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when recording

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by chris griffiths, Sep 4, 2002.

  1. chris griffiths

    chris griffiths

    Aug 20, 2002
    nashville tn
    Endorsing artist: Gallien Krueger
    Ok last night I was in the studio for a vocalist and everybody but me recorded their stuff and then I went up and recorded mine except for the drummer put a lot of fills in and filled up so much space that there was almost not enough of a Plateau for me to play on and since it was country it would have been strange for me to try to keep up with the randomness of his drum part.

    when playing with musicians how do you find your spot? how are you able to dodge the other musicians and not get in their way without sounding timid? like how do you pick your line when approaching music is what I'm asking. Also would I have been out of line seeing as how they had no charts and that was my first time listening to them to ask if I could play along with the group?
  2. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    Hi Chris,

    that's a pretty tough session by the sounds of things... It's usual to have the bass and drums record together, for precisely the reasons you've outlined - finding parts that compliment one another. I've had a few situations where this didn't happen (including one where the drummer refused to have any bass in his headphones and ended up playing the bass drum ahead of the beat through almost every song!!!) and it's never as good... It can be done, and the audience often won't hear what's going on, but from a playing/inspiration point of view, it's way better to get to do those at the same time.

    If I'm doing a recording, I try to get as much info as possible before hand - demo versions of the songs preferably, charts if there are any, and a chance to run through the stuff if it's going to require anything more than 'normal' bass from me... I can, and do, play stuff I've never heard before, but if your job is to do the best job you possibly can, there are no points for bravado and trying to prove what a bad-ass you are by not playing anything before hand...

    Anyway, for you and your part, I would start by just following the kick drum, playing the roots. Get that down, and then see where it goes from there. If the drummer is playing fills and the band are happy with that, then they clearly intend that to be the sound, rather than one with a more moving bass part... so keep it as simple as possible. Work on making it groove, rather than on impacting the harmony...

    The other possible route would be if the drums sounded 'complete' without a bass part, to do something a bit less conventional higher up the neck, but if you're not used to doing that kind of stuff, and it's not what they are asking for, then it's probably unwise. In any case, always get the 'money' track down first - simple, solid, good tone, good time... at least then if you have time to experiment, you've got one to fall back on...



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