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
Troot! Well said. Having control of a note duration with impact at the beginning and end is a huge thing. In addition to isolating the snare—which I’d never thought of in those terms but it’s absolutely right—you can also lend a lot of heft to kick drum hits, make them last with some sustain instead of just be a beater slap...or isolate them for dynamics and a different kind of impact. The feeling of when you start to get a handle on controlling those note durations and making them work for you...it’s incredible when you get it right and feel what a visceral impact a well-played seemingly simple part can have.
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....
Man, that is me, right down to the ground. I used to play guitar in a band where my job was to add some texture and interest to an acoustic guy’s strummed barre chord stuff, and having all that freedom to try stuff was fun. But later on when I started playing bass with some guys, having the freedom to be rhythmic and simple, syncopated or straight, or melodic, or all of the above, that was pretty great.
Also it’s fun to be able to vibrate stuff off your guitarist’s basement shelves when you want to:
“Yeah, I think I’ll pull out the port plugs tonight...it’s time that vase got acquainted with the floor.”