Welcome to trabenbass.com
This is the home of bass guitar players from all over the world
What's not to like?
I don’t know about you, but I am so in love with bass guitars
Set the tone!
I mean, when you play a bass guitar, you are setting the tone of the music you and your friends are playing. You are leading. It’s kind of like a dance, but with music.
If you are a great dancer, you know how to lead your partner. You also set the pace. You’re not moving too quickly, you’re not falling over each other, you’re not looking like a couple of complete and total fools.
Instead, everything is smooth. Everything is well choreographed. When she makes a move, you make a move. It’s like you are reciting poetry to each other. But instead of your words, you use your body.
The same goes with the bass. It may seem like this is just a very simple string instrument with a very limited number of strings, but you’d be surprised as to how much soul, power and direction can be packed in such a compact form.
It’s easy to understand the importance of bass notes because when you are playing the bass accompaniment to a guitar, and there’s somebody singing, and there are drums in the back, the whole package really comes together with the bass directing.
Now, you may be thinking that this has to be done in an obvious way. Kind of like a conductor getting in front of an orchestra and waving the baton around and everything flows smoothly. It doesn’t work that way. Truly amazing bass players are almost always imperceptible. But they’re there and they hold everything together.
It’s kind of like air. When you breathe in, you almost always never feel it unless you intentionally take in a deep draw. But let me tell you, regardless of whatever room you’re in, the moment the air is sucked out of that room, you will definitely sit up and pay attention. In fact, it’s a matter of life and death. You only have 3 minutes to notice, otherwise, you’re going to die.
Well, to a certain degree and with much less drama, the bass tones of any song occupy the same level of importance. Something is missing when the bass is taken out. This is really what prevented me from fully enjoying the music of the 1960’s rock group, The Doors, for the longest time.
Now, I love them to death. I mean, Jim Morrison is just amazing. He’s an icon. But back then, and I’m talking about my high school years, I really had a tough time wrapping my head around The Doors because they did not have a bass player.
A different level
Robby Krieger did an amazing job on the guitars, Densmore is an awesome drummer, and of course, Rick Manzarek is a legend on the keyboards. Jim Morrisson needs no introduction, nor additional discussion. He is on a different level of his own.
But there was no bassist. So the music was kind of off. I mean, melodically it was there, I was connecting, but there was just something off. And given the other music options I had available to me, The Doors was definitely on the back burner, assuming that they were in the back at all.
It has only been recently that I rediscovered them and I really got into how deep and spiritual and rich their music was. But the absence of the bass, for the longest time, prevented me from really having a relationship with their music.
That’s how important the bass is because it may not be front and center, it may not be slapping your ears and telling you, “hey, listen, look at me, pay attention to me.” It doesn’t do that, but it has to be there.
It’s like anchovies in great Caesar dressing. I don’t know if you’re a big salad fan, but if you love Caesar’s salad, part of the reason why it is so addictive and it tastes so awesome despite the kinds of lettuce and other vegetables you eat it with, is because of the anchovies in the mix. Now, you can’t quite put your finger on it, but believe me, the inclusion of this fish ingredient, as subtle as it may be, adds a tremendous amount of body.
If you have a tough time connecting with this, try the vegetarian version of Caesar dressing out there and compare it with the regular version. It would be unmistakable. The vegetarian version, of course, does not have any fish. That’s the first thing you will miss. And then and only then would you see that it actually added a lot of body, volume, and depth to the taste of Caesar dressing.
The same applies to the bass
The same applies to the bass. You only really miss it when it’s gone. You only really detect the centrality of its power in defining the music that you’re enjoying when it’s either edited out or you were watching a concert and the bassist, for some reason, does not show up.
This website highlights the centrality of the bass. This is both a love affair and a love letter with the bass.
So what kind of content do we feature here? We feature different bass guitars so you can see the ins and outs of the famous makers of bass guitars. We also have sheet music of different bass variations of popular and classical songs.
Now, this is a very popular feature of this website because it helps our community really exercise their creativity. If you play the bass in any way, you know that this is probably the most jazz oriented instrument in any four-instrument band. It’s even more open to improvisation than drums, if you can believe that.
Time signature and Modalities
The great thing about bass is that by simply changing the time signature and modalities that you are working with, you can completely reshape the sound that you’re producing. This is really amazing. So do yourself a big favor and explore the different resources we have available here.
You might be thinking that you know how to play a particular song forwards and backwards. You might even be under the impression that you are very familiar with it like you know the back of your hand, but if you look at the different arrangements here, it may blow your mind. And more importantly, it may trigger you to come up with your own variation because the bass is so amazing that if you made just a few small changes, you can add a tremendous amount of soul, depth and texture to what would otherwise be a very familiar song.
A song that you know like the back of your hand, or like an old, worn shoe which you put on and take off almost without thinking, can feel so much better when you push things to the limit. When you look beyond your musical comfort zone and you try to swap things out and slice and dice things and knock things around, you’d be surprised as to the kind of combinations and new depth you can come up with.
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