Zen of Bass (only half serious)
Disclamer: Dont take my word for all this, I am just saying what I feel at this time. Do not think that I have any idea about what I'm talking about.
Many do not understand that to be a good bassist you dont have to be especially skilled (although skill is also important) you must have the Zen of the Bass flowing through you. The Zen is the most important thing. YOU MUST HAVE THE ZEN!!!!! There are many who are very good at playing the bass but are not great bass players. One must be grooving at all times. The best bass players also always make themselves heard. Bass players who fade into the backround are no good.
It is hard to come by people with true bass Zen (and I am not one of them). The best example of this is Billy Cox of the Band of Gypsies and Hendrix Experience (after Noel Redding, who did not have the bass zen, left the band). You must see a video of him to understand fully what BassZen means, but if you listen you will get most of it. Another good bass player is Berry Oakley (Allman Brothers). He is always improvising and holds the band together while Duane Allman does his thing. Finally, many Reggae bassists have the Zen flowing through them, and although they may not be as skilled as other bassists they are better BASSISTS. Finally, of course many jazz bassists, such as Ron Carter and Ray Brown, have this zen. Although they are both great improvisers they have no problem standing behind someone and always work to make the music its best.
I am 16(haha young) and I picked up bass December 2001, then upright in December 2002, and I do not play less than several hours a day and study music theory for another half hour(if I can make the economics work I would love to be a proffessional). I am in the process of teaching myself drums and piano, and I plan to take up trumpet this summer (I plan to be a full Jazz quartet someday). Bass is by far my main focus. I play in several different groups that play Rock (Hendrix and Allman Brother stuff), Grindcore(noise, not to be taken seriously) but mostly modern Jazz (MMW are most closly related to our style). Lately though ive been getting into just jamming. Picking a key to play in and playing with it for half hour or so.
- Wayne Shorter, McCoy Tyner, Medeski Martin and Wood, John Coltrane, Ray Brown, Ron Carter, Paul Chambers
- John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, Jimi Hendrix, Allman Brothers, Grateful Dead, Reggae Bassists
- Bach, Mozart, Chosticovitch (sp?), Satie
- JuJu-Shorter A Lover Supreme-Coltrane, Piccolo-Ron Carter
- Cumbustication, Friday Afternoon in the Universe
- Allman Brothers: The Filmore Concerts, Band of Gypsys: Live at the Filmore East, Oeuvres Pour Piano-Erik Satie