How does it work without a drummer in the band?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Yuulie, Nov 22, 2012.


  1. Yuulie

    Yuulie

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2012
    Location:
    Berlin
    Hi everyone,

    so how useful is it anyways to play bass (for a song or in a set) if there is no drummer? No percussionist?

    Other instruments are keyboard, sometimes electric guitar and always acoustic guitar.

    I usually think it's pointless to play, because the keys can fill in the low end. Without the percussion sounds of the drums, bass sounds so soft and ... naked ...

    Or if you would play, how does the technique / style change? How would I need to adapt to the situation?

    Thanks very much!
  2. perogato02

    perogato02

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Location:
    Belgium (Antwerp)
    Playing together is always useful IMHO

    Maybe you could try to fill some parts of drums or percussion with some pop and slap
    Let the bass parts being taken care of by the keyboard

    But that is just my thought: your music, your choice!
  3. lowfreq33

    lowfreq33

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Location:
    Nashville
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    When playing with no drummer the bass becomes the entire rhythm section.
  4. xpraise

    xpraise

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    I use to play without drummer occasionaly as our drummer goes to other city for work sometimes. In this case I just put more attention to rhytmical aspect of my bass playing rather than harmonical, so trying to compensate drums absense.

    It's a bit more harder to get that groove feeling without drums but Your metronome home excersises will show up )))
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  6. kevteop

    kevteop

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Location:
    York, UK
    I would take a double bass to a gig like that, and probably play more off the vocal than anything else. Assuming there is a voice.
  7. 4dog

    4dog

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2012
    Thats when that tap to the strings to get that thud you do in practice comes into play,, little bit of a snare pop,, the one with the right hand over the pups ,, did it for three full years twice a week ,, was very effective.
  8. davidjackson

    davidjackson

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    This is how slap bass was born. Search for some YouTube interviews with Larry Graham. You might not decide to go for the full on funky thumping but you do need to start thinking about the instrument as the full rhythm section as lowfreq33 has pointed out.
  9. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Location:
    Canada
    I played a lot without a drummer and I find it liberating, you don't have to lock with the drummer or feel any pressur to do it so I play more melodic. And in your case you have an acoustic guitar whom may play a lot of rythm with chords and a keyboard player who seems to play low a lot so I would sweat it and play more melodic.
  10. El Raro

    El Raro

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Like this

  11. Bassquest

    Bassquest

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    Location:
    Yellowknife, NWT Canada
    And it's a great challenge!
  12. Art Araya

    Art Araya Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2006
    Location:
    Palm Coast, FL
    that was horrible! lol
  13. fuzzy beard

    fuzzy beard

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Location:
    Aurora, Indiana
    Watch some YouTube videos on folk, old time, and bluegrass. They may not be your kind of music but you can learn a lot from how they play with out a drummer.
  14. sensei_steve

    sensei_steve Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2009
    Location:
    MD
    I've done it for years. I understand the OP "feeling naked". There is no place to hide. Playing without a drummer has helped my "notes." Now i have more usuable arpeggios, melodies and touch.
  15. Jhengsman

    Jhengsman

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    Arcadia, CA
    You may as well ask why a band at all and not just a piano bar.

    Last week in another tread there was a discussion about the untrained drummers and the need for shields. This may transform into classically trained pianist who don't know how to play with a band. It is more a band dynamics question and leaving space for everybody's unique contribution.

    Holly Cole Trio, I Can See Clearly Now
  16. A_Librarian

    A_Librarian

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2012
    Location:
    PA
    There's a good Tal Farlow album called the Swinging Guitar of Tal Farlow. Check that out.
  17. Itzayana

    Itzayana

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2012
    Location:
    Oakland Ca
    True but maybe not the entire rhythm section.

    I often play duo gigs with just the guitar player from my band.
    I see both guitar and bass as being percussion instruments.
    The guitarists picking technique takes the place of the snare and hi-hat and the bass guitar takes the place of the bass drum.
    The vocals on top provide the melody.
    We can create an amazingly complete sound due to the fact that the mind/imagination of the listener fills in the rest.
  18. Schmorgy

    Schmorgy

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    I've seen some coffee-shop esque singer/songwriter duets work with just an acoustic guitar and bass, or add in a piano. The bassist would either occupy the bottom end, or he would play more percussive notes in a more rhythmic fashion.
  19. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Location:
    LA
    i've had good luck with harmonics and dead notes in those situations
  20. Russell L

    Russell L

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2011
    Location:
    Cayce, SC
    When I jam on bass at home, just me, I can get a groove going that includes more than just the note. The feel of the groove comes through in all the other things I do, muffling, stopping or not stopping the note, flopping my hand on the strings (not slap), spaces, etc. Basically, it's me just feeling the song. Maybe it's because I spent some years as a pro guitarist. Guitar is good for feeling rhythms. So is bass. I don't mean that my bass playing sounds busy, I just mean that there are lots of little things going on as far as how the player articulates. Articulation is everything.
  21. conqr

    conqr

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    ditto ditto ditto ditto - did it for years at church - you learn to 'Wootenize' up your playing a bit.

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