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Playing along w/ records

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Trist6075, Jun 5, 2002.

  1. Trist6075

    Trist6075 Guest

    Mar 6, 2001
    Do you guys find that it helps your timing when you play along with cds/tapes?
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Depends on the band/recording/drummer/(geetarist), but usually yes.
    Playing along with Simon Phillips is awesome, for example.
  3. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I don't see how it could NOT help someone's timing.

    Believe it or not I think the thing that helps my timing the most is jamming with lousy drummers who have bad timing. I have to really concentrate and work hard to keep the groove going. I look at it as exercise.
  4. Paul A

    Paul A

    Dec 13, 1999
    Hertfordshire U.K!
    In my case,sadly.no...
    The guys I play with are usually all over the place regards timing.
    So if I get it perfect... it usually isn't.. if you see what I mean....:confused:
  5. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    playing along with recordings is how I figure out how to do things... how to play a groove.. I think it is very helpful
  6. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    I dont do it so much now as I used to. I usually reherse to my band(s) live sets recorded on md, or just a drum machine or sample/loop.

    But I'm in no doubt that it helps improve your groove. When you're a beginer or an amateur, like me, it's the ONLY way you get to play with a metronomic drummer!
  7. I find it helpful, but only to play styles that arent like my band (thrash metal.) So I find myself playing along with jazz cd's and (get ready) old 80's music :) Its good for practice for me, and puts me in a different mental state, quite relaxing. Then, eventually, i want to kill the Pet Shop Boys and I play very aggressive at band practice and/or gigs, heh.

  8. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    I find it does. Listening and playing to a bunch of tool's odd time stuff has helped odd time come almost natrauly. I'll be writeing a say "Dang, thats odd time again isnt it?" Heck, the ending part to "You lied" threw me for a good 30 mintues. But fun as heck when you get the crap down. PLaying with a drummer is actully better i think, or maybe harder...or maybe just for me. he'll juggle odd and even time just to screw with me....
  9. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    I'll bet that helps build your musical relationship. Typical fkn drummer!!!
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I think it can lead to you becoming "complacent" and thinking that you can play something when if you were put in the position of the band relying on you to keep time, you might not fare so well.

    I know that when I started trying to play Jazz and Latin rhythms, I found it pretty easy to play along with records - but that's because you know that even if you mess up, then the band will carry on.

    But in an actual band situation, it's not like that!! Particularly in Jazz where the drummer is not always playing time and you don't have a constant bass/snare drum beat, then if you stop or are slightly "out" as regards time and the groove, then the band falls apart!!

    I think it's more important to have your own internal sense of time, where the beats in the bar are - etc and that playing along with records, you can fool yourself that you're doing OK, when it's not.

    What really brought t home to me was on Afro Cuban stuff - where you don't play on the first beat of the bar and tie your bass line across the bar - and often - nobody in the band is playing on the first beat of the bar! So I could play along to records really easily - simple lines - no problem. But then trying it with a band was a nightmare and I always got out and played on the one or put the rest of the band off so they thought the one was somewhere else.

    In the end - especially as a bass player - I think you have to develop an internal sense of time and I think that playing along with records doesn't actually help much there - and in fact can hinder your progress and make you over-confident.
  11. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Bloody good point Bruce!!!

    You're spot on there. I think I'm pretty good on timing, but as soon as I have to play with a crap drummer I'm rendered as useless as they are.

    ...and playing with records you can always play along to stuff of a higher standard than you're at.
  12. That's very true, IME. It's another reason why there's no substitute for playing with other musicians.

    It's one thing to play with a recording where the cut may have been the 7th take before they got the timing perfect in the studio, and, quite another thing where the drummer isn't always dead-on or you have a bum monitor mix.

    Playing with recordings works fine to just pick up the bass lines and get the song structures down, IME. But I know being able to play along with a recording is a whole different ball game from doing it live.
  13. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Yes, totally!!!! - if it's a crap venue, rehersal space or whatever, where the sound is just naff, your amp is miles away, the GUITARIST IS TOO LOUD, etc...!!!!
  14. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    I think it does help to play with recordings, but not exclusively.

    I learned to keep time with terible drummers by playing with recordings.

    It helped me to learn what a steady beat felt like, and helped me tune my internal metronome to almost perfection (or really really good).

    When I played with my school band, we had a couple drum solos thrown in at the mothers day performance. You see, our drummers sometimes have trouble keeping time in a normal situation, but when they try to improvise, its all over. It was tough listening to that, and trying to ignore it and rely on my internal time to keep the beat, but I managed to do it.

    I would credit most of my internaltime to playing with recordings that helped me to build the accuracy of my clock.

    Of course, if I hadnt experienced that terrible drumming before, it still wouldve thrown me off, so I do think the fact that I play with musicians and know I cant rely on everyone else does help too, but not exclusively.

    Sorry for my run on sentences, but I must go now.


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