Cris: Compared to the drums and guitars, the bass is a low key instrument. Given that, how does one stand out as a bass player?
Luis Espaillat, bassist for Trace Adkins: That's an interesting question depending on the music because sometimes the role of the bass is not to stand out. Quite the opposite. The way I look at it is: The bass, whether it be an upright bass or bass guitar, in contemporary music is something that really glues the two worlds together, the rhythmic and the harmonic. It sometimes dictates the harmonic. I can change one note and it completely inverts the chord… for everybody. To answer your question about standing out, that's not something I seek to do a lot of times. The easy method that people do to stand out is to play faster, play higher. But sometimes that defeats the whole purpose of what bass is, which is play low and play simple because you are trying to be a supportive instrument. Now ways that you can stand out and still keep the role true to form is really where you place the feel and the beat, because you can do the simplest things on bass and it really has the greatest impact.
(from episode 4 of the Bands To Fans podcast)