Bassists or Drummers, Which is more important?


I am the cat who walks by himself
After taking a break from the forum, I feel like being a bit controversial.
I may be beating a dead horse a bit with this topic as it has most likely been discussed before, but I was watching a Q&A video with Adam Neely on his Youtube channel and an interesting question popped up.

It appears at about the 4 minute mark.

The video is more geared towards jazz musicians but it reminded me of a discussion that I had with a bass playing friend of mine a while ago. We were listening to and discussing our favourite bands and he brought to my attention a band called Black Pistol Fire, a Guitar/vox and drums duo with no bassist (not even an octave pedal or other low-end substitute). I'm not discussing 2 piece bands because that's a completely different topic. When I first heard them, I immediately said that the production was awful and too tinny. That was when he said they had no bass player which in his words was "unique and different."

Anyway, here's a video of the band in question
I have seen quite a few bands with a bass player but no drummer and they all seem to sound quite full compared to this. I feel that something is lacking when you omit the bassist.

Any thoughts on this?


Well-Known Member
I dunno, some bands just can't make it work with drums, bass, guitar and vocals. It's fine to leave one of them out.

There's definitely a place for the Pink Floyd type live setup with at least two of everything and equally to strip it back for something more sparse. Due to the shift patterns of the guys in my band, we frequently have practice sessions where someone is missing. It can actually be quite fun to do and it helps keep you on your toes as you suddenly realise how certain parts don't work.


I... I like trees.
To be fair, you could also do no Bassist... Rocksmith 2014 has Royal Blood's "Out of the Black" and you can do bass (with an octave pedal giving you the guitar sound) or guitar (with an octave pedal giving you the bass sound) for the same result, heh.

Or, screw everyone, become a very talented keyboardist.
Built-in looper on the keyboard, for the beat AND the rhythm to go on, while you step out from behind the boards and solo with your keytar... it's all covered. Some can even do vocals.
Who needs anyone else?


I am the cat who walks by himself
To be brutally honest, I can't stand Royal Blood, but having a bassist in a band with no guitarist makes more sense to me.

I second this sentiment.

This two string slide bass line rocks as hard as anything I've never heard.

In all seriousness, creativity is doing what you can with whatever you have. There are bands that have done without anything and everything.
The difference here is that Morphine are actually unique and different, not because of their line-up, but also their music is and was like no other. Bands like Royal Blood and Black Pistol Fire are just recycling the same riffs, ideas and lyrics over and over again, there are loads of bands out there that sound similar to them.