Many people believe that bass players don’t contribute as much to the overall sound as other musicians, but that couldn’t be further from the trough. In modern popular music bass forms a link between drums and other instruments, being as much a rhythmic instrument as harmonic.
It is a glue that holds all the instruments together.
There is a very easy experiment you can do to see how much of a difference bass can make to the overall sound of a band. If you can use an EQ on your HiFi system remove all the bass frequencies. Frequencies below 100Hz are mostly provided by a kick drum and bass guitar. Without it music sounds very lifeless and flat.
Bass will almost never be the most pronounced element of an arrangement but its importance is unquestionable and you’ll definitely feel a huge difference when it is gone.
Bass, along with drums dictate the feel of a piece of music, whether it is a slow ballad or a fast pace, dynamic composition. Bass emphasises and often enriches harmony of the piece adding a new dimension to the arrangement.
Some musical genres, such as: funk, reggae or jazz wouldn’t exist without a bass guitar.