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Its Not Me... Or Maybe It Is ?!?!?!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Kelly Lee, Dec 27, 2004.

  1. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    Mods, sorry if I am posting this in the wrong place. Please move as necessary.

    Anyways at practice tonight we have been playing this song for about a month. For some reason I just can't lock in on it and its really frustrating me. After practice I'm driving home and it finally hits me...DUH!!! Its not me thats having the problem but the drummer. His playing on this one song just is not tight with the "groove" of the song. Its probably the most groove orientated song we have in our song list. Its so bad I can't lock in to it. Thankfully we haven't played it at a gig :eek:

    OK, what can I do or say to get the drummer in step with the song? I honestly don't even know how to approach him about it as its his band and I'm just a so-called hired gun. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
  2. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000
    Unless you are dedicated professional musicians, can leave your egos at the door, and are secure in your abilities, pointing out someone elses errors will usually only breed hostility and resentment! PEOPLE ARE SENSITIVE :( There are so many varibles, it is almost impossible to recommend a solid approach which will yield positive results. So much depends on the personalities and relationships involved. If you can be really diplomatic about how you present it so it is not offend, then you may have a chance. Probably one of the best approaches is not to be direct. This will take longer but will save feelings. Try and get the other members involved; "Hey Guys, Something isn't right with this song?" Am I playing this bassline right? Can we try some different stuff with this. Try some different lines etc. and request some different beats etc. That way you are not pointing fingers and it gets the band involved in making it better. Remember you are not trying to be sneaky here or fool the rest of the band. The goal is to make the song better,(right) without stepping on any toes, or pointing fingers :hyper: Good luck!

    And I would have put this in band management and performance.
  3. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I would say: "Listen, I've been banging my head against the wall for a while now and can't seem to come up with anything that I think sounds good. Would you be open to maybe throwing a different beat at me, sometimes that opens me up to new ideas."


    "Are you married to that beat? I'm stuck and maybe if we tried something different I'd come up with some better ideas"

    I think the main thing is to stay away from the idea that his beat sucks, and stick more to the idea that you're having a rough time coming up with something to fit it.
  4. yeah, or just pull the drummer aside and tell him that you are having troubles locking in with the drums (which you are, although he is the one to blame) , and would like to practice it with him for a while...but bizarro is right, people will always take criticism to heart, so try not to hint to him that he is messing up...just tell him that you need to practice with him.
  5. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    Two totally appropriate and sensitive ways to approach this... Sounds like you've done this before Joe :cool:

    If these don't work, and/or finger-pointing ensues, well... I find that it is always helpful to have a decent CD player in the rehearsal space... This will speak the unbiased truth... Just as long as you're prepared to hear the truth in each instance, (I've been wrong my share of times!!)

  6. Bassic83


    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    Or, borrow one of my favorite lines and tell him straight up-


    :D :D :D - Works for me 99% of the time!
  7. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    having a recording of the song and somethign to play it on is always good. before practice gets goin gtell him you're having problems with the groove and that you'd like for him to listen to it with you and then have the 2 of you work on it solo. Have the player handy so if it still isnt coming together you can turn it on again.
  8. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    Heres your options:

    1. Play the CD for him and show him how the beat grooves with your bass line and how they should come together, capture the feel of the tune. See if he is playing it right to begin with.

    2. Lock in on how he is playing it

    3. Get on the kit and show him how it's done :bassist:
  9. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    I have said many times "Man, I just can't find the groove in there" hoping he would try something different.

    I will take your suggestions to heart. I will make a recording of our next practice and see if maybe I am wrong. If i'm right maybe he will here the problem. I don't know for sure how to do it so I guess I'm just going to be as sensitive with him about as I can.

    Thanks guys.
  10. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    I can't really help you here unless you tell me ...


    Just needed a little more information, before I whack your drummer and not you, nothing personal.

    Of course, it could be you, but how would I know? You are asking me to assume your time and knowledge of THAT unknown song is perfect.

    But you didn't tell us the song. 3000 bassists here... wanna talk about it? Might help! ;)
  11. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    Well Thor, considering its an original and not a cover, I doubt you would know the song.

    I wish I could explain it. I have never had a problem locking in with a good drummer. Unfortunately, the drummer took a hiatus from playing for about 8 years then last year reformed his band. I think he is still not totally back up to speed. His playing varies in speed during the same song when it shouldn't! I can adjust to it for the most part but it really takes alot of the fun out of it.
  12. Hollow Man

    Hollow Man Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Springfield, VA
    +1 to what Joe Nerve said. In a band situation, musicians should be willing to at least humor each other with new ideas, whether or not the other band members think it will work. Even if they are married to the drummer's rhythm, they should at least try out whatever idea you've got, and then democratically decide what to do from there.
  13. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Ok, thanks for humoring me, I was wondering why you didn't mention the title.

    Realistically, not every song works in a band. Time to make that call and see what happens...
  14. DougP


    Sep 4, 2001
    i had a similar issue with one of the songs my band does. its an original. but for me it was a very boring song to play on bass and the structure of it didnt allow for many variations and still maintain the same vibe. The guitar player would always throw in a comment about how the chording on it hurt his hand to play. After playing the song for 5 months and racking my brain trying to figure something out for a bassline, i told the singer (who wrote the song) that perhaps we should try a different feel with the song. i mentioned that i didnt feel inspired to play it in its current form. as soon as i said that he and the guitar player both instantly agreed that they had been feeling the same thing with that particular song. within 20 minutes we had totally remade the song and only in parts is it even remotely similar to the original version. The song is now one of my favorites to play.
    so i guess the moral of this story is that musicians egos' shouldnt stand in the way of a song. if there are issues with the song and there is even one person not happy with it then the entire song will suffer. its best to do what is necessary for the music and hopefully everyone in your band will come to an agreement on what can be done to make it better.