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Re: 5 string, 6 string, 7 string, 8 string, 9 string etc. etc. Bass? OH REALLY?

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Posted by Ed on January 21, 2000 at 11:03:26:

In Reply to: Re: 5 string, 6 string, 7 string, 8 string, 9 string etc. etc. Bass? OH REALLY? posted by Steve DePra on January 20, 2000 at 17:46:37:

: : : Back in the 50's we somehow allowed this new four string guitar to be called a bass. OK we really didn't know any better nor did we care. Most upright players (I do not play upright)did not really involve themselves with this new axe for they were busy honing their craft. Then one day some of them realized there was money and fame possibilities and converted. So we called them electric bass players.Fine! Where and when do we draw the line as to how many times we can rape the original double bass and still call it a bass? We add string after string some high, some low, and sometimes double up on them.What is the limit? Why don't we just strap on a harp over our shoulder, hold it sideways and call ourselves a bass player. After all there are plenty of low pitched strings to choose from.It's because we would loose the feel and head space of a bassist. Now don't get me wrong, I admire and respect all five and six and seven and even eight string instrumentalists,same as I respect all musicians, but I honestly can't call them all "bassists".I sometimes wonder if my playing a four string fender even qualifies me as a "bassist" I just like the way it sounds and makes me feel.I like being in charge of the lower register. I hope I did not offend anyone. Steve DePra

: : If you fulfill bass function, it doesn't matter what instrument, yer the bass. This seems another pointless exercise...
: How does one fulfill the bass function when playing in the guitar, horn and keyboard register? Remember, you can play a harp strung sideways and fulfill the bass function, but what do we call the instrument and the player?

If they are fulfilling the bass function in a musical manner, you call them musicians. If not, you call them talentless hacks. If you have a buncha guys playing conch shells, whadya call the guy who plays all the low notes? I call him the bass conch player CAUSE THAT'S WHAT FUNCTION HE IS FILLING...I mean, what's the big deal, instruments from the dawn of time have undergone all kinds of modifications by builders and players to get closer to the sound they have in their heads. And if ya gotta group that's made up of harmonica, cello, and garbage can lid, somebody at some time is going to be dealing with bass function.
But what to call if you want to waste yer time trying to convince people that because something has 18 strings, starts at C three octaves below middle C, and the player is basically moving fundamentals along the harmonic rhythms is NOT a bass, enjoy yer game. It may be more productive to just spend the time practicing.

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