Re: Jaco and Flea, What do you think?


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Posted by Brak on January 08, 2001 at 19:03:49:

In Reply to: Re: Jaco and Flea, What do you think? posted by The Virign Tooth on January 08, 2001 at 08:56:31:

I do think that bassplayers are more likely to have heared of Jaco or Mr Wooten becous we obviosly have a special interest in bassplayers scince we play the instrument.

Both Jaco and Wooten are pretty famous though.

As for the style of music afflicting the level of competence, I don't think that is the case. Getting better at playing has more to do with how much you train, how much you play with others and ofcourse, if you want to reach the absolute top layer of bassplayers (I mean in playing, not amount of listeners ;) you probably need a certain amount of talent aswell. I beleive Mr Wooten started playing bass at the tender age of 4, and he comes from a musical family, so obviosly he has a big advantage over most of us. If you have that talent, the oportunity to play alot with other people that are better at music then you are and have the will and stamina to train and learn enough to be among the best in the world, I don't think it matters much if you play jazz, fussion, pop or heavy metal.

There is however one thing I can think of that might impare on a player in terms of how good their musical choice will make them, and that is if a person get stuck in one musical style that is notoriosly easy. As an example, if you play in a punk or deathmetal band, you are more likely to just pump out the rootnotes and not really develop beond keeping deacent time and hopefully be a good buddy to your band friends. Obviosly this statement is untrue in itself, becous we have tons of exeption to this statement. There are many good punk and deathmetal bassist, but I am generalizing to illustrate the one weakness I can find.

Allso, when it comes to jazz, which is a bit special in my opinion. Not many people (remember, I am sure there are exceptions to this aswell) start out by playing jazz. However, many people end up playing jazz once they've become, at least a bit, more familiar with their instrument. This is probably one of the reason some people calls jazz music for musicians :)
Jazz has alot of interesting features you rarely find in the other musical forms. But, as a friend of mine once mentioned "I wonder how many people really sit and say 'Hey, that's a nice switch from lydian to pentatonic'". Probably not so many.
Allso, some forms of jazz are really free. You agree on the chord progression and then it's every person for himself. This is a really fun way to play and you end up with some very interesting basslines, and often some good sounding imporvised (well, at least a bit inprovised) music. From a bassist point of view, you need to have played a while to be able to play like this without it sounding and feeling monotone.

To illustrate my idea, you can imagine a beginner that doesn't really know anything about playing bass. Now you tell this person to play third fret on E string, then 5:th fret E string and then 2:nd fret on A and then back 5:th E, and then loop that. Now, this is what we can call the basic chord progression. This beginner can easily just go round and round playing this and it will work. However, after 3 minutes of this I bet everyone is pretty bored by the sound of this bassplayer. If you are a bit better (or alot better) you can make these 3 minutes really swing and never feel monotone or boring.

Allso, scince what I've just said is more often then not the case (jazzplayers are often good or at least deacent players) it might not be so fun if you don't know to read notes, doesn't know any scales or anything. Oh, and so I don't turn anyone off from jazz here, when I say reading notes, I don't mean that you have to play straight from the paper, but you should at least be able to understand what the paper tells you to play no to be left out. When I was new on bass, I didn't learn to read notes for a long time scince I figured I never need to know any becous I can get tabs or just play by ear. But when I started hanging out with the jazzpeople of my area, I learned just how important that is if you want to know what is discussed over the beer in the bar after a gig ;)
Allso, once I did learn to read, and now I can sightread, I must say it helped me alot to be a better bassplayer as it empowered me to play anything as long as the old fingers are up to the challange. And along the way to sightreading I allso learned alot of other theory as a "bonus" scince alot of the notes I used for practise was illustration of something, like maybe a scale I'd never played or as song I never heared.


Well, this slid off from Flea/Jaco to an advertise for learning to read notes... sorry for that ;)

Lastly, I saw you mentioned you are from Scotland... How's the weather in june/july? I'm probably gonna cruise around there this summer during that time period on my MC if all goes according to plan :)

Cheers!

//Brak

:
: OK guys, Thanks Brak/Basscat

: I do totally see your point of view and as these days roll on i realise i'm still reasonable un-learned when it comes to the who's who. I've known about Flea for ages and Jaco too and i think they're both amazing, you can't not!

: I was just figuring on the Popularity stakes and the types of audiences. I speak to people into Flea /Norwood/ Muzz etc. and as music people they're not the most learned, Me!, and i talk to people who say Jaco/Wooten and the like and they seem really learned. Is this a devide?

:
: Do you think the type of School (jazz/californian as it were) you come from has the same effect, or as much effect as the type of coverage you get in relation to what you do for the progress of the Bass Guitar?

: Jaco made bass huge right but ithink Flea and Co have made it more accessable,
: Do you think it's good that's not so exclusive?

: Now i'm from Scotland and wasn't old enough to be into Jaco when he was about, I am now!, Neither do i surf (it's well cold) but i grew up with Flea and Muzz Skillings (sign 'o' the times!)

: I do feel like these guys make people want to play bass in the more common world. It's not so exclusive with them.

: If you're still into it let me kow what you think.

: Thanks again

: Tooth





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