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Thread: Bass players qualities

  1. #1

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    Hello!

    So, let's talk about bass players. [Bass player? Do we have one? Oh yeah, the guy with a pick-up truck! Didn't know he played something :-)]

    So, what kind of qualities do you like in a bass player? What do you hate with them? What kind of bass playing do you prefer? What kind of sound do you prefer?

    Bassist jokes welcome !

  2. #2

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    I am a huge fan of the low frequencies.
    Love the sound of Stanley Clarke, but who doesn't ?
    Jack Bruce was my first and later it was Chris Squire.
    God Bless them both...................I miss them often.

    In my current band, the bass player is a talented player of the 5-string and the best vocalist in the band............he is also an ex-drummer, so he gets it.................can't ask for much more than that.
    Gretsch USA & Zildjian
    (What Else Would I Ever Need ?)


  3. #3

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    I like a bass player (and every musician) with good technique but that always plays for the song first. I like them to have a great tone from their gear and a great attitude.
    - Tom

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  4. #4

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    I like Norman Watt Roy, he has the worst teeth i have seen but he can really play the bass!
    Bridie
    Oh and I have to say my brother, he is good, his band are doing good but he's my big brother so 'blergh!'

  5. #5

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    There's nothing worse than a bass player who thinks they're a lead guitar player.
    Mmm... Saturns.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Belzecat View Post
    What kind of bass playing do you prefer?
    I don't care what notes he plays, I just want him to play in tempo.



    If she is a tall, gorgeous blonde with a nice rack, she can set the tempo because no one will be listening anyway.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by weezy View Post
    There's nothing worse than a bass player who thinks they're a lead guitar player.
    I used to think that way too..............always hated "busy" bass players in normal songs

    The bass player I currently play with is extremely "busy", but it never sounds off..............he knows exactly where to place the notes and has better timing than I do................

    So what I'm saying, it depends on the guy................some guys make it sound right, even if they are playing more than I would expect.

  8. #8

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    Only two requirements for me...

    Good tone

    Good time

    all the best...

  9. #9

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    My bottom line is; bass and drums are different sides of the same coin. Sometimes a busy bass line carries the song, but usu not. As long as he/she knows the difference and plays for the song, I'm fine. Being able to find and play bass patterns that mesh with the drums (or vice-versa) is critical. The one thing that drives me nuts is a bass player that never communicates with me on stage. If I don't see the whites of their eyes at least several times during a song, it makes me uncomfortable. The other peeve of mine is a bass player that can't play the double beat of a shuffle in time.
    -Brian

    "Too many crappy used drum stuff to list"

    Play the SONG......not the DRUMS!!!

    "I think that feeling is a lot more important than technique. It's all very well doing a triple paradiddle - but who's going to know you've done it? If you play technically you sound like everybody else. It's being original that counts." ~ John Bonham

  10. #10

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    Two requirements for me for a good bass player:
    1. sober at practice
    2. sober on stage

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by late8 View Post
    Two requirements for me for a good bass player:
    1. sober at practice
    2. sober on stage
    Sounds simple enough, but our bass player would struggle to meet your exacting standards

    actually, he was pretty bad about it in the past, but he's done pretty well the last year or so. He's been drinking water and staying sober at gigs. He still drinks too much in general, but voluntarily started taking counciling classes last week. There's a chance he may decide to quit playing in bars for a while, but we'll deal with it and find a temporary sub if we have to. He's my older brother, so I'll do whatever it takes to support him in his struggle to overcome his addiction!
    -Brian

    "Too many crappy used drum stuff to list"

    Play the SONG......not the DRUMS!!!

    "I think that feeling is a lot more important than technique. It's all very well doing a triple paradiddle - but who's going to know you've done it? If you play technically you sound like everybody else. It's being original that counts." ~ John Bonham

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by drummer View Post
    I like a bass player (and every musician) with good technique but that always plays for the song first. I like them to have a great tone from their gear and a great attitude.
    pretty much says it all here. I've waited a long time to play with the kind of bassist I'm playing with now. Plays for the song, has a great voice and persona too. Slim recently got his new stand up bass outfitted with pinstriping courtesy of Hot Rod Walt from Psycho-Divilles

    http://www.psychodevilles.com/
    RED DIRT MOUNTAIN
    http://reddirtmountain.com/
    UFiP

  13. #13

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    I play bass and drums. I posted the following on a Bass player forum (Talkbass) in December of 2014:

    "The joy of playing with a solid bassist...

    Although I play bass, this post is written while wearing my drummer/percussionist hat. I wanted to share my view as a drummer of how much a great bass player is appreciated.

    I'm involved in several different music projects these days with various musicians. All are solid and professional, but some are just easier to work with and make the music just feel right.

    Several years ago I started working with a bassist in an acoustic trio project. (I'll call him Mike, because that's his name. lol) We had two different front men, he and I worked really well together no matter who was in front. We recorded a CD together and had a great time playing with that band. Eventually it got to be too busy for him as he has two small children and he can only play out so much. He dropped out of that project with no hard feelings, we understood. We used several other bass players later, but nobody filled the role as well. I still am in that project, now as a duo. I play hand percussion most of the time and play bass on a few songs. It works.

    A year ago Mike called me as the band of a friend of his lost their drummer right before a gig, I filled in and ended up joining the band. I appreciated the call, it was great to hear from him again.

    A couple of months ago Mike called me again. He was putting together another project, this time pop tunes and standards. He said that when he and the guitarist talked about drummers, my name came up. Cool. It took a while to find the singer and get the ball rolling.

    A couple of nights ago we had our first full band practice, and man it sounded good. The guitarist is decent and the singer is dynamite. But what really struck me is how solid Mike is as a bassist. We were playing tunes together that neither of us had done before, or we have not done in ages. Every song was so solid and tight right out of the box, the first time through. He and I work together like we are joined at the hip musically. This is the first time that he and I have worked together with me playing drums instead of hand percussion.

    I play with a bunch of different bassists, but Mike just makes it so freaking easy to sound good.

    Wow."
    -Mike


    "We don't stop playing because we grow old.
    We grow old because we stop playing."

    "I wish that my playing reminded people of Steve Gadd. But they seem to confuse me with his little known cousin... E."

    "Cymbals happen."

  14. #14

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    I've played with mediocre bass players who were awesome to work with because of their personality and I've played with amazing bass players who were terrible to work with because of their personality. Obviously they need to be able to groove in tandem with the drummerest. As a mediocre drummer my skill set is pretty limited but I can lock in with a bass player who I like person way better than someone who is good but I don't get along with. They must be able to dumb it down or step it up depending on the situation. I can't play alot of fancy fills and patterns so sometimes dumbing it down is a must if the guy is a jerk it doesn't usually work out well.

  15. #15

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    I've played drums with my brother on bass for 20+ years...on and off again in several different bands. Neither of us are that good, but every new guitar player that joins us or just sits in always remarks about how tight we play together. It never requires much thought, even on songs we've never played before. We just fall in together. I've played with other bass players and had both good & bad luck, but it's never quite the same. I've played with better bass players, but none that I could play better with. In our current band, he actually played slide guitar up until a year ago. We fired our (then) bass player and had a younger kid take over bass. The kid is very talented....but we just never "clicked". About a year ago, we moved him to Rythm guitar and stuck my brother back on bass. The improvement was almost instant. The "groove" got tight and solid and the entire band just fell into place. He's not a fancy bass player, and I'm not that great of a drummer, but together, we just seem to mesh. That, in turn, allowed the entire band to improve.
    -Brian

    "Too many crappy used drum stuff to list"

    Play the SONG......not the DRUMS!!!

    "I think that feeling is a lot more important than technique. It's all very well doing a triple paradiddle - but who's going to know you've done it? If you play technically you sound like everybody else. It's being original that counts." ~ John Bonham

  16. #16

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    One of my faves is a Native Canadian guy back home. He's usually broke and never to my knowledge has even owned his own bass or even practiced but when we jam, we seem to fall into this pocket together from the get go. Just ones of those things; a mystery to me. He's kind of a soft spoken likeable guy who tackles anything we throw at him from country to blues to RnR to even light jazz with this nice fat tone. We try to get together when ever I'm up home.

    all the best...

  17. #17

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    Just two things. Don't rush me and don't be a douche.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by inthpktplayer View Post
    Don't rush me and don't be a douche.

    The answer to life in only 8 words.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by longgun View Post
    I used to think that way too..............always hated "busy" bass players in normal songs

    The bass player I currently play with is extremely "busy", but it never sounds off..............he knows exactly where to place the notes and has better timing than I do................

    So what I'm saying, it depends on the guy................some guys make it sound right, even if they are playing more than I would expect.
    Yeah, my problem isn't with the busy bass players. It's the ones who feel the need to play a million notes and lose the groove in the process.
    Mmm... Saturns.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by weezy View Post
    Yeah, my problem isn't with the busy bass players. It's the ones who feel the need to play a million notes and lose the groove in the process.
    We had a fill in bass player on a gig back in February. He decided to "spice up" the traditional Bluegrass songs (unannounced) by playing a fast jazz style walk all up and down the neck, jumping octaves and throwing in all kinds of jazz licks. To say it messed up the groove and feel of the songs is an understatement. I bet the look on my face was priceless when he cut loose
    -Brian

    "Too many crappy used drum stuff to list"

    Play the SONG......not the DRUMS!!!

    "I think that feeling is a lot more important than technique. It's all very well doing a triple paradiddle - but who's going to know you've done it? If you play technically you sound like everybody else. It's being original that counts." ~ John Bonham

  21. #21

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    Ahhhhh..... I thought this thread had some really good posts about what drummers like. Being a bass player(hint, my screen name), I agree with a lot of the responses. I have seen quite a bit in my career. I have to agree that a Great attitude is a must. I have always tried to make each gig positive. Sometimes the challenges were tough, but I tend to chalk up "gig nightmare's" as a learning process. As for technique, I have to confess, I am one of those "busy" players". Through trial and error, I have learned time and place. It is not how many notes, but where you place them. I am not a note for note player. I have always embellished or modified the bassline to express how I interpreted it in my mind. But, I knew that there are core parts that must be used to keep the song true. GREAT THREAD! Have a Great Day!

    Quote Originally Posted by longgun View Post
    I used to think that way too..............always hated "busy" bass players in normal songs

    The bass player I currently play with is extremely "busy", but it never sounds off..............he knows exactly where to place the notes and has better timing than I do................

    So what I'm saying, it depends on the guy................some guys make it sound right, even if they are playing more than I would expect.
    Quote Originally Posted by drummer View Post
    I like a bass player (and every musician) with good technique but that always plays for the song first. I like them to have a great tone from their gear and a great attitude.

  22. #22

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    Our bass player is ridiculously talented, and is always very prepared for rehearsal and gigs. He's been accused of "playing too many notes" by many sound guys over the years, but i love what he plays.

    What i dont like is that he doesnt count. Beats, measures... not at all. He "plays by feel". I often lead him into, or back into songs.

    The other thing that really sticks in my craw is having to call him, or drag him, back up to the stage at the end of a break. He's usually gabbing with friends, then when called on, has to pee and get a drink.

    But...I dont want to play with any other bassist. We just click.
    Last edited by Rotarded; 05-02-2016 at 05:16 PM.

  23. #23

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    I'm so glad I quit my band... my bass player was the laziest excuse of musician with an alcohol addiction. No fun.
    19pc Yamaha Maple Custom Vintage | 12pc PDP X7 Sparkle Orange | 9pc Ludwig Jr. wine red | 8pc Pork Pie ZebraWood | 6pc Sonor | 5pc Orbitone | 4pc Sonor Martini | 39 Snare drums and growing!

  24. #24

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    Bass shouldn't be any different from drums. There is a time to really "pop" it out and there is a time for keeping a basic groove. Good musicianship is knowing which is which.

    all the best...

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