teach me to groove.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by fenderx55, Jan 3, 2006.

  1. fenderx55


    Jan 15, 2005
    So i've been reading the Milkowski Jaco biography, and I have heavy weather and some TOP and lots of pfunk, but I need things that make me groove. I need some R&B and motown but I have no idea where to start.

    Please, help out whitey.

    Chris :rolleyes:
  2. Gomez

    Gomez Live from the Shire

    Apr 15, 2005
    Sorry buddy, but you're born with it. Either you have it, or you don't.

    I'm a rythm-person, always have been. I even think I'm a better drummer than a bassplayer.
  3. BassChuck


    Nov 15, 2005
    Sadly, Gomez is right.

    BUT.... Ed Friedander's book on Bass Groove will help you get the most of what talent you have... and that might just be enough.
  4. James Brown baby!!! Get it and learn it
  5. zac2944

    zac2944 Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    This is not true. You can learn how to groove, but it takes a long time.

    Grooving requires a great sense of time. A sense of time does not have to be learned from formal rhythm training. If you grew up listening to grooving music, danced to that music, clapped your hands to that music, loved and really got into that music, you might think you were "born with a sense of rhythm". Listening and feeling the groove is rhythm training. That's why some people can start on drums or bass and sound funky with almost no training. They know how a groove feels. It is not in them because they were "born with it", they subconsciously internalized it over time since they were young.

    Many people have told me that I'm a great groove bass player and I believe that I am, but I wasn't born with it. When I started playing bass 16 years ago I could not groove. I learned how to groove by imitating great groove players. Only know do I have an in depth understanding of how a groove works. I believe that an explanation of how a groove works, or a book with groove bass lines will be of little help for you. Start by listening to groovin' music. James Brown is a great place to start. Simple, funky, tight, repetitive bass lines. That's where you want to start. Play along with it, get into it, feel it.

    Here are some others to check out: Old R&B like Archie Bell and the Drells tune "Tighten Up", Lou Donaldson, Grant Green, The Meters, Stanley Turrentine, new material by Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Sugarman 3, Greyboy Allstars.

    Also, learn what it means to play on top of, ahead of, or behind the beat. I believe that this is the magic behind a tight funky groove. This is what people who are "born with it" can do naturally. It is what gives a funky groove its feel. It is what makes those simple bass lines not so simple to pull off. It is not an easy concept to explain and I don't have the time to try now, but once you and your drummer understand this you will be in control of the funk.

    Funk on brother, and don't let those who were "born with it" get you down.
  6. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    First off. It's not true that you're born with or without groove. Some people may have an easier time with it than others, but, it is something anyone can adopt.

    If you want to learn how to groove, a good start would be to listen to groovy music.

    Also, thing about groove is... a groove is a space. Think about that.
  7. Gomez

    Gomez Live from the Shire

    Apr 15, 2005
    I think you're wrong, wrong robot. I think it's about a feel.

    Some have it, I don't. No matter how much I wish I had it. But I'm an amateur, and a bad one.

    When I listen to dudes doing stuff blowing my mind I think; 'I could have done that'. That's it. I could have done it.
  8. BillytheBassist


    Aug 18, 2005
    I agree with Zac, a person can definately be taught to groove...it's just a matter of finding the pocket. Just jam some James Brown for awhile...listen to The bran new heavies...listen to anything with Stanley Clarke....Larry Graham...James Jamerson. Pay as close attention as possible to the bass drum in relation to the bass riff's... I hope this helps. Don't let anyone tell you, that you can't groove..... Peace
  9. BassChuck


    Nov 15, 2005
    I've taught music for over 30 years and I can tell you that some people just do this stuff naturally. Other have to work their ass off, and frankly they are never as good.

    Some kids can't find beat 2...... others can't find Tuesday.

    No matter where you are you can get better... that's true. But...... if you don't feel it naturally, it will always be a struggle.

    If you were talking to a 5'3" 18 year old male who wanted to be a serious basketball player....... well, you get the point.
  10. cheezewiz


    Mar 27, 2002
    Start with Motown.
  11. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Well, you're not right. :)

    Believe me, you can learn to groove. Some people may be more naturally inclined to 'get it' easier than others, but to say you cannot, or that it is an elusively mystical thing, is well... not true.

    Here is just one example. A year ago I could NOT feel 6/8 against 4/4. Today, I can feel it so well that I can impose it on anything without even thinking.
  12. DaftCat


    Jul 26, 2004
    Medicine Hat

    I am considered one of those bassists that can groove to anything. Compliments help I guess. I doubt I was born with it though.

    Everytime I listen to just about any type of music I analyze it and feel out many aspects of the music. It doesn't matter if I am considering the time, the key or the groove. The more I do that the more comfortable I believe I am with understanding it. Once in awhile, I will ask a drummer what time signature a particular tune is in. I am never afraid to ask questions and I don't ever feel inferior if I don't understand something about it.

    Another poster said it isn't easy to explain, and I agree. If someone benefits from what I typed in the last paragraph then it was worth typing out.

  13. JansenW


    Nov 14, 2005
    Cambridge, MA
    I believe that everyone learns to groove, some more naturally than others. It takes work and time (no pun intended). I wonder if those who groove more naturally were exposed to groove early in life.

    On the other hand, I know many who are rhythmically challenged, without any hope of grooving. For the life of them, they can't clap a full measure much less grasp the concept of clapping on beats 2 and 4. Their attempts are fun to watch.
  14. BillytheBassist


    Aug 18, 2005
    I have certainly come across certain individuals who are simply uncapable of grooving....or at least as far as I could see they were . At the same time i've witnessed non grooving individuals become very groovy....weird but true :meh:
  15. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Just for the record, here is a short and cool example of grooving.

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    I think it is something with in that is able to lock into the pocket. :bassist:
  17. fenderx55


    Jan 15, 2005
    ooooook, yeah, that's not what I meant lol. I meant, "can anyone recommend some good R&B to listen to?" I can lock with the drummer, I feel the groove, I have great time; I'm just looking for new music. Perhaps I should have been more specific, i just wasn't paying attention to what I was typing. I do that every now and then. :bag: