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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2005 9:45 am
by howard male
Clearly left-handed, right-handed guitarists are like buses - you wait for ages and then a whole bunch come along at once. Here are four more to add to this growing would-be supergroup of cack-handed ax men.

Bobby Womack, Otis Rush, Albert King and Defunkt's Ronnie Drayton - anyone remember Defunkt? One of my favourite bands of the early eighties.

PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2005 1:13 pm
by Chris Walsh
Female Bass Players:

Melissa Auf DeMer: Zwan
D'arcy: Smashing Pumpkins
Kim Deal: Pixies
Nicky Parrot: David Krakauer's Klezmer Madness (whom I saw this week)
Kim Gordon: Sonic Youth
Me'shell Ndegeocello (already mentioned I believe, but worth another)

I'm sure there are thousands more.........

Oh, and left handed guitarists that play right handed: ME!

MY father bought me a guitar out of the blue when I was 12, and he unveiled it with great pride on the day. I didn't have the heart to tell him that he'd forgotten I was left handed.........and so I just got on with it. And to this day he still has no idea.

PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 9:37 am
by howard male
Chris wrote -

Oh, and left handed guitarists that play right handed: ME!


Welcome to the club Chris!

Funnily enough Chris, Defunkt, who I mentioned above in the context of right handed/left handed guitarists, had a female bass player called Kim Clarke - she was the backbone of the band.

Then there's Gale Anne Dorsey who is a solo artist as well as being a session musician who plays regularly with Bowie. And Tina Weymouth - Talking Head's idiosyncratic bottom end!

I look forward to your post-feminist critique posting entitled 'Why Women Prefer Four Strings'.

PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 10:41 am
by NormanD
howard male wrote:[I look forward to your post-feminist critique posting entitled 'Why Women Prefer Four Strings'.
I wrote on this topic last December (two pages back):
normand wrote:And expanding it still further and farther....what about the number of women in bands who play bass? There are more better-known women bass players than lead guitarists: Tina Talking Head, Gail what's-her-name with Bowie, US session player Carole Kaye, Tony Curtis in "Some Like It Hot" (OK, I'm struggling here). I'd see this as a social/cultural phenomenon, a by-product of the usual music industry sexism: women aren't allowed to take the noticeable lead parts, but they do a good job in supporting and keeping the whole show together.

I can't work this up into a detailed argument, it's just a casual observation. Any thoughts anyone?

Norman (right-handed)
Other thoughts were a long time a-coming....

Norman (still right-handed)

PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 9:06 pm
by Guest
Norman

In rock, the bass player is traditionally "someones mate" or the owner of a van, or an extra amp. Its quite a low status job in a band. They come along after the good jobs (Vocalist & Guitarist) are taken. Post-punk equality of opportunity (so far as it went, which wasn't far) allowed "someones girlfriend" to play bass. Can you name any couples in bands where the bloke is the bass player and the woman plays guitar? Doesn't happen does it?


TW

PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 11:08 pm
by Chris Walsh
Charlie won't thank me for harping on about David Krakauer (we've agreed to disagree on him) but as it is a little pertinent to the topic.
Both the role of bassist and guitarist are taken by women in David's band.
Sheryl Bailey - lead guitar
Nicky Parrot - Fretless Bass

Both were highly compitent, although I suppose this instance does lend itself to the argument that women don't get any of the good gigs in rock.
And even when they get the lead singer role - the whole project is instantly put into the chick-rock category. Shame........

PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2005 10:03 am
by howard male
Another theory. The bass guitar doesn't have the same phallic resonance as the lead guitar - yes it's the same shape and design, but because it doesn't make the same attention-grabbing growls and screams, it's essentially not an instrument for the flagrant egotist. And as nearly every bloke in a rock band has an ego the size of the advance they think they're going to get, it's obvious that if the band has a woman hanger-on with dreams of rock stardom, she should be the one to pluck away unobtrusively in the background playing all those notes you rarely hear, but always feel.

And to get more Freudian about it - the sound of a bass guitar is essentially more feminine - it's full-bodied, rounded, grounded, it has breadth and warmth, and it's rarely aggressive.

The nearest it ever got to being made more masculine (aggressive and/or showy) was in the slap bass period (or to use the strict scientific label - the Slapbassic period) when for a short span of time male bassists evolved large leathery thumbs with which to slap the strings of their bass in order to create a sound more in keeping with their frustrated desire to be as much the centre of attention as the guitarist. Fortunately this showy technique not only annoyed all sound-minded music fans, it also failed to function on the level that all good bass playing functions: as the taught flexible musculature which works in tandem with the marching skeleton provided by the drummer.

Strangely enough, as I write I can hear the strains of Sting coming from the kitchen (Marcia's given up on Radio London in the mornings, and has yet to land on a satisfactory alternative). Now you can say what you like about Sting but as far as I can recall, he never got slaphappy even though he lived through that era. But then again, he was also the lead singer so he didn't strictly need the histrionics of a lead instrument to support his ego as well.

PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2005 10:52 am
by Guest
howard male wrote:phallic resonance


Hence the expression "bell end"

TW

Chauvinist piggery.

PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2005 10:57 am
by Con Murphy
howard male wrote:Another theory. The bass guitar doesn't have the same phallic resonance as the lead guitar - yes it's the same shape and design, but because it doesn't make the same attention-grabbing growls and screams, it's essentially not an instrument for the flagrant egotist. And as nearly every bloke in a rock band has an ego the size of the advance they think they're going to get, it's obvious that if the band has a woman hanger-on with dreams of rock stardom, she should be the one to pluck away unobtrusively in the background playing all those notes you rarely hear, but always feel.

And to get more Freudian about it - the sound of a bass guitar is essentially more feminine - it's full-bodied, rounded, grounded, it has breadth and warmth, and it's rarely aggressive.


Or maybe it's because they are less likely to break a fingernail. :0)))

Only kidding, natch.

(Now tell me that emoticons are not a useful device. )

PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 6:21 pm
by howard male
Just found out from the recently flagged up Costello interview on WNYC that Elvis is a leftie too.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 8:58 pm
by Paul Inglis
howard male wrote:Just found out from the recently flagged up Costello interview on WNYC that Elvis is a leftie too.


I was just reading through the earlier comments on this thread and Costello came to mind, so I was going to post a question asking whether he was a leftie!

He's a good rhythm player who has in more recent years started to venture into soloing. The first time I saw him play lead was when Mark Ribot was in his band but was sick and had to miss a few gigs - this was back in 1991. Rather than replace Ribot, Elvis elected to play lead himself. The results were surprisingly good and I remember thinking at the time "Why doesn't he do this more often?"

Since then I've seen some shows where Elvis is having a bad night on guitar ... and those weren't so great. So yeah, he's pretty "quirky" as a lead guitarist. When he's hot he's on fire ... and other times he's rather iffy. He also plays guitars with heavy gauge strings and high actions - so it's probably a wonder he can play the bloody things at all!

McCartney started out played right handed and only switched when he found out that left handed playing was possible, so he can play both ways. I've read that Hendrix could play both ways as well - upside down as well.

Me? I'm ambidextrous but I learned to play right handed, so I guess I'm "stuck" with that.