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Locking in With Drummer II

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by skypn, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. skypn


    Feb 8, 2011
    I didn't want to highjack the other guy's thread.

    Background: I played bass a lot when I was a kid, but set it down for ~20 years. Been back about 2 years. I've always thought, and been often told, then as now, that I have a great sense of timing, and can really hit the pocket. I joined a band early last fall (1st since I've been back) that was a guitar and drummer who have played together for ~20. It was going well at first, but the fact that I have a full time job, and they were both retired made it hard for me to learn the amount of material they wanted as fast as they would have liked. What I did learn, we played well, but...anyway, I had no problem hitting the pocket with that guy.

    Fast forward to the new band I'm in. A lot less pressure, and we are much more evenly matched.
    I keep getting the feeling that the drummer's not holding a solid beat. Especially going into or coming out of a fill. I think I'm steady, but I can't be 100% sure, as I know I'm missing some notes, but I don't think I'm missing any beats, knowhatimean?

    (Yes, there is a question in your future, and here it is)
    Should I "drive on" and force what I think is the steady beat, or "bend" to him?
    At last night's practice, I bent to him during the steady bits, but forced the timing during his fills. We were able to keep together better, but it just didn't feel right.

    I had thought of getting a metronome to practice with at home, and see if I'm slipping with it.

    Or am I over thinking this?
  2. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    Can't overdo things like this. Metronome should be in every player's toolkit, really cleans up your playing.

    As to your question, I'd ask myself the following: Is the drummer hitting the one okay or does he drift? If he doesn't I'd go with keeping up the pulse of the song so it's easier for him and your mates to slip back in if he misses something.

    Only other recommendation I could make is... ask him to practice with you so HE gets better. :bag:

    My drummer is a guy like that. Solid one but has a tendency to speed up slowly, but the pulse is there so it all works out okay (the speed-up thing mainly happens on faster police covers he knows and usually plays much faster soI guess it's more of a habit thing...)
  3. jmverdugo


    Oct 11, 2012
    Katy TX
    how about doing a little bit of both, follow him but also control him a little, I'm the new guy in a band as well and although our drummer is really good he does have a tendency to speed things up sometimes so what I do is just hold him back a little bit when that happens, I just make sure he hears when I hit the note, I'm pretty sure your guy will catch up really quick. About the metronome, I hate to play with that thing ... it just doesn't feel natural.
  4. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Record practice any cheap way you can. Then go back and listen. It's much easier to determine where the problem is when you are listening and not concentrating on playing.

    Pick you battles on trying to drag him along. Sometimes it's best to roll with him and let the band stay together. Sometimes it's best to let the song plow through while he catches up. It really depends on the song, the show, the venue, the crowd, whether or not they are dancing, etc.
  5. skypn


    Feb 8, 2011
    THX, that's kinda what I thought. But h3ll, it's easier to play bass with a solid drummer:rollno:
  6. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    I did a fill in thing with a band a few months ago. The drummer made a statement like: "You're a rock. You don't let me get away with anything." I never noticed any timing issues with him, but I think that may be because like any good musician he was listening.

    A good drummer is the best thing in the world. A bad drummer is pretty close to the worst.
  7. oldcatfish


    Jan 8, 2011
    I am also a drummer (a mediocre one) so I see where you are coming from. It takes a lot of work with a metronome to break the "rushing the fills thing." It's the most common mistake that drummers make. The best answer is to play with a click track during rehearsals---not just the drummer and you, but everyone. That way you can suggest it as a "tightening up of the band" thing, and not a "you can't keep time" thing. Nobody is offended and everyone gets better.