Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

Aggressiveness and bass playing


jeremy c

Recommended Posts

The question for the day is:

 

Is there a natural link between aggressiveness and bass playing?

 

Is aggressiveness a necessary trait for a bass player to have?

 

We may have a few aggressive people here on the forum. ;)

 

We talk about the bass player controlling the band (which I love doing) and we talk about doing battle with clueless drummers, singers, and guitarists.

 

Can a mild-mannered laid-back personality survive?

 

Or are we better off with a take-no-prisoners attitude?

Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 50
  • Created
  • Last Reply

I think there may be a link between agressiveness and people playing certain styles of music. Those styles would be metal and punk, but I hate to stereotype and have no data to back up that claim.

 

I also think a negative correlation exists between age and maturity level of a bass player and level of aggressiveness.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While I agree bass links rhythm and melody in music, whether is a bass guitar, an upright, a tuba, or a left hand, I don't necessarily agree we control a band.

 

I have heard good bands sound okay with poorly performed bass. Same with guitar. Same with vocals.

 

I have never heard a band sound okay if the drummer was brutal.

 

A drummer controls what I play in a much more effective manner than I control the drummer, and it's safe to say I'm rather aggressive. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think of bassists as being aggressive at all, Jeremy. You don't seem at all aggressive. If anything I want to be MORE aggressive. Bass players seem pretty laid back, unless the situation demands that someone step up and take over.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think so. I think the material dictates the mood more often than not. But I think you get a variety of people playing the instrument. That in turn means you get some people who are laid back, some people who are aggro, and some that are pretty even keeled.

 

If anything, I think the drums and guitar attract the more aggro people. Some drummers are just living out that Muppets/Animal fantasy. Some guitar players are just maniacs, too, dying to be loud or "plinky". But even with those instruments, there are just as many people who are laid back. Maybe I'm thinking out loud, but it just seems that you can't pigeon-hole musicians that easily.

Obligatory Social Media Link

"My concern is, and I have to, uh, check with my accountant, that this might bump me into a higher, uh, tax..."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by ZZ Thorn:

As long as we think things are hunky dory, we're cool, but if things get out of line we're all over it.

This is just a function of higher intelligence, and everyone knows bass players are far more intelligent than everyone else in the band.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by jeremy c:

Can a mild-mannered laid-back personality survive?

sure he can, but then for me there is a difference between being aggressive and being assertive.

 

also:

 

bass players tend to be more laid back but have a clearer view of what he/she wants. man, if i posted that line in any other forum i would be branded for life :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by jeremy c:

Can a mild-mannered laid-back personality survive?

I do pretty well in my band. Of course, I've been playing music with two of the three people in my band for 10 years now, so that might have something to do with it...
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think of it as passive-aggressive or laid back.

 

I think bassists personality type is one who likes to be in charge, but in the background.

 

Catchers in baseball, anesthesiologists in surgery. The "Star" can't act until the catcher tells him it's time to throw a pitch.

"Let's raise the level of this conversation" -- Jeremy Cohen, in the Picasso Thread.

 

Still spendin' that political capital far faster than I can earn it...stretched way out on a limb here and looking for a better interest rate.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't feel like I have to be in control; I just want the person who is supposed to be in control to actually BE in control. I go nuts in church choirs where the director just lets everyone chat and make noise while they're trying to give instructions. My mother is a bit of a disciplinarian in church choirs and the choirs are always stellar AND people have a good time. But people might not always realize that they can have a good time while being quiet and following directions. :)

 

I'm not an agressive person at all, but I can become a bit domineering when nobody has assumed an authoritarian role. I just can't stand chaos.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by way2fat:

I'm not agressive. I'm humble. Very humble. Maybe the most humble of all.

I'm not vain. Vanity is a flaw and I have no flaws.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by way2fat:

I'm not agressive. I'm humble. Very humble. Maybe the most humble of all.

You are certainly not as humble as me. Don't argue with me on this or I'll kill all your pets. :mad:

You can stop now -jeremyc

STOP QUOTING EVERY THING I SAY!!! -Bass_god_offspring

lug, you should add that statement to you signature.-Tenstrum

I'm not sure any argument can top lug's. - Sweet Willie

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Humm,

 

Well, i'll first make my comment on aggressive playing:

 

I think that bassists are usually more aggressive in their playing style a.) becuase the strings can be hit harder and not break, b.) must be heard over the guitairst. So i think in playing style, bassists are, in general more aggressive than the most of the band, unless of course, the drummer head bangs :freak: .

 

Personality:

 

It depends on the person, take Greg K. off the Offspring, he rarely says anything, barely moves more than a few feet on stage, and pretty much just kinda "chill's". However, people like Tim Commerford of RATM/Audio slave, is a person that likes to take charge, jump around, and talk a lot during interviews.

 

So it really depends in my opinion. In leading a band, i'd say that the bassist is the silent hero in a way. Many people, when i say "i play bass", ask me, "Oh, isn't that a kind of guitar?". So to me, the bassist is sorta like the soldier in an amy that physically achieves victory, while the guitarist is the general that takes the credit. all the while though, the soldier knows that those few that apprieciate what he has done is enough to make it worth wild.

 

Sorry for the war analogy, i'm reading a war novel right now, lol.

 

 

anyways, that's my 0.010 Pounds. :D

-BGO

 

5 words you should live by...

 

Music is its own reward

 

---------------

My Band: www.Myspace.com/audreyisanarcissist

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think drummers are usually the most agressive players. But you don't have to be that cerebral to play the drums.

 

As Bass Players we have to be as aggressive as the drummer but cerebral enough to keep up with guitarists and keyboard players etc.

 

Vocalists....no comment, my wife is a vocalist.

 

So yeah...we're an aggressive bunch.

 

If I wasn't so aggressive, I'd probably be a guitarist. I am a pretty good guitarist but the strings are so little, no good.

 

so I finish my little discourse on aggression with this little tid bit:

 

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rob Robitaille

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by davebrownbass:

I don't think of it as passive-aggressive or laid back.

 

I think bassists personality type is one who likes to be in charge, but in the background.

 

Catchers in baseball, anesthesiologists in surgery. The "Star" can't act until the catcher tells him it's time to throw a pitch.

Yes. I often feel this way. Its not true of all bassists I suppose. Many of us I'm sure lead our bands, without being the faceman who claims the leadership position. The world needs all kinds. Those who can lead with their tongues and showmanship and those who lead by quiet example. In my band, I tend to come up with all the riffs and grooves just by playing and leading our drummer into new territory. Alot of times no words have to be spoken. I'm sure there are examples of just the opposite. Meanwhile, our guitarist arranges everything and turns it into music, hopefully. :D He also goes out and gets the gigs most often. Any band, group, or team needs examples of these two kinds of leadership in order to be successful.

 

 

As far as, aggression goes. I'm a vulcan. No emotion here, unless I'm on bass then every emotion under the sun comes out.

Together all sing their different songs in union - the Uni-verse.

My Current Project

Link to comment
Share on other sites

hummm being agressive,,,well that kinda depends, because if i am doin something with my jazz band then,,,i dont think they will let me jump everywere, even tho i have thought about jumpin on the piano :rolleyes: other than that, if am playing punk, rock, or somethin on stage that will let me, of course ill be agressive, jump and do the whole 9 yards. tho u got 2 be careful because i remember once i was pissed at the guitarist when we were praticing for a one time thing and almost pulled a london calling. man am happy i caught myself,,,, i would of missed my jazz bass if i did that :cry:

The basses

-'04 MIM Jazz bass black

-'98 Fender American-Deluxe P-bass natural

-Peavey FuryII blue

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with Rob - drummers tend to be aggressive - they probably have to be. Anyway, I started playing in '59 and I don't think I've ever worked with a drummer who was completely sane - not insane, mark you, but maybe not completely sane.

 

G.

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power the World will know Peace": Jimi Hendrix

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=738517&content=music

The Geoff - blame Caevan!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

when playing bass i am very aggressive on stage. Moving/jumping around, you know "getting into it". But when it comes to running the band I take a very laid back role. I find that my words carry more weight if I use them only when they're truely needed.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Assertive as opposed to aggressive....I always get those two mixed up. :D

 

But I'm working on it. ;)

 

You will find me very relaxed when you meet me in person.

 

Generally I look reasonably relaxed on stage...but generally I am pushing or pulling the drummer and controlling the arrangement of the song in subtle ways.

 

Once in a while I get to play with a drummer who not only has great time but who also plays what I would like to hear. It's such a wonderful feeling that I usually am grinning madly.

 

I'm usually the one calling out chord changes to people who should know better.

 

And if I take it to the bridge....everyone will take it to the bridge....and if I go there at the wrong time, everyone else will think that they made the mistake.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by jeremy c:

Once in a while I get to play with a drummer who not only has great time but who also plays what I would like to hear. It's such a wonderful feeling that I usually am grinning madly.

yesyesyes! indeed!!

 

i get mentally ecstatic and (i have been told) my mouth falls open and stays open (i am so rock-'n-roll :rolleyes: ).

wish it happened more though...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmmmm. Tons of good comments here.

 

I think bassists are very laid back on the outside but seething and screaming on the inside if the feel isn't perfect. Call it what you want.

 

The need to control the groove, tempo and feel of a song is something that I struggle with on a regular basis. Does that make me aggressive?

 

Giving my all to pretty much every performance and never truly being pleased overall with the band unless it is perfect - does that make me aggressive?

 

Getting visibly frustrated if I think my bandmates don't put forth the same amount of effort I do - aggressive or just *gasp* anal?

"He is to music what Stevie Wonder is to photography." getz76

 

I have nothing nice to say so . . .

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...