseGrater not quite a shredder

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    hmm, this debate is news to me.

    They are different instruments, such that when you play the same note, same octave on a bass, it's going to resonate with more bass and thump more than on a guitar - just a different tone altogether....at least that's been my experience playing both.

    So yeah, i won't be showing up to my bass gigs with an 8 string guitar anytime soon.
     
  12. Scott Fernandez

    Scott Fernandez SS.org Regular

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    Maybe it's just something that I noticed as a trend with these kats... I've done a good amount of touring over the past 6 months and I've heard in a handful of the more musical cities.. It's VERY strange and flat out troublesome...

    Also, I appreciate you bringing your bass to your bass gigs =)
     
  13. signalgrey

    signalgrey Ambiente Savante

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    Local H
     
  14. VBCheeseGrater

    VBCheeseGrater not quite a shredder

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    Haha. I guess i could see some guys having trouble finding a bassist and saying "screw it, were low enough on guitar anyway" - if it works for them why not right? Sounds like you see much more than me as far as latest trends on the music scene - i just play locally. Maybe that'll be the next thing - bass players no longer needed.
     
  15. Sam MJ

    Sam MJ Tries to be helpful

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    Personally I think the people who are saying that a bass can be replaced by an 8 string just don't really understand things properly.

    Ignoring the whole a bass player does this argument, have you heard a really heavy track with just the guitars? The guitars sound like shit but when you add the bass they just merge into one almighty behemoth. For me that's pretty much one big reason why bassists aren't going to be replaced any time soon.

    I expect bassists are going to be fine in genres like blues and jazz
    though, much more interesting parts and they would be missed if they went :).

    But I do think bassists are definitely being taken for granted more and more, especially in rock and metal, it's getting harder to hear them in recorded music because alot of people are using cheap ear buds and scince alot of bassists are just playing the root notes it's seen as easier than playing guitar and so they kind of disapear into the background.

    Pity really, maybe bassists should stop playing every now and then (maybe for a verse) and groove more so that when they come back in you get the comparison and are taken for granted less.

    I dunno though, i'm only a guitarist tbh but i'd love to start playing bass soon! :D
     
  16. no_dice

    no_dice a very bad old bear

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    I actually had to order thinner strings for my 30" hellraiser, because the ones that came on it made it sound too much like a bass. I'm certainly not trying to impose on the bass' job by tuning so low. Like many others here have said, a low tuned guitar is not a bass, and most people with sense won't try to use it as one.

    Playing a bass line on a guitar (tuned low or not) is akin to making a lite-brite rendition of an oil painting. You can see what they're going for, but it is nothing like the original.
     
  17. Athor

    Athor SS.org Regular

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  18. Scott Fernandez

    Scott Fernandez SS.org Regular

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    I am just clarifying... I don't want what I said to come off as condescending... I meant it in a very fact based way. I hear this crap to an absurd degree... It's VERY strange to me.
     
  19. Scott Fernandez

    Scott Fernandez SS.org Regular

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    Well, that might be part of it, for sure, but I remember what it was like for me in highschool and stuff. Most of the bass players I met were either encouraged to do so by their friends so they can form a band (normally the weakest of the guitar players or the person with the most money to go out and buy a bass)

    The screw it attitude is all good and great... It's their justification that it makes it a conflict. When they say that it's "the same" or "we don't need one because we play so low". That poses an entirely different set of concerns
    d-_-b
     
  20. Scott Fernandez

    Scott Fernandez SS.org Regular

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    This video has little to nothing to do what we're mentioning. On the whole, a "bass solo" is a VERY different situation... I play solo bass but I am a HORRID bass soloist....

    Also, what Vic Wooten is describing pertains to more to the purpose or "role" of a bass player in modern music, as pertaining to "groove" and "feel".
     

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