1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

I need some advice on playing with a drummer..

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by bassplayingdan, Feb 18, 2003.

  1. I'm not totally sure this is the right thread for this but I have a problem: I'm in a band with a drummer who is good but his problem is that he likes to add in mad crazy fills at random times. I was wondering how you guys dealt with this problem if you ever have. I need suggestions on how to play along to crazy drum fills.
  2. pyrosquee


    Apr 24, 2002
    I've been playing with drummers ever since i started playing bass. whether it be my dad or the dummer for my band i'm ussually playing with one. and i've had the same problem. as long as you can find a system to when and how long the drum rolls ussually go for, you can just slide the note you were last playing up the neck a bit and hold it. Or if its a pretty long roll, you can just start at your G string and play a fill and work your way down to the E.
    it can get pretty frustrating sometimes but you'll get the hang of it. playing with a drummer, and you and him comunicating, developes your and his style.

    :bassist: PyRo :bassist:
  3. alright ill try that.. I can play with a drummer really well as long as he isnt doing crazy fills or drum rolls.
  4. No_Fingures


    Jun 17, 2002
    Boston Ma
    go all out war. if he takes your time you take his. I use to be in a band with a death metal drummer. between his double bass and toms toms i had no ****en roo. So i made the most innoying basslines possible. Also taught my guitarist tuning down th who knows where the same lesson
  5. id rather get something done than fight.. unless he makes me really mad. Hes more of a jazzy player and im more rock/punk/funk with very little jazz experience. I would rather adapt to his style than make him mad by doing the opposite.
  6. Sit down with him and map out the song structure. Then come up with the logical locations for some fills. Talk about the type and length of the fills to be used and how the drummer will come out of them. When you map out the song structure the best locations for the fills should be fairly obvious. In most pop music situations they are used as a transitional element between sections of the song.

    BTW - This should probably be moved to Miscellaneous.
  7. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    Let's deal with improvisation first.

    Most drummers (in my experience) don't have that many fills. Listen to this guy and see how many he has. Work out the basic rhythm of each fill. OK it maybe brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr crash. Also work out how many bars he is taking. (1234 is one bar-in 4/4 of course).

    Work out a fill for each of his and maybe a catch all fill. You might find that playing eight notes up the octave helps. If you know what I mean by that skip the next condescending sentence. Using the same string count 12 frets up and play 1&2&3&4& on that one note. This works on a 1 bar or 4 count fill. Or it might not.

    If the song is structured then insist that the fills stay the same and in the same place. This gives you chance to work out what you want to do.

    If you do not write the song and there is no existing bassline (like a cover) the bass ends up providing a bridge between the chordal instruments and the percussion.

    Good luck with the drummer and have a listen to a lot of them. This guy could be one of those "I've got a monster fill and I'm going to use it even though its a 6 count fill in a 4/4 song" drummers-avoid.
  8. Thanks a lot.
  9. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    When a drummer goes nuts, I try to stay with him mentally, but I way back off rhythmically -- I get more simple while he's going complex. A fill is a bit of a showoff spotlight, and if you let him have his, he'll more likely let you have yours (if you take any).
  10. just watch him
  11. Brooks


    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    I'll play the song correctly, regardless of where the drummer puts his fills. If they are in wrong place, I just give him a dirty look. Next time...I put volume up and just drown him. They learn fast enough...
  12. Thor

    Thor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    This is right on.

    A drummer and bass player can work as a team.
    Or, another anaolgy is he is the crankshaft and you are the piston of the engine driving the band.

    If he is good, he will stay in time. That time is usally defined by his bass pedal. Cue in on the pedal
    and when he goes off, count off the beats in your head. Then, no matter where he comes back, you are cueing him on the pedal line.

    You have to do this also during a extended rest periods. We used to have a band that did a cover of the Stones ' Midnite Rambler'. The center part,
    during which the singer and guitar have a slow duel, the bass and drum only sound every eighth
    beat, The only way you can do this is to count off the beats internally. Sometimes the drummer can cue you by air tapping the silent beats.

    It is important for a drummer and a bassist in a band to work out common protocols on rhythm
    cues. Spend time discussing this with your drummer.
    Good communication on this front will pay a lot of dividends on the rhythm section. Some bands do this so well that the guitar players hardly have to work at all,[ they can take a 10 minute break to work on some barfly, and nobody will notice] but it means really working together the 2 of you to get there.
    I've forgotten more than I know ...
    I went into the other room, but I forgot why I went there.
  13. Coypu

    Coypu Banned

    Feb 24, 2003
    Here is what Gary Willis thinks about it :
    'Thanks....been there....done that myself...'still do....Thanks for bringing it to everyone's attention, though. If you know what's good for ya, you'll develop the ability to fool everyone into thinking you know where you are. Sometimes I come in during trading 8's in the general vicinity of "one" (usually based on watching for a big cybmal crash) and find my way after a bar or two based on what I hear everyone else play. Of course, other times I know exactly where I am and everyone else doesn't.....er...uh....or is that the other way around? Anyway, really good drummers occasionally indulge in total disregard for any information that would hint at where the time is...and that can be fun but in any case you have to develop the old "inner clock". It just comes with experience. Of course it's very important to be "right" when it comes to keeping up with the time during a drum solo, but it's just as important to be "right" by adjusting to what you hear a couple of bars after your entrance.

  14. Garry Goodman

    Garry Goodman

    Feb 26, 2003
    Try getting your drummer(as well as your self0 to prctice clapping along with an electronic metronome.Start by clspping softly and try to match the clicks.Most grooves have the kick drum and bass playing the same rhythmic figure.both of you should clap or play quietly enough to hear the MM. once you lock in a variety of ptterns,you both will always be listening to each other.Let your bass notes ring and let the snare hit be the cut off of the ringing note.You both will start creating a nice "groove fabric"

Share This Page