The underappreciated part of music: Bass


The title of this post will confuse most people because of their misunderstanding of what bass is. The misconception is that bass is the boom-boom of music and it just doesn’t do any good, FALSE MOTHERFUCKERS! Let me start by saying I’ve been playing music since I was 8 years old, which makes it a really long friggin’ time; I started with and still play piano, I played trumpet for a few years of my life and a little bit of drums between then and now.

Bass, can be classified as the low tones of music, the really low tones play by the likes of trombones, baritones, tubas, string bass, bass guitar, etc. It’s not necessarily the boom but the bellow; it’s the grizzle in the grizzly bear, the right amount of scruff on a man’s face not an overbearing amount of hair but just right. It’s the glove that keeps the hand warm in the winter.

I guess I would have to tell a funny yet bizarre story about bass and its lack of following from my own experience and my inspiration to write this post.  When I was playing trumpet some years back I was part of an orchestral band, we lacked a string section to start with so we weren’t a real orchestra, personally I don’t think we ever were because most people didn’t have the passion for music, for its value and here is how I know: in my first year we had 1 tuba player and approximately 7 trombone players which is pretty good in a 50 instrument band consisting of trumpets, clarinets, alto and tenor saxophones, and flutes. I guess after playing what was an uneventful year and unfruitful year of music all 8 players changed to either clarinet or trumpet. So in my second year the only real piece of music we played was the Jurassic Park theme which was cool, but the rest of music we played wasn’t that good because WE HAD NO GOD DAMN BASS YOU FRIGGIN CUNTS! And in my final year after much bitching and moaning from band members we played the Medley from Aladdin, which personally still sounded like crap and played other uninspiring pieces of music because WE HAD NO GOD DAMN BASS!

The greatest pieces of music, the most memorable ones, always had a significant amount of bass with the right amount of balance. The first piece of music I always think about with regards to excellent bass is “The Imperial March” from the original Star Wars Trilogy, composed by John Williams; when I listen to it the music clearly exudes “bad guy!” those oh-so-nice smooth and bellowing tones, with that marching arrogance f the snare drum in the background, but with just the right balance of high tones from the rest of the orchestra that gives it the right contrast but still makes a menacing sounding piece.

A song with superb bass qualities would be “Viva Forever” by the Spice Girls. (Go look that shit up youths, real females singing) The bass guitar is hard to hear because a person would focus on vocals but if you can hear it, you will see it contrasts and blends the music nicely. The other source of bass everyone forgets about and is nice in this song are the vocals, those low smooth tones bring across the perfect emotion the song is trying to bring across; it’s actually hard to find another song  with good background bass instruments and bass vocals.

I’m going to go back to John Williams again; he is my number 2 favourite composer, this time it’s going to be “Duel of the Fates” from Star Wars Episode I. Now this has an amazing string bass counter to the violins and oboes to start the orchestral part of the piece which continues on when the rest of the instruments come in. The vocals, those low smooth vocals, just make this piece even more riveting and enjoying that if I had sexual sensory in my ears I would have and eargasm everytime I hear this piece, it’s just that epic and wouldn’t be that epic without the bass.

If you want to listen to a composer absolutely work bass to the maximum into their music look up Hans Zimmer, all you COD fanboys should know his name he did the music for Modern Warfare 2. He has a long and excellent resume which would take all day to go through Google and Wikipedia this guy then go listen to the soundtracks this guy has worked on and appreciate the bass.

Keep Us Entertained ®

P.S. for not having intro music the last few months here are the songs I listed above

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