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This is a question Clubs, gangs, and societies

Munsta asks: What groups or clubs have you been a part of? Are you part of a secret underground movement with aims to bring down the government, are you part of a yiffing cult, or do you get together with friends in an evening for a drunken game of soggy biscuit?

(, Thu 21 Jun 2012, 13:44)
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Sorry, Last Club...

I guess the only collection of people I’ve ever been regularly involved with is bands – or groups, as we used to call them – and there’s one thing that has been constant throughout the 20-30 odd years I’ve been doing this and that is that Bassists. Are. Trouble. If you’ve ever been in a band (I can only speak as an amateur, but something tells me this transcends any musical status) and you’re not a bassist, you will know this to be true. If it isn’t true at the moment, believe me, it will be. If you’re a bassist and you think it isn’t true, it is. This is because either your bandmates have been too polite to tell you, or they have told you and, being a bassist, you chose not to listen. Choosing not to listen appears to be the bassist’s default position.

Bassists are always the last to confirm availability for rehearsals, gigs, booze ups, in fact everything. They have not yet registered that a mobile phone can work for sending as well as receiving. However, the one thing they really excel at is moaning. O God, yes. Olympic Gold Standard. One band I was in had a bassist whose template for a rehearsal (when they finally worked out there was one) was moan, whinge, moan, play, stop, moan, whinge, repeat. Even when he wasn’t moaning, he was thinking about moaning. You could see it in his eyebrows.

And another thing. Unlike a lot of other instruments, in a crappy pub with a crappy PA your bass is still going to sound the same old shit whatever you play and whatever piece of boutique American wattage you put it through. No need to bring the original Japanese Squier Precision, the US Fender Jazz AND the (albeit beautiful) ‘80s Ricky and swap ‘em around every other song. All you’re doing is telling lots of disinterested people that you have a lot of guitars. Not a collection, just a lot. And whatever you play, it will still sound like a broomstick. No, it will. Those knobs on the bass and the amp are for decoration only. They don’t actually do anything. At least not at this level. Maybe when you’re playing the O2 (if you remember to acknowledge the text) and you have crystal clear sound, maybe – just maybe, twiddling the knob that says ‘Tone’ will have an effect. Until then, just concentrate on the one marked ‘Volume’. Yes, make sure you turn it up. ‘Up’ mean fully on so sound comes out. And while you’re at it, check your amp’s not still on standby. That also makes sound come out.

And please don’t get your bassist to suggest covers as they will invariably be some crap ‘80s sub-Nile Rogers thing that they can show off their slap bass technique to. By ‘slap bass technique’, I obviously mean ‘ruler on desk sound’. And root notes on the beat are fine. No, they are. No, they’re a staple of some fine music. Keep away from the 12th fret – like knobs, that part of the neck is for cosmetic reasons only to make you look like a proper guitarist.

All this I know to be true because when I first started playing, I were one. I shall now don my tin hat and scarper.
(, Thu 28 Jun 2012, 13:51, 11 replies)
The performance of many bassists
that I know is actually improved by forgetting to switch the amp on.

besides, I find drummers to be the most trouble prone, by a long way. In truth anybody who spends their free time haging around the kind of places 99% of serious musicians do is likely to be used to getting into a bit of bother.
(, Thu 28 Jun 2012, 13:59, closed)
What's the difference between a drummer and a drum machine?
You only need to punch the rhythm into the drum machine once.
(, Thu 28 Jun 2012, 14:03, closed)
/used to be a drummer
(, Thu 28 Jun 2012, 14:04, closed)
"...the kind of places..."
Ah yes,. The Kingfisher, Corby. Never again. *shudders*
(, Thu 28 Jun 2012, 14:09, closed)
How do you know if the stage at a gig is level?
When the drool runs equally from both sides of the drummer's mouth.
(, Thu 28 Jun 2012, 14:26, closed)
See also
people who take up the drums in the belief that they're a solo instrument. If you want to play solo, pick something that can actually play a tune. This also applies to bass players who make albums on which they play a support part rather than a genuine melody all the way through, so you wait and wait for the lead vocalist/guitarist to come in and start the track proper and then it suddenly ends. TEDIOUS.
(, Thu 28 Jun 2012, 14:25, closed)
Jazz drummers make drums sound like a good solo instrument, can't think of many other genres that do though.
(, Thu 28 Jun 2012, 14:58, closed)
Keith Moon
Certainly made use of them as an instrument.
(, Thu 28 Jun 2012, 16:43, closed)
is on his way to tear you a new arsehole ;)
(, Thu 28 Jun 2012, 15:03, closed)
I tell you what's worse
a lead guitarist.

(, Thu 28 Jun 2012, 15:05, closed)
Do drummers still do that thing
where they check the levels on every drum, cymbal etc individually?

'Buh. Buh'
'OK. Bit more foldback on this one.'
'That's it, just...'
'OK, that's perfect.'

And then when they play it sounds like every other drumbeat.
(, Thu 28 Jun 2012, 17:05, closed)

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