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Finding a pocket with a drum machine

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Belar2001, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. I am involved in a writing project and having an issue settling into a pocket and grooving because we don't have a drummer and the drums are being built with a drum machine, anyone have this issue, anyone have any suggestions?
  2. LowBSix

    LowBSix Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 25, 2008
    818 ~ 805 ~ L.A.
    Endorsing Artist: GHS Strings
    practice, practice, practice....

    After a while, the machine will adjust to your playing... it just has to get used to playing with a human....
  3. IMO, a drum machine will have more of a precise 'slot' as opposed to a pocket, because of its inherent inflexibility; a human drummer's natural imperfections are hugely needed for a pocket to really happen.
  4. JonnyAngle

    JonnyAngle Dropping Acid Pedal Etching .com Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 24, 2008
    Maple Grove, MN
    It's harder, since drum machines have no soul (pun intended). But seriously, you need to practice practice practice and it will get better.
  5. LowBSix

    LowBSix Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 25, 2008
    818 ~ 805 ~ L.A.
    Endorsing Artist: GHS Strings
    We create the pocket depending on where we drop it in the slot whether the machine is swung back or dead on....
  6. phillybass101

    phillybass101 Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2011
    Artist, Trickfish Amplification Bartolini Emerging Artist, MTD Kingston Emerging Artist. Artist, Tsunami Cables
    Tell em man. The pocket still exists. Most folks still don't get it. Learn to listen to and identify what air exists between the kick, snare and hi hat. Coming from a funk background I was raised in the pocket.
  7. bassnat


    Jan 31, 2011
  8. Anonymatt


    Jan 3, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Desire to make the machine sound good. But that's only if you have good time and you're mentally blocked. You might have to practice for years, though, depending on where you're at.
  9. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    Consider that, without a drummer, you now have complete and absolute control over the pocket - and virtually every other aspect of the music: Not so great if you need the collaboration. Much better if you can compensate with some imagination.

    So there are definite advantages...until your drum machine starts showing up drunk to rehearsals/writing sessions. Or showing up chronically late. Or blowing off rehearsals altogether because it wants to stay home, get stoned, and watch the Scooby-Do marathon on The Cartoon Channel. Or bailing out of rehearsals because it just got kicked out of its girlfriend's apartment, and has to find a new place to live. :smug:

  10. Tupac


    May 5, 2011
    Pocket or not, if you can't play in time with a machine, you have work to do. Sounds like an excuse to skip metronome practice. There might not be a pocket like with a human, but you can and should be able to groove with them.
  11. Playing with a drum machine is an advantage, you don't have to worry about time fluctuating. With a drum machine, you have control over the groove and where it's placed.
  12. MostlyBass


    Mar 3, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    Some people feel playing with a metronome or drum machine takes something away from the music. I disagree. Being ABLE to have rock solid time gives you more freedom and choice - the choice to control, stay, sway or swing.

    In my band, I'm the one with music degrees (and years of metronome practice) and it's frustrating when people inadvertently move the tempo. Consciously doing it is a different story.
  13. LowBSix

    LowBSix Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 25, 2008
    818 ~ 805 ~ L.A.
    Endorsing Artist: GHS Strings
    +1 and Ditto!!!

    Playing with a machine/click/metronome, etc. = there's no argument about tempo - Done! :D
  14. Brent Hahn

    Brent Hahn

    Jul 25, 2009
    Kinda Zen, but... BE the drum machine.

    Works with carbon-based drummers, too, as long as they're not total tools.
  15. I think, IMO, You may be "in the pocket" but never noticed it because all of your notes are played "full".
    For me, again IMO , I add more ghost notes in my bass lines to make the "pocket" stand out. Part of "The art of funk" is utilizing ghost notes. Now lets get funky. :D
  16. repoman


    Aug 11, 2011
    Kinderhook NY
    After reading through this thread, I realize I have no idea what is meant by "the pocket" . I play with a Korg drum machine all the time and really feel like I can hang with it it and get into a steady flow, but what does "the pocket" mean??...I remember seeing a thread (or 5) about "the pocket", can anyone dig it up, I can't seem to find one with the search function....
  17. alembicguy

    alembicguy Lone Wolf Miner of iron ore Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    Wasn't sure I was reading the title but its not the machine. You should be able to find the pocket and go be it drum machine or human. Looks like you have 20+ years of playing so its just a matter of open your your ears and closing your eyes to the fact it's a drum machine.
  18. +1, and dont' give up the one.