The most important lesson is missing from the internet

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by ics1974, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. ics1974


    Apr 13, 2012
    Why is it there is little to no information or lessons on the relationship between the bass player and the drummer. I mean locking in with the drummer, creating grooves with the drummer, what to do and what not to do etc.
    I have been to most of the lesson sites and they may have a quick blurb about locking in and listen to the bass drum but that's about it and very few examples. I mean you can master all the scales, arpeggios you want but if you and the drummer are not tight then it's all crap.
    I still find it hard to lock in with drums because I run out of ideas pretty quick. I would love someone to provide in-depth lessons on this topic. I ordered Ed Friedlands bass groove book so I hope that helps but I am requesting all you internet bass teaches out there to spend allot more time on this very important topic.
  2. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

    Like you said. Locking in with the drummer does seem to be omitted with nothing more than a; "You need to lock in with the drummer" statement and nothing else mentioned as to how this is done.

    Most of my music will use a 4/4 time signature, and that is pretty easy to feel, thus lock in with.

    I also think if you use scale notes instead of chord tones, scale notes normally do not - just fall into - a 4/4 time signature. But chord tones. i.e. the Root, three, five and seven R-3-5-7 do fall naturally into this rhythm.

    Dance music follows a predictable beat and is easy to fall into. Depends on the music you are used to playing.

    Why more is not written about it, good question.
  3. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    It not really a lesson you can teach because all the info is there of what is expected of you.... it's a relationship you develop using shared experience. A great drummer and a great bass player do not make a great rhythm section.
    A rhythm section is the sum of both parts, so without the two specific parts, you and the drummer, then experience will teach you both what you need to do to work and the drummer need to work out things like when you play against each other, who is behind who and who is leading how, when to give up certain beats to each other and when to play them together...etc.

    Because it is a relationship you may as well look for videos on what to look for in someone you will love......and you will have no better luck on finding those ones.

    I always like to show this one as an example of what a rhythm section should be able to the song together with no others involved and still hit the marks and still hold the groove and beat up....class stuff.
  4. All the lessons you need on this topic are available on CD, DVD, youtube, etc.

    Listen to rhythm sections you think sound tight and copy what they do, it's that simple.

    You can't learn an aural art from a book, in my opinion.
  5. ics1974


    Apr 13, 2012
    I hear what you guys are saying but there must be tips or ideas people can share with examples. Also if you are jaming to jam tracks or drum machines then it's only a one sided relationship so there must be a way to provide lessons on this topic.
  6. Watching the Drummer like a hawk and visually 'communicating' with them while playing helps
  7. Can you give us some examples of your favorite drummer/bassist rhythm sections? That would help us target our advice to be relevant to your goals. :)
  8. ics1974


    Apr 13, 2012
    Sure, I enjoy Rock, blues and some metal.
    I have been working of some Red Hot chili peppers songs like soul to squeeze and snow.
    I can mimic what Flea is doing but how he comes up with these grooves is beyond me.
  9. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    Ed Friedland's book " Bass Grooves" did it for me.

    It's a great book that covers everything.
    The main thing I am learning from it comes from having to program a drum machine.
    Once you understand what the drummer is doing and going to do it is much easier to lock in.
  10. I'd suggest homework with an app like Garage band, and some drum loops.

    Put on a loop that is to your liking, and play along with it, then listen back, to see how well you are lining up with the drums on the loop, paying attention to beats 2 and 4. Try different bass parts with the loop, maybe play just a measure of a RHCP bass part at a time, until you can understand it.
  11. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Of course there are, but that is dealing with the mechanics of playing, watching and listening to a good rhythm section will do that...what are great examples of this in action....well here are five I would have you listen to

    Chris Glen/Ted McKenna, from the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, MSG, and various.

    Mo Foster/ Simon Phillips, so many recordings together, but check out RMS,

    James Jamerson and Bob Babbitt playing with Benny Benjamin, Uriel Jones, and Richard "Pistol" Allen...basically the Funk Brothers rhythm section, so any and all Motown.

    Keith Ferguson/Mike Buck, from The Fabulous Thunderbirds, so it is the first four albums.

    Cliff Williams/Phil Rudd, from AC/DC basically any output with these two in the engine room.

    These are just five off the top of my head, there are obviously many more, so anyone wanting to post a few will give you more food for thought. But you find the bassists and Drummers that work well usually stay together and pull each other into projects they do, Tommy Shannon, and Chris Layton (SRVs Double Trouble) usually appear together for example on a lot of recordings and bands.
  12. ^ Flea was a big influence on me, too! Best advice I can give is learn every song on every album by ear and play along with them incessantly, copying every nuance of his playing (not just learning the right notes). You might also explore some of his non-RHCP work (such as "You Oughta Know") as well as learning songs by the artists who were Flea's influences growing up. Of course you will also need a drummer who can play like Chad Smith, or who is willing to learn alongside you. If you are looking for a shortcut to play like Flea without learning RHCP songs, no such shortcut exists. Remember that the internet didn't exist when Flea learned to play like Flea. :)
  13. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Are you learning how to play the songs or are you analyzing them? Do you know music or merely how to read a tab? Most of Fleas lines aren't too deep in the musical sense, they are usually just funky takes on basic patterns. Lots of maj6-min7 lead ups (Dorian).

    Learning to play a song is not understanding a song.

    In regards to playing with a drummer, since you like funk start easy. Get a drum machine (or a real drummer if you have one that will work with you) and just jam out some funk. Remember the one, funk is all about the one. Try and move to the 4th and back to the root when jamming without missing that one.
  14. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
  15. I love this video for learning funk groove:

  16. ics1974


    Apr 13, 2012
    Yes I have been using tab up until recently so yes that is part of my problem but my main issue is creating my own grooves not copying someone elses. If I copy someone elses I am good because I have something in my head to work with but give me a jam track without any bass I have a hard time inventing my own groove. I think this is because I am used to covering others bass lines so I lock in with the original bass line in my head. I want to start creating my own bass lines, grooves and locking in with the drummer.
  17. ics1974


    Apr 13, 2012
    great videos guys. Thanks for finding these.
  18. Instead of inventing a completely new groove, why not take a Flea groove that you like and try putting the same rhythm over a different chord progression, something like that?

    Anyway, you are getting into the realm of "composition" (writing interesting/pleasing music of your own) which is its own distinct skill from locking in with the drummer. Maybe your local conservatory or community college has a Composition 101 class that you can audit?
  19. bassinplace


    Dec 1, 2008
  20. Staccato

    Staccato Low End Advocate

    Aug 14, 2009
    hdracer, thanks for suggesting this book:
    "Ed Friedland's book " Bass Grooves" did it for me."

    Pacman, and Mushroo, those links are helpful!