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Being able to goove.?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Samelot, Oct 25, 2005.

  1. Samelot


    Jun 23, 2005
    hi, ive been playing a bass for like 4 or 5 years now. I learn songs, learn theroy, and try to keep up as many exersises as possible. BUt there is no way i can groove, or jam like jaco or some real hot bass players can. Sometimes i can think of some cool stuff, but other times i feel completley empty, and i find my self just trying to play notes in a scale as fast as i can, (its nothing hard either, its not very challanging) and when im done taht i just feel discusted and very dissatisfied with my bass skills. Anyone else have this probelm? is this Normal? any Suggestions?
  2. dirtgroove


    Jan 10, 2003
    Taipei, Taiwan
    Don't worry. I don't think you're alone in not being able to groove like Jaco. A good approach might be not to compare yourself with other gods out there. Also - It's easy to place too much emphasis on scales as opposed to rythm.
    Others might not agree with me- but this is my approach
    I limit myself to no more than 5 notes- whack on the metrenome and just play along concentrating on the feel and groove of your playing. Don't stray from the notes you originaly chose however tempted but try to keep going for 10 minutes and keep it interesting for yourself start really really simple. I mean really really really simple. 1 note to a bar, add in another and another etc... bring in half, quarter, eigth notes etc. throw in some triplets if your'e feeling fruity... you get the idea. I'm sure there are probably some great groove instruction books/videos out there that other people might recomend. I just find this is a good excercise for me to do every now and again
  3. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    You're aiming far too high. Jaco can be a great inspiration, but is hardly the best role model for straightahead bass playing, especially if you're a beginner/intermediate player.

    Your groove is suffering because you're trying to play too many notes. Try to learn simpler bass lines. The groove is not just in the notes, but also in the spaces between them.
  4. tkarter


    Jan 1, 2003
    The key to groove is a good sense of time. That is gotten from a metronome.

    The key to music is communicating with other musicians the best you can. Playing not speaking in a forum I mean.

    Play what you hear when you hear and you may get closer to Jaco than you think. If you work at it.


  5. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    One of the most important aspects of the groove is not what you're playing, but what you're not playing. Space between notes is critical. Also, a sense of the pocket and hooking up with the kick drum is key.
  6. ras1983


    Dec 28, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    Wow, all these posts are great. i would like to recommend an excercise that my teacher showed me, pick any one of the four main arpeggios (i'm sure you know them, major minor dominant half-diminished) and create as many grooves and basslines as you can using only and ONLY the four notes on the arpeggio. try everything from rock to rap to jazz to reggae. you might be surprised at just how many different grooves you can come up with.

    oxford dictionary defines groove as:

    • noun 1 a long, narrow cut or depression in a hard material. 2 a spiral track cut in a gramophone record, into which the stylus fits. 3 an established routine or habit. 4 informal a rhythmic pattern in popular or jazz music.

    • verb 1 make a groove or grooves in. 2 informal dance to or play popular or jazz music.

    — PHRASES in the groove informal 1 performing confidently. 2 enjoying oneself, especially by dancing.

    — DERIVATIVES grooved adjective.

    — ORIGIN Dutch groeve ‘furrow, pit’; related to GRAVE1.

    its all good to know every scale known to man, to have chops that can play at 400bpm. but sometimes its easy to forget that expression is not about how fast you can play or how much you know. these are great tools, but a groove is more than that. a groove is YOUR interpretation of the scales you know.

    the groove can only come from Philbiker and what Philbiker's feeling at that exact moment.

    good luck :cool: :bassist:
  7. Samelot


    Jun 23, 2005
    yea, thx guys. i guess its just sometimes i dont feel i had as such a good practice as some of my other days, and my main goal is to be able to manouver around a scale in and alsome interpretation to get great sounding lines like jaco and other amazing bass players.? and suggestions on how to get there?
  8. Gard


    Mar 31, 2000
    WInter Garden, FL
    Sometimes, it's all about the "R".



    (cough cough, it's gRoove...:D )

    Biggest thing is to relax, play LESS. If you don't hear or feel it, don't PLAY it.

    I actually teach my students to sing EVERYTHING they play to themselves (not necessairly OUT LOUD :eek: ), exercises, scales, arpeggios, etc. It helps you to connect in a subconscious way to what you're playing, and eventually, you will PLAY what you SING.
  9. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    As people have said already. Groove isn't about attack, it's about space. Grooves don't live where there are notes, they live where there is dynamic, feel, vibe...etc.

    Sure, you can have a groovy lick that is all blistering notes at a fast tempo filling up every space, but what makes it groovy wouldn't be the notes, it'd be how they are accented, how they are approached, how they dealt with dynamically..etc.

    In other words, there isn't really anything melodic about groove.

    Anticipations are groovy, but using them can knock other players off the beat, so use discretion. Rhythmic variation, Pulses, Crescendos and Decrescendos, staccato playing, legato playing, intermixed, Displacing beats, dropping beats, strong accents, weak accents...etc...etc. all those things.

    We learn techniques, not as ends, but rather, as a means to prevent bottlenecks from what you hear/feel being heard/felt by others.

    If you've got a problem grooving, go out and listen to some groovy music. Feel it, don't intellectualize it, not yet at least, just get a feel for it. Then later you can crack out the calculator and compute it if you're so inclined.

    Many different ways to get there.
  10. mattsk42

    mattsk42 Supporting Member

    I'm sure some may disagree, but one of the best groups to learn how to groove w/out playing all over the place and being super talented is the Eagles. The bass is very very simple, but hits pretty much right on with the drums. Good practice on staying "in the pocket" for me.
  11. Mike Money

    Mike Money Banned

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    like... grooving on bass...

    once the drums are added, it sounds cool no matter what you do, really.

    wank away on a solo...

    and just stay in key for others solos.
  12. Wanna groove?
    two words, James Brown.

    Learn that stuff and you'll get your groove on. It ain't what you play but how you play it. For me bass is all about groove and nothing else really matters.
  13. dirtgroove


    Jan 10, 2003
    Taipei, Taiwan
    +1. "Get up..." is a fantastic groove tightening drill.