If you buff and pike, no one will look at you funny, but bards can still do (and should do) far more anyway. (I suggest spellsinger, they are the most loved bards assuming your group has a couple casters. They give spell points regeneration, which is otherwise very hard to find.) Essentially, it gives you time to get experience with the game while most people will not criticize you badly.
By the way, the reason for that is because bards can specialize in healing, melee damage and/or crowd control. Building a bard to do all 3 well is near impossible. In fact, whichever one (or two) you choose to dump will be very bad, which means, when you see a random bard, you can't expect it to do one of those specific roles. Which many people take further and expect them to do none of those roles.
If you can heal too, that would be even better. But don't say you can until you're confident you really can, since they're not really good enough to heal a party unless you specialize in it and know what you're doing. You'll also have to get to the point where you can burn wands (and eventually, get the UMD to burn heal scrolls) without worrying too much about the platinum costs, since they are a pretty major part of a healing bard in addition to taking the proper metamagics and devotion boosting gear/enhancements.