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Syncing With Drummer

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by stefeb, Jul 7, 2002.

  1. stefeb


    Jun 9, 2002
    Bethlehem, PA
    I'm going to rephrase the question since I got no replies first time around. Most likely my fault for not stating the question clearly:

    How tightly does a bassist sync with the drummer? Do
    you get your cues from the bass drum, that is, play a
    note when the drummer hits the bass drum, or do you
    use the bass drum patterns as just a guide?

  2. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    I think there are two main ways to approach this. One is to play with the kick drum. This is a good basic rock way to lock the groove in. Another is to play off the kick - that is play around where the kick is falling. This is a great way to spice up a groove.

    Of course there are as many ways to approach this as there are bass players. Use your ears, and your musicality, to decide which is right for the song.
  3. stefeb


    Jun 9, 2002
    Bethlehem, PA

    Thanks for your answer. Cleared things up. I suspected as much, but wasn't sure.

    Guess the rest of the board is sleeping in.
  4. superphat


    Sep 30, 2001
    for me, when i play with one drummer for awhile, locking up bass with kick drum is the first step.
    and then when we start to gel, things progress from there. it's a beautiful thing when the bass and kick lock up together intuitively. that way you can focus on "spicing it up" like pacman said.
  5. stefeb


    Jun 9, 2002
    Bethlehem, PA
    thanks. I'm going to sit in with the band at church when they have their weeky rehearsal. The regular bass player will be there, and I'll be unplugged so as not to take away from their practice.

    Right now, my playing is limited to the root note and a fifth here and there, but I think it's great that they are going to let me sit in.

    At least I can get a feel of what it's like playing in a band.

    Someday, maybe they'll let me plug my bass in ;) .
  6. Hey man! Thats a great idea! Good luck, that should really, really help in your playing!

    I used to play the drums, so for some reason I listen more to the snare, kinda as a hint of where not to play. I guess its just the opposite. Kinda think of playing notes leading into and out of the snare hit.

    Another thing I do is get some of your favorite songs on CD. Find the chord changes for those songs(on a guitar or piano site) and play along. Play roots and fifths at first ... make up you own stuff ... try and play what they are playing. What I DON'Tdo is get the bass music! That forces you to make stuff up, and fit stuff in. Beauty is that the bass in the recording is there to help you out so you don't sound that bad!hehehe... That stuff really helps me out!

    Talk to you later -
  7. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Usually you lock in with the hi-hat to get the pulse and then you check where the kick drum is and either go with it or complement it in order to get some rhythmic orientation that fits in with the drums.

    This is what I do in most situations.

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