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Geddy Lee of RUSH Gives his Take: Do Bass Players Count as Humans?



Bass players, often overshadowed by guitarists and lead singers, have long been the unsung heroes of many rock bands. Often relegated to the background, their contributions are sometimes overlooked or taken for granted. But are bass players human too? Geddy Lee, the legendary bassist of the prog-rock band Rush, has a resounding answer to that question.

Over the course of their illustrious career, Rush has solidified their place as one of the most influential rock bands of all time. And at the heart of their distinctive sound is Geddy Lee’s virtuosic bass playing. Known for his melodic prowess and lightning-fast fingers, Lee has been the driving force behind countless Rush hits, crafting basslines that not only hold the rhythm together but also serve as intricate and captivating melodies of their own.

Yet, despite his undeniable talent and musical contributions, Lee confesses that bass players are often seen as an afterthought. In an interview, he once joked, “Bass players have always been the butt of musician jokes. I mean, how does a bass player change a lightbulb? He holds it up and waits for the world to revolve around him!”

But beyond the humor, Lee highlights the crucial role that bass players play in any band. He believes that the bass is the foundation that holds the entire band together, providing the steady heartbeat needed for the music to come alive. While guitarists may often steal the spotlight with their flashy solos and lead singers captivate with their powerful vocals, it is the bass player who quietly shapes the rhythm and groove of the song, ensuring its solidity and coherence.

Moreover, Lee emphasizes that bass players are indeed human beings with their own unique skills, passions, and personality. They may not always receive the same attention as other members of the band, but their contributions are just as essential. Bass players have to possess a keen sense of timing, an ability to understand various musical genres, and a deep understanding of harmony and melody. They need to be highly adaptable, ready to shift their approach to match the changing dynamics of a song. All of these factors combined make bass players a vital component of any successful musical outfit.

Geddy Lee’s own abilities as a bassist exemplify this. He has innovatively pushed the boundaries of what bass playing can achieve, using intricate techniques such as tapping, harmonics, and double-neck instruments to create unique sounds. This has undoubtedly inspired countless bass players around the world and showcased the diversity and potential of the instrument.

So, the answer to the question, “Are bass players human too?” is a resounding yes. Bass players, like Geddy Lee, are not just bass players but talented musicians who bring depth, rhythm, and melody to any musical composition. They may not always grace the covers of magazines or enjoy the limelight like other band members, but their role is indispensable in creating the heartbeat of the music we love.

Next time you listen to your favorite rock song, take a moment to appreciate the bassline that anchors the rhythm and elevates the melody. Pay tribute to the unsung heroes, the bass players, who are indeed human and whose talent often goes unnoticed. And remember, without them, the world of music would be incomplete.

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