Friday, 31 July 2015

Science Proves Bassists Are Far More Important Than Most People Realize

Its all about that bass. Though bassists are the butt of many musical jokes, they play a surprisingly large role in most music groups. You can break it down in many ways. Bassists are playing notes much lower than the rest of the band. A low note on a bass is giving context to every other harmonic and melodic sound happening with the rest of the band. The bass is the bedrock of the band, and everything else is almost just adding texture and fluff. Playing bass is unforgiving. Because of the low frequencies, a bass player playing a wrong note will be far more noticeable than an off note on a rhythm guitar. Read on to hear how science backs this all up!   When Led Zeppelin's bassist John Paul Jones was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, he made a classic bass joke. "Thank you to my friends for finally remembering my phone number," he said, looking over at the rest of the band. Like any good joke, there's some truth to it: Bassists are criminally overlooked and underappreciated members of most every band. Yet there's scientific proof that bassists are actually one of the most vital members of any band. There are powerful neurological and structural reasons why our music needs bass. It's time we started treating bassists with the respect they deserve. Source: Tumblr Holding it down. Last year, researchers from McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, found that there's a reason why bass lines tend to fill out the background of a song, leaving the theatrics to higher-pitched instruments. Our brains are far better suited to establishing a song's rhythmic feel if they occur in lower tones. Laurel Trainor, the study's lead author, hooked up participants to an EEG to monitor brain activity while they heard simultaneous streams of two piano notes — one high-pitched, the other low-pitched. Every so often researchers played one of the notes fractions of a second too early. Participants were far better at recognizing these errors if they occurred in the bass notes. That same study also found that, if asked to tap their fingers along to this unpredictable stream of notes, subjects were much better at adjusting their tapping when the lower tones began to arrive early than they were if the same thing happened with the higher tones. This shows just how influential a bass is in setting the whole rhythmic feel of a song. If we didn't have some stoic individual holding down the low end, we all might be very lost in the music. Source: Mic /YouTube Harmonic importance. Bassists also have an important role in establishing the harmonic and melodic direction of music. As Robert Challoner wrote in his 1880 History of the Science and Art of Music: "The bass part ... is, in fact, the foundation upon which the melody rests and without which there could be no melody." The bass often defines the chords that set a song's melody [...]

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