My Pocket Pledge

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Dr. Cheese, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Last Saturday, I noticed just how much I was playing upper register, melodic fills during service. I'm a big fan of players like Andrew Gouche or Anthony Jackson, but I have maybe 5% of their chops. I asked the drummer to be frank with me and tell how much I was locked in. He said I was alright, but my fills would be off sometimes. Last Sunday, I decided that I would seek to lock in totally, and resist the urge to play fills.

    Man, I sounded better!!!
    I still found myself throwing in a fill or two unconsciously, but the groove rocked, and the choir director kept telling the drums and bass to break down by ourselves with the choir singing. The congregation got into it, and the minister even mentioned how good we sounded. I hate to be vain, but I think me deciding not to noodle around so much was a classic case of addition by subtraction, and the band and choir was much better as a result.:):bassist::)
  2. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I played at my church this Sunday as well. The usual guy was out of town. (I try not to play there unless they need me so I can help get kids to church and stuff.) But afterwards I must have had a couple dozen people come up and tell me how awesome is was. All the band members were begging me to play every week. The drummer offered to come help get my kids ready! Ha! Funny thing is I under play the other guy by a lot. He's very "melodic" while I hammer away at the root for the most part and really get into dynamics. I've got tricks and licks for days but at church God is the only one who knows it! Throwing in a nice tasty lick every now and then hurts nobody. But locking it down with the drummer gets in done every time whether it's at the club or the church.
  3. fishtx


    Mar 30, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses/Genz Benz - RIP/Mojo Hand FX

    I try to think and play this way in everything I do...
  4. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    See! It's not just me bitching and moaning about the amount of noodling & runs a lot of the young (and older) gospel players tend to do!

    S/N: I was helping a friend sort out some video clips of her singing with different bands and one particular band had this guy on bass who just would not stop with all the runs! Just one after another! It was so annoying I couldn't wait to finish up with her project! If I could have smacked him, I would have! Stop it! "Smack" I said stop it! LOL
  5. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    My church does contemporary Christian music. I tend to play mostly with my right hand. I like to play triplets or gallop, or just thump away on 1/4 notes depending on what the drummer is doing. My left hand is pretty boring though.

    Keep the rhythm section tight and it all seems to fall into place.

    We're doing a bunch of TSO stuff for Christmas, and that is bound to knock me out of my comfort zone. I'm looking forward to it!
  6. +1,000. I've had to re-commit to this myself. I went from a trio to a 6 piece. In the trio, I almost had to do fills and runs to keep things from sounding thin/empty. In the 6 piece (2xguitars, keys) locking in makes the whole thing work better.

    Of course, a well-time (and musically appropriate) 'accent' seems to go over well...:bag:
  7. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett
    Sometimes less, REALLY IS more.
  8. Unprofessional


    Mar 5, 2012
    Paging Clayton.
    Mr. Adam Clayton, please pick up the nearest courtesy phone.
  9. drummer5359

    drummer5359 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 10, 2011
    Pittsburgh PA USA
    Maybe it's because I'm a far better drummer than I am a bassist, or maybe it's because I've been a drummer for forty some years...

    But as much as I admire the flashy bassists, all I want to do as a bassist is play simple, play lower registers and lock in.
  10. Bert Slide

    Bert Slide

    May 16, 2012
    Louisville KY
    Church is no place for improv...just ask the Dead Milkmen...

    You've got a Methodist coloring book
    And you color really well
    But don't color outside the lines
    Or God will send you to hell
    'Cause God hates war
    And God hates crime
    But He really hates people
    Who color outside the lines
    You've got a Methodist coloring book
    Don't color outside the lines
    'Cause if God doesn't strike you with lightning
    He'll at least make you go blind
    Good people get sent to the attic
    But there's a special kind of hell
    For those who just won't learn to color
    God is gracious, God is good
    Let us color in his book
    God wears cotton, God wears rayon
    He can mend a broken crayon
    God is honest, He don't take payola
    Let's all thank him for our Crayolas
    You've got a Methodist coloring book...

    Dead Milkmen "Methodist Coloring Book"
  11. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    DW, if you listen to gospel, you hear so much noodling that it is hard not to end up playing that way. The problem is that only so many people do it well while most end up creating clutter. I can even think of some clips of great bassists like Thaddeus Tribbett who would sound better if they had economized. I guess the problem is that too many guys play bass the same way they play sports: doing bad imitations of really great players!:bag:
  12. Oneirogenic


    Nov 10, 2009
    Skip the fills and do some walks in the pocket. Good way to maintain some interesting harmonic and melodic movement without overdoing it. That was my trick when I played worship music and it always went over well.
  13. Eublet


    Jul 28, 2006
    Good thread, Dr. Cheese. I rotate through a large church here with other bass players of which I'm a member and attend even when I don't play. From a listener's perspective, the guys who aren't busy always make the music sound better at my church, even if their chops aren't as good as some of the others. I think for live music, staying in the pocket and making it work is always the best choice. I know that in gospel music though it's kind of common for the fat cats to really go off at times though, but I think those guys are just so good that they can do that while still keeping it solid. It reminds me of Wooten's advice to never lose the groove in order to find a note. Guys like Gouche can find a lot more notes than me without losing the groove. :D
  14. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Good post, it makes sense that Wooten would state the situation best. There is no point in losing the groove to find a note.:)
  15. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    For his paycheck/royalty check, I would gladly play root notes until the cows come home!;)
  16. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    no P/W guy or anything, but the same rules apply, i think;

    i play guitar in other bands, so that's where i'll solo or show off or whatever, but with bass, i try to subsume that urge and channel it into "showing off" what's cool about bass, namely things like locking in and getting "zen" about timing, note length, being on the beat or behind the beat or whatever, things like that. you dive in to that stuff deep enough, and you might find that straight 8th notes are the hardest things to really do right!

    i find it as endlessly challenging and requiring of real focus as any guitar showoff stuff (if not more), but if i manage to hit it right, the band and the crowd will all be smiling.
  17. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I agree that really concentrating on getting the groove right is hard work!:bassist:
  18. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    i had a berklee guy suggest to me that "groove" might even be the wrong word;

    it's not so much a groove that you drop into and automatically don't slip out of, but rather a ridge that you have to jump up on and concentrate on not falling off of!
  19. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I can see that analogy for sure.
  20. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Is it really so hard to 'groove' and 'lock in'?? Is it that much work? Not for me! What were we doing before Victa came along? What were we doing before the gamut of busy playing gospel cats came along?

    We were all playing bass. Grooving and locking in! Slapping was simple and melodic! Is it so hard to go back to that? I keep it simple. I play what the song needs. Not what "I" need!