suspended animation

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Posted by Steve DePra on September 04, 2000 at 08:15:02:

Musical styles have changed dramatically from decade to decade for the last one hundred years. Lately, {past twenty five years} musical styles have only changed slightly every seven years or so.The industry sort of repeats or revives used styles in order to sell records. As bass players,we basically play the same as we did in the 70's. Nothing new or inovative except Jaco, and Larry Graham, who both had an overwhelming influence on bassists to say the least. We all know that the bass player is the most dominant when it comes to the "sound" or vibe that a band puts out. If you had taken Jack Casady out of the Airplane and replaced him with Jaco or Larry, it would have sounded nothing like before, thus killing the vibe. If you had replaced Phil Lesh with Larry Graham or Stanley, in the Greatful Dead, the Dead would have sounded rediculous. Most songs or hits ever produced were built on dominant bass lines, signature lines if you will. We control the groove,the vibe,the dynamics and the dancers.{provided the drummer is listening to us}If bassists continue to "slap" bongo style for another twenty five years, then music is doomed to remain in suspended animation. Since you are the dominant ones {not the lead guitarist},it is up to you to break away from the masses and sheeplike slappers,and do like Jack Bruce,Jack Casady,Jaco,Percy Jones,Phil Lesh,Eberhard Weber,Alfonso Johnson, James Jamerson,Jerry Jermott {seems like the letter "J" makes for a good bassist} ETC. ETC. in order to be unique in your tone,and harmonic approach, and thus bring a unique sound to the table and command more money. Remember you can always get one slapper to replace another since the style and tone does not vary much from one to the other.If you want job security,like the above players mentioned,then get your own style, tone,and image. Pizzicato style is far more versatile in tonal variations and harmonic possibilities.Try running scales up and down the neck slap style. As soon as you start to slap, you blow all chances of being unique,for both you and the band.I know that some of you will be foaming at the mouth by now and wish you could choke me, however it is never to late to let the bongo style slapping crutch ease out of your arsenal.Unless you prefer playing covers and weddings the rest of your career.

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