The band doesn't work without them: bassists and drummers form the foundation of every song. They provide beats, support riffs, melodies, and add depth to the music. Is that what you're looking for? Are you building that musical foundation? Then you've come to the right place. Find bass players in your area and start your new project:
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Are you looking for a bass player? We offer you numerous products and tools to help you find the right bass player. Keep scrolling to learn interesting facts about the bass instrument, e.g. which bass is right for you, what a bass player must be able to do or why a bass has four strings.
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Important facts and questions
'Bassist' is typically used to refer to musicians who play the bass instrument. Despite the term 'bass pitch' being used (in reference to singers) the term 'bassist' is almost always going to be a designation for the instrumentalist.
In a band, bassists and drummers form the foundation. It's hard to imagine the typical band format without them.
Many compare the bass to a guitar and wonder about the "missing" strings. In contrast to a guitar, a bass “only” has four strings tuned E-A-D-G, i.e. the four lowest strings on a guitar.
There is a good reason for this, though. A bass has a completely different sound along with a different role from the guitar. Bass strings are usually a bit thicker than guitar strings, partly because they are tuned an octave lower. There are also basses with five strings, which were particularly popular in the 70s and were played by many virtuoso bassists. Most of the time, a five-string bass is played more by advanced players.
Bassists can be on the road either as a solo musician or in a band. You can often find bassists in a band working with the drummer to provide the foundation of the song.
The bass itself acts as kind of a bridge between rhythm and melody. In addition to bands, bass players can also be found in orchestras—for example in the orchestra pit of a musical production.
Bassists play—as the name suggests—the bass. A distinction is made between the acoustic bass guitar, the very common electric bass, and the classic double bass.
Sometimes singers with the bass voice are also referred to as a bassist. They don't play an instrument, but instead the voice is their 'instrument.'
Basically, anyone can learn to play the bass. However, as with everything in music, talent and certain anatomical features are advantageous.
For example, bass players with strong hands find it easier to play the slightly thicker strings. A strong sense of rhythm can also benefit bassists, especially in a band. Another great quality of bass players is having a feel for other musicians and their instruments. In this way they can fill the role of the “supporting foundation” even better. Being able to read sheet music is an advantage, but not a must.
This question can best be answered by someone in-person at a music store. When it comes to the bass, you should definitely try before you buy.
Consider the feel, familiarize yourself with the individual construction, and only then decide whether this is the bass for you. The specialist staff in a specialist music shop can provide you with qualified support. We would advise against simply buying a bass “blindly” on the internet. If you are a beginner, we also recommend a four-string bass. You can try five or six strings when you are a little more comfortable with the instrument.
In rock music, bass guitars are usually the instrument of choice. Depending on the style, basses with five or even six strings are often used here.
For example, the Fender Precision is very popular with rock bassists. Many well-known rock bassists have also enjoyed playing the Gibson Thunderbird.
The bass, together with the drums, is the foundation of a band. In addition to the melodic depths, the bass also shapes rhythm and playing dynamics. The unique function of uniting melody and rhythm make it hard to imagine a band without it. Bassists should pay special attention to the interaction with the other musicians in the band. The more they fit together, the 'tighter' the whole band sounds.
How often you change your bass strings depends on how often you play. Professional bass players change their strings every month or two, sometimes even more often. On the other hand, someone who doesn\'t play much can get by with changing strings every few years. On average, we would advise you to change the strings at least once a year.
Pay attention to the sound: if the strings sound dull or the tones are no longer clear, it's time for a change. However, be aware that new strings can sound dull or metallic immediately after being wound-on. That's why it's important that you don't change the strings right before a performance or an important rehearsal, but rather 'break in' the new strings during normal rehearsals.
There are many great bass players in this world. As always in music, who is the best also depends on the musical taste of the listener. However, there are some bassists who have stood out with a particularly distinctive technique or a style of their own. These include, for example:
- Paul McCartney (The Beatles)
- Stuart (Stu) Hamm
- Carol Kaye (Wrecking Crew)
- Michael Peter Balzary aka Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
- Stanley Clarke
- Billy Sheehan
- John Entwistle (The Who)
- John Deacon (Queen)
- Ron Carter
- Lemmy Kilmister (Motörhead)
- Geddy Lee (Rush)
- Jaco Pastorius
- Gene Simmons (KISS)
As with all musical professions, we cannot give you an "average salary," because it all depends on what you do with your bass. From a fairly moderate salary as a bass teacher to the higher end, (for example if you break through with your band) anything is possible. You can also earn money with your passion as a studio musician or in an orchestra.