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In front of the beat, on the beat and after

Discussion in 'Bassists [DB]' started by Dudie, Aug 24, 2012.

  1. Dudie


    Apr 26, 2004
    Need some help with examples of basists playing in front of the beat, on the beat and after the beat. I had question asked to me from my friend who is teaching music ( jazz ) . I said of course, no problem, but then unfortunally my brain shut down :)


    Basist- before the beat
    Basist- on the beat
    Basist- after the beat

  2. boethius


    Sep 27, 2011
    Raleigh, NC
    Check out funkadelic or parliament (pfunk later on) for all of the above. Clinton loved messing with the 1...sometimes straight on it other times either just in back of or in front of it. Nelson probably more right on it and Bootsy really close to it on either side. Not jazz per se but what comes to mind before my second cup of coffee.
  3. f.c.geil


    May 12, 2011
    Same thing with the Police. Sting was all over the place, but it was always right for the song. A jazz background will do that to you. The trick is to feel the song, and let it tell you where the beat wants to be.
  4. Dudie


    Apr 26, 2004
    Thank you!!
    I meen more like timefeel. Of cousre you can adept but All instrumentalists has their feel of time. I play alot before the beat and of course i like drummer who also have that feel. When i play with drummers that play on the beat or dragging there is a collision and the swing is lost.
  5. f.c.geil


    May 12, 2011
    Before the beat tends to feel like rushing. When you talk about "swing," that is exclusively after the beat. On the beat tends to feel militaristic. If you want to swing and groove, be funky, then you play behind the beat.
  6. Dudie


    Apr 26, 2004
    Thank you for the answer but i dont realy want this thread to be a diskussion about definition of swing and time. Im interessted in names of differnt bassplayers and their timefeel. Did Chambers play in front of the beat, did Carter play more on the beat? Does Haden play a bit after the beat. Like Dexter Gordon was famous to play after the beat, dax of course.

    This must be a realy interessting thing to discuss to us bassplayer since we are timekeepers :)
  7. Roger Davis

    Roger Davis

    May 24, 2006
    I'm very much an 'in front' man and have been ever since my earliest influences - call it musical osmosis if you will. Try to revisit the Adderley Brothers' Work Song on YouTube, round about 1962. You will hear the perfect drums/bass combination of Louis Hayes and Sam Jones. He doesn't immediately come to mind among Carter/Brown/Chambers etc but for me he's always been the man.
  8. rokx


    Nov 13, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    Aston Barrett of the Wailers is so incredibly behind the beat.
  9. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    Contrary to what people might say, I remember somewhere or an interview where they asked Ray Brown the same question regarding on where he plays against the beat. People would always say he plays in front and he distinctly says he plays on top and always on top. Something like that.
  10. Listen to various types of swing- some is ahead, some on some behind. And note there are different types of swing that generally will let you know when to play ahead of, behind. etc. 1/16th swing, rock a billie swing, triplet swing, etc. Neil Hefti's "little darlin" is a great piece to learn how to lay back on. MJQ lays back, Basie, Ellington, do too, Buddy Rich, not so much..
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    If you are talking about Jazz, then I don't think any bass player can afford to play behind the beat - you have to give the music forward momentum and a lot of horn players will sometimes play behind the beat to sound "cool" or just to build a solo up - if you go with them, that is the recipe for disaster.

    Although you can famously hear the Miles Davis Quintet slowing down on the album "Live at the BlackHawk". :p
  12. Ross Kratter

    Ross Kratter Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 31, 2010
    New York, NY
    Artist, RS Berkeley, La Bella Strings and Phil Jones Bass Amplification
    Bruce, I don't agree. My teacher is Mike Richmond who tends to lay behind the beat quite a bit and is one of the best bassists on the instrument, ever. Great bass players can mess with the beat placement.
  13. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Well, I don't think you can answer the question with names. What I mean is, many really good bass players ADAPT to the song/style. I will play on top or behind based on what the SONG requires, not my own preference or style. I would argue that the greats in bass history did/do as well. So don't get bogged down in names. You would do better to listen to individual performances rather than painting the players themselves with a wide brush.
  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I suppose it's unwise to apply blanket statements - but I was just saying that in Jazz, if you play behind the beat, with a horn player who is playing behind the beat - that is usually the recipe for disaster - but I can quite believe that some of the best musicians can make anything work - mere mortals like the rest of us, have to try harder to give the music forward momentum! ;)
  15. shwashwa


    Aug 30, 2003
    man i miss hanging with mike in his living room and playing tunes... good memories. he can put it anywhere he wants, but id say his behind the beat stuff is mostly during the soloing for horn like phrasing. he can get way behind too, kind of like a vocalist. his walking is always grooving and driving unless he's going for an effect.

    people usually associate behind the beat during walking as a negagive thing and can lead to slowing down if not careful, but not always of course. if i were forced to pick one, id say PC was more behind the beat during his walking whereas ray brown was on it or in front, depending on the tempo and effect (an interview exists where ray himself says he made a career out of rushing). beat placement is part of a player's personality and can be altered to create certain feels. ive been surprised recently to hear how much patitucci can play behind when he wants to. ive really been enjoying oscar pettiford's feel lately too. very unique. i guess one could say that this is an area where a player develops part of his own personal identifiable sound. there are no "correct" answers here.
  16. Michael Glynn

    Michael Glynn

    Feb 25, 2004
    I always play precisely on the beat. It's everyone else that's playing in front or behind!
  17. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Yes - I hear that in a lot of bass players - that they will be driving forward when playing a walking line , but will emulate a horn player for a solo and play behind the beat.

    Again this is great when everybody is "on it" and takes responsibility for time - but can be disastrous for beginners or groups which contain less-experienced players! :p
  18. Kenny G. is well known for playing below the note.....

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