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Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Bigfeet, Jul 9, 2001.
So how do you groove around in a song?
I do what I damn well please!
I do what I think is right for the song. I follow the lead sometimes, sometimes the percussion. Sometimes I lead, and make them follow me. It's a combination of what I feel is right, and what actually is. More often than not, I end up following both drums and lead in the same song. Weaving around keeps me on my feet (I.E. not bored). And, gives me some breathing room.
Mostly though I do neither, and have just three layers of music going at once. That is what I prefer. I don't like following that much. So really? Like I said, I do what's right for the song...
for most of the music i play, the bass functions in a supportive role, so i usually listen to where the drummer is placing emphasis and i get with that. to me, staying with the drummer is kind of like synonymous with being in the pocket. if i feel that he or she is pushing the beat a little, i'll push it too. its the drummer's job to give the overall pulse and inflections, and its my job to make what he or she does musical, IMO. if the musicians you're playing with listen well they will probably pick up on what's happening with the time and feel as well.
I've been playing with one of the drummers I play with for about 10 years. We almost never talk about things like behind the beat, in front of the beat, etc. But when we do, we've noticed that if he pushes the beat I tend to pull on it from the other side. And vice versa. This tends to, for us, create a wider pocket for the rest of the band. It's wierd how you and a drummer can be doing different things to the beat, and yet be totally locked.
Well, IMO no one approach works best all the time. I usually start just by putting the groove where I think it should go, trusting that all of us musicians will hear it in close to the same way, then refine it as we go. If one of the players (especially the drummer) really seems to have something going on, I'll often try to pay particular attention to that. I don't necessarily always follow anybody; to me, it's more like working side by side. We're working shoulder-to-shoulder to create the groove, whether that requires doubling, counterpoint, back-and-forth, or whatever.
If all the musicians aren't on the same page and the time seems to be dragging or rushing, I'll try to push it or pull it, as needed. If the groove seems unsure, I'll try to establish it and lead from beneath.
One thing I would only very rarely do is look to a lead guitarist for the groove. I have heard a lot of them--and I say this as some one who often plays guitar solos and is guilty of this too--who don't have very good time or groove sense. As for following singers, well, no comment. The best ones, like the best guitarists, are a dream and a delight. There are others, however.
What Brendan said.
When you play covers, like I do, you basically do whatever the original, recorded, bassist did.
If the line seems too "homely" though, I can't resist embellishing it or following the guitar hooks.
I generally try to follow the vocals.
i don't think you can classify 'groove'
it's not something that you get a book on, it's says play that note there, but don't play it here, here and here
it's something that you develop, all players have a different sense of groove.
for me, you know when somethings good, you know when somethings bad, but when your happy with it, and it's going ok, then you know when your there, it doesn't have have to be called anything, call it groove if you want'
it gets your head moving, your foot tapping and your playing going, look at any of the big name bassists, Miller, would be good example, John Patitucci, ecellent to watch,
but a guy that does it for me would be Henry Thomas, watch him play and you can see how music runs through you.
you just feel it
depends on what Im feeling at the time I play it.
more or less what Brenden and PacMan said.
I like to do Tony Levin-type stuff--bubble under the vocals with almost infra-sonic notes, and then do odd angular fills in between.
As in, really, really low--first position, B and E strings. Low.
He often use an octave pedal.
Like in sledge hammer...
sledge hammer as in the tune by Peter Gabriel? I didnt know that was Tony Levin
Yes it is
some of his best work is with Peter Gabriel.
Sledge hammer is a perfect bass line..
Also listen to don't give up, another great line.
Yeah, I was wondering how TLev got the sound he did in "Sledgehammer." I just figured that fretless Sabres have a really unique tone.
I make really funny faces.
locking with the kick-drum is almost an orgasmic feeling for me it's so natural an no other two instruments sound so complete when locked together. ever seen a guitarist try to jam with a drummer laying a groove for him ? it's hilarious.
but sometimes i branch out of my FieLDy ZoNe and play a line that links with what the guitar riff is, or if it's a bunch of chords i come up with something that ploughs through the progression - of course this is all dependant on the sound i feel is best for the tune, tho
something that i've just started doing and am enjoying immensely is following certain parts of guitar solo's (when possible). for example, when our guitarist rips into his solo, i'll play my supporting groove underneath it and when he hits a climax i'll play the exact same thing on the bass and then fall back into the pocket with the original line. it sounds really cool, but can be bloody frustrating if he's going off on a tangent. stay away from tab kiddies, use that ear !!
I do whatever the original bassist did on the originals when we cover. On our own songs, which are sort of melodo-punk, I will mostly play a riff (which the guitar follows, not the other way around), or if he has a song, I'll write a line with roots and other "in-between" notes that connect the chords.