I’m writing this because I felt it’s something I should have ages ago. It is to describe the importance of bass in a band. The bass guitar is considered a simple instrument to learn especially when it is compared to the guitar.
The facts are that there are a few elementary factors why mind sets are set that way.
* Generally people pay attention to the guitar primarily, i.e in that range of frequencies.
*Generally people cannot distinguish between the bass and the guitar.
* Generally people do not pay attention to that detail.
* During initial stages the bass guitar is an easier instrument to play than the guitar
* Many people who play bass call themselves bassists even before the blister phase, hence they also fall in the general people category.
*Generally people considered bass as an extra
*Slapping and popping sounds very intriguing and cool but insane precision and technique is required.
The difficult part is that in the string section of a band not a string quartet, the bassist is the backbone along with the drummer. The bass has to be in sync with the drums at all times whether it be improvising, playing by the ear, or what’s been rehearsed. Maintaining tempo is the up to the bassist without which the entire cause if stage performance is lost. Filling the communication gap between drummers and guitarists(notice the void if a bassist stops to catch up compared to when a guitarist pauses to catch up), all the punch that we get when we hear is all bass, changing moods. And the biggest plus is that there is no better instrument for laying out the foundation for scales.
I strongly dislike the lack of credit given to bassist compared to the effort that goes in. Consider this the best of bands have had guitarist taking bass duties and not denying that they do an incredible job of it, but do realise very soon that it’s a integral part of their sound and can’t be compromised or substituted hence bring in the big guns to take up that duty and the difference in sound evolving is remarkably noticed.
Listing examples of songs that wouldn’t have existed the way they do without bass.
1. Pink Floyd – Money
2. Led Zeppelin – Dazed And Confused
3. Black Sabbath – N.I.B
4. Opeth – White Cluster
5. Pantera – Domination
6. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Apache Rose Peacock
7. Scribe – Mastibhari Muskaan
8. Guns N’ Roses – Sweet Child O Mine
9. Guthrie Govan – Wonderful Slippery Thing
10. Incubus – Psychopsilocybin
11. Alice In Chains – Would
12. Steve Vai – Crying Machine
13. Karnivool – Roquefort
14. Korn – Freak On A Leash
15. Tool – H.
This is a very contemporary set of songs where it is actually easy to ‘make out’ how essential a role the bass has to play.
I don’t know how to conclude this and at this point of time am wondering why I even wrote this. Why is said I should have written this ages ago is because the scene has improved now or atleast that’s what I feel, earlier the disregard given to the bass and how anyone would becoming a flawless bassist was considered a walk in the park without taking into account what a mammoth task it is in reality.
From the time we’re all small kids we’re given inspirational
talks about being successful and ways to do so. work hard,
have dedication, be motivated and all that bullshit. To top
the lot of these points is strive for perfection especially
from egoistic, unnecessarily disciplined, average teachers.
The better teachers know how to rationalize.The very thought
of it makes me feel like a hypocrit. The reason why
we want to be successful is because we want to fulfill our
goals, dreams and aspirations of life which is mostly indulging
in our sins in one way or another. Be it greed, power,lust,
acedia,wrath,envy,pride or vainglory.these are the seven deadly
sins. So where are we striving for perfection.
Like George Carlin said “not all chidren are smart and
clever.Got that? Kids are like any other group of people: a few
winners, a whole lot of losers!”. In his humour there’s a very
subtle message which he gives us all. I agree with Roger Waters perception
on parents obsession with education and how childhood and adolescence
and well everything is about preparing for life which will start
later and his realization that life was already happening, life starts
at dot and life happens all the time and at any point you could grasp
the rains and start guiding your own destiny.
In our shitty system you get a degree, get a job, earn a lot of money,
start a family. At what point of time are you successful to yourself
not to others? This has been said time and again by people all over the
world and being one of them I’ll repeat it: the most successful people
in our time have very unusual roots, rough pasts, tough times and that
brought out the best in them. But where we exist no one would believe that
the person sitting next to you could be that next person,the risk is too large
the odds are too small,the drop is too deep but the sky is bloody high. Take
to safe path to so called success and make yourself believe you’re happy, which is not
wrong, just dry.
There is no steady path to success, everyone likes believing so that
there is something to believe in, just like everyone believes in god
because they want something to believe in.
Tool as a band does not make music they make art. Art at its epitome . 10,000 days as an album is no exception to it. The meanings of their songs cannot be explained even briefly because they’re precise, personal and general. If the meanings can’t be understood spot on, no point understanding them at all. More so they’re insanity, philosophy, getafix, complexity, engineering and 4 artists who cannot be touched in any respect. Tool is like Led Zeppelin in the respect every member is crucial and there is no replacement. Adam Jones is a god to me and the importance of the members is in the following order Danny Carey, Maynard Keenan, Justin Chancellor and Adam Jones. Their methods are mathematical,old school, unique and sound is progressive,sludge even post grunge to a limit. I despise people who cover Tool and think they’ve pulled it off, these songs are meant to be only heard not reincarnated because everything lacks in them. Tool is Mount Olympus of effects, timings, picking techniques, drum rolls(can’t call them that for Danny Carey), inticate vocals, chemistry.
Adam Jones primarily uses his Gibson Les Paul 1981 Silverburst,1976 Marshall Super Bass amp, Mesa Boogie bass cabinets, diezel amp heads and I think the Flanger (Boss BF-2) plays a very important role almost his primary effect amongst others equipment such as a Heil talk box which he owns on stage and other effects like a Jim Dunlop 535q Multi-Wah pedal, Boss DD3 digital delay, a graphic eq and Access Virus synth hooked up to a Roland PK-5 midi controller for insane sounds. He also has Virus Indigo synth hooked upto a Roland VK-8M(proximity sensor imbaness) for organ sounding effects.
Justin Chancellor’s rig is far more complicated and for another time.
If you can understand this then you can somewhat comprehend as to how serious and supreme their sound is.
A common flaw
An unnecessary strap