1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

The Groove

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by ThePaste, Jan 1, 2001.

  1. Is it *usually* best to listen to the snare, or what? Bass drum? Singer? Cymbals? I mean just to set up your meat and patatoes groove that makes people dance. Or am I asking an impossible question?
  2. Bass drum, You'll never get that thick tight groove without tuning in to your drummer's right foot (IMHO)
  3. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    As Rick Rice said, it's all about the kick drum/drums. I can't imagine anything else unless you're playing with another bassist.
  4. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    In the immortal words of one of the guys of one of the guys who frequent alt.guitar.bass, 'If you guys need me, I'll be hugging the kickdrum.'

    If you want to get booties shaking, you gotta lock in with the drummer's right foot.

    A bassist who does that and only plays root/five is a lot better bassist than somebody who can solo their ass off but can't play a groove to save their life.

    ::steps down off of soapbox::
  5. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    Some drummers need help finding the groove. At those times, it is up to me to set it up. I'll hug the bass drum to a point, but if it ain't happenin' I'll step in front and present my version of where 'one' should be. Usually, I'll make eye contact, get the nod going, lay heavy on the one and three until the drummer gets the idea. Then we can take it a little further. Fortunately, most of the guys that I play with come by it easily, and we can just get right to groovin'...at those times, when everything is feeling good, I'll look into the audience, find a person who is really feeling it, and just shoot the groove right at them...

    For five years, playing in a Blues band, the drummer and I could nail things pretty quickly, and often times we'd find that we were feeding the groove to the same coupla people on the dance floor...magical. I now play with a rotating group of drummers, but when it comes back to Eric and I, there's just that magic. We trust each other enough to take direction when it's needed.

    I could go on and on...Being a GrooveSlut is what it's all about...

  6. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...there's ways to groove by playing OFF the drummer's kick drum, too.
    Always more than one way to skin a cat.
  7. In order to groove, everyone knows you gotta lock things down really tight with the singer!

    Seriously, I don't like the expression "to lock things down". Personnally, I don't really follow the kick but rather the whole ensemble of things of what makes a groovy tune groove. It can be the drum, guitar, even the singer! Or all of them at the same time.

    Reading Jim's comment, I think that the worst grooves are the ones where the bass follows the kick like a pet dog. It's boring, leaves no place for development and often sound, but not always, like it's been done with a drum machine and a sequenced bass. You also have to learn how to play slighty off-beat (i.e. laid back) without losing track of the overall groove. This is very, very difficult to do.

    [Edited by Erick Lam on 01-02-2001 at 06:25 AM]
  8. Well, the easy answer is: lock in with the kick.

    The real answer is: it depends.

    For example, I play a lot of latin influenced music. There's no "kick" drum in most of it (well the way we play it there is, but still...). You are actually a conga, or more accurately playing a conga part on bass, in this kind of music. You will generally relate your part, or your groove, to what is happening with the other conga part and the montuno the piano is playing. When we do this type of music (say, "Ran Kan Kan" by Tito Puente, Sr.), the bass drum actually locks into what I'm doing, not vice-versa. There are also times when the bass drum is playing a simple quarternote pattern (1 2 3 4), and I'm playing something completely different. We do this when playing "Juventud del Presente", another Tito, Sr tune. Trust me, the groove is huge, even if I'm not "locked in" with the bass drum.

    But this is a specialized situation, and in the typical rock/blues style of music, it's best to be at least partially locked into what the bass drum is doing. I guess the point I'm trying to really make is that you should learn to make a groove happen on your own. If you can do that, then it won't matter if there's a bass drum, or if you follow it, or if it follows you, or if you both go in different directions :D. Groove is something that you just do....when you can learn to make a metronome click groove, you're there.

Share This Page