Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Great Bassists

While they are not as deified as their guitar-wielding counterparts, there's no denying that bass players have an equally important role in the constitution of any given band. Without the presence of the bassist, songs would have no real depth, and there would be no one to provide low-end harmonic counterpoints.

There have been several bass guitarists in the industry who have made a name for themselves, and it's worthwhile to have a brief look at their individual techniques and their roles in the scheme of things:

Instantly recognisable by his trademark high-register riffs, Hook is arguably the most well-known bassist of the post-punk era. His most famous riff has to be the recurrring two-note synthesised motif for "Blue Monday". Also notorious for his low-slung playing position, which has influenced a million following shoegazer acts.

In the midst of all the Beatles-related mythologising, it's easy to forget that Macca is, at the core, a simply great bass guitarist. Mostly known for his straightforward but melodic runs, Macca is the epitome of the conventional, steady bassist who can provide solid counter-melodic backing to any given composition.

Undisputed master of the fretboard-tapping based Chapman Stick, the bald-headed Levin has cut his teeth playing for marquee prog-rock acts like King Crimson, Yes, Pink Floyd and Peter Gabriel. Also famous for the creation of the innovative "funk fingers", a device for approximating the sound of drumsticks hitting bass strings.

An accomplished fretless bass guitarist, famous for his trademark "sproingy" sound, Karn, formerly one of the founding members of Japan, has gone on to carve out a niche of his own as a respected sonic avant-gardist. Karn's effortless glissando and vibrato intonations are second to none.

An often underrated six-string bassist known for his effortless, fluid riffing. Much of the longevity of Goth-pop icons The Cure is due to him. The memorable snaking bass line in "Lovesong" is arguably Gallup's finest hour.


Blogger sashi said...

I've heard that Bassists are very calm and companionable. They are especially loyal known for their pleasant disposition and emotions that sometimes seem almost human. Around strangers, Bassists are friendly and welcome the opportunity to make new friends. Bassists hate to be alone.

Oh, wait, I think I mean Bassets.

11:18 AM  

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