FEATURE: Return of the Four-String Sting: Songs That Highlight the Power of the Bass Guitar



Return of the Four-String Sting


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Songs That Highlight the Power of the Bass Guitar


THERE is that running joke where the bass guitar…


is seen as the slightly unathletic kid who is picked last in the playground. Once the smoking and rebellious electric guitar is picked; the next selection is the muscular and stern percussion. Then, you have the striking and popular singer that is a natural teammate. Then, when you have picked the sought-after kids; you scan around and look for rank-and-file people to complete the team. Bass guitar, sadly, is left until the end - seen as a bit of filler. I know many musicians who rate the bass and wield it to great effect. Whilst few of us ever do an epic ‘bass solo’ to songs; it is that crucial part of the song mix and has been responsible for elevating merely great songs to heavenly heights. Whether it is funky finger-picking and some beautifully nimble playing; a strident and ambitious bit of bass strutting – it infuses the song with melody, rhythm and physicality. It can drive a song and galvanise other players; it can bring new light to a piece and, if given the chance, stand out alone and steal the spotlight. I have selected some songs, from various genre and periods, which show how essential and underrated the bass is. I hope the collection of songs makes people rethink their priorities and realise the kid that always gets picked last is, in fact, rather…


SPECIAL and integral.