The Instigator
kenicks
Pro (for)
Tied
24 Points
The Contender
wingnut2280
Con (against)
Tied
24 Points

Bassists are underrated

Do you like this debate?NoYes-2
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Pro Tied Con
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/20/2008 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,348 times Debate No: 2031
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (17)

 

kenicks

Pro

Let's take a look at a typical rock band:
Drummer
Guitarist
Singer
Bassist

In some cases, the lead guitarist also takes on the role of singer, and a rhythm guitar is thrown into the mix. With the drummer located in the back, and the lead guitarist/singer located in front, and rhythm guitar next to him to his lead guitar...that's an awful lot of treble, yet the music seems to mesh and blend together without an issue. And why might that be? There he is, located in the back of the stage, carrying a heavier, longer, bulkier instrument, is the superglue of the band, the low, hypnotic strum...the bassist.

...of course, you can't hear him over the tinny twangs of the guitarists and the drummer pounding cymbals with his sticks. You might not even be able to see him, or even be able to pick out his name. Many consumers today are only interested in the headbanging, deafening guitar solos that make up so many songs, or the bubblegum, sugar coated lyrics that boy bands use to seduce many a teenage girl. Can even an experienced bassist pick out the bassline in one of those songs? Maybe, if they turn the treble all the way down, and listen really, really hard.
wingnut2280

Con

Your opening argument proves my point. You can't hear the bassline in any popular song. You claim it ties the song together, but this is coming from presumably a bassist. Any casual music would hardly notice. This proves that bassists are right where they belong. The other performers play more critical parts of the song and are therefore more recognized. Your argument admits this.

Also, why should we have this great reverence for bassists? Their instrument is exponentially less complicated than a regular guitar. You have less strings and typically slower and more repetitive chords and riffs. The very nature of playing the bass is to be in the background.
Debate Round No. 1
kenicks

Pro

Wingnut, the point I was indicating in my argument above is that whie bassists are typically set in the back, this is not a sign of their "inferiority", but the band's wrong decision and neglect for them in the recording studio and in concert. The bass is neither inferior nor should be overshadowed by other instruments by far, oh no.

And yes, as a bass player myself, I can concur with the statement that the bass is an easier instrument, in some ways, than the electric guitar. While the bass has less notes and doesnt require to hold 2 at a time to make a chord, it is heavier, bulkier, and harder to play at the same time while singing. I admire artists like Sting and Paul McCartney for pulling off such talents.

Have you ever listened to a songs from a band who puts their bassist up in front with their lead guitarist? Popular bands like Franz Ferdidnand, The Shins, and Van Morisson have, to name a few. Their songs combine the "mind-blowing" noises of the electric guitar, with the pleasant, mellow sounds of the bass, giving the song the best of both worlds.
wingnut2280

Con

The reason the bass is not underrated is the very reasons you state. Its not just because the bass is in the back on stage. I think you put it best...

<>

If the bass is so absent from all of the songs people listen to, why do they seserve more credit? You admit that I can't hear him, see him, or know who he is. Why should he get more recognition then?

You also admit that the bass is easier to play. Yet another reason that they don't deserve as much credit. It may be harder to sing while playing, but as you said, not many people do this and the people who do would receieve the credit of being a singer/musician, instead of just a bass player. Problem solved.

True, some bands put their bassist more in the limelight. But, these bands bassists receive more credit than bassists who are not in the forefront.

Basically, you and I seem to agree that the bass is easier to play and plays less of a role in most bands. Bassists, as well as other parts of the band, receieve as much credit as they are due. Lead singers get most of the credit because lyrics have become the largest and most prominent part of songs. Similarly, bassists have dropped more and more to the background, playing less and less of a vital and prominent role. This means they deserve less credit as they play a less apparent role in the band.
Debate Round No. 2
kenicks

Pro

Wingnut, my point is not to elaborate on the fact that bassists are underappreciated by bands; but it is time to expose the true potential of the bass, its beautiful, hypnotic sound, the reuptation of a true rock intsrument it truly deserves. I hope bands around the world take notice of their neglect for their bassist and his instrument, and choose to move him further up on the stage and in the recording studio.
wingnut2280

Con

Again, you admit that the bass is generally easier to play and is less critical in songs.

That said, you agree that bassists belong in the back. They deserve less credit because they play an easier instrument.

Your arguments work against themselves. You argue for the potential of the bass, while at the same time agreeing that it is easier and less important.

I don't see how you can argue that it is a simpler instrument, is less necessary, and less present in songs, but at the same time claim that it deserves more credit and we should see more of it. For an instrument that is admitedly easier to play and is less vital for songs to sound good, the bass has just the right amount of credit it deserves.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by mrpie1200 2 years ago
mrpie1200
I feel that Pro's argument was slightly poorly presented. It takes the same amount of skill to play a bass, just a different type of skillset, like muting strings in different ways and plucking styles.
Posted by Chuckles 9 years ago
Chuckles
sorry, con won, even though i agree with pro. bass is very important in music. Con says that bass players only play the same stuff repeatedly. this is due to the style of music that is popular. If you find a band that meshes TALENTED bass lines with a talented band, it is mind-blowing. It's not the most important, but it's important. and bass lines are not necessarily or even typically slower than other instrument's music. Just look for some talented bass. Try some ska, funk, jazz, all that excellent stuff.
Posted by ellyphant 9 years ago
ellyphant
I know John Deacon, previously the bassist in Queen, never gets any attention at all; but all you have to do is play any Queen song without the bassline to hear how important it is. If you ever play the video game Rock Band and miss a lot of notes on the bass line, you can get a sense of how important the bass is--as important, arguably, as the drums that determine the beat or the guitarist or soloist who provide musical interest and melody.
Posted by TJBric 9 years ago
TJBric
Funny that this topic should come up now. Just a few days ago a friend of mine who is in audio design and records a lot of bands played me some music with and without the bass in them to show the difference. The listener can absolutely hear the bass, just most don't have ears trained enough to understand just what it is that they're hearing. To most people all of the sounds in a bend just blend together. I would be willing to bet that most couldn't even tell if there were one or two guitars playing.

I do think bassists are under rated...but I don't think they're the most important part of the band by a long shot.
Posted by tombob900 9 years ago
tombob900
although i started out thinking i would agree with the penguin, and still do - but the argument was genuinely won by the opposition.
Posted by Wierdkp326 9 years ago
Wierdkp326
I just bought a bass guitar... I feel your pain... Rock on, my friend!
17 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by thatgrantguy 8 years ago
thatgrantguy
kenickswingnut2280Tied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:00 
Vote Placed by Darth_Grievous_42 9 years ago
Darth_Grievous_42
kenickswingnut2280Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by cliffsofdover 9 years ago
cliffsofdover
kenickswingnut2280Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by towinistosucced 9 years ago
towinistosucced
kenickswingnut2280Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by bonnie_boy_returns 9 years ago
bonnie_boy_returns
kenickswingnut2280Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by kenicks 9 years ago
kenicks
kenickswingnut2280Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by massvideogamer 9 years ago
massvideogamer
kenickswingnut2280Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by sdcharger 9 years ago
sdcharger
kenickswingnut2280Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by redinbluestate 9 years ago
redinbluestate
kenickswingnut2280Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by Randomknowledge 9 years ago
Randomknowledge
kenickswingnut2280Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03