Over the past decade or so, the bass playing 'community' seems more and more focused on 'groove' playing and an increasing reverence for 'old school' playing.

While I understand and revere all that stuff, the Byron Miller solo in the last issue was emblematic. With all due respect to Byron, look, that solo was not exactly Beethoven. It was cool for the time, but it's a one chord noodle-fest that a lot of Detroiters were doing.

And the only reason I'm saying this is because I almost feel that my students now see two kinds of bassists: Noodlers and -real- bassists. The 'real' bassists 'groove hard'. Anybody who tries to solo is a 'noodler'. Almost unmanly.

Sure there are a few 'stars' like Victor or Marcus, but they are so far removed from their world they don't even seem real.

I think your magazine has kinda drunk that Kool-aid a bit. There is less and less emphasis on technique and more and more on 'KISS'.

In short, the bass world is dumbing down in a -big- way. Anyone who plays with any technique is considered out of the mainstream.

Most (if not all) of the gains that bassists made during my lifetime in terms of respect and having an equal voice in a band are now lost as guys now openly talk about being 'felt and not heard'... just as they did when I was a teenager.

When I open a magazine devoted to double bass, it's kind of a relief because in the classical community technique is just a -given-... or at least, something everyone aspires to.

I encourage your magazine to up the ante. Recognise that things have slid backward. Encourage a higher standard of playing for bassists... and by that I mean, not just 'hitting the one!' as the ne plus ultra. But rather, thinking abut ways to be more of an equal voice in all musical situations.

We were on the verge of having that equality. But the almost exclusive focus on 'groove' helped make things go off the rails.

Do what you can.

---JC
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Band: http://jchmusic.com
Blog: http://jchrants.com