Adapting to different groups

Discussion in 'Ask Mike Watt [Archived]' started by vacuumchild, Aug 2, 2002.

  1. vacuumchild


    Aug 2, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    Greetings! I'm new here and glad to see advice from the "Philosopher-Statesman of the Bass."

    Mr. Watt, I'm impressed with the way you can play with SO MANY different groups of musicians, with "Ball-Hog or Tugboat" being the extreme example. Can you offer any advice for adapting to different group settings, especially different drummers (besides the obvious: rehearsal)? How much of it is just chemistry? In another thread I saw you mentioned the kick drum and I've always tried to anchor to that. What about settings without a kick drum? I'm currently working on a collaboration that has no drum kit which has really got me baffled! I feel like I'm adrift.

    PS: Any plans to do another Watt & Friends album like "B-H or TB"? I'm sure you have some new friends to introduce to us, and some old ones who will come back.
  2. watt

    watt TalkBass Pro Supporting Member


    thank you very much, sir.

    my advice for playing w/different folks is this:


    be a good listener, this is how best to blend the personalities w/music, the best way to actually interact and bring out the "third way" (a blend of the two). however, you're right - "chemistry" is a big part of the picture. that can be developed however by good listening and playing together.

    as for playing w/out a drummer, I do that w/dos, me and kira's two-bass-only band. try to compose parts that infer the kick drum if that's what you're missing - very easy to do w/the bass. practice by playing along to the drum parts (kick and snare, tom riffs) on records.

    my next record is w/my bass-organ-drums trio and I have no plan for guests in the studio. maybe another project like that in the future though.

    on bass, watt