The Instigator
fenderjazzerguy
Pro (for)
Winning
30 Points
The Contender
Ahking
Con (against)
Losing
9 Points

Overall Les Claypool is a better bassist the Flea.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/23/2007 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 6,603 times Debate No: 918
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (12)
Votes (13)

 

fenderjazzerguy

Pro

Good day challenger. Remember that this is for overall best bassist.

1) First off, Les has proven to be a master of many techniques and has incorporated many into his songs. In "Jerry the Racecar Driver" two handed tapping creates one of the most prominent bass lines out of the 90s. Les has proven in many of his songs to be a slapping and popping machine. He even incorporates the rare style of flamenco strikes in "John the Fisherman" and "Too Many Puppies". Flea has used slapping and popping, but that seems to be his only weapon.

2) Originality, Les has time and time again to produce bass lines that are original. Flea in a recent instance has "stolen" a bass line from Jane's Addiction bassist Eric Avery. The song Readymade by RHCP cleary uses the bassline of Mountain Song, a song created almost 20 years previous.

3) Ability, Both men are great musicians, but Les is definently a better bassist. He has proven to play complex basslines and solos with ease. With either Primus, Frog Brigade, or Colonel Claypool's....Brains he has written music that is both original and complex.

4) Les was an innovater for modern bassists. Les is one of the first bassists since Geddy Lee to bring the instrument to the front of the band. Les's basslines provide a melody for the band rather than rythm, he is a fearless player. He even has the ability to sing and pump out groovy basslines.

Les Claypool is the idol for many young bassists today and has redefined what the instrument is capable of.
Ahking

Con

Good day challenger.

You have offended my sensibilities with your outrageous decree and so I must rush to Flea's defense!

Les Claypool and Flea are the best bassists of today, no doubt, but Flea is better than Les. I say it is impossible to rate the men based on their ability or technique, since both of them are perfect and god-like in performance:
Flea: http://youtube.com...
Les: http://youtube.com...

It is impossible to judge them on musical originality too, because they are both something that the musical world has never seen before. You can't say that someone is not original because their riff sounds similar to someone else's because similar sounding riffs in different contexts makes completely different music.
More vids to judge on originality:
Flea: http://youtube.com...
Les: http://youtube.com...

They're both the idol for many young bassists, and they're both at the top of the game.

So what makes Flea better than Leslie Edward Claypool?
For one, Flea's real name is Michael Balzary - Flea is an awesome nickname!

Flea can play the trumpet, he can sing, and he can jam out with the most insanely awesome guitarist around: John Frusciante!
Trumpet: http://youtube.com...
Singing: http://youtube.com...
W/ John: http://youtube.com...

Flea also is much more lively than Les Claypool on stage. He head-bangs, jumps, moves, ducks, dives, and dodges.
http://youtube.com...

Les Claypool just kinda stands there.

Flea is also one of the funniest men alive:
http://youtube.com...

I don't know if Les Claypool is.
Debate Round No. 1
fenderjazzerguy

Pro

I'm glad you answered the way you did. The fact that we are debating on is best overall BASSIST!!! I don't care if he can play the trumpet. You say that Claypool isn't lively, he is probably one of the funniest to watch on stage. He dances while playing. You also say the flea sings, Les is the lead singer of his band.

Another point I forgot to mentioned is how Claypool never sold-out with any of his bands. He still tours to local venues and tickets are not riduculously priced. Claypool knows the average man and he is the pretty much the bassist for the working man, he proves that all you need is raw talent to perform the best.

Also, if you are going to bring nicknames into this debate I might as well talk about Les's basses. He has an arsenal of basses including his most famous 4,5,6 string Rainbow Basses, his Fender Jazz Basses, and his double basses. If we are going to fight about with who he works with the Les still wins.

If you played bass or knew anything about bass playing with a great guitarist isn't the most important thing(Larry LaLonde is also a better guitarist than Frusciante), but it's about the drummer you play with. Les has been able two lock in with multiple drummers in his various bands, all those drummers very skillful too. This shows how compatible Les is with other people. It still stands that Les is a greater bassist.
Ahking

Con

If we are debating on who is the best overall BASSIST then why bring up about Les Claypool not selling out? That's a music industry thing based upon how many fans go to your shows and how much they're willing to pay, etc etc.

But since Flea and Les are both IMPOSSIBLE to compare with their bass playing (because gee, they're just too dam good!) then we HAVE to use these extra little nuances.

Flea has NOT sold out. His band is simply more successful than Primus. But Primus and RHCP are two different music styles, so I'm not going to say that their bassist's skill is correlated to their band's success.

Neither is the bassist's skill correlated to what bass he plays - that's like saying a painter's skill depends on what brush he uses. But if you have to know, Flea has a custom Modulus bass designed specifically for him.

Which leads me to compatibility - Flea still has Les Claypool beat for who he plays with and compatibility. First of all, the RHCP drummer is CHAD fucking SMITH - this dude is nuts.
Second of all, Flea has performed in NUMEROUS side projects - over 40 in all, ranging from Jane's Addiction to R.E.M to Alannis Morissette. The list is incredibly diverse and shows how compatible he is with other people.

Flea also ACTS in movies. He was in the Big Lebowski. He was one of the germans who said: "Ja! Ve are gunna cut ofv your veiner!" He was in Back to the Future III as well and he is the voice of Donnie in the Wild Thornberries movies. This along with his numerous other musical skills on the trumpet and singing makes him more creative than Les Claypool.

Flea also was accepted at Julliard after high school for trumpet, but he DECLINED so he could pursue a career of sex drugs and punk/funk rock n roll. That shows that Flea is a complete musician, AND that he has confidence and courage in his life.

Oh, another thing, Larry LaLonde is NOT a better guitarist than John Frusciante. I have not heard all of Larry LaLonde just like you have not heard all of John Frusciante, but he is NOT better than John. And this is an argument for another debate!
Debate Round No. 2
fenderjazzerguy

Pro

Just too let you know I am also a devout RHCP fan. Devout enough that I have listened to all their albums from their first all the way to the pathetic Stadium Arcadium. So where do you get off telling me I don't know John Frusciante. If you knew anything about Flea his best bass lines came without the help of John. But rather with greats like Hillel Slovak and Dave Navarro, maybe you should quit listening to this sold out crap that they sell. Yes sold out, the RHCP are over 25 years old and now they decide to raise ticket prices to over 200 dollars. They put their name on everything(that's selling out). This is completely off topic, so back to the debate.

Your argument is that they are both great bassists, and then you say you're not going to debate on that. You decide to debate who is a fucking better actor???? This is bass playing my friend not Hollywood. I realize they both are good, but Claypool is better. Listen to the music, the technique. The one thing this debate has fallen away from is the fact about who is the better bassist. In all of Les's albums he varies his technique, style, way of playing, but throughout it all he still plays expert and top quality music. His style is like no other(that is why Primus is its own genre), his ability matches and tops Flea's. You say you cannot measure ability, but you can. Listen to the music.

Out of context I'd like to comment on your quote: " Flea also was accepted at Julliard after high school for trumpet, but he DECLINED so he could pursue a career of sex drugs and punk/funk rock n roll. That shows that Flea is a complete musician, AND that he has confidence and courage in his life."

There is no way that makes him a complete muscian. All that shows is how he cowarded away from the problems of real life. Drugs and sex isn't the way to go, declining to go to a great academy for music doesn't make you anyway more comeplete.
Ahking

Con

fenderjazzguy,

You have failed to show us how les claypool is a better bassist. We just have your opinion. This whole debate has been based on your opinion. I repeat: THIS WHOLE DEBATE HAS BEEN BASED ON YOUR OPINION.

I have given evidence in the form of youtube videos, history, and lists. I alone in this debate understood the subjectivity of music and thus have allowed the voter to watch the videos and decide for themselves.

As for who is the better bassist, I will reiterate and clarify:
Technically and creatively, they are equal. They are better than any bassist around. Judging one "better" than the other is completely subjective and is undebatable with words. That is why I've compared them with video so people can see.

Fortunately, there is more to being a bassist than just playing bass. Flea is lively on stage, he is funny, and he has a persona outside music such as acting and musical compatibility with many, many artists.

Whether RHCP is sold out or not (again, a subjective opinion) or whether you agree with Flea's personal choices in life is of no relevance to this debate.

You have not said anything meaningful. In essence, your entire agrument is: "Dude, Les Claypool's playing is so rad on 'these' songs and that's why he rules. Also he plays a 6 string rainbow bass! Sick duuude"
Debate Round No. 3
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by theaceb 9 years ago
theaceb
fenderjazzerguy, how the hell did the site let you put a "fucking" in your argument? Get me in on it, I'm tired of this clean language bullshit.
Posted by fenderjazzerguy 9 years ago
fenderjazzerguy
Is their a need to email videos if you won't be persuaded because of our lack of understanding of each other? Just look in youtube under Les Claypool, there are many good videos of him there.
Posted by Ahking 9 years ago
Ahking
I don't have to use musical terms like slapping and popping, and yes I do play the bass for the record. But the fact that you and I play the bass does nothing to boost our arguments.

Listening to music is all that's important in this argument: the output of these guys. Not how they do it. And anybody from the tone-deaf to the musical savant can listen to the same music and have equally valid opinions of it.

This is where we differ in values and views, and why we had a lot of trouble grasping each others' arguments.
I tried to demonstrate their equality in technical skill by presenting easily accessible you-tube videos, you should have done the same. But I'll check out the ones you emailed me.
Posted by Thoreau 9 years ago
Thoreau
On a side note, I'd actually argue that a bassist that can play with a WORSE drummer would be the better bassist. Good drummers make it so much easier to keep track of rhythm, and therefore worse drummers would make it more difficult.
Posted by Thoreau 9 years ago
Thoreau
I play bass, and honestly Ahking, Claypool is simply the better bassist. You can't judge on musical style (unfortunately, here is where I favor Flea) because it is simply incredibly subjective and impossible to measure. Therefore, the only way to MEASURE how good someone is at bass is on technical skill. And here, Claypool is certainly dominant.
Posted by fenderjazzerguy 9 years ago
fenderjazzerguy
Also, I looked at your videos and they only strengthen my side. The vast majority show him doing things unrelated to bass.
Posted by fenderjazzerguy 9 years ago
fenderjazzerguy
Hey ok, how does movies make bass playing, I email you a load of youtube videos to show how he is better. Your opinion says I can dance, I can act, this means I'm a great bass player. Charles Mingus is one of the best bassists of the 20th century and he doesn't dance around the stage. The man makes music, that is what makes a bassist. How about you pick up a bass and actually play one. Maybe then you can judge about what makes a bassist. You can debate musical ability by words. It is called sheet music, musical words. I say more than how he is great, I told the viewers the songs so they can go online to watch videos and see Les play those songs. I haven't seen you use one musical term this whole damn debate. Do you even know what slapping and popping is? Learn and know the instrument, maybe that's why you can't tell who's better by listening to them. Also, maybe if you read more carefully you'd pick out more than what you want to hear in my debates.
Posted by Ahking 9 years ago
Ahking
for the record fendermusicd00d I think you're a pretentious f*ck.

I know music and I know people. If you *really* knew music like you claim to hold yourself to, you would know how subjective music is. There is no f*cking answer to this debate and if you actually think there is, then you are a bigger idiot than you know.
Posted by fenderjazzerguy 9 years ago
fenderjazzerguy
I'd rather you vote on argument, but it's you decision. I don't think this punk knows his music too well.
Posted by Rousseau 9 years ago
Rousseau
My opinion is with Con on this one, but Pro is winning on arguments. I'm conflicted because Pro votes on opinion, but I usually vote on arguments.

See the conundrum fenderjazzerguy? Would you prefer me to vote on opinion or arguments?
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