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bass and drums

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by qcbassman, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. qcbassman


    Jan 12, 2013
    If you wish, you can read my first paragraph for the background info; otherwise, you can just skip to my question in the second paragraph. Thanks!

    I'm very new to the bass (less than a year) and I've reached that point in my playing that I'm trying to do too much and basically I sound less like a bassist than I do a musician who happens to be playing the bass (my main axe is saxophone). I asked for some recent feedback from someone I was playing with and they said I need to listen to the bass drum more and get more in the illusive "pocket". I think I know what the pocket is - I think I could hear the pocket before I ever became a bass player or knew what it was - one day I realized that the sustain that was coming with the bass drum kicks wasn't actually the drum set but the bass player lining up his/her note attacks with the bass drum hits. I am also currently in that area where I'm probably trying to do too much, thus making myself sound like a guitar player with a bass. This probably comes from listening to a lot of praise and worship music, because that's what I'm rehearsing for church on Sundays. Probably trying to copy the recordings too much. At any rate, I'll quit babbling and get to the question(s).

    If you feel so inclined, would you mind recommending some bass players I could listen to that play like drummers, lock in well with drummers and are known to be good, solid, reliable sidemen/pocket players?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. bassdog


    May 23, 2005
    Atlanta, Ga
    Kick drum and bass working together is important but you really need to begin to think like a bass player. The main role, imo, is to provide the foundation for the rest of the band. Your sax background will come in handy for fills and soloing. Blues bassed playing is a great place to start. It may be simple at times but very foundational in nature. Maybe check out Tommy Shannon stuff on YouTube. My .02.

  3. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

  4. bkbirge


    Jun 25, 2000
    Houston, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
    As a sax player you are no doubt familiar with Tower of Power, go back and listen to the drums and bass on their tracks. The definition of pocket playing.
  5. EdwardofHuncote

    EdwardofHuncote I Still Dream of Jeannie Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    Southwest Virginia
    Mick Fleetwood/John McVie. They rhythm section so great, the guitarist named the band after them.
  6. Darkonar


    Dec 14, 2011
    Chris Hakius/Al Cisneros of Sleep/Om
  7. EdwardofHuncote

    EdwardofHuncote I Still Dream of Jeannie Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    Southwest Virginia
    You are wise to recognize you may be playing too much... some of the best advice I ever got was to focus less on how many notes I could squeeze into a measure, and think more about what notes would lend themselves to the "pocket".

    Yo Victor! You can't hold no groove if you ain't got no pocket!

    ~Joe Wooten (to his brother Vic)
  8. James Jamerson/Benny Benjamin (Motown sessions)
    Rocco Prestia/ Dave Garibaldi (Tower of Power)
    Ronnie Baker/Earl Young (MFSB session players)
    Chuck Rainey/Bernard Purdie (Aretha Franklin)
    Jack Bruce/Ginger Baker (Cream)

    Those are some of the best rhythm locking duos in the history of popular music...
  9. I would like to add......
    Jones / Bonham (Zeppelin)
    Novoselic / Grohl (Nirvana)

    ROOTSnFIFTHS Low-end Lover since '78! Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2012
    NJ to Sin City
    ^^^^That is the ultimate list-Agreed^^^^^. A somewhat odball pick for me would be Geddy Lee. I know, I know very progressive player but if you listen Geddy will lock in with (drummer) Neil Peart throughout their tunes. When Neil does a drum fill, Geddy follows beat for beat. Some great bass guitar/bass drum locking-in going on also.
  11. SunnBass

    SunnBass All these blankets saved my life.

    Aug 31, 2010
    Columbia, Mo
    Bassist Joe Lally and drummer Brendan Canty, of Fugazi.
  12. Interesting topic, although on some other "music" sites you'll get answers like Entwistle/Moon lol...While great individual players, they'd be more like greatest "competing for the spotlight" bass drum combos...
  13. I've now assumed my "ducking from the flak" position lol...
  14. qcbassman


    Jan 12, 2013
    Great advice, everyone. Thanks for the feedback!
  15. +1

    I was just listening to some Fleetwood Mac stuff yesterday and happened to mention to one of my fellow bassists from church how John McVie was always in perfect sync with the drummer.

    Here's an example:

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/93317349/04 Hold Me.mp3
  16. gdecamp


    Sep 25, 2011
    Long Island, NY
    Would like to add Rick Danko and Levon Helm to the above excellent combos

  17. EdwardofHuncote

    EdwardofHuncote I Still Dream of Jeannie Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    Southwest Virginia
    Man those guys were great. I've been making a case study of the Helm/Danko pocket, since one of the bands I play in covers The Band fairly often.

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