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Are bassist the only ones who listen to the drummer?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by gard0300, Mar 24, 2013.

  1. gard0300

    gard0300 Supporting Member

    Jan 10, 2011
    Vandalia, Ohio
    I haven't been in hundred of bands, but I've been in several. It seems that I'm the only one listening to the drummer. I'm the only one getting used to his tendencies. I pick up on his favorite rolls or his fills. It seems that the others only pay attention to the drums on the intros and endings. If the drummer changes his fills the band, damn near quits playing even though the count didn't change. The "one" is where it's always at, but it throws them off. So I know the hear the drums. But do they "feel" the drums! I don't know maybe its just me.
  2. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    At the amateur/semi-pro level anyway, a lot of guitarists and singers dont seem to have much rhythmic sense at all, which they compound by not listening to the bass and drums.

    But to be fair, I've heard a few bass players who don't seem to listen to the drummer either. And vice versa.
  3. Winfred


    Oct 21, 2011
    Some people don't listen to anyone, not just the drummer. Guitarists tend to be prone to competing with the drummer, instead of working with him. Cymbals and snares compete in the sonic range with guitars, so the volume knobs get cranked, and the guitarist starts playing harder. And now they're speeding up...

    As you play with better musicians, that sort of thing happens less and less. Musical maturity solves most of those problems.
  4. Runnerman

    Runnerman Registered Bass Player Supporting Member

    Mar 14, 2011
    Agreed, plus as you move from playing your part to playing the song you take more notice of what everyone is doing. Once you know your covers/parts inside-out, upside-down and backwards you can listen easier.....and focus on the tightness of the band. And you can relax and focus on other aspects of your performance as well. I have played with guitarists who never practiced except at rehearsals and they never....never...ever got the feel I am talking about here. Fortunately I don't play with them any more. It is just a chore to play with people like that.
  5. Raymeous


    Jul 2, 2010
    San Diego
    Listening is probably the most important lesson, but the one most people never get.

    To be honest when I first started on guitar, I only heard guitars in the tapes and CD's I was listening to and didn't pay much attention to the rest. Granted it was the 80's shred head era. gui**** Guilty. However once I started playing those other instruments, bass, keys, drums, I suddenly started hearing things differently. It took me from being merely a guitarist to becoming a musician.

    Listening to the band falls in the same "chapter" of not worrying whether or not you have the ultimate guitar sound, but if the BAND sounds good. Similar as to understanding that what sounds good in your bedroom most likely will NOT sound good on the stage. It all comes down to paying attention.
  6. theretheyare


    Sep 4, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    Endorsing: Arkham Vacuum Tube Amplification
    It is great to hear that at least you are listening.....

    A clear "task division" is not necessarily bad, but it can lead into a set of dependencies that will get the music only sofar.

    When the rhythm isn't set by the drummer, but by the push and pull between, say, voice, rhthm guitar, drums and bass, that's when things get cooking. It requires everybody in the band to listen to each other, and conversely, to have their own sense of time.
  7. For some,it takes experience and maturity.Metallica's drummer used to never have the bass in his monitor.Go figure!
  8. Mike Sorr

    Mike Sorr “...play I some music...” Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2012
    Brick, NJ
    Metallica has a bass player?
  9. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    The other players listen, they just don't speak "drummer" as fluently as the bassist does.
  10. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    The drummer is the nerve center of any band. Everyone should listen to what everyone else is doing, but I'd say that goes double as far as listening to where the drums are attempting to lead you.
  11. my band was without a bassist for 2 years before I joined, they don't listen to me.
  12. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    I've played with a few drummers like that. Only one time apiece though. ;)
  13. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Huh! So they are losing track of where the one is?? Are you sure the drummer isn't giving them a moving target?? I have played with drummers that would add about 1/2 a beat at times and expect everyone to adjust to them which is requires keeping an eye on them constantly. That sucks for a guitarist but it's pretty easy to follow as a bass player unless you're singing at the time.
  14. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Let's jsut say all of the good musicians I have played with listen to the drums and feed off them.
  15. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Depends on the level of musician. Many non pros just don't listen to anyone but themselves! They'll never play on a pro level.
  16. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa Guest

    Dec 25, 2011
    You said your drummer changes something here and there or a whole riff completely ... Oki cool in jazz to always play something different ... but if you try to do something like Dream Theater where the drum has to always do the right thing at the right time because it will destroy to whole thing.

    Also ... if your guitar players worked something cool that fit with a particular drum fill and he doesn't do it anymore or he only do it one time out of three ... y'know it will wreck everything.

    again depend the music ... but still it isn't because they don't listen to him or don't adjust ... I think it is a lack of communication in your band.
  17. gard0300

    gard0300 Supporting Member

    Jan 10, 2011
    Vandalia, Ohio
    It's mainly in his fills at the end of a measure. I notice it more on covers than originals. But it's just he adds his own style to the cover. It always fits and it's always in time. But it seems that since its not on the original, it throws them.
    Another thing is in songs where there is a musical stop. I'm the only one who pays attention to the drummer to restart us. The others just seem to guess when he's coming in. Sometimes they guess right... Sometimes they're are a millisecond off. No biggie, but just another example.
  18. MegaSwing

    MegaSwing Your Obedient Bassist® Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    Baltimore, MD USA
    The bass player is main one who cannot ignore the drummer.
  19. Nagrom


    Mar 21, 2004
    Western Canada
    It seems the problem with most bands is the guitar player doesn't have enough experience playing other instruments in a band, thus doesn't really understand the guitar's role in the band.
  20. I've spent the last two decades in gigging bands. The main crux of my whole "style" is listening and locking in with the drummer. Locking in with the kick, doubling up on tom rolls, laying back during verses (don't stomp on the singer), tightening up accent/stop hits, overall dynamics, etc. In a live setting timing/locking in is more important than note choice (almost anyway...). I've also had the rare pleasure of playing with some gui****s with similar "ears" and "heavy" right hands.

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