help in explaining atmosphere and texture

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by damiza20, Dec 12, 2014.

  1. damiza20

    damiza20 Guest

    Dec 12, 2014
    hey guys,

    i'm the drummer/noise maker in a band with a bass player friend of mine. we recently finished an album and i'm looking to expand our sound now that he has some more sounds to choose from(95% of the album was only the solo setting on his digitech multi pedal). the problem is he's basically a rock/blues bassist, being very heavily influenced by the doors and only getting as far out at them crooked vultures or queens of the stone age. i've been trying to explain how to approach the experimental music we're trying to create by having him listen to CAN NEU! this heat and so on but he hasn't really gotten into it and i'm having a hard time explaining it so he can understand. i've tried explaining that you don't necessarily play "riffs" but more textures and moods and it doesn't have to be pretty, it can be ugly but he always seems to fall back on the "traditional" bass player role where he plays a riff or locks in with my bass drum. any ideas on how to make this easier to get across?
  2. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    You could ask him to pretend he's a synth pad and play nothing shorter than whole notes.

    However, If playing him audio of actual examples doesn't get it across, english explanations will surely fail.

    if you played him Can, Neu etc and he "hasn't gotten into it"
    Maybe he's just not that into it, and you both have yet to really get on the same page.
    In which case some more communication & give and take should be expected.

    If you want to recreate a particular sound, then perhaps actually covering some of those tunes might useful.
  3. damiza20

    damiza20 Guest

    Dec 12, 2014
    well he's said he wants to go this route so i think we're shooting for the same thing he's just not sure how it works. i thought of covering the songs but its pretty much impossible to cover them without more instruments. we could do an interpretation sure but a lot of those bands have heavy use of guitar however i did recommend playing along to the songs on his own
  4. After a few minutes with a video ----- I was able to call up the chords and came to the conclusion that roots to the beat and catching the chord changes dead on is what is needed. Pretty simple, course I have spent a total of 5 minutes with this music...... But the beat is the thing.... You being the drummer is that the way you see it?

    If so tell him to forget all the riffs and just grab roots and drop into a groove with you.
  5. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa Guest

    Dec 25, 2011
    Even saying playing whole note won't help depending on the bpm of the music a whole note will be shorter or longer, it doesn't help that much
  6. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    so how many instruments are we talking about?

    Atmospheric stuff like you mention comes from less notes /beats but more interesting timbre changes over time.
    Just drums and bass could make for some pretty boring atmospherics, unless you've got some nice modulating effects to run stuff through.
  7. damiza20

    damiza20 Guest

    Dec 12, 2014
    well there is the problem. with just two people there's a lot of space for us to cover. i also play synth and other percussion instruments where he only played bass on the first album with just the one setting so even though we managed a whole album it was getting stale and there's no way we could do another like that. i'm trying to introduce more dynamics and textures and all that but it isn't post rock and spacey jam stuff which i think is how its coming across here
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2014
  8. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    Even if your goal isn't to play "post rock and spacey jam stuff," it might be useful to experiment (in practice) with that kind of stuff in practice as a way of helping him open his mind to other ways of playing other than the traditional blues/rock style to which he is accustomed.

    You've mentioned a couple of times that although he's been playing almost everything with just one setting on Digitech. Another part of the solution might be to get him to explore other sounds with the Digitech -- the weirder the better. If his bass doesn't sound like a bass, it might be easier for him to break out of the mindset of playing traditional bass lines. Again, the idea would be to explore this stuff in practice, even if you wind up not using most of those sounds when performing: Instead, it would just be a tool to get his mind to open up to other ways of playing.