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Going From Bass To Drums

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by BassicRules, Apr 25, 2010.

  1. I don't post much because of all the great information on here. I just use the search function for the info I'm looking for. But alas, even the search function sometimes fails to give me the answer I'm looking for. What I need is advice from people on here that play multiple instruments.

    A few months ago at band practice our drummer drops a bomb on us. He stated that "as much as he loves the drums, there will come a day that he will have to give it up." He doesn't want to leave the band, he still wants to run sound for us which is good because he is a great sound man.

    The man has played drums for over fifty years and I guess its time for him to want lay back awhile and just run sound. So call me selfish, but I just didn't want to hear those words or even think about when the day would come. The drummer and I have become very close. We have a great time and we are very tight with each other. I've played with other drummers and its just not the same.

    To make a long story maybe not so long, for the past couple of practices, he has really gotten into showing me how to play the drums. He has this really nice set of vintage Rogers that he won't let anyone near, so it really surprised me that he wants me to sit and play on them.

    OK, maybe you know where this is going. I think that he really wants to pass the drums on to me. I guess if I were to play another instrument, I would want to stay in the rhythm section because I like to be time keeper and drive the song to where it needs to go.

    What I need is feedback from other musicians that play bass and drums. I love playing bass and I guess I'm afraid that drums won't be as much fun. Also how hard is it to learn drums.

    I guess I need to make a decision and let the old man know something because I don't want to give him false hope and back out at the last minute.

  2. Loves2Jam


    Nov 17, 2008
    I have been playing bass since fourth grade and have been teaching myslef drums for about five years now. I would really recomend it. I love to be able to sit down on the set at a jam and lock in with the bassist. Its difficult in the begining but just practice a decent amount consistently. Also, the drums like the bass is all about the feel. You dont gotta play crazy stuff to be good. Just work on your pocket in the beginning and listen to a lotta of motown stuff.
  3. +1

    Specifically it's all about developing the body motions. With bass you need to develop the movement and rhythm of the fingers. With drums it's the whole body ;) Well, the limbs anyway.

    Drumming is a lot like dancing, you can't just 'know' where the beats go you have to have your body moving in a way that facilitates hitting those beats right on.

    I'm sure he will give you some good guidance, but start out with the basic rock beat (K on one, S on 3, hi hats all around - 1/8 notes or 1/4 notes). Then it's just work on limb independence - playing different beats with different limbs, then after that, playing different time signatures with each limb.

    There's a lot of advanced stuff to get into, but to just start out it's fairly simple with some practice, and a lot of fun. Learning to play drums really helped make me a better bass player, too, in terms of where to put notes and what patterns drummers gravitate to.
  4. Crunktacular


    Jun 26, 2008
    Memphis, TN
    I am the exact opposite. I have been playing drums since a little kid, recently started playing bass and guitar a few years back.

    I recommend Tommy Igoe's Groove Essentials DVD for starting off (http://www.amazon.com/Tommy-Igoe-Groove-Essentials/dp/B00064YTKM/ref=pd_sim_d_2). Also, take a few lessons from the best teacher you can find to show you proper posture, how to hold the sticks (so you can hit hard and not injure yourself), and the basic rudiments.

    When you get better and need more cool\advanced techniques, JoJo Mayer's Secret Weapons for the Modern Drummer DVD (http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Weapons-Modern-Drummer-DVD/dp/B000S6TNLI/ref=pd_sim_d_4). Every drummer should own this DVD!!

    Also, the most important thing, is get a quality metronome and USE it. It is better to have excellent timing with no fancy fills than to have fancy fills and throw everybody in the band off. I don't care how great everyone in the band is, if the drummer sucks, the band sucks.

    Good luck with it. Groove hard and often.
  5. Crunktacular


    Jun 26, 2008
    Memphis, TN
    Playing drums is a lot of fun, especially if you have a good bass player to lock in with. It's more physical, you will work up a sweat when grooving hard. Also, keep in mind there will be more crap to carry to gigs. Setting up and tear-downs will be longer as a result.

    It is not hard at all to get started with basic pocket playing. With a month or two of proper practicing, you will be able to do this. The hard part comes when trying to get absolute control over your limbs. Having your two feet do two different patterns while one arm is pinging the ride and the other rocking the snare, but all of them in time. That's where it starts getting hard.
  6. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    I'm sorta like Crunktacular. Played trombone since a kid. Started on drums about 6 years ago. Been gigging regularly on drums for 2 or 3 years. Just started learning bass fairly recently.

    Find a good teacher and take some lessons to get started. Don't assume that a good player is automatically a good teacher. Being able to do it does not at all mean that you can teach it.

    Having played in numerous bands where I was neither the drummer nor the bass player, I would say that, given a choice, I'd rather be in a band with a solid drummer and a weak bass player than the other way around. I don't want to discourage you from learning drums. But, if your current band is working, you'll have to work *really* hard *and* have a *lot* of natural talent to get up to speed quickly enough not to hurt the band. I mean, you don't want the band to have to lay out 6 months to a year from gigging just to be able to gig with you as the drummer, do you? I guess if your current drummer is willing to "stick" until you're ready, then that would be very cool. Then it will just be a matter of finding a new bass player when you're ready to make the switch.
  7. I played bass for 26 years then started on drums. I have now got 6 years of drums under my belt. I don't agree pocket playing is easy or that it will come to you in a short while. It takes years to get a decent kick drum motion. But don't let me put you off. I absolutely love it and am so glad I took up the drums.

  8. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    Yes! A gig-worthy drum setup will definitely cost you more than a gig-worthy bass setup. Especially when you factor in having decent cases for it all to keep it from getting beat up.

    I'm fortunate with my current band (a 3-piece). The bass and guitar players are great about load-in, setup, teardown, etc.. We all do it all until it's done. I start setting up my drums while they bring in the PA and start setting that up. I finish that and then help them finish the PA and/or lights. Usually takes about an hour and half until we're ready to do a sound-check. But, I've heard of bands where the guitar and bass players don't help (or don't want to help) with setting up stuff like the PA and lights. Or at least, expect the drummer to help equally with that, while still getting the drums setup, too. That would NOT work for me! :)
  9. Want to know what it takes fora bass player becomes a drummer?
    Lose about 35 IQ Points....lol
  10. Kenny Allyn

    Kenny Allyn

    Mar 25, 2006

    What my good friend the crunkman is not telling you (humble guy that he is) is that he is a first call drummer for us when W.C. can't make a gig ...

    Bring your bass Thursday ...

  11. Crunktacular


    Jun 26, 2008
    Memphis, TN
    Will do, Kenny!! :bassist:
  12. Thanks for all the replies. As to getting up to gigging speed, I do have a little time to get ready if I decide to go that route. Our drummer may have some miles on him, but he is still in great shape. I would say he will probably be drumming for another 5 or 6 years. I think I'm going to tell him that I'll try it for awhile and see how everthing goes. I dont' know I guess it just feels like I'm cheating on my beloved bass..LOL.


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