What I Learnt in 2021 About… (bass - the playing of)

Killing Floor

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Y’all see that avatar. I have fun playing both. I do still get a kick from the speakers knocking my kidneys loose. When I was a l’il baby touring I had 2-15 with 4-12 stacks, one or 2 couples depending on the need of the stage. That was friggin awesome. I still believe more people dance to the bass than the guitar. They just do it subconsciously.
It may be just me but I think I worry more playing bass. I feel more relaxed playing guitar. Guitar is more difficult but I always felt like if I made a gaff on bass that would draw the drums off so it was harder for me to play loose. I think I have more fun playing guitar for that reason because of my background. I don’t play terribly on purpose haha. But if I’m singing and one of my fingers lands soft on a chord I notice it but I don’t panic, I don’t go in my head thinking I train wrecked someone else. Just me?
I try to know my limits.
 

brookdalebill

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I love playing bass too!
It’s my “new” instrument.
I’ve been playing bass since 1996.
I know that was a long time ago, but I’ve played guitar since 1967.
I completely agree with the OP’s assessment.
 

mexicanyella

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Troy, MO
I agree with the OP...I still like playing guitar but do less of it since getting into bass several years ago. Even by myself at home since the big C, I reach for the bass as much or more than the guitar. It’s like I think in bass now. The feeling of locking in with a groove and feeling the low frequencies doing their thing is the bigger rush for me at this point.
 

ndcaster

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it's a lot of responsibility though. i think i'm good at just doing my job, but a good bass player is a puppetmaster.
true in my experience

southerners have a saying: "if mama ain't happy, ain't NOBODY happy"

same goes for bass: "if the bass is wrong, ain't NOTHING right"

the "less is more" applies to when the bass player physically lifts the note off the fretboard

the on/off of the note is utterly crucial to swing, funk, rock, and everything else

sweat the timing of the "off" and you can for example "isolate the snare," make it pop, and make everybody heppy
 

trev333

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I opened my big mouth and said I had a Bass at home when bringing a back guitar I'd modded for a friend to his band practice..

sounded good, guys played well.. I asked where the bass player was, they rolled their eyes and said he'd left the band recently and that their keyboard player is going off to join a touring pro band...( I think he was playing bass as well)

Oh, I've got a bass at home, but never play it.... Well go and get it, you're in the band...

Ooopps..... so, I did... got the bass, plugged into the PA and stood there with guitar and drums and fudged bass off the guitarists song/chord book and watching his hands for 3 hours....

then you realise.. hey! I know how the bass line goes in this cover song, heard it hundreds of times...just didn't know the notes/chords..

Originals, I asked how the previous guy made it feel... they said, make up new ones that work.. which I did over time..
that was the best part, making up my own bass lines that had the lads smiling and building off.... and finding out my timing was like clockwork....they commented on that too... every session I got good comments/feedback..

I felt more useful in a band with Bass, than I ever felt on guitar.... :)
 

Twang-ineer

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I love playing bass. I play with guitars, but I will always primarily be a bass player.

And as to driving the band from the bottom........ that is just the way it is. The best bands that I have been in are when the bass and drums are the strongest connection then everything revolves around that.
 

Whatizitman

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Hi.

I learnt I think I like it more than guitar - when playing with others.

Yup. Me too. Conversely, I have a hard time dedicating to woodshedding bass, though I really need to. Easy to get a little lazy with bass for most pop and rock styles, and basically what most guitarists and songwriters want from bassists. It’s just not as fulfilling playing bass solo. So I mainly noodle on guitar in the mannish cave.
 

Engine Swap

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Chicago
Yep

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