Originally Posted by Ferniff
Generally I'm the best at keeping the time but I go off in my own world a lot too.
I know you dig Phil, so my advice is couched in that context.
You don't need to play the one or the root on one to keep a strong rhythmic pulse, but your need to do so is highly dependent upon the time-keeping skills of your fellow musicians. The better they get, the more liberties you can take; all, of course, in the context of the level of improv that provokes stink-eye in your particular situation.
That said, one of the tricks you can use is to avoid the root on one rather than avoiding the one altogether. Try a simple chord progression (let's say 8 bars) and compose a line that lands on the 3rd of each chord on one rather than the root. In this (while practicing, not while rehearsing with your band), play the root on two instead of one.
Then, create three more similar, but variant lines to the same progression; all focusing on the 3rds of each chord on the one.
Then do the same thing, but land on 5ths on one - and here's where the variations come in - follow up the 5ths with either a root then 3rd, or a 3rd then root on subsequent beats (I leave it to you to decide if these are 2nd, 3rd, or 4th beats - try all permutations, including eighth notes, quarter notes and/or half notes if you prefer). Then write three more similar lines with different note choices.
You now have some 8-12 lines over 8 bars. Learn them to a fault of precision. Then omit notes from each; sometimes it helps to play a ghost note (i.e., a plucked note deadened by the fingering hand) to retain the meter. This not only adds a percussive element to your playing, it makes your lines less dense and simultaneously, more personal.
Point being, learn to omit the one by learning how to play a line with the one so you are so familiar with it that you don't need the one. If you transmit your confidence with the line to the band, they won't need your one either.
Just a few thoughts.