New Drummer won't stop staring at my fingers.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by FingerDub, Mar 6, 2018.

  1. Bass

    62 vote(s)
  2. Drums

    118 vote(s)
  3. Depends on the Song

    129 vote(s)
  1. FingerDub

    FingerDub Inactive

    Jan 8, 2016
    My band has a new drummer. Great guy, good ability . In rehearsal I realize that he's been staring at my fingers as I play. Now, I rely on the drummer for a steady beat to lock into, but I realized that he is looking at me as the lead. He's staring at my fingers because he's waiting to see when I change and he's going to change with me or alter his play based on what I do. He rarely takes his eyes off me. It's kind of off-putting.

    On the break last week I asked him why he kept looking at me, and he said he's looking at my fingers to help himself and said that bass is the true lead of the Rhythm Section.

    One time last week, I think because I stopped playing quarter notes, or changed something else,, he changed the beat and the whole song went off track. He will change tempo based on my play also.

    I always thought that the drummer is supposed to stick to the beat and the way we play the song no matter what and that the other musicians play around the drummer. And of course I always try to lock in with the drummer, but I thought that's a one way street, so to speak, if it had to be one or the other, it should be me locking in with him as much as possible not him locking in with me.

    I feel like he's relying on me too much. Am I wrong? Is bass really the true leader of the Rhythm Section?
  2. JKos

    JKos Supporting Member

    Oct 26, 2010
    Surprise, AZ
    I'm with you. I'm locking with the drummer, not the other way around. Maybe he needs/could use a click track. ??? A rather famous drummer uses a click track and says it frees him to just play and not worry about being the time keeper.

    - John
  3. saltydude


    Aug 15, 2011
    boston CANADA
    He might be relying too much on you but I wholeheartedly agree with him. Thing is you’ve got to be good. I love having command over the jam and that moment you know your captaining the ship.
  4. Oddly


    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.'re complaining about a drummer that actually cares abut what you're doing?
    There's no hope...:)

    Seriously, though, I'm guessing he's just nervous and wants to make sure he's tight with you, which is an excellent basis for a rhythm unit.
    I'm sure he'll loosen up once he's got more confident in playing with you.
  5. BurnOut

    BurnOut It's The Billy Baloney Show In Memoriam

    Feb 1, 2015
    The Natti
    I've had guitar students and jam people do this. If you're watchin for the change, you're already late.
  6. GrapeBass


    Jun 10, 2004
    Graphic designer: Yorkville Sound
    Or is he just envious of your 'finger technique?' :thumbsup:
  7. LBS-bass


    Nov 22, 2017
    He's new and he doesn't know the material yet so he's watching you for the changes.
    ooglybong, whero, JimK and 22 others like this.
  8. MattZilla


    Jun 26, 2013
    I had a drummer like that. Creeped my friends out "dude, he is looking at you a LOT". Really Stewart Copeland-ey, which I'd never thought to look for before. Very rarely did fills, and the fills were always taysty. I was the captain of any ship he was on. Probably wouldn't have been that great for wedding/corp, but great fun for jams/experimental/writing. I miss him. Work on your own metronome and enjoy.
  9. Maybe he's not really looking at your fingers? :nailbiting:

    On the other hand, to notice that he is looking at you a lot, you have to be looking at him a lot too.:roflmao:

    Anyway... good luck getting it sorted out.
  10. Bassbeater

    Bassbeater Guest

    Sep 9, 2001
    Great scenario, you can always ask him to stay on a beat for parts when you want to play counter- rhythm. Lucky you!!!!
  11. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    You're wrong.

    A) He's new and may not be fully confident in knowing all the songs.
    2) Literally anyone in the band can be the rhythmic leader. Bass, drums, rhythm guitar, etc. Ideally it should be a wordless negotiation between bass and drums to find what's right and lock in together, as opposed to one person being the dictator. It can also change from song to song. In my current jazz trio there are drum-led songs, bass-led songs and guitar led songs.
    C) Are you rehearsing in the same configuration you would gig in? The one danger of the drummer watching the bass player's fingers is if your back is to him on stage and he's lost.
  12. Oddly


    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    It's just occurred to me, what you need to do here is get @catcauphonic to give you some nail-polish tips...that'll dazzle the guy for sure!
  13. 2BitHack


    Nov 11, 2014
    Every person in the band is responsible for knowing and keeping their own place within the beat. Depending on the instrument and style that may be ahead, on or after. That's where the swing comes from.
    dmt, JimK, Nashrakh and 3 others like this.
  14. seamus bass

    seamus bass

    Oct 23, 2007
    my house
    hes found a crutch and will have a hard time if you ever play out live.
    brbadg and FingerDub like this.
  15. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    i'd get used to it. use it!
  16. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Springtown, Texas
    Sounds like he is a jazz drummer. In jazz, the bass is king. It set the tempo and leads the changes. He is actually doing a great job. He is watching you so he can stay with you.

    Well, either that or he has a finger fetish :smug:
  17. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    @FingerDub change your user name and see if that helps. :D
  18. jcerio


    Jul 27, 2006
    Syracuse, NY
    He likes your fingers...."With Fava Beans and A Nice Chianti" :)
  19. FingerDub

    FingerDub Inactive

    Jan 8, 2016
    I do like that sometimes, but I wouldn't call myself a virtuoso of sorts. I'm a good time keeper with occasional licks. I might speed up at the apex of a solo or jam and he will follow me, that's about the extent of it. But I do experiment but not at the expense of losing the groove.

    I think this is the case.

    This is what I feel, and one of us will be off by a split second because of it.

    We play slow rock, acoustic rock, classic rock and reggae.

    All good points, especially C. Let's see what happens tonight.
  20. lowfreqgeek


    Mar 15, 2010
    Tijeras, NM
    The drummer is not wrong; in general, bass should provide the pulse and drums provide the feel. Everyone is responsible for their own time, and bass/drums should lock in, but it's really the bass that sets the time and the pulse of the music, and everything else should work within that context.

    Artman, bassbooty, Nashrakh and 4 others like this.
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