Friday, April 11, 2008

Bass not for girls, say the girls?

image courtesy of Marissa Cap.

A bass guitar on the BBC news site? Oh yes, right here: Why don't girls play guitar?

Interesting that it is either a lefty bass (yeah!) or they have mirrored the picture (looks like the later, from the headstock - doh! Slaps forehead). Anyway, that niggle aside. The article talks about the influence of gender stereotypes on musical choice.

There is still a lot of "girls play flute, boys play guitar" about, and it needs to go.

Top instruments for the boys:
  1. Electric guitar - 81%
  2. Bass Guitar - 81%
  3. Tuba - 77%

Top instruments for the girls:
  1. Harp - 90%
  2. Flute - 89%
  3. Voice - 80%
On the good news front, I am surprised and happy to see bass right up there with the miniature squeaky guitar. On the bad news front, it is sad to see no guitar at all in the girls list.

The article says it is hard to step across the gender line, but easier for girls to play 'boys' instruments, than the other way around. I know a male bass player learning flute - wulf, your secret is out - and I know of infinitely more female bass players around now that I did a decade ago (ok, that is from zero to about a dozen now). So, hopefully, things are on the mend.

Let's break the stereotypes. Bass is for everyone, come and play!

4 comments:

Carol said...

For a long time, girls didn't like the bass because it was way heavy to hold for a 3-4 hour gig. And the gear was gargantuan. Now that the manufacturers are being more ergonomically aware across the board, 8 to 11 lb basses are more readily available. Cabs and amps are more compact and lightweight as well. Back in the 80's the band had to come to my house to load/unload me for a gig. Now I can put my rig in the back of my SUV myself. I go to the studio to load/unload the band.

Times are certainly changing! Thanks for thinking about us girl bass players.

Oh, and there is definitely a huge lack of girl lead guitarists.

Benjamin said...

Hi Carol... You just reminded me about the Daisy bass, if you've seen that. It was an attempt to make a lighter bass - I know a couple of teenagers, now lady basses, who started out with one. Cabs are lighter too now - with neodium magnets and other new fangled techyness. Good news for us older bassists too!

Bass Basics said...

I think more girls should learn the bass guitar, and for those girls out there wishing to learn the bass I know of some free beginner lessons for you
http://www.howtoplaybass.co.uk/about_bass_basics.html

play bass said...

It is so sexy when girls play bass. Come on girls get learning that bass please.