1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Not playing great without a drummer

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by zeppfan90, Mar 8, 2014.

  1. zeppfan90


    Mar 27, 2013
    Does anyone else seem like they can't play to their full potential without a drummer? It seems like when I'm jamming with a guitarist and there is no drummer sometimes I'm stuck thinking "what should I do next." Sometimes I even flat out miss notes. I don't sound like a bass noob or anything but I can definitely feel and hear the difference when this does happen and I leave feeling a little insecure about my skills. But when there is a drummer, especially a really good one, everything just flows out. I don't even have to think about what I will do next. Rarely will I miss a note or make a mistake and when I do I am able to cover it up really quickly.
  2. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...I would prefer "jamming" with a drummer vs. anyone other instrument. The times when the drummer misses rehearsal/practice...I am usually bummed.
  3. I think every instrument should be able to hold their own

    So it will be that much stronger when instruments are brought together

    But sometimes people hide out or go under the radar in a band set up and it a comes unstuck when the dominant player is not there

    It's like if you are at a gig and if the drums dropped out unexpectedly could you still hold it together

    If you can't and recognise this then no worries, it just becomes something to work on and improve...

  4. Milk


    Sep 16, 2013
    Montreal, Canada
    I used to start songs just on bass or guitar and recently i've realised i often had better ideas if i bothered starting with a good beat on Superior Drummer. It does help. Also i realise it changes my rhythm. I mean, when there's no beat i have a tendency to write things with a very steady picking. With a beat there already it kinda frees me of that. I don't have to keep my own beat...
  5. avvie


    Oct 12, 2010
    Maui, HI
    It's just not fun without a beat to hold the groove together. Playing without a drummer forces me to think about what I play in regards to how it's going to affect the guitarist's timing...too much thinking, not enough feeling.
  6. BassChuck


    Nov 15, 2005
    Ed Fuqua's quote on this is from Chet Baker. "It takes a great drummer to be better than no drummer".

    I agree with Jbassrockboy. Everyone should be able to stand on their own. It's nice to have a great drummer, but if you NEED to have one, you should start reconsidering your time.
  7. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass Supporting Member

    May 10, 2006
    You don't NEED a drummer to sound good or play well. You just think you do. Work on your time and rhythm, play with confidence and everything will work out fine. I'd much prefer to NOT have a bad or mediocre drummer. And we've played lots gigs without drummer - and the music moved just fine!

  8. Gaolee

    Gaolee Outta my way! I'm caffeinated! Supporting Member

    I enjoy playing without a drummer. It makes me concentrate more, since I get away with less.
  9. Helaskold

    Helaskold 100% Mediocre

    Jul 22, 2012
    Austin, TX
    Absolutely. I hate playing without a drummer. Can't write a single damn riff unless I can feel the beat.
  10. GKon

    GKon Supporting Member, Boom-Chicka-Boom

    Feb 17, 2013
    Queens, NY
    I enjoy playing with a good drummer, but I'd rather play with no drummer than a bad or mediocre drummer.
    I also don't at all mind playing without a drummer.
  11. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    A lot of my gigs are just duo gigs without drums, it's just a different mindset.
  12. I've always thought it's important to be able to groove on your own. As much as I love playing with a good drummer, it's fun without, as well.
  13. avvie


    Oct 12, 2010
    Maui, HI
    There's been a drummer change in one of the bands I play in and holy hell is it difficult to jam with this guy! Aging mediocre rock drummer with no groove.
  14. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    Yeah, sometimes when drummers get a little older, the first thing to go is the kick.;)
  15. interp

    interp Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2005
    Garmisch, Germany
    Rhythm and time is an integral component of playing music, whatever the instrument is. If you are highly uncomfortable with playing without a drummer, or cannot do it all, that means you've neglected this component of your playing.

    It should be a wake up call.
  16. Better groove with a drummer. Plus I simply enjoy hearing drums, and "feeling" them thru the floor.
  17. OldDirtyBassist


    Mar 13, 2014
    If you want to really test it, record you and the guitarist playing on a song that would normally require drums, and listen back to the isolated bass. You and the guitarist should be so tight, that you can add the drum tracks later, without being able to notice any fluctuation in time. Any bassist that can't do such a miracle sober or not (heh heh), needs to tighten up.

    I didn't learn this way. I learned to play to the drums and the pulse. Some music has no pulse, so enthusiasm is limited at times. Playing to a song that flows without drums to begin with is one thing, but learning the groove a$$-backwards isn't productive. I keep hearing all these pro "bass only" guitar hero tracks on youtube. None, and I mean none of them have good time all alone.
  18. OldDirtyBassist


    Mar 13, 2014
    What about bass and drums just jamming for fun? I've kept going after the drums dropped out, and except for the drummer looking at me like he wanted to kill me, it's not entertaining in the least bit. If the drummer stops, the rest of the musicians should follow.
  19. Boom762

    Boom762 I AM the one who Booms! Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2013
    Lubbock, TX
    Because of my play style I would rather play with a drummer than anyone else but Im used to playing without them. Drummers usually love playing with me because I keep the beat in my playing with accented notes. Usually playing with a drummer makes me feel really good and smiley because I can go to that next level as well as vet showered with praise :cool:

    If no drummer, no youtube, no drum machine.... grt a delay pedal. You can get so creative with those things and it kinda feels like playing with a full band sometimes when you lose yourself in it.
  20. pedroims


    Dec 19, 2007