Here are some functions of a bass player
- Works comfortably behind the scenes
- Keeps the groove together
- Develops trust within the band that the chords and rhythm will be right and on time
- Makes a place for the lead players to shine
Working comfortably behind the scenes
Not everybody should be up front. Some of us should stand in the back, helping the ones up front to shine. Bass players understand this. We stand near the kick drum, alert for cues from the drummer about tempo and dynamics. We keep our eyes open to read the body language of those up front.
Keeping the groove together
Groove. You either have it or you’re chasing it. Groove is about rhythm, dynamics, and tempo. The rhythm section (drums, bass, and any rhythm players) has to be together, solid, and in agreement. If the rhythm section wants to go faster than the bass player wants to go, a good player will just suck it up for the good of the groove.
Developing trust within the band
If the bass player plays the wrong note at the right time, or plays the right note at the wrong time, the groove falls apart. The bass player has to understand that his job is to play the right note, on the downbeat, before he can play any other notes of the chord on any other beat. Listeners will know that something is wrong in the song, even if they can’t name what it is. Dancers will lose their footing and maybe even sit back down. The other band members will lose their trust in the bass player.
Making a place for the leaders
Good bass players know their place. We are the canvas on which the best songs are painted. We are the dark soil from which good music is harvested. We are the groove from which the lead players can play the hot licks that allow them to shine.
I’d appreciate your support in the election. But more importantly, I want you to say “Yes” to STC. We need you.
Read all the posts, beginning January 5th and posting every other day, in my blog at https://viquidill.wordpress.com/
See all the slides on my slideshare account, http://www.slideshare.net/viqui_dill