Follow TV Tropes


Playing With / Lead Bassist

Go To

This trope, on the main page, is split into 4 types, so we're playing with each of them separately.

    open/close all folders 

    Type A 

Basic Trope: A bassist is so famously skilled that he is highly praised among fans for this skill.

  • Straight: Bassist Bob from the Tropers is known for his skills to combine cords and complement the Guitar.
  • Exaggerated: He plays the bass as if it is the guitar, a la Cliff Burton.
  • Downplayed: He is more skilled than other bassists, but he himself claims Lemmy Kilmister is better.
  • Justified: He was taught by an equally famous and skilled bassist.
  • Inverted: Bob is considered one of the worst musicians of all time.
  • Subverted: On the album, the basslines perfectly complement the guitar. On stage, it clashes with it horribly, and word gets out that the guitarist was the one playing the bass.
  • Double Subverted: Eventually, however, his skills significantly improve.
  • Parodied: Bob is such a famous bassist that he keeps claiming that he doesn't need the other instruments. He may or may not be right...
  • Zig Zagged: Depending on how sober he is, how early he got up in the morning, and how much he's practiced, his skill noticably fluctuates.
  • Averted: Bob is simply an average bassist.
  • Enforced: "Well, you said that we should have the best of the best. I say it should include the bassist."
  • Lampshaded: "Wow. I think I was wrong to underestimate the basssist."
  • Invoked: Bob's parents found out that he wanted to play bassist, so they find him a teacher that both knows how to play bass, and can relate to Bob.
  • Exploited: During a music-based battle with rival band "The Life Ruiners," Vocalist Victor yells "Bob, it's your solo!" The Life Ruiners are completely surprised, and they lose.
  • Defied: Vocalist Victor fires Bob because he doesn't want the Bassist stealing his spotlight.
  • Discussed: "Man, this bassist sucks!" "Eh, give him about 2 or 3 years, and he'll get better."
  • Conversed: "Say, where did Bob learn to play bass, anyway?"


    Type B 

Basic Trope: The Bassist is famous for being the lead vocalist, and the fact that he plays bass is secondary.

  • Straight: Bob does double duty as The Tropers' lead singer and lead vocalist.
  • Exaggerated: Bob does triple duty as the tropers' lead singer, guitarist, and bassist.
  • Downplayed: Bob and Victor are part of a vocal tag team.
  • Justified: Bob is mult-talented.
  • Inverted: Bob doesn't provide any vocals, but a heavy amount of bass.
  • Subverted: Bob provides a few vocals at first, but Victor is still the lead vocalist.
  • Double Subverted: When Victor leaves and almost forces the band into The Band Minus the Face territory, Bob takes over and averts this trope.
  • Parodied: Bob is the lead vocalist, but is a horrible one.
  • Zig Zagged: Bob and Victor sound alike, and since they're part of a tag team, one can't always tell which is which unless they're both singing at the same time.
  • Averted: Bob provides backing vocals, just like any other bassist.
  • Enforced: "Well, we've tried everyone else, and you're the only other option, Bob."
  • Lampshaded: "Bob plays bass? Huh. Never noticed that..."
  • Invoked: After Victor criticises Bob's backing vocals, Bob goes to a vocal coach and improves upon this for just that reason.
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: Bob deliberately stays away from the opportunity of being vocalist because he's deliberately invoking Nobody Loves the Bassist.
  • Discussed: "So, Victor's gone. Who's going to take his place?" "I'll bet it's Bob."
  • Conversed: "Ah, so this show's taking the Motorhead approach, and having the bassist be the lead vocalist."

    Type C 

Basic Trope: The bassist is known for being the face of the band.

  • Straight: Bob has been the only consistent member of The Tropers, since they're a Revolving Door Band.
  • Exaggerated: Bob has been known to steal the spotlight at every opportunity. Victor finds this weird.
  • Downplayed: Bob is one of the faces, but fans also consider Vocalist Victor, Guitarist Gary, Drummer Darrel, and Keyboardist Kevin as separate as equally strong candidates.
  • Justified: Bob is always the one who knows how to play bass to perfectly complement any guitarist.
  • Inverted:
    • Bob was one of the first musicians to leave the band.
    • Bob is one of the longest-serving members, but is still completely overshadowed.
  • Subverted: After serving the band for X amount of years, Bob finally quits The Tropers.
  • Double Subverted: But he returns a short while later.
  • Parodied: Bob is so much of a show stealer that people think that "The Tropers" is his backing band.
  • Zig Zagged: Bob appears on some merchandise, but then so does Victor. And then Bob again...
  • Averted: Bob never was a member of The Tropers.
  • Enforced: ???
  • Lampshaded: "So, I know Bob, but who are the other guys?"
  • Invoked: ???
  • Exploited: After holding the concert that Bob is playing at hostage, Terrorist Trouble asks them to bring forth their most recognizable to beat him in a music battle. Bob is then selected.
  • Defied: "NO! Bob, you're not appearing on any more of our merchandise, since we want Victor to get some spot time!"
  • Discussed: "So, the Tropers are made of Bob, Victor, and... the other guys." "Darrell?"
  • Conversed: "Wow. Way to go, Bassist-who-hogs-all-the-screen-time. Really looking pretty in that open-shirted jacket and ridiculously short pants."

    Type D 

Basic Trope: The bassist has become famous because the music his band plays is modeled after the bass.

  • Straight: The Tropers have built their sound around Bob's unconventional bass playing.
  • Exaggerated: ???
  • Downplayed: ???
  • Justified: The Tropers are looking to be unique, and their bassist happens to be an unconventional player.
  • Inverted: Bob plays bass to match their style.
  • Subverted: ???
  • Double Subverted: ???
  • Parodied: ???
  • Zig Zagged: ???
  • Averted: ???
  • Enforced: ???
  • Lampshaded: "Now, The Tropers are a very bass-heavy band."
  • Invoked: When the Tropers are sitting idly in the studio pondering over their next song, Bob starts playing his bass in a funky manner. Victor hears this, and then the Eureka moment comes to him.
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: ???
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: "Say, is it just me, or is the Bass a major signature of this song?"

Back to Lead Bassist.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: