Canadian Musician


Jason Raso

The Job!

Just saw this post on one of the bass player groups…

“Many bass players nowadays are focusing on playing solo more and more, and less being BASS PLAYERS!
Here’s a perfect example of how a bass players should do the Job!”

While the video they posted was cool and and the bass player was awesome, my problem is with the word “should.” Why can’t we accept the fact that bass has evolved past the traditional role? Guitar players seem more accepting – you could have a rhythm guitar player, a lead guitar player, a classical guitar player etc. That doesn’t seem to bother people. But, man, if you are just a solo bass player, it bothers people!

I can’t think of many examples of B.B. King or Grant Green playing chords and it doesn’t bother me at all. I don’t think to myself “Grant Green SHOULD really learn some chords!” If I want to hear chords I’ll listen to someone else. I don’t listen to Jamerson and wonder why he’s not soloing. And I don’t listen to Manring and wonder why he’s not laying down more understated lines.

Why are bass players so focused on the “job”?
and why can’t your “job” be playing a solo piece?

I personally love playing bass lines in a band setting but I also love playing solo pieces! But if you only dig one of those things, that’s cool too! Maybe just be more accepting of how others choose to play!

One more thing: if you play bass, you’re a bass player! It has nothing to do with WHAT you play or HOW you play your bass!

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