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Am I rushing?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by firststringer, Oct 1, 2009.

  1. If any of my bass playing brethren will be able to take a few moments to view as much of the videos I've posted below to detect any significant rushing on my part I'd be most grateful.

    The singer / guitarist of the band claims that he's heard me "blatantly" rushing several times at our recent gigs. The videos are from the only show that was recorded fairly well (from March 2009) but, in context, this can be considered "recent". These 3 tunes were singled out by me because they have pretty "active" basslines.

    I will admit that I can take a bit of a laid back approach at rehearsals, but when it comes to show time I believe I am a capable / responsible enough performer to keep it all together.

    Additionally, we recorded an EP a few months back (and another one a few months prior to that using a different drummer / band name) and as far as I can tell, I was "spot on" on both occasions. Both times I was present throughout the entire recording process (including mixing) and I'd think that any timing issues would have surfaced then. But nothing was ever mentioned...

    Of course, I could be wrong - it wouldn't be the first time - but I just don't hear any significant timing issues. Additionally, even if there is / was some rushing on my part, I don't see any of it being so blatant that any "pro" could / would hear them and dismiss the entire band as "not being serious", as the singer / guitarist has suggested would happen.

    I take a lot of pride in my playing. I am not immune to criticism, if it is warranted and helps me become a better player, but I can't understand why this is only coming up now. I've been playing in this band for over four years and have never heard this before. Additionally, I've been playing bass for 3 decades and no one has ever mentioned anything about my timing.

    Now I know I'm not the world's greatest player, but if anyone can hear what I do not / cannot, I'd really appreciate the feedback.

    Am I rushing?


  2. BassBrass


    Jul 6, 2009
    Boston MA
    I commend you for finding different things to play on songs that all sound the same! Reggae seems to be the guitarist/singer's security blanket...no wonder he's critical...it really needs a horn section or organ and back up singers...you sound fine. I would be rushing just to get the gig over with (unless there were other compensating factors).
  3. Flatty Banks

    Flatty Banks

    Oct 26, 2008
    Sounds fine to me! And that GB + MM setup you have going there sounds really good.
  4. In 'Soul,' you definitely are rushing here and there. In the other two, you're just very 'on top of' the beat. Best to play a little behind in that style of music, it makes it feel a lot better.
  5. grifff


    Jan 5, 2009
    Towson, Maryland
    Maybe a little on the second one but only in a few spots. I couldn't really tell.
  6. Rockman


    Mar 2, 2006
    I would think a much bigger problem would be that your guitarist plays the same thing...
  7. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    I don't know as I would define it as rushing but, that first bass line seemed a little busy to my ear which gave it kind of a rushed feel.

    That's really nit picking though and much more a preference than right or wrong.

    Given what appears to be the guys minimalist approach to the arrangements he may just be wanting you to sparse up more than slow down and not be expressing himself well.
  8. Craig_S

    Craig_S Banned

    Oct 15, 2008
    Metro Detroit
    Yes, you are rushing in places and playing "on top" as well. Were you nervous?
  9. bwest9

    bwest9 Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Listen to the begining of Soul carefully... it's actually the guitarist that slows down slightly right when he starts to sing... there's a slight shift there. Your playing is a bit rushed --but only because you're still playing the original tempo he laid down. And then you pick up on it, and adjust to it quickly, so, can't really fault you for this.
  10. I agree with the folks who said that you're playing on top of the beat. That's not a problem in itself, but at times, you relax the feel a bit, and then you get right back on top of the beat, which contributes to creating a feeling of instability. But you're not the only guy to blame; the drummer and the guitarist move the tempo around, too. For example, at the start of the second song, the guitarist slows the tempo down, right before you come in.

    But all this is really nitpicking, you're certainly not "blatanty" rushing. And you have a great tone! :bassist:
  11. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    I mean no offense by this, but your playing is a lot like your post (above); both could be improved by a more deliberate approach using fewer words/notes, and judicious editing.

    The best reggae I've heard is spare and laid-back - every note counts. If you were to play fewer notes and time the delivery of every note as impeccibly as you can, your band mates would likely be happier.
  12. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Yes - particularly for that style of music. You need to lay BAAAACK when doing the whole skank thing... And I know it's hard when on stage -but keep working on it.
  13. In my experience (which isn't a whole lot in Reggae) most rock songs people play the bass slightly ahead of the beat (which is fine), but for a laid back reggae, you might find more luck actually playing slightly behind the beat.

    However, that wasn't directed at you specifically, in fact, your playing was pretty solid, and from what I could tell there were only very minute spots where "rushing" may have been present.

    I think your singer/guitarist was actually playing slow and therefore thought you were rushing. That is my guess anyways.
  14. I agree with basically all the posts above. Your playing is very on top of the beat. But I wonder if the responses would have been different if you hadn't told us what to listen for...
  15. Thanks to everyone for their positive comments and critiques.

    I truly appreciate them.

    Next practice, I'm going to try to fight my "rock" instincts and will see if I can settle in a little bit behind the beat.

    We'll see how that works...
  16. ttomom


    Mar 29, 2007
    like acouple others have said, I think you are doing too much. Leave out some notes; dont force the groove on the audience, let them feel the groove
  17. I agree. I have been guilty of this myself at times. I practice with a metronome and I bring along a digital delay to gigs. I have had no problems in more than a year...the bandmates and I are happy.
  18. Thanks.

    Because this band is very minimal (I.E. vox / rhythm guitar / bass / conga) I almost feel compelled to "do more"...
  19. knuppe


    Oct 25, 2004
    Oslo, Norway
    Just a tad early some places. For inspiration (not for that type of music, but for playing behind the beat) listen to Untitled (How does it feel) by d´Angelo. Killer track, and illegaly far behind :)
  20. I've already ordered a metronome which should be in in a couple of days...

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