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Playing in front of the beat...

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by jacove, Aug 10, 2007.

  1. jacove


    Apr 12, 2003
    Aalborg, Denmark
    Even if I would consider myself a decent player with a lot of experience, I do still struggle occasionally with playing with drummers that play way behind the beat. It just don't feel natural for me to play on top of the beat, which is really what it takes to get things cooking with these laid back kind of drummers. I have gotten better with it, but still I would love just to have a natural feeling when playing, and that is most of the time with drummers that play right on or on top of the beat. I have also noticed that many drummers can't really swith between behind or in front ..Any of you guys who struggle with the same thing...any advice to get better a more natural feeling when playing with drummers that play really behind the beat...
  2. Askia


    Feb 24, 2006
    lock together with the drummer. If you're playing in front of it, it makes the music nervous. So it's bad. Ok, maybe it works in punk music!:p
    But be together with the drummer, otherwise the music will not pulse.
  3. jacove


    Apr 12, 2003
    Aalborg, Denmark
    Well, actually to lock in with a drummer playing behind the beat, you need to have a more in front feeling to get a great groove...I can do it, but it just don't feel as natural or easy as when playing with drummers playing right on or on top...I',m not playing in front of the drummer...hehe, but in front of the underlying beat...there is a difference there...
  4. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    This conversation is really foreign to me... How can one say "drummers that play...", when - I'm quite positive - in-reality, it's "GROOVES that require the drummer to play..."??

    **Isn't there something very-wrong with a drummer who appearently (please tell me if I'm misunderstanding, Jacove) plays every song with the the same 'drag/drive' properties? Well: I guess if every song in the setlist has the same groove.. like some Punk or Hardcore bands, maybe?

    One of the major groove issues - I mean like a big-part of the whole definition of 'groove' - is this push/lay-back/straight/shuffle/etc thing??

    I dunno - if he's talking about a 'normal' band with any kind of music-variety, then 'on-top/ahead/behind' issues (certainly including whether the bassist is 'pushing or pulling' against this drum-feel, or locking with it) are dictated by THE SONG; by the GROOVE; not the drummer... right?!

  5. jacove


    Apr 12, 2003
    Aalborg, Denmark
    Well, yes it is just rock/pop/soul in general...I have played with a lot of different drummers over the years, and played the same tunes with a lot of drummers, and I do find that some drummers have a tendency to pull back while others have a tendency to pull forward...To me it feels more easy and natural playng with drummers that are right on or a bit in front of the beat, and I sometime struggle a bit more, when drummers have a tendency to pull back...hope it makes sense...
  6. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    yeah - but what I'm saying is that... How'bout the end-half of Too Rolling Stoned (or even moreso: the outro for Day Of The Eagle)?? You sure SHOULDN'T feel 'comfortable' playing that one on-top or ahead! -that groove DEMANDS a PULL! How'bout so-many of the Pink Floyd slower songs.. or slow-Blues, with that schticky-schicky layed-back throb??

    Dude: conscientious Drummers (and BASSISTS!) work hard to kick-OUT these un-professional, 'beginners'-tendancies - 'tending to drag' or 'tendency to play right-on the beat', and learn to CONTROL their instruments. And to bassists and Drummers especially (!), controlling the instrument IS controlling the groove!

    Am I misunderstanding something here? I'm usually over on the Effects Forum...


    (edit) I'm still thinking about this thing... Like when I was off on lunch I was thinking of White Wedding - Now if I remember correctly: Aren't the bass and drums (in the main, driving-part, where he says "SHOT!... GUN!...") playing with an 'ahead-feel' - like a 'driving rock beat' - but then that (almost!-) on-the-quarter-note melodic 'hook' guitar-part is noticeably playing BEHIND the beat. Right? You can't just "do what you tend to do" there; the guitar has to 'pull-against' the Bass and Drums' 'PUSH' - right?? It'd be some-kind'a crime against Billy Idol not-to!

  7. chicagodoubler


    Aug 7, 2007
    Chicago, that toddling town
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland, Genz Benz
    just play along with recordings and great musicians that are behind or on top of the beat.

    My mantra:
    there is no shortcut.
  8. DrayMiles


    Feb 24, 2007
    East Coast
    I think you're oversimplifying the bass/drums relationship. IMO, you should have the ability to much your rhythmic emphasis wherever you need to. Time moves and sways, you should know where you want to put the groove. It could be anywhere...
  9. as a drummer (yes, I still consider myself "drummer" amongst other things)...

    playing behind the beat is critical to get a fat groove thing happening...

    playing on top of the beat is important, too when you require that driving feel...

    as a bassist (yes, I consider myself a "bassist", too)...I think it is critical to be able to play that way too...

    to lock in with drummers going for the the "behind the beat" thing...try playing less notes with more accents and a little bit of syncopation...and relax, relax, relax...

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