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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 the man in the van w/a bass in his hand Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2001
    san pedro, california

    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


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