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So the drummer is now showing me over Band Zoom meetings how the bass line should go....

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by StudioGC, Mar 5, 2021.

  1. StudioGC

    StudioGC Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2015
    I've played in a 60's cover band for over 4 years now in London. We've moved out of pubs and now are doing theater shows and fairly well paid corporate/wedding gigs.

    During lockdown, we've kept our chops by recording our bits and mixing them and then posting on our web page carnabyarmy.com.

    But, lately the drummer has taken a liking to bass me thinks, because he's always being a critic with my bass playing and showing me (in front of the band) how the bass line should go on certain songs.......which is actually fine with me since I know I've just gone through the motions on some our songs. It's forced me to re-examine some of the songs and realize I've made some flubs on them.

    But, it's reached epidemic proportions. I've now done 14 takes of Sympathy for the Devil....a song I've played for 30 plus years because he feels I'm missing some of the feel for it.

    What to do about the drummer's new obsession with bass...
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2021
    dasherf17, Phaidrus and Huw Phillips like this.
  2. StudioGC

    StudioGC Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2015

    Attached Files:

  3. ClusterFlux

    ClusterFlux Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2018
    I think you should just tell him that you appreciate his input, but maybe take it down a notch.

    It might also help to suggest that he might not like it if you were micromanaging his drum parts.

    Oh, wait, I forgot. This is TB. Fire the drummer. :D
  4. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    I would have a sit-down with your drummer, and tell him to cut it out, certainly not in front of the other band members.

    Oh, and stop just going ng through the motions. Don't give him a reason to comment.
    TH63, leftybass54, FRoss6788 and 11 others like this.
  5. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Fight fire with fire. Want to get under a drummer’s skin? Ask him what that rattle is coming from his snare....
  6. theduke1

    theduke1 Supporting Member

    Dec 22, 2010
    Manitowoc WI
    Run Forest RUN!
    68Tele-Bass, StudioGC and Spidey2112 like this.
  7. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    Don’t Zoom meetings suck enough already without adding that???
  8. Gustopher

    Gustopher Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2018
    I feel when band mates do that it is counterproductive most of the time. Especially when it comes from someone who is much less experienced with the instrument in question. It can be good, if that’s the vibe of your band though. Egos are wonderfully dangerous things especially with creative types.
  9. Matty Koff

    Matty Koff

    Aug 21, 2014
    He might be hearing something specific in his head that he's having trouble communicating verbally.

    Sometimes things need to be said. Don't get me wrong, your track doesn't sound bad. But have you ever played with people who just can't sync up to certain rhythms?

    For three months in the creation of a song I kept requesting to hear my last band's rhythm guitarist actually play the same rhythm I was for a section of a song and he just couldn't get it. One day he sends me 14 tracks and not a daggumed one of them followed the rhythmic structure I'd developed. Over and over again I'm like, "Nope."
    "Nope" "Nope". Finally he sends me one where he acknowledges every note, rest, and gets it right. And just like in my head that section of the song sounded a million times better because of it.

    The experience doesn't remotely compare to your track of a cover song that is actually pretty decent. But like I said he might be hoping for something to click that hasn't yet that could bring the two of you one step closer together as drummer and bassist.

    The best band I was ever in required like zero communication. Every now and then the drummer might hum me a basic line but most of the time he could just kick a beat and he and I could make music.. with or without the band. His drumming style and my playing style just gelled.

    In other situations it's more like "If I could just get you to grasp this one concept.. we'd be on each other's brainwaves" but lol.. like me.. others too are stubborn.

    Anyway.. don't let him drive you crazy but it never hurts to examine someone's criticism and see if there might be room for improvement.
  10. StudioGC

    StudioGC Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2015
    One thing he has going is he's an excellent drummer.
    Although he always plays to a click and I'm more of do it by feel bassist....never counting beats.....just feeling the groove.
    We've played together for three years, so we do have that!
  11. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    If it feels good who gives a damn?

    next question... is he right?
    dasherf17, cjp54, Altitude and 4 others like this.
  12. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    First, he's a drummer so there are plenty things you can scrutinize. First, he starts his songs 1-2-1-2-3-4. Why? Can't he just count to 4? He plays on and on well after the song is over. He speeds up, slows down...
    Why don't you record a track and compare it to the original and have a Zoom call about all the things your drummer is muffing?

    Or you could do the nicer thing and just ask him to dial it back.
    Dasgre0g, pipaberg, StudioGC and 2 others like this.
  13. jpmcbride

    jpmcbride Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ
    Sounds fine to me.
  14. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    If he needs a click, his internal sense of timing and expression is lacking IMO.
  15. legalbass


    Jul 2, 2020
    Never trust a drummer who needs a click.

    Certainly not with respect to his "criticisms" of your bass playing.

    Find a polite way to tell him to stay in his lane. If he gets confrontational, bring the issue to the band's attention and seek a consensus on whether your bass playing meets the band's standards or not.

    Whether your bass playing is sufficient for the group isn't up to the click-needing-a** drummer, "excellent" though you may think he is.

    ...I would give so much s*** to any drummer who needs a click track. Lord have mercy.
  16. Your drummer hits his cymbals far too lightly and with the tip when he probably ought to have some of the side stick in there. Also his cymbals sound like their mounts are done up way too tight.

    Oh, and you were 8 cents flat on the 7th 16th note of the 53rd measure.

    Also the piano player doesn't have any of keith's attitude, and needs to start using the sustain pedal to make it ring.

    Love the singer, though! ;-) hahahaha

    (Note that I'm serious about everyone except your playing - your note was perfectly in tune on the 7th 16th beat of the 53rd measure!)
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2021
    MattZilla, marshallw, pfern and 5 others like this.
  17. Despite what others here say, I believe that not only is there nothing wrong with playing to a click, it's a skill on it's own to do so.

    Specially these days when as much as possible is recorded as midi note information rather than audio, and even for audio it's very helpful in a DAW to have everyone right on time so you can quantize some shot that the keyboardist missed, or that the guitarist plays in a triplet and-e feel because he doesn't know the difference and how to play a shot straight.

    Not that I'm bitterly speaking about personal experiences or anything LoL
  18. callofcthulhu


    Oct 16, 2012
    I mean you're not note for note.

    But good enough for government I'm sure.
    legalbass likes this.
  19. Fire him.
    dasherf17, J_Bass, ficelles and 3 others like this.
  20. Buy the sheet music and show him where he is wrong
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Apr 14, 2021

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