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picking apart the groove

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by chris griffiths, Sep 22, 2002.


  1. chris griffiths

    chris griffiths

    Aug 20, 2002
    nashville tn
    Endorsing artist: Gallien Krueger
    ok I thought up a new question. I find most my bass grooves are in response to two things. the chords and the drummer. and if there were no chords I'd probably just play funk in one chord (G-7 most likely) with the drummer. So my question is when your playing with a "vinnie" type drummer who plays a lot of polyrhythms and complicated or odd time feels is there a good way to go about picking apart the groove so you can squeeze your bass in there?



    have a hot one,
    sincerely,
    Chris
     
  2. CS

    CS

    Dec 11, 1999
    UK
    I'm going to break forum etiquette because Steve is on tour in Perth and Michael Manring is probably doing the same (although not in Scotland).

    So at best here's some advice at worst you get a bump.

    If the drummer is fond of intricate rhythms and stuff (and the band leader likes it) I would always isolate the Kick drum and work with it. If that dont work I'd go against it. Next a staple of the CS wicked tricks book TM is to leave a space for the snare. This will work if the kick and cymbals are synchopated and the snare is on two and four. If this fails then another approach is to listen to the big picture and work out the pattern.

    Finally some players seem to play completely independantly from the drums. I don't like playing this way.

    Finally (honest) sometimes the drummer and the bassplayer will lock in and sometimes they wont.
     
  3. Michael Manring

    Michael Manring TalkBass Pro Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    I agree with CS that the first thing to do is listen to what the drummer is doing with the kick. It's not always necessary to play the same pattern, but since the frequency range is so similar, you'll need to do something complimentary. Also think about space. If the drummer is very busy sometimes it's best to play as little as possible, but look for ways to get a bit of dialog happening. You should also consider altering the phrasing and dynamics of anything you are playing to better serve the groove. Sometimes a subtle change will have a significant effect.
     
  4. CS

    CS

    Dec 11, 1999
    UK
    Breathes a sigh of relief.

    Pleased to meet you.
     
  5. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    Oh yeah! If you play live and the kick and bass are not tight the audience will certinaly know about it! It'll sound like a herd of buffallo.

    Personally, it depends on how the song has been written as to how I'll put my lines together.
    In Gaudi we play the singer/songwriter groove to death so I'm playing right on the kick, then I add or remove...
    In my heavier band, BlackSeaFire, I put the bass lines together from guitar parts and the drummer plays off my lines, so the beat is derived from the bassline :)
    In my other band, I tend to alter/simplify my bass lines around what he drummers playing, for social reasons ;)

    Whatever works I guess?!

    You can buy sample records and CDs of all soprts of drum beats for relatively little, I got a 'Drum Crazy' record for £10 with about 20 tracks on it. All live recorded drums. I find these are good to experiement with at home, finding out what happens to the groove when you play on/off different drums and patterns.
     
  6. chris griffiths

    chris griffiths

    Aug 20, 2002
    nashville tn
    Endorsing artist: Gallien Krueger
    the way I've been going about it is finding the most important parts of the groove like 3 peaks or where it hits the hardest and kind of revolve around those parts. That seems to be working for me and funnily enough thats usually where the kick drum is. But I wanted to get some other perspectives about it. It's always good to be diverse

    thanx for the help,
    Chris