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What does "in the pocket" mean?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by PaulMichael, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. PaulMichael


    Aug 30, 2012
    Waukesha, WI
    I've read several posts here on TB that reference playing "in the pocket". I have no idea what that means, can somebody please explain?
  2. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Tampa, FL.
    You can't have no groove if you ain't got that pocket, baby!
  3. thomashawk


    Jun 29, 2010
    New York, NY
    (grabs popcorn, and subscribes)
  4. Epitaph04

    Epitaph04 Supporting Member

    Jul 5, 2010
    Pocket man...you know...like pants pocket? All good bass players have em.
  5. In the pocket refers to something being situated in that hole in your pants. No, not the one in your crotch area, but the one that doesn't open up. Try looking up "pockets" on Wikipedia.
  6. FunkyMcNasty


    Dec 4, 2010
    A good bass player keeps some change in his pocket...you know...to buy the singer a drink.
  7. funkingroovin

    funkingroovin Conquering A-D-D,and all the other notes as well!

    Apr 19, 2009
    Playing "In the pocket" means playing "in the groove"...not too much,not too little..just what needs to be done to maintain the flow.
  8. funkingroovin

    funkingroovin Conquering A-D-D,and all the other notes as well!

    Apr 19, 2009
    ...and tip the drummer for the pizza :p
  9. idoker

    idoker Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    Charlotte, NC
    MTD Basses
  10. Timmy-Watts

    Timmy-Watts Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2010
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Even time, playing in sync with the drummer (or so solidly that if the drummer stopped you'd still feel the beat), getting just the right feel for the song.
  11. FunkyMcNasty


    Dec 4, 2010
    Oh yeah...that too.
  12. Timmy-Watts

    Timmy-Watts Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2010
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Oh yeah...and you need a pocket to keep spare picks in.
  13. sammyp


    Aug 20, 2010
    NB, Canada
    "in the pocket" refers to a pro bass player who plays in good time, not rushing on top of the beat, with just the right amount of notes to make the tune feel good! a player who is looking out for the greater good of the song rather than showing off his chops!

    lot's of unfunny jokes being made at the expense of an honest question regarding music slang! lame!
  14. slipitin

    slipitin Guest

    Jul 26, 2002
    That thing where you sound like a direct extension of the kit, completely on with the kick. Easier to achieve on record from playing with the kit physically there while drum tracking and recording a direct out I find. For some reason when I overdub to drums through headphones I'm usually a little hurried, need to improve that.
  15. Hroda


    Sep 9, 2012
    Brooklyn, NY
    Haha I think all these answers are valid
  16. sammyp


    Aug 20, 2010
    NB, Canada
    haha! not real valid if you are new to music or bass or both!

    i guess i just remember myself asking questions like this while reading guitar mags some 25 years ago......
  17. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Pocket: has good time, plays with some feeling, knows when to push the beat and when to back off it. A buzzword that just means you're playing well and everyone's connected. You'll know it when you play it.
  18. Groove Master

    Groove Master

    Apr 22, 2011
    Author of Groove 101, Slap 101 and Technique 101
    This is what I wrote in my book regarding the "pocket":

    It is an agreement among the band where the 1 is.

    This is the best explanation i heard about the subject and it is coming from one of the greatest drummer, Steve Gadd.

    Think about it :)
  19. Shakin-Slim


    Jul 23, 2009
    Tokyo, Japan
    +1. People tend to forget that the pocket can be pushed and pulled. The pocket isn't being a metronome.
  20. ChuckTrucks


    Jul 28, 2012
    Staying within the timing and changing up the rhythm and then going back is one thing you can do and people will say "wow he stays in the pocket well." lol