Fail, fail, fail, fail, succeed

Bass Lines

”The end of the note is an accent.”

I was just talking to a friend who is a great musician about how bass players are the most important instrument in a band. This may sound counterintuitive unless you have played in many, many bands – in which case you will immediately understand what I’m talking about. All of the other players can be great, but if the bass player sucks, the whole band sucks.

What great bass players do (and how they do it) is so subtle it can almost seem like magic. The simplest parts provide the best examples, precisely because they aren’t playing that many notes. We were talking about bass lines in this context when he made the statement above.

I had never thought about it quite this way, but of course he was right.

Great bass lines are not only about what you’re not playing – they’re also about how you end the notes themselves.

The actual length of the note is part of the groove.