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Who's behind the beat?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by BurghMuso, Mar 4, 2021.

  1. BurghMuso


    Jul 23, 2020
    Hey guys,

    I'm doing some recording at home and arranged all the parts for a tune. It's a Jazzy Blues number along the lines of Robben Ford.

    I'm trying to improve the feel of the tune and my understanding around who/what plays on the beat and who/what is behind. I understand that it can vary but I'm just wondering about what my be a good formula as a starting point?

    I've started with the bass on the beat, the drums and rhythm guitar slightly behind.
    What are peoples thoughts? I'm a newb to this so please be gentle :)

  2. BurghMuso


    Jul 23, 2020
    Here's the work in progress
  3. Drucifer

    Drucifer Not currently practicing Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2009
    Houston Heights, Texas
    Endorsements: your name could be here, Mr. Sadowsky!
    The bass is pushing the song, sounds good to me!
    sonojono and BurghMuso like this.
  4. BurghMuso


    Jul 23, 2020
    Thanks for the feedback buddy :)
    Drucifer likes this.
  5. Yeah sounds fine to me. I wouldn't worry about formulas. Just play your music.
  6. BurghMuso


    Jul 23, 2020
    thx man!
    Spin Doctor likes this.
  7. If you're thinking about who sits where in the beat, I think you got it spot on!
    Killing Floor and BurghMuso like this.
  8. BurghMuso


    Jul 23, 2020
    @Spin Doctor Yup. Just trying to get a feel for which instrument sits on the beat for this style. If it's the bass, is it ok for the other instruments to play behind?
  9. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Agree with the above. There's no restriction. If you're worried try it multiple ways. If it's all you I hear you can push your bandleader around all day, right?
    I've spent a couple hours chopping on a clean channel Telecaster today. I think you're going in a good direction but you're the boss.
    BurghMuso likes this.
  10. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    I used to play with a drummer that would go into excruciating detail when explaining whether he was playing ahead or behind the beat. I finally just said, "Play it the way it feels right, I don't need an explanation." That's always been my take. I play it where it feels right.
    MVE, BurghMuso, sonojono and 3 others like this.
  11. Bass is doing all the heavy lifting. Sometimes I thought the drums lagged just a little.
    LBS-bass, sonojono and Wasnex like this.
  12. It sounds like you're going for a chicago blues shuffle, but IMO that snare pattern doesn't work because you're playing the high hat part on the snare - instead of the high hat - and it's making the tune 'gallop' instead of shuffle, and consequently it feels too stiff. Try something like this Fleetwood Mac - Don't Stop (Official Music Video) - YouTube

    P.S. Feel free to disregard everything I've said.
  13. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I go by the feel of the song. If it happens I play behind or ahead of the beat...it was meant to be.
  14. ^This right here. You can see this stuff in a DAW, but it’s music. If it feels the way you want it, it’s right.
  15. Yeah and I hear what you mean but who says it's supposed to sound like Fleetwood Mac? You still got to put the other instruments in there and make it whatever he wants
    BurghMuso likes this.
  16. Koshchei


    Mar 17, 2019
    Peterborough, ON
    Drums on the beat, bass a tiny bit behind.
  17. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    An idea to consider is the drummer's pattern is not necessarily perfectly square, and the triplets are not necessarily perfect triplets. (by square I mean beats 1,2,3,4 fall exactly equal distant from each other in time). Different feels have all sorts of ways of distorting time.

    The triplet feel seems to be wound too tight to my ears, but it could be because the pocket between the drums and bass is too big. Try this: Relax the overall pocket between the bass and drums a bit, but also accent and lay the drummer's snare hits on 2 and 4 back a bit. Then give it another listen.

    IMHO the drum fills sound great, but the overall feel is a bit disjunct and nervous. In some places, especially during the first time through the form, it feels like its about to fall apart. Leave the triplets alone for know and make the other changes before assessing the triplets.

    Try looping one bar and working on the drum part to get the feel just right.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2021
    LBS-bass, BurghMuso, Paul New and 3 others like this.
  18. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    I don't think he's saying it should sound like a Fleetwood Mac song, he's trying to help fix something that IMHO is not working well.
  19. The Fleetwood Mac reference isn’t a goal, it’s an example of a shuffle feel. The suggestion could’ve been any of a rainbow of tunes, e.g. Boz Scaggs’ Lido Shuffle, Carole King’s Smackwater Jack, Booker T & the MGs Green Onions, George Thorogood’s Move It On Over, ZZ Top’s La Grange, SRV Pride and Joy, Joe Walsh Rocky Mountain Way, et al.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2021
  20. Esteban Garcia

    Esteban Garcia bassist, arranger, aelurophile Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2018
    Portland, OR
    100% this... when players try to get pedantic about analyzing a groove it inevitably doesn't feel right. E.g. you could spend a lifetime analyzing how New Orleans second line players flex the groove, but if you can't feel it you'll never get it right. Sometimes you gotta just tell yer brain to shut up and play.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Apr 14, 2021

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