Created By: randomsurfer on August 22, 2012 Last Edited By: randomsurfer on April 12, 2014

Big Guy Plays Bass

In a musical group, the largest member will play bass guitar

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Is This Tropable?? Is this even a thing?

Take your average Five-Man Band, there will be a Big Guy. If the Five Man Band turns into an actual band, the big guy will play the bass guitar.

Commpare Nobody Loves the Bassist and Dumb and Drummer.

Examples:

  • K-On hands the role of the bass to Mio, who's by far the tallest member of the group. However, she's chronically shy.
  • In the Music Video for The B-52s cover of "The Flintsones Theme" for The Flintstones John Goodman as Fred plays bass.
  • Hulk Hogan plays bass guitar in various WWF Music Videos when he was active in The '80s.
  • According to this cartoon Chewbacca would be the bass player in a Star Wars band.
  • In Homestar Runner Strong Mad is occasionally seen playing bass for the band Cool Tapes. He's also the largest main character.
  • Gene Simmons of KISS
  • Unextraordinary Gentlemen's bass player, Professor Mangrove, towers over the other members of the band at seven feet tall (and that's before his stovepipe hat!).
  • Stefan Ofsdal of Placebo is 6 foot 4.
  • In real life, in Mariachi bands the guy playing the Guitarron mexicano (big acoustical bass) tends to be on the large side, reflecting the largeness of the instrument; although more often than not he's shorter than other players.
  • Purposely averted by The Beatles, first with Stu Sutcliff and then Paul McCartney: "In our minds, it was the fat guy in the group who nearly always played the bass and he stood at the back. None of us wanted that."
Community Feedback Replies: 16
  • August 22, 2012
    Duncan
    I've seen this cartoon [1] around the Internets positing that Chewbacca would be the bass player in a Star Wars band.
  • August 22, 2012
    TheNinth
    Are we going for Big Guy in the bruiser sense, or just incredibly tall and/or large?
  • August 22, 2012
    Plastiware
    In Homestar Runner, Strong Mad is occasionally seen playing bass for the band Cool Tapes. He's also the largest main character.
  • August 22, 2012
    zarpaulus
    Can you think of a particular reason why bass players would be big? Are they heavier than normal guitars or something?
  • August 22, 2012
    TheNinth
    Bass guitars are typically heavier and the neck is often longer.
  • August 22, 2012
    acrobox
    I thought The Big Guy was explicitly the drummer of actual musical fivemanbands bands.
  • August 22, 2012
    randomsurfer
    @The Ninth: Mostly "incredibly tall and/or large."

    @acrobox: Well, not that I've seen. If you've got examples which falsify the hypothosis I'm willing to see them. Anyway, this isn't limited to Five Man Band bands, it was just a one-line "clever" intro. As I tagged it myself, Description Needs Help.

    In real life, in Mariachi bands the guy playing the Guitarron mexicano (big acoustical bass) tends to be on the large side, reflecting the largeness of the instrument; although more often than not he's shorter than other players. (In the admittedly few that I've seen anyway.)

    EDITED TO ADD: also, I'm not saying all bassists are big guys, or always the biggest guy in the group. Off the top of my head, in The Monkees none are particularly larger than the others and Mike is the tallest, but Peter is the one usually playing bass.
  • August 23, 2012
    Bod
    Tall Guy = Long Fingers = Easier to make the stretches (Real Life).

    Maybe art imitating life here.

    Kris Novesolic (sp?) was tall, but I think Kim Deal was short.

    If this is a trope, then it maybe it's related to the Drummer Is An Idiot trope (may or may not be on this site). Drummer Is An Idiot would be a joke trope as it appears in loads of musician in-jokes.

    I just checked a picture of the Back to the Future Johnnie B Goode scene, and the (double) bass player is shorter than the sax player, but everyone is taller than Michael J Fox (surprise, surprise).
  • August 23, 2012
    TheNinth
    Stefan Ofsdal of Placebo is 6 foot 4.
  • August 23, 2012
    MrRuano
    Not quite fitting to the stereotypes given, but K-On hands the role of the bass to Mio, who's by far the tallest member of the group. However, she's chronically shy.
  • August 23, 2012
    JonnyB
    Unextraordinary Gentlemen's bass player, Professor Mangrove, towers over the other members of the band at seven feet tall (and that's before his stovepipe hat!).
  • August 23, 2012
    randomsurfer
    @Bod: there's All Drummers Are Animals, is that what you were going for? And I have no idea who Kris and Kim are.

    Bigness could also play into the fact that there are only four strings on a bass, so the big guy's large fingers can play it as opposed to a guitar or keyboard where you need to have fine control, and a big bruiser type might just destroy a set of drums.
  • August 24, 2012
    Koveras
    Averted in Brutal Legend, where the bassist is The Smart Guy and The Medic...
  • April 11, 2014
    DAN004
  • April 12, 2014
    azul120
    Lemmy from Motorhead.
  • April 12, 2014
    DAN004
    Again compare All Drummers Are Animals where the big guy is the drummer.
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