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what is "the pocket"?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by lo-end, Aug 6, 2001.


  1. lo-end

    lo-end

    Jun 15, 2001
    PA
    I always hear people talking about a pocket... I have no idea what this is or what it refers to. I just know it has something to do with bass. I dont even know if this thread is in the right forum since I know nothing about what a pocket is...
     
  2. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    BAG END,

    The "pocket" is a term used as a musical shorthand to describe a groove. In jazz, it's usually a medium swing tempo if it is used as a tempo indication, but mostly it has to do with a good strong feel from the rhythm section which makes it easy for the soloist(s) to improvise. Kind of like a red carpet to walk on, if you know what I mean.

    I'm no expert on punk, but from what my students occasionally bring in, I'd guess that your average garden variety punk "pocket tempo" would be about Quarter Note = 275. (But only for ballads of course) ;)
     
  3. jazzbo

    jazzbo

    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    It's where I keep "the keys."
     
  4. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    yeah, i've got 4 standard sized ones on "the pants".
     
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    "You've got to pick a pocket or two!"
     
  6. sunnking

    sunnking

    Jul 13, 2001
    the pocket is part of the groove. in a measure of music, the bass rhythm can be played ahead of the beat or behind the beat or right on the beat.

    so say you and a drummer play a part. its a repeating part. by repeating it will establish a rhytmic pattern of time or groove.

    now if the grummer plays the same tempo but you speed up slighty you are "pushing" the groove.

    if the drummer stays constant and you slow down slighty you are "pulling" the groove.

    if you and the drummer both consistantly play the figure at the same tempo you are in the pocket.

    these three ways can of course be combined.

    this is not all there is to it but should be a good start.