In the early days of rock 'n' roll, the spotlight seemed firmly fixed on the guitarists and singers. There was little love or recognition for the rhythm section. Of course, things have changed a lot since Buddy Holly and the Crickets started rocking high school gyms. Metal and progressive rock came along, demanding a higher technical standard from players on all instruments and turning drummers and bassists into heroes. But true musicians know that great bass players were there since the beginning, keeping drummers on tempo, supporting the melodies of singers, and taming noisy guitarists. The bassist plays a noble role in any band. Think you’ve got the mindset to trade your six-string for the low end? Here are five things you need to know.