Hardest and easiest Genres for Bass

I’m just curious… what is the hardest genre in which to play bass? I’m thinking Metal.

Easiest? I’m thinking Country.

I’ve only been playing bass for 3 months, so what do I know. I’m just wonderin’


Metal is certainly fast. And there is a surprising amount of style variance. Then again I love metal, not everyone does.

Hardest I have found for me to try is Jazz but that’s mostly because (a) I can’t stand Jazz (sacrilege! I know! I’m sorry!) and (b) some of the utter, utter greats like Jaco were basically Jazz and Jazz Fusion, and they inspired a lot of other excellent bass players to write these super complicated Jazz pieces.

Hardest in actuality is probably Les Claypool. He’s basically his own genre.

Country seems easy to me too, yeah, but that’s mostly because I am pretty unfamiliar with the genre. If you take country extended to rockabilly and then punk, you get bands like Social Distortion, which is definitely not easy.

Ok that one is not so bad, mostly chugging, but gets the point across.


You’re not alone, @howard! . . . :slight_smile: Jazz is something I’m not a real big fan of, either. To me, It sounds as if all the musicians are “fighting” each other. Maybe it depends on exactly which instruments are being used (brass, piano, guitar, etc.), or maybe it’s just a taste that has to be acquired.

All best, Joe


At first glance, I agree with you, @PamPurrs . . . :slight_smile: Some Country songs are only a few notes, and some of the Metal bands sound like a bunch of machine guns going off together. :grin:

But then again, as @howard points out, it can depend on the depth and intensity of each song and/or the particular band playing it.

So (like everything else), :roll_eyes: there isn’t any simple one-size-fits-all answer to your question. Personally I like the “Classic Rock” genre the best, but there are many “easy” songs and many more “harder” ones within it.

One thing I’m getting out of these posts and these forums, though, is a nagging reminder that I really should expand my musical tastes. I tend to stay S.I.T.S. (stuck in the seventies) a bit too much.

Thanks for your post and hope you’re doing well in the course!

All best, Joe

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You’re not alone there @Jazzbass19… I’m stuck in the '60’s and '70’s…

For me, Jazz is certainly the hardest to play…


Plus 1 @howard… Not a fan myself, and really struggled through it in the B2B course…


Well, “can’t stand” was maybe a little too strong as there is nothing I really dislike about it either, it just doesn’t do anything for me when listening to it.


I don’t like much jazz either, I don’t know if that’s because I just don’t understand it, or because it doesn’t make my heart vibrate, or because I feel every musician is playing his own song no matter what the others are doing :rofl:

One of my best friend, who is an advanced bass player, plays more and more jazz as he progresses. I guess he just understands the thing better and better, and so it makes it more attractive to him ! I already told this friend that I don’t want to ever fall into this jazz hole :sweat_smile:


Most people in this forum that have seen some of my posts have probably figured out by now that I like jazz and fusion, so I guess I should “defend” this genre a bit here. I completely understand that people don’t like jazz (for a number of reasons), but jazz is also a very tricky beast and there are so many different variations, some of which I don’t like at all, and some are “pretentious”, and some are “elitist”… But many, many variations and realizations of jazz are just so rewarding; musically, and (I admit) intellectually.

And yes, often I would agree that jazz is more fun to play than to listen to. But, if you want to play it right, it is hard. It is hard because it is challenging - it often invokes more complex harmonies and rhythms. But not for the sake of complexity! Instead, it’s for the sake of offering other hues and flavors of harmonies, challenging well-trodden rhythmic ideas, and stimulating the feelings of curiosity and surprise.

Jazz is hard also because you have to constantly listen to what the others are doing/playing while you are trying to play your own (challenging) stuff. But, it is this being aware of others and playing off of each other, that is what attracts me to jazz. I can hear this also happening in recordings; for others, it sounds like everybody is playing against everybody else :slight_smile:

That said, I think all music can be “hard”. I certainly got humbled when I was asked to play ACDC’s “Back in Black”, and let’s not even talk about the basslines in “I want you back” (Jackson Five). Yeah, sure, fewer chords than in most jazz pieces, but if you don’t deliver these lines with groove and feel, it’s not going to be good music. And that is true for “simple” root-fifth figures just as much!

So, let’s end with what is a bit of a cliché in jazz, but really should be a mantra for us all: “It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing!”


Thanks for the awesome post, I didn’t mean to start anything with my admission :slight_smile:

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Awwwww it’s okay. It’s all in fun. I love stirring things up on the forum. Thanks for joining in!


No sweat, @howard - my post wasn’t intended as a “grumpy old men” rant either :grin:

I do also listen to Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, King Crimson, Zappa, …

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I feel like I’ve just shown up at a meeting…

[eric] "Uh… Hi, my name is Eric and um… well, I don’t like jazz.

[group] “Hi, Eric.”

[eric] “Thanks. It all started when I was about 10 and had gone to an open mic night. This guy got on stage for about 20 minutes and I got a really bad headache. At some point my younger self asked very loudly if he was still tuning his guitar.”

[group] “Ewwww, that’s rough.”

[eric] “Yeah. I was quickly informed, he was playing jazz,”


Hehe, it’s good to open up, @eric.kiser - that’s the first step to “healing” :grin:

“Jazz ain’t dead; it just smells funny”


@joergkutter Your write up about Jazz was right on the money.

@PamPurrs I vote Jazz for the hardest since complexity and pushing the boundaries of what jazz even is, is a big part of jazz. Free Jazz isn’t even, necessarily, about making songs. It’s like one long uninterrupted experimental jam session that keeps going until everybody stops playing and there is no real limit to the number of people that can come and go during a session. I’ve seen sessions on the street in New Orleans with 10 or more people. It was crazy.


You can make any genre as easy or as hard as you desire… Try making a 3 ft long neck chart showing all notes on the entire neck and memorize it ! Do the same for 7 basic chords… Ask the guitar player the chord structure of the song… Simply put it all together, making it as simple or as complex as you desire… Watch YouTube video’s, experiment, create your own style, and you’ll do just fine !

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It was just a general question. A fun conversation starter if nothing else… Sorry if I made you think I was asking for advice.

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Be honest; you were asking which genre to avoid. :wink:

We won’t tell teach.


Jazz is for people who aren’t musical :face_with_monocle:

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