Rythm in a band

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Bass18, Nov 16, 2001.

  1. Bass18

    Bass18 Guest

    Jul 21, 2001
    Im in a three piece band (bass, guitar and drums) and we've been doing alot of work on rythm lately. Now the guitarist says that the bass should be playing the same rythm as the guitar. I'm assuming thats correct?
    Also, The guitarist also said that the most accurate way to play a rythm is to go up and down with your pick consistently - all the time, but when there is a gap in the rythm you dont actually pluck the string. It may sound confusing, but I think he is right.
    Just thought maybe some of you could help me and give me some info on this topic?
  2. this is so wrong I don't even know were to begin:rolleyes: NO NO NO NO listen to led zepplin and you tell us what you think. Unless of course your band members are better that jimmy page, john paul jones, and john bonnahm. ;)
  3. Bass18

    Bass18 Guest

    Jul 21, 2001
    Well if you think its so wrong, at least have the decency to correct me...
    Just so I can learn from my mistakes.
  4. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    Common practice is that bass & drums (especially the kick drum) share rhythmic patterns. However, common practice doesn't matter if you and your band feel like doing it differently.
  5. Lovebown


    Jan 6, 2001
    Well. In my experience most rhytmically appealing music will have bass and drums sharing certain rhytmic patterns and "trading" the others. This is generally reffered to as syncopation and/or playing on an upbeat opposed to playing on the downbeat.
    For reference check out funk music ... old funk kinda stuff like James Brown, Curtis Mayfield, The Meters..lotsa Motown too...

    Sorry if I confused you,
  6. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999

    ...a lotta players use that 'technique' as a timing device/mechanism. Many Funk guitarists, either strumming or 'chicken-picking' some funky rhythmic figure, will adhere to a strict up/down motion(usually in 1/16th notes)& select which notes will actually sound vs. those which are 'muted'.
    A bassist can do the same with his two plucking fingers...keep both in-motion while MUTING with the fretting hand(see Jaco or Gary Willis or Paul Jackson or Rocco Prestia or etc).

    Now as far as the bass & guitar playing the "same rhythm"? Maybe SOME stuff...(Power Speed Punk-Metal?)
    FME, the 'best' rhythm guitarists play with a lotta SPACE; they may only be playing specific beats(ie, NOT EVERY BEAT!).
    Some have already mentioned 'old-skool Funk'...check out a tune called "Hollywood Swingin'" by Kool & The Gang(I think a Hip-Hop band has even 'covered' this tune). Anyway, it's pretty simple, though the bass & guitar DO NOT play together; when the bass plays, the guitar is silent(when the guitar plays, the bass is silent). Another simple tune which defines NOT playing the 'same rhythm'..."Roxanne" by The Police. Check 'em out(if interested).

    Perhaps you're playin' with someone who likes filling up all the space within a bar...believe me, most(if not all)of have been there! ;)

    As far as synching up with the drummer...
    Again, there's many possibilities; you CAN play with, say, the kick drum...you MAY also play 'OFF' the kick drum. Some bassists like playin'/stressing the backbeats(not 'locked in' with the kick drum, per se).

    GENERALLY, I've found that a good bond between the bassist & drummer enables the guitarist to do whatever...it starts from the bottom! ;)
  7. <b>That's why the g*itarist in your band is a g*itarist and not a bassist.</b>


  8. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
  9. The guitar can play rythm and the bass can fill out ala Beatles.

    The guitar and bass can 'lock' on the same riff or same rythm ala Cream or Leppelin.

    The guitar and drums can 'lock' while the bass holds down the beat, ala Jimi Hendrix Experience.

    As long as the groove is there, you'll be doing fine. Try everything you can think of. Displacement, working against each other, coming together as tightly as possible, do whatever.
  10. melvin


    Apr 28, 2001
    I think what everyone has said is a big thumbs up. Your rythem can be with whoever, you can be lead with the other two following you, the other two together you following. It doesnt really matter if it doesnt sound like incoherant beating of instruments (aka sounds good)
  11. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Something for those with drum machines to ponder-

    On yer bass, play one of your 'patented' 1/8th note grooves with/against
    (The bass is playing 'the time')

    1)Program a drum beat that has a double-timed kick/snare pattern(will be counted in 1/16th notes) + a half-timed pattern on the ride(1/4 notes...will be on the BEATS 1-2-3-4).

    2)Program a drum beat that has a double-timed pattern between the kick/hi-hat(1/16th note phrasing) + a half-timed snare(you should only hear the snare's 'pop' on YOUR BEAT 3!).

    Experiment with 'moving' or shifting or displacing WHERE you start your 'patented' bass figure.
    If you're starting on "Beat 1", try moving it to the "& of Beat 1"...or try starting on "Beat 2".
    The idea is to get comfortable playing 'in the cracks'...always playing within the same groove structure as, say, the drummer, I dunno...can be more interesting than a total lock. ;)

    Now if you(& I) could only find a like-minded guitarist...
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Jim is right - this is the worst possible situation however, in my experience - from a bass player's point of view! :(
  13. red-hot-bassist


    Sep 18, 2001
    the worst possible experince a bassist can have...

    being 'told' to play the root note and follow under the guitar, thats why bassists sometimes end up with the reputation as failed guitarists
  14. i dont really see anything that wrong with root notes, as long as it isnt full out roots(hoppus style), i do it with a groove under. throw all the notes up an octave, add variations to the end, play flats and sharps, etc. in my case, following the drummer is more or less impossible, considering my band hasnt got one. the 2 guitarists cant make good riffs for the songs i've made on my 6 string, for all they know is TAB, and basic chords more or less, so if play a note on my B and say its a C#, they cant just throw a power chord in the same fret, because they dont have a B. MU HA HA HA!!
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well - they're either roots or they're not!!

    If you're playing sharps and flats away from the root then you're not playing roots! :confused: