The Musical Role of the Bass Guitar

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Often, popular rock bands use the bass guitar as a member of the rhythm section, which has the role of providing a floor for the harmony sequence, and for setting the proper beat or rhythm. The rhythm section normally consists of a rhythm guitarist, a bass guitar and a drummer.

The types of bass-lines performed by the bass guitarist vary from one style of music to another. Although the most used style of bass-line, in most styles of popular music, is playing similar rhythms with the drums in order to lay down the beat, and emphasize the chords by playing root notes of the chord progression, sometimes this changes to other notes from the chord, but mostly root, fifth and third are used to draw the chords throughout the songs.

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The bass guitarist sometimes breaks out of the strict rhythm section role to perform bass breaks or bass solos. The types of bass-lines used for bass breaks of bass solos vary depending on the context, the sound, the intention, and the form of the song. In a rock band, a bass break often consist of the bassist playing a riff or lick during a place when everybody else is not playing or the dynamics are clearly really low in the song.


In contrast to rock, in funk, it is possible that the bass is featured throughout the whole ...

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Overall a good description of what the bassist's role is in a number of different bands. I feel that the writer should go into a little more detail in some areas as indicated in the comments above.