In the rock world, bass guitar is a bit like Rodney Dangerfield: no respect. Bassists often live in the shadow of flashy guitarists and charismatic singers. Now, some of rock's most successful acts -- the White Stripes, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the Black Keys among them -- don't even bother with a bass player. In another Soundcheck Smackdown, New Yorker pop music critic Sasha Frere-Jones and Bass Player magazine senior editor Jonathan Herrera debate the importance of bass guitar in rock.
Tell us: In rock music, is bass guitar expendable ... or essential?
Our blog: John Schaefer on the bass controversy