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#2695863 - 06/11/15 05:59 AM Are all bassists fat and lazy?
joshdiablo Offline
Member

Registered: 06/11/15
Posts: 10
I recently took a job as a bassist after spending most of my 23 year playing career with either a guitar or a mic in my hand. I was asked simply because I had bought a bass and some gear to play around with, maybe challenge myself to learn a different approach to music, to think in different lines and frequencies. So after a few shows, I was kind of offended at how little attention I got after the show, you know, other bands shaking your hand, like they did when I was a front man
. Some girl , when she found out I was the bass player gave me a disgusted look and said, "the bass player? Shouldn't you be loading the bands equipment or something?" I'm no Les Claypool, but I got some chops, but no matter how solid I was, or notes I could add, or technique I played, no respect.. But then I see bassists from other bands getting respect for far less, and I began to analyze.. Upon further inspection, I came to the conclusion that everything on bass wasn't about how many notes I could fit in a bar, the secret was "jeep it low and fat"... Not just with the playing, but for most of the good ones I seen that night, they were, how you say, Portly... Beer belly, maybe 5'9", just liw and fat.. It's not a saying, its a life philosophy when one is a true bass player. This is his mantra. My question is, do I need to grow a beer belly to feel that "low and fat" groove, or can I just stay thin and develop an ear for it? Or should I just go back to playing guitar?

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#2695870 - 06/11/15 06:29 AM Re: Are all bassists fat and lazy? [Re: joshdiablo]
joshdiablo Offline
Member

Registered: 06/11/15
Posts: 10
Oh, and I got the lazy part from the fact that alot of real bassists wear their bass up under their chin, in my opinion, because their beer bellies cause a strange angle when they wear it lower, causing them to have to work harder to get their arms in a comfortable enough position to use those fat little sausage fingers to press down the notes and pluck the strings.. So they wear it high to keep it off their bellies, and then the bass is not awkwardly tilting out. I also noticed that a true bass player also tends to just do a little back and forth, full body bobbing thing while on stage, not using/wasting energy moving around alot... Me, I like to wear my bass down as far as I can, while exerting as much energy as possible.. I do this because when I play bass I don't worry as much about messing up cause no one ever realizes the bass hit a wrong note, and I guess playing solid and staying in the pocket is not what I do best.. I'm not in any way making fun of bass players, just pointing out some observations from my time studying the real thing... You guys are a unique breed, a musician in a class of your own... I gotta get my guitar job back!!

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#2695880 - 06/11/15 06:46 AM Re: Are all bassists fat and lazy? [Re: joshdiablo]
Griffinator Offline
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Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 20318
Loc: Lynchburg, VA, USA
I hate to sound hostile here, but I think you might be right; you should go back to guitar. You're probably better off showing off your "chops" in a role that lends itself toward attention-seeking behavior like that.

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#2695896 - 06/11/15 07:16 AM Re: Are all bassists fat and lazy? [Re: Griffinator]
joshdiablo Offline
Member

Registered: 06/11/15
Posts: 10
Yeah, I think you are right.. Really, that was all in humor, I really do like stepping away from guitar and really trying to understand what the bass should be following, where the pocket is, what approach to take for different feels.. Trust me, the title was a joke, just seeing if anyone was awake, and I meant the whole post to be self deprecating humor.. The only attention I need is the attention I am forced to pay on playing so that I don't screw up..

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#2695902 - 06/11/15 07:25 AM Re: Are all bassists fat and lazy? [Re: joshdiablo]
Griffinator Offline
TPS cook & bottle washer
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Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 20318
Loc: Lynchburg, VA, USA
Originally Posted By: joshdiablo
Yeah, I think you are right.. Really, that was all in humor, I really do like stepping away from guitar and really trying to understand what the bass should be following, where the pocket is, what approach to take for different feels.. Trust me, the title was a joke, just seeing if anyone was awake, and I meant the whole post to be self deprecating humor.. The only attention I need is the attention I am forced to pay on playing so that I don't screw up..


I started thinking that this might be tongue-in-cheek about 10 minutes after I posted that. My bad. wink

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#2696592 - 06/13/15 12:29 PM Re: Are all bassists fat and lazy? [Re: Griffinator]
Chad Thorne Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 05/15/01
Posts: 6322
Loc: Pittston, Maine, USA
There may be something to it. I've lost 35 lb. since last summer; two months ago I quit a band I was with for 7 years and have barely touched a bass since...
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#2696593 - 06/13/15 12:29 PM Re: Are all bassists fat and lazy? [Re: Griffinator]
Chad Thorne Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 05/15/01
Posts: 6322
Loc: Pittston, Maine, USA
There may be something to it. I've lost 35 lb. since last summer; two months ago I quit a band I was with for 7 years and have barely touched a bass since...
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#2696610 - 06/13/15 01:55 PM Re: Are all bassists fat and lazy? [Re: Chad Thorne]
Bottom End Offline
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Registered: 05/27/08
Posts: 2266
Loc: VA
More, and denser mass, allows for better resonance of low frequencies.
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Guitar solos last 30 seconds, the bass line lasts for the whole song.


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#2696633 - 06/13/15 03:51 PM Re: Are all bassists fat and lazy? [Re: Bottom End]
Griffinator Offline
TPS cook & bottle washer
20k Club

Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 20318
Loc: Lynchburg, VA, USA
Originally Posted By: Bottom End
More, and denser mass, allows for better resonance of low frequencies.


So you're saying bodybuilders, specifically of the powerlifting set, would make the best bassists? (since muscle is denser than fat) grin

Or are you saying you have to be not terribly bright as well as fat? whistle

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#2700394 - 06/27/15 04:48 AM Re: Are all bassists fat and lazy? [Re: joshdiablo]
ashevillecabbie Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 04/08/14
Posts: 534
Loc: Asheville NC
Originally Posted By: joshdiablo
Some girl , when she found out I was the bass player gave me a disgusted look and said, "the bass player? Shouldn't you be loading the bands equipment or something?"


this sort of thing only comes up when you try to socialize with the audience.

I wouldn't have that problem...

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#2704650 - 07/11/15 06:59 PM Re: Are all bassists fat and lazy? [Re: ashevillecabbie]
wraub Offline
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Registered: 01/19/02
Posts: 5119
Loc: ennui, az.
5 foot 9, 170.
I'll rock that sh!# till it's done getting rocked.

Then, I'll rock it some more, just to be sure.
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#2707859 - 07/23/15 10:05 AM Re: Are all bassists fat and lazy? [Re: wraub]
J. Dan Offline
Bannination Free Since '08
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Registered: 07/25/08
Posts: 11121
Loc: St. Louis, MO
I'm not fat, just lazy....but then again, I'm only half bass player...the other half is keyboards, which gets even less attention from the audience. Try stepping behind the keyboard sometime, people won't even know you're there. Most people don't even know what a keyboard does...they think you're the sound guy or something. So when I get to play bass, it's actually a step up for me when it comes to getting attention!
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Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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#2711411 - 08/07/15 07:09 AM Re: Are all bassists fat and lazy? [Re: wraub]
_Sweet Willie_ Offline
El Superfly Grande
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Registered: 04/05/02
Posts: 9532
Loc: Brklyn, yo
Originally Posted By: wraub
5 foot 9, 170.
I'll rock that sh!# till it's done getting rocked.

Then, I'll rock it some more, just to be sure.


Word.
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