I think the 3.5 bard was a bit less miserable than the 3.0 one, but overall it was still not getting the ADnD 2nd edition bard feeling. Especially with the complete bard's handbook.The 4e and 5e Bard areJacks of all trades. The 3.5 Bard worked about as well as any of the not “broken good” elements of 3.5 worked.
It went feom jack of all trades to just a singer.
ADnD 2e: jack of all trades with reasonable power
4e: jack of all trades with reasonable power
5e: jack of all trade with reasonable power. Leaning slightly more towards caster.
If I did 6e I would scale spellcasting slightly back, but not by reducing the progression. Maybe by giving less known spells and instead some abilities that are powered by spell slots. And then getting fixed spells from subclasses.