Bass/Drums rehearsals

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by SeattleSunn, Jan 10, 2014.


  1. SeattleSunn

    SeattleSunn

    Joined:
    May 6, 2013
    Location:
    Seattle
    The Drum player and I are joining an established band playing originals and are trying to get up to speed. We have practiced together a few times alone and need to come up with a system to work to practice together. We have tried to use a recording of the band (previous rehearsals) w/vocals and guitar. The drums are loud and i crank up to match. We can not hear the beat and when there is a break in the music we are always off beat.

    It would be nice to have a flashing light that went with the beat of the recording (or spikes in recording level) like a visual click track.

    Anyone else run into this, or have any ideas?
  2. vince a

    vince a

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    Location:
    Modesto, CA
    Played with a drummer that had a flashing-light metronome . . . he still sped up . . .
  3. Slough Feg Bass

    Slough Feg Bass

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco
  4. SeattleSunn

    SeattleSunn

    Joined:
    May 6, 2013
    Location:
    Seattle
    That might be the solution. I wish I had a compressor in a pedal with a light, or something like that.
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  6. SeattleSunn

    SeattleSunn

    Joined:
    May 6, 2013
    Location:
    Seattle
    ...so a flashing light might not be enough of a cue.
  7. ghostfather

    ghostfather

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2013
    We have had rehearsals with the main guitarist/vocalist absent. It helps to chart out the song and have your part down without having to rely on vocal (or guitar) cues. Also, it helps to use a vocal mic to fake the singer's vocals, to count out measures, or to say "change!" Or whatever.
  8. Luke S Mouse

    Luke S Mouse

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    Jun 5, 2009
    Location:
    Texas
    Disclosures:
    Yes, this douchebag just posted again
    My current project is totally what you described, with possibly another member being added cause the vocalist went AWOL.

    Go over the tunes together, make sure everyone gets it and hash it out as a full band and give that a go.

    Otherwise make your drummer listen to a metronome by himself while playing his part by his lonesome, then you put your part over his, etc. (although in my experience it's harder than it sounds)
  9. Kmonk

    Kmonk

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    Oct 18, 2012
    Location:
    South Shore, Massachusetts
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    Endorsing Artist: Fender and Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings
    Rehearsing without vocals and guitars can be difficult. I've always found the best thing to do is for everyone to learn their parts on their own and then rehearse as a band. It usually seems to com together much better than rehearsing with just drums and bass.
  10. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Play more softly? Turn up the recording?

    To further complicate issues, solo vocalists / guitarists have their own special sense of tempo / timing and may be off beat to start with. I'd suggest you put down the bass and drumsticks and clap (...even hum) along with the recording first. BTW, if you're clapping on 2 & 4 and your drummer is clapping on 1 & 3, you've got a problem.

    Riis
  11. SeattleSunn

    SeattleSunn

    Joined:
    May 6, 2013
    Location:
    Seattle
    Thanks for the responses. We upped the volume of the track we are following and it helped. You do have to know the song well enough to play it on your own, and playing with just the drummer is a good way to check to see if you have the song down. The recording is only useful for check to see if you are in the right place on the song.
  12. Spala

    Spala

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
    Write out a compressed chart to follow. Think of it like a roadmap. Learn the format of how the songs are written and look for patterns. How many verse bars before chorus, how long is chorus, any bridges or transitions, etc.

    Don't have to actually write out music, but you can put your chords in a format where you know where the song is at the time. You can even go as far as labeling above the chords on your chart and have an even better idea of where you are.

    Trust me when I tell you this, don't make yourself a slave to the metronome. I can't tell you how many musicians have gimped themselves because they get to a point where they can't play unless they have a met to follow.

    As far as hearing the music, get some noise canceling headphones (likely ones that are 1/4 jacks so you can get good quality on all sides) for yourself and the drummer, and plug yourselves in through a a splitting jack unless your audio source has multiple audio outs. Remember to practice even without the music playing with just the two of you. Guitar tends to be a little more adventurous, while the bass is more a foundation , so make sure you really get that foundation strong.

    Good luck.

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