Bass Players who don't groove

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by glocke1, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. glocke1

    glocke1 Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2002
    Was checking out vids of other bass players and was a little surprised at how many "notey" bass players there are that just don't hold a groove down.

    One guy in particular who is local to me who gets a lot more playing time in for a specific genre, plays A LOT of notes...but there just isn't any groove to speak of, it's almost like he's acting independently of not only the drummer but everyone else in the band. He doesnt ever even really look up from his instrument and to look at him play, and probably to listen to him play alone it probably looks/sounds cool, but in a group environment it just results in a situation where it sounds like everyone is doing their own thing, no cohesiveness at all.

    It somewhat reinforces what I've been telling myself lately, slow down, play less, pay attention to the groove, and watch others. Beside keeping in eye contact with the drummer, I always make it a point to be aware of the lead singer/lead guitar player in the band Im in now...If he looks happy, than I feel like Im doing something right.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2018
    Wfrance3, jfh2112, BassPilot and 7 others like this.
  2. eJake


    May 22, 2011
    New Orleans
    You got it man!
    Wfrance3 likes this.
  3. jerry

    jerry Too old for a hiptrip Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    If he's working, somebody digs his playing!
    Passinwind, Nashrakh, GregC and 6 others like this.
  4. bass12

    bass12 Have You Met Grace Jones?

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Or his look/vibe/reliability. It amazes me how many band leaders (often the singer) seemingly can't tell the difference between a good bassist and a not-so-good bassist.
    soulman969 likes this.
  5. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    Some genres aren't intended to be groovy.
    I've got next to no groove, unless I'm playing Super Freak.
    dmt and btmpancake like this.
  6. soulman969

    soulman969 Inactive

    Oct 6, 2011
    Englewood, Colorado
    Some bassists are frustrated guitarists and have never totally grasped the concept of role of a bass in most musical genre. I say most because there are some exception but they're not normally found in a typical club band playing dance tunes.

    The bassist IS the dancemeister. It's up to him and the drummer to create the groove (pocket) and hold it together for the rest of the rhythm section and the vocalist. Do it well and everyone on dance and in the band is happy most of all the vocalist who needs a consistent pocket to phrase over. Do it poorly and no one bothers to dance and you get the skinny eye from everyone else in the band all night.

    I have a great friend and band mate actually whose a superb guitarist. He can play tasty fills and solo over anything but hand him a bass and groove goes on break because he doesn't "get it", tries to do too much, and the one count completely disappears in a mess of scales 1/8th and 1/16th notes runs that are like shredding bass style. "Notey" is OK sometimes for some tunes but ya' still gotta know where the one count is and hold the pocket together.
    Wfrance3 and StraffordMike like this.
  7. glocke1

    glocke1 Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2002
    could be this, could be they just like the guy.
  8. glocke1

    glocke1 Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2002
    true, but the genre I'm talking about requires one to groove and keep things moving.
  9. Bassbeater

    Bassbeater Guest

    Sep 9, 2001
    ahc likes this.
  10. I am a bit new to the bass game, but for me the reason why I picked up the bass after playing guitar for the last 20-plus years is the ability to play the groove ride the rhythm. For me if you can't rock the groove or push the rhythm what's the point?
  11. dtripoli


    Aug 15, 2010
    This lack of Groove-ability is not just a Bass thing.
    I've worked with guitarists, keyboardists, horn players and drummers that were groove challenged.
    The worst case scenario is having a groove-less drummer....for obvious reasons.

    Person with no groove whatsoever

    Person with awesome groove
  12. BassPilot

    BassPilot Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2016
    I can't play with groove with a bad drummer, it feels like they are trying to throw me off of a bridge. I haven't played with drummers in this video but I do <<TRY>> to play with bad drummers...Painful!
    This young lady tap dancing is delightful - in a number of ways :smug:.
    For me, groove is what bass is all about. But get me out on the dance floor and all bets (and I mean ALL BETS) are off! To call it painful is being generous. Think of Elaine on Seinfeld doing her dance and degrade that by 90%. A couple of years ago my wife and I went to see a buddy's band. Neither she or I dance (good thing) but another woman walked over and grabbed me by the arm and pulled me out on the dance floor. Poor thing, she had no idea what she was getting into. My buddy came over after the set and said "Do you know why I'm a musician?""So I don't have to dance". True dat.
    dtripoli likes this.
  13. Rev J

    Rev J

    Jun 14, 2012
    Berkeley, Ca.
    The title of this thread reminded me of this:

    Rev J
    el jeffe bass and Joshua like this.
  14. IamGroot


    Jan 18, 2018
    If I could clog like that lady and play bass at the same time, my phone would be ringing off the hook. Having nice cleavage woudnt hurt either.

    50 plus years ago, we felt so sorry for the irish kids in the neighborhood that had to go to irish dance lessons..and then perform at our school. Worse than accordion lessons.
    dtripoli likes this.
  15. fretter


    May 24, 2012
    I've neither groove nor many notes. I aspire to this style:

    jfh2112 and Bassbeater like this.
  16. How is making sexist, chauvinist comments still a thing?
    Nashrakh likes this.
  17. Bassbeater

    Bassbeater Guest

    Sep 9, 2001
    Barracuda has a solid pocket.
  18. IamGroot


    Jan 18, 2018
    Easy with a pick, tough with fingers
    dtripoli and Bassbeater like this.
  19. dtripoli


    Aug 15, 2010
    Never heard the bass line to Barracuda and it's definitely a pick and the tone is exceptional
    IamGroot likes this.
  20. dtripoli


    Aug 15, 2010
    Funny thing is I had to learn Irish dance in grade school for some play and I'm not even Irish.
    It was no where near anything Emma is doing.
    I also agree Emma is talented and good looking and fun to watch.
    IamGroot likes this.

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