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Only playing when kick drum does??

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Redneck5, Jul 11, 2012.

  1. Redneck5


    Jun 18, 2012
    I started playing bass recently in my church, on Wednesday nights. We have a really really good bassist who plays on Sunday, who is teaching me some now. So far i only play mostly roots to a ll the songs we play(Hillsong, Jesus Culture, Chris Tomlin) But my question is; my teacher says i should only play when the kick drum plays??? He says it will make us a tighter rhythm section Any thoughts on this??

    P.S. He is going to be teaching me out of Mel Bays Electric Bass method book. any thoughts on that?

    Sorry if it's kind of long
  2. dbd1963


    May 18, 2010
    Northern Virginia
    He's probably trying to get you to hear and feel the kick, because in most styles of music, the bass and the drums are working together. Eventually, you won't be playing only with the kick, but the kick will still be important to you.
  3. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player Banned

    Nov 13, 2009
    Somewhere on the Alaska Panhandle (Juneau)
    Endorser: Plants vs. Zombies Pea Shooters
    How are you to know when the drummer will play his kick? :D

    Actually, the guy is on track, but this does not occur 100% of the time. And, is especially dependent on the style of music. He was most likely trying to make a point.

    Having said that, the kick and bass should work together, for best results. Or, at least compliment each other.
  4. We are told to lock in with the kick drum. Your friend is telling you good stuff, listen to him. Sounds like you are in good hands.

    You and the drum are the rhythm section and yes you two should lock in with each other. Let him show you what "lock in" sounds like.

    Have fun.
  5. LayDownABoogie


    Jan 3, 2012
    Tell the damn drummer to only kick when you play a note. : )
  6. What a load of sh1t. While it's good to lock in with the drummer, you don't do that by only playing with the kick drum. Listen to AC/DC for example, you will find a pretty tight rhythm section there, where the bassist plays most of the songs in eighth notes but I don't hear the drummer kicking 8's. His right leg would be worn out half way through the first song.
    One of Mel Bay's electric bass books was the first instruction book I picked up as a beginner some 30 odd years ago. Not a bad way to start.
  7. Yes, But locking does not mean to only play when the bass drum is hit.
    Check Larry Graham's DVD for a lovely demo of the interplay between drums and bass.
  8. TNCreature

    TNCreature Jinkies! Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2010
    Philadelphia Burbs
    Your teacher is correct but in the most basic way. You are just starting out so I understand where he is coming from. As others have said, his ultimate message is to lock in with the drums and rhythm overall.

    I used to play without much regard for the drum parts when I was younger, aside from playing in time. While recording, a very good engineer pointed out areas where songs would be more groove oriented and focused if I locked in with the kick in particular parts. It was a good lesson.

    Have fun!
  9. dan1952

    dan1952 Commercial User

    Jun 27, 2012
    Anderson IN
    Artist Endorsement with Supro Huntington Basses / Owner, Dan's Music, Inc..
    I always try to set up on the left of a right handed drummer so I can see his foot on the kick pedal and get locked in as tight as possible with that. I don't play only with the bass pedal, but I do try to focus on it because it gives my playing an additional punch, and helps establish a deep pocket!
  10. Lichtaffen


    Sep 29, 2008
    Rhode Island
    This is not totally wrong. Although you should be listening to the drummer to lock in, he should be listening to your playing as well. It really does take two in this case. A good idea is to find a drummer friend and work with him to understand this concept. Don't just wait until Wednesday nights to work on it.
  11. Syncing with the kick can be a good way to hone your rhythmic sense, but before long you're going to wanna swing out more. I would paraphrase your teacher's guidance thusly: "Don't give up the one."
  12. This is a great lesson to learn, and it doesn't mean you will only and forever have to play this way.
  13. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    Get a new "teacher." This is such a gross oversimplification, it leads me to believe he doesn't know how to teach.
  14. muljoe


    Mar 8, 2011
    Great advice he gave you! It's just another skill to put in your tool box. Sometimes straight 16ths, 8ths, or whole notes are appropriate. Sometimes it’s appropriate to play counter to the drummer rhythmically. Sometimes is appropriate to play only when the drummer uses his kick. None of these are complete ways to play bass in every scenario, but together these are the basic foundations of being a bass player rhythmically.

    What he is telling you to do, from my best guess, is do this for a season till you master it. Try it on every track you can, try it on easy kick patterns and try it on hard syncopated patterns. As soon as you can always lock with the kick when you want to do it, is the time you can stop doing it all the time.

    It is no different than if you are working on soloing and a teacher says only play your solo with specific chord tones or a particular scale. Although this is something you would rarely do all the time live, the ability to do so on demand shows a complete mastery of the skill. He is asking you to do this for you to master a skill set not base your entire bass career off of. Smart guy...I'd keep listening to him.
  15. muljoe


    Mar 8, 2011
    Oh and also as someone who plays a lot in church. You cannot go wrong as a beginner only playing with the kick. I could play a whole service pretty much playing to the kick and it would be 100% appropriate to the setting and not distracting (a big goal of playing worship music). It might not be appropriate to play 8ths through an entire song though. Since you self proclaimed newbie, this guy might understand or sense that your rhythmic selection is not completely appropriate and for the time being until you get a greater understanding of the role of bass it might be just "damage control" for a few months. I have done the exact same thing, especially in a worship setting, with new electric players or drummers. I’ve told electric players just to play power chords or just 5ths. It can be a lot less distracting than somebody noodling through a song trying to “figure out” a cool line or riff. Same with drummers, “hey man don’t do any huge fills between section just do a simple crash hit or a couple of 8ths on the snare.” Works a lot better than a new drummer losing time “creating” a complete ramble of a drum fill. If you listen to him see how he plays...I'd imagine he's not only playing when the kick plays. The point is until you get your timing down (and not saying it's bad...I obviously have no idea) you will NEVER be wrong in a worship setting always playing with the kick.

    Alright I’m done….welcome to the wonderful world of BASS!
  16. magina35


    May 26, 2012
    listen to some israel and new breed songs. love that bassist and drummer. learned lot of things from them.
  17. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    What would James Jamerson do?
  18. Jhengsman


    Oct 17, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    In a crawl, walk and then run learning progression listening for the kick and just playing with the kick is probably the walk phase past just playing straight 1/8 notes. With some drummers you can pick out his pattern and play exactly on him. Others are not so steady that they provide an unchanging kick pulse
  19. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    For a n00b, it sounds like sage advice. When you develop "feel" you should not worry about deviating from this simple rule, but for a guy that's just learning, it's a pretty good rule to keep you out of trouble.
  20. Varcolac


    Mar 31, 2012
    London, UK
    Drink a fifth of scotch, then play something original, groovy, melodic, and exactly what the song needs.

    Not entirely appropriate for a beginner playing church music to emulate. Especially the scotch part. :) When he first started I'm sure he stuck to the kick as well. Only later did he develop supreme chops and cirrhosis of the liver.

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