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So You Want To Play Bass Guitar?

The bass guitar is both the pivot and the drive of manypop, rock and jazz groups. Most times the bass is whatholds it all together, but then sometimes it just emergesfrom the mix and seems to pulse through your whole body.The bass is one of the most emotive instruments around.

While the bass is versatile, the instrument tends totake a backseat in a group. Few group leaders play thebass. Take Paul McCartney, who's a bassist predominantly.Also, Thin Lizzy's Phil Lynott covered bass duties andLevel 42's Mark King is the singer and bassist. However,these examples defy the rule. The role of the bassguitar in a band in comparison to a regular guitar isvery different since most bass guitars are never heardsolo, except for a few short breaks or in jazzarrangements. One reason why bass guitar solos are rareis that most folk singer voices rarely blend will withjust the bass sound.

Offering an exact explanation for preferring a bassguitar is very difficult for most players. Still, lotsof bassplayers are quick to ID their favorite bassistssince so many great players have influenced their style.One player often mentioned is The Who's John Entwistlewho has led many bass solos. Bassist and lead bandmember Jack Bruce of Cream is another frequentlymentioned top bass player. Eric Clapton, another famousguitarist, has recorded with Cream. Red Hot ChiliPepper's Flea, Adam Clayton of U2, and (sometimesvocalists, sometimes bass player) Geddy Lee of Rush areother bassist popular with young players. On top ofsome lists for their funkier bass playing style areBootsy Collins and Donald "Duck" Dunn.

These examples of fine bass players are just a samplingof some great artists who've inspired many men and womento pick up the bass and to influence their techniques.As with any instrument, if you truly want to be good,you first have to love the sound (as played by thegreats, which isn't you just yet). Not only that, youalso have to appreciate the music created by the bass.These starting points and examples of great players justscratch the surface. Many more great players come fromthe Jazz world and deserve exploration, especially thegreats from early modern Jazz.

This is the point where you get to begin playing. It'schild's play to get the notes from an electric basssince basic bass playing is mostly single-note action.For this reason, bass is considered one of the easierinstruments to play. So, even though it doesn't take alot to get down the basics, it does take a lot ofpractice (like with anything) to make it sound great.In order to progress in playing the bass, you have tonot only grasp the fundamentals but also possess aninstinctive ability to keep time. This is why it's soimportant to begin bass playing with a great teacher soyour technique doesn't suffer. If finding a teacher isout of the question, then get your hands on lots of booksand study their instructions so you can work on yourstyle. Above all else, observe other bassists wheneveryou can and listen to their music. Then, listen tomore music. And, then, listen some more...

Submitted by:

Carlie Marriott

Copyright 2005 Carlie Marriott. All rights reserved.

Carlie Marriott is the creator and developer ofBass Guitar Aa superb site with bass guitar related topics on theInternet. Find more details by clicking on hisarchive of articles: http://www.bassguitara.com/


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