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Which instrument is least often played?


#36180 by Hayden King
Wed Jul 09, 2008 4:12 am
I was a bassist for a long time. I was frontman in a 3 piece w/no lead, so I had to kinda fill it up w/the bass. it was a challenge and kinda fullfilling I guess, but it was also a bitch! I never got to just sit back and groove, or get into the front more.....just couldn't find a good "bassist" to take over. now I play guitar n sing and dont "have to" have a bassist.............but I sure would like one!
#36202 by jeffmyers24151
Wed Jul 09, 2008 5:44 pm
I am a guitar player who has learned to play bass. I am currently trying to put a band together made up of guitarists (with a drummer, got him already) who are willing to share bass duties.

The way I see it, if you play lead guitar, then you're half way there. You already have the finger coordination, if you are a true lead guitarist, then you should already know your scales, the rest is just working out the style.

I would look for other guitarists who understand the problem and are willing to BE A TEAM PLAYER and share bass duties. Any guitarist who isn't doesn't belong in your band.



#36211 by Hayden King
Wed Jul 09, 2008 9:27 pm
If your covering that shouldn't be a problem. If your doing original's on the other hand, Bass is "not" guitar! its a totally different approach! if your doing original's...find yourself a Bassist!

#36340 by Franny
Sat Jul 12, 2008 12:29 am
Like i said a million times "i can tell a guitarist is on bass a mile away"
Like blunder said, it's a totally different approach; you have to think like a bassist.
A bass IS NOT a guitar with less strings, if you think just because you play guitar you can play bass...thats OK because appearently you don't mind fooling yourself either.

sorry if that sounds cruel, it's not meant to be. 8)

#37267 by AirViking
Fri Jul 25, 2008 12:25 am
never settle for a bass player who is actually a guitar player. they are 2 different beast and you will be seriously lacking on stage with a hybrid bassist. as for keys.... I need one too.... :(

Also, this is more advice from a bassist. :)
Never have a bassist that plays with a pick, once again yout band will be limited becuase of it.

And im a bass player looking for a second band.

#37271 by nyguy
Fri Jul 25, 2008 1:39 am
I began playing drums when I was 12. I moved on to guitar when I was 16. When I was 20, my band members begged me to switch to bass because no one was good or availale. They bought me a bass as an incentive. I learned it quickly. For the past 25 years, I played mostly guitar and lead guitar. However, I have played bass in many bands, simply because I could always play better than any of the bass players I ever played with.

As for why there are not as many bass players, it is probably because of what many have said here. The lead guitarists get the attention. No one really cares about the bass player. I have no ego whatsoever so I do not mind dropping into the back of the scene as long as it makes the band sound better.

These days, I would prefer playing bass. I have the feel for it and I play note for note (I only play covers these days). Why wont I play with most bands??? Because they are not good. There is so many mediocre bands out there that I cannot believe it. They play wrong chords, solos, too loud, sing off key. I went for an audition for a band and I learned all 30 of the songs they told me to learn 5 of. I learned them all note for note. Every thing that was on the original recording. They told me they were professional and top notch. I was worried they wouldnt like me. I get to the audition and they asked me what song I wanted to play. I told them to name any of the songs and I would know it. What I heard was decent playing but no one had any sense of dynamics or musicianship. Why the heck would a keyboard player play throught the entire song if the only prominent part they had was a solo? Do keyboard players understand anything about EQ? If they just blast their amp all the way, they cut out the mid range and the low end of the song. THey need to understand how to blend into the mix. Guitarists always play too loud and stray a mile away from the solo they should be playing (remember I am talkint cover band only).

So, they called me and told me that I was their first choice. I told them they werent what I was looking for. I sound so pompous writing this but I am not. I am not great. I am very good and have a great ear and can play what is supposed to be played. It isnt that I am so great as much as it is that most others are so mediocre.

That said, bass players are few and far between and can pick the best of the crop because of that. And to those who are saying to never play with a bass player who is a guitar player, that is a bunch of crap. I know of another guy that was a 3rd guitarist in a band with no bass player. They made him play bass. His name is Paul McCartney and is one of the best and most creative bass players that ever played. And he played with a pick. Makes no difference.


#37289 by sanshouheil
Fri Jul 25, 2008 3:05 am
Our Bassist is the best musician in our band. And he is a quiet, caring person to boot. He plays, we love him, and no one can have him. He is ours!

#37347 by Jeff3713
Sat Jul 26, 2008 4:26 am
Yeah as one of my favorite bands once said "everybody plays guitar". Theres not much glory in the bass, as a bassist, Ive been approached after a show a few times by someone saying " you guys were great, can you introduce me to the guitarist/singer/drummer" I love the instrument though, because a really good bass player is worth their weight in gold and I like the challenge of standing out as a bass player. I've been playing for about 10 years now, if anybody is looking for a bassist in the Albany region, look me up.

#37423 by DCRP
Mon Jul 28, 2008 4:21 am
Well now...same in Seattle...maybe worse...all guitarists wanna be Cobain, all bassists wanna be lead bassists...funny thing...and the good bass players are playing covers WTF!!!!
I play bass as well as guitar, but I am not a bass player... Stu Hamm, or Tony Levin are bass players...I wish they were here...I got a great cd to promote that could use players of that far I can't find them here...maybe if I was unemployed, and could move to LA things might be different...Seattle sucks :wink: wonder the good ones are moving BACK to Portland. :roll:

#37460 by JazzGtr
Mon Jul 28, 2008 5:37 pm
When we choose an intrument to play (or try to play) it's normal to go with an instrument that we understand musically which also have the same similiar elements in ourselves. This is something thats been decided in our DNA. Bass players are different kinds of people musically. They're usually not the type of people that hums melodies. They have more of a layed back personality. They would rather follow than lead. Whereas Guitar players are more like " I want to get there first". We are very confrontational in nature. We love to set it off or pick (literally) at the sores. We can generally play nice, but we have to have our moments to let it all go. Singers have this needs to excite and create reactions in others which in turn, turns them on. Key players see the world in a way only a scientist or engineer would understand. To them music is defined by different space and time versus somebody yelling at the top of their lungs. Drummers are generally not the smartest in the group but they are the boss. But unfortunately, most drummers don't know this. Let's face it, without their steady hands and feets, the rests of us would sound like sh_t ! Solos would be a nighmare if the drummers didn't stay on point. They are the only instrument that most of us could not do without regardless of music genres.

Now, I going to say something that most of us already knows and it which happens to be very true.

First, playing Bass, is a black thing for most Black musicians. It's something that most black Bass players knows to be true. As a black male, who plays (at least, trys to play) guitar, I personally, needs to hear the thunder from a bass player to move me. If he or she is too layed back, then I become too layed back.

Second, if you are looking for a good Bass player, Atlanta, PA, NY and Maryland to name a few places is where you will find good players.

Musically, I hope I did not offend anybody.

Peace. 8)
Last edited by JazzGtr on Tue Jul 29, 2008 11:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

#37465 by philbymon
Mon Jul 28, 2008 7:58 pm
Well, as a singer/rhythm guitarist turned bass player, I'm sorry to say that I am HUGELY offended by these stereotypes!

Oh...& yeah...I also play with a frikken PICK!! I don't find myself too limited, as a rule. I don't do the slap/pop stuff, but I don't know too many bassists that do, even considering the finger pickers I've met. I do play with fingers on some stuff, though, for the sound & the ability to play multiple notes at a time, but I don't need to do it often. Hell, Phil Lesh plays with a pick. So do a lot of other big names. McCartney was moentioned. He was really good & melodic. I love that.

But the ppl I've played & jammed with have no prob's with my playing.

And I'm not really offended, but I AM rather amused by these posts.

I've never been able to label someone by what he/she plays, neither by instrument of choice or by the material they prefer. Perhaps I've played with too many ppl over the years, but I've seen all sorts - even bass players who wanna lead the band, or singers that just wanna do their thing & be done with it without the hype.

In answer to the original question, though - bass players & singers like to pretend that we're Waldo - ESPECIALLY when we're around substandard musicianship - & we hide. For the bassist, timing & consistancy are oh so important. For the singer, pitch, timing, & again, consistancy. I've done both, & that's the way it's been for me, anyway. Most ppl in bands are way too loud, too, & that deters us as well. Get those facets down, & when you audition ppl, they'll be more likely to join up.

Finding us in the 1st place, however, is a whole 'nuther thing. We ain't standing on every street corner waiting for you. Good luck finding ppl that you need.
#37483 by Inclinerr
Tue Jul 29, 2008 4:03 am
I'm a bass player. Started out playing a violin at age 8. I wanted to play bass but my parents told me that it was too big for me to carry around. :(

Fast forward 10 years. I had sneaked out and bought my 1st bass and a cheap old amp. Both were no-name brands but man did I ever have fun with that high school garage band! :D

Then along came a wonderful wife, kids etc. 5 years ago, I had the money and I bought my dream bass and amp. At least what I could afford at the time. :lol:

Got into a band but there was too much ego to go around. Had to leave. :cry:

I now play for a progressive church band and I am having a good time with it. :)

So you ask whats wrong now? Well I want to play for the fun of playing the music. All the bands looking for bass players in my area have members younger than my children. I not looking to be the next greatest band but I do want to play the music. So where are the mature players that are want the enjoyment of playing, maybe play for someone's party?

I l love play the 1965-1970 era of music, Texas blues and jam jam jam jam! :lol:

#37741 by KidFunkyFry
Fri Aug 01, 2008 1:38 pm
I'm not especially good on any instrument, but I have been practicing mainly on guitar for several years (on and off). I've been practicing (on and off) base guitar for only a couple of years, and my opinion is that the bass guitar is what you make of it.

If you want to have that background sound, the filler and background vocals, then anyone can really play it. If you want a distinct group, if you want your song to be interesting, then you have to have a bassist who knows what they are doing. As far as the picks verses the fingers, both have unique sounds and it's all for what sound you're looking for.

I'd like to be a better bassist, but right now I'm working on guitar. A few years of on-again-off-again practicing really does go a long way, I've noticed!

And I agree with all of the above that everyone goes for the glory of the lead guitar/singer, and even the drummer gets more attention. Only in bands like Rancid can you really hear the bassist - only when regular people can really hear the bass is when they get attention.

#38019 by JamminJeffShire
Mon Aug 04, 2008 6:42 pm
sanshouheil wrote:He said he's having fun and we would have to run him off with a stick.

The above quote has teeth and is a big part of why musicians stay or leave or won't join, etc. Go through this whole cycle a few times and it just takes the fun out of music. Once bitten, twice shy. Had to say it !

It's not the old no bass player thing or whatever instrument, etc. Sure the guitar is more popular but getting the right fit is a steep mountain to climb. Everyone wants to be the "lead instrument" these days and not just the guitar players, and yet no one wants to just "support the freaking song" as a whole, i.e. BAND.

Keyboard players (ones that can actually improvise but not in a stupid way) are far more rare these days. It's no longer popular. They are either Church Rats or work for the top bands around their respective town. Many of the inbetween players are just lame.

No matter what, music is hard work but when the last ounce of "fun" is finally wrung from the juices of being in a band, why continue.

Bands that survive check their egos at the door and support the songs, each other and understand that the audience wants to hear songs, not their whizz bang chops. A solo now and then is fun for everyone, but remember, is still about the fun and definately about the song.

Does anyone remember fun or just playing songs, with words, for fun ?

#38024 by philbymon
Mon Aug 04, 2008 11:30 pm
Jeff, good, not-so-common advice, there. Play songs. With words. Keep it simple, even if you're doing all originals.

Too many ppl I know are too tied up in the extended solos, & while that may be fun at a jam fest where everyone's using, in most cases ppl just get bored with it. Limit yourself to one a set, & just play songs for the ppl the rest of the time.

If you're going to do solos, do it the bluegrass way, everyone in the band gets to do one for a single verse/chorus, then move on to another song, & don't do it on every damned song, either! One exctended song per set, unless the dance floor is packed to the gills. I saw a band do that recently, that wasn't bluegrass, & it was very cool, even in a rock band. Very unique, too.

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