Much like Children, fantasy is crucial to the emotional and cognitive development of bassists. They need to constantly expand the limits of their imagination in order to become truly creative people. But sometimes, tough as it may seem, it is necessary to confront a bassist with the truth.
Here is The Hard Times guide to telling your bassist that none of their takes ended up on the final mix of the album:
1. Choose an Appropriate Setting
You’re about to crush your bassist’s reality so make sure to take them to a place of comfort, like Chuck E. Cheese or the jungle gym at a local park. Also, if Office Space taught us anything, it’s that Fridays are statistically proven to have a lower likelihood of a violent incident following bad news. Just saying.
2. Choose Your Language Carefully
Remember, you’re dealing with a bassist here, so avoid words with more than 2 syllables. It only leads to confusion.
3. Only Give As Much Information As Is Necessary
Usually, the news that none of the bassist’s performances will be heard is enough to devastate. There is no need to tell your bassist that the drummer, who has no music theory knowledge, re-recorded the parts after they went to sleep. This just rubs salt in the wound.
4. Prepare for a Rage-Fueled Backlash
For years, your bassist believed in the fantasy that their parts mattered. In one painful moment, they’ll realize that none of the lessons they received from a guitar player who needed 50 bucks a week and agreed to teach them how to play the ‘Nerf guitar’ ever mattered. This can be very difficult and you will temporarily lose the bassist’s trust. On the bright side, this may lead to one of the most productive periods of your band’s existence. Be sure to write as many songs as you can while your bassist auditions for, and is subsequently rejected by, jazz outfits found on Craigslist.
5. Allow for Grieving
This news may be a profound loss to your bassist. Give them time to go through all the stages of grieving. Allow them to deny the news and insist they can hear their signature off-pitch note bends. Humor them as they bargain for unreasonable things like actually being heard on the next project. Eventually, your bassist may find acceptance.
Who knows? Maybe at some point, you’ll be able to inform your bassist that their amp is never turned on during shows and the keyboardist plays all the bass parts.