Why are Bassists Underrated?
I don’t want to sound like some sad and pathetic artist who’s craving for much needed appreciation.
But it’s really easy to feel that because if you’re in a band, it’s almost always the lead singer who gets the love. The respect of the crowd or, if you guys do a bad job, the hate of the crowd, is usually reserved for the front man – the lead singer. He takes the glory, or he takes the shame.
So with that kind of setup, it’s too easy to overlook the bassist. But if you look at how music is played and, depending on the genre of the music, the bassist is actually the one carrying the song because the pace sets up the parameters of the song. It also sets up the pace.
And if any of these are off, you’re not going to create the outcome you are shooting for. Somehow, some way, people would feel that it’s awkward or it’s a little bit off, and I’m telling you, this is not a small detail. When people perceive that, it’s going to end up impacting their overall perception of your performance.
That’s how it plays out. So, accordingly, the bassist has to be more creative than the rest of the band because when you are setting up the framing of the song, you have to do it in such a way that you excite the other band members and you’re challenging them, while at the same ensuring that the basic parameters of the song remain intact.
If this sounds somewhat like walking a tightrope, it is. There’s really no other way to describe it. You don’t want to fall on either side. You don’t want to be so rigid that you basically hold everybody back. On the other hand, you don’t want to be so crazily artistic and expressive that everything goes. This is especially true if people paid good money to see you.
So in this context, and given the amount of work the bassist has to do, I would say that bassists are underrated. They do not get the appreciation that they should be getting. But you know what? Most of us do this for love anyway. I mean, it’s because we love the bass, we love the music and we love to express ourselves. It’s all about the art.
And, as you probably already know, the vast majority of musicians make chump change. For every Rolling Stones band, there are millions, if not even billions of people who are faceless, forgotten, anonymous. And you know what? It’s perfectly okay because we have our music.
And this website really is a love letter to our bassists’ common musical mistress, which is inspiration. So it doesn’t matter how much money you’re making or not making, it really all boils down to your love for the music that you produce and, most importantly, the magic that all your band members create together.
It really is a beautiful thing. It’s not about the money, it’s not about the attention, it’s about awakening the spiritual light in front of you and making it shine and hopefully waking up that light in the hearts of other people so as to make life a little bit better.