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why do we lock to the kick drum?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by jj.833, Sep 12, 2019 at 4:11 AM.

  1. Hi,
    I was wondering for the acoustical or physical reason the bass often plays the same rhythm as the kick drum. Is it because the kick, as well as the bass, sounds lowest? Or to support the impact of the kick, which is often hard to be heard clearly?
    What are your thoughts?
  2. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    Bass is the glue between the drums and the other instruments.
    The important bits about the drumkit is kick, snare and hihats.

    In lots of rock scenarios, the hihat will play eights, either shuffled or straight, while the snare does 2 and 4.
    The biggest variation is found in the bassdrum pattern. So that's the place to go when playing along with the hihat bores you. Playing to the snare won't work very well. It's often better when you don't play anything on the snare hits.
    djaxup, ToneMonkey, Atshen and 5 others like this.
  3. Because it sounds good. :bassist:
    Wizzu, bass4worship, Vinny_G and 23 others like this.
  4. Malcolm35


    Aug 7, 2018
    Locking with one rhythm source is preferred and the old guys told us that should be with the kick. Also it's kick on one hopefully.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019 at 7:27 AM
    MobileHolmes and chupacerveza like this.
  5. GrapeBass


    Jun 10, 2004
    Graphic designer: Yorkville Sound
    'Serve the song,' if it calls for playing with the kick, then so be it... Sayin' dat, playing 'off' the kick/high hat can be interesting.
  6. Aldwinn


    I agree with the last post sometimes it's good just to hit with the kick sometimes it's good to play eighth sixteenth notes I've done everything as far as stick with the kick and anywhere as far as play 16th what's a hi-hat it just depends upon what sounds better for the particular song I would go as far to say eighty to ninety percent of the song if you want to stick with me face the bread-and-butter I feel of music
  7. It's for a rhythmic reason, not an acoustic one.
    In rock music, the kick drum is usually what the drummer's rhythm is based around. In jazz, it's often the ride cymbal.

    White folk need something real simple and obvious to tell us where the beat is, and it doesn't get much more simple and obvious than the kick :)
  8. I like that thinking. White music? In samba, as far as I know, it's similar, the biggest accent is on the biggest drum beat on beat 3.
    In jazz, the ride gives the beats, but the bass don't play with it as strictly. Kick drum in jazz is usually played way less loud than in rock or funk.
    I once seen a band with bass and snare only; the snare accented 2+4, no accents for missing kick.

    That is probably true. Maybe not the biggest for the player, but probably the most hearable for the listener. Never thought of that.

    Thanks, keep them coming!
    djaxup and equill like this.
  9. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member


    i take it you're one of those white folk (?) --- i feel for you, man... good luck in your next incarnation!* :thumbsup:

    * avoid butterflies if possible!
  10. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Here's an acoustic reason: The kick reinforces the punch of the bass (if that's what you are going for.)
    bass4worship, djaxup, Rezdog and 10 others like this.
  11. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    Put the other way 'round - why does the kick lock to the bass? It provides a nice start to the note.
    djaxup, Nevada Pete, Rezdog and 2 others like this.
  12. grinx


    Mar 24, 2003
    Raleighwood, NC
    It embiggens the goodness
  13. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Samba accents 1 and 3
    rufus.K and chupacerveza like this.
  14. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    That's a very cromulent observation!
  15. Kriegs

    Kriegs Peace

    Feb 14, 2018
    MA/ RI area
    A noble kick embiggens the smallest bass note :laugh:
  16. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    Because bass and bass drum go boom boom feel good.
    Tommy V and chupacerveza like this.
  17. Eddie LeBlanc

    Eddie LeBlanc

    Oct 26, 2014
    Beaumont, Texas
    It is called "The Rhythm Section" for a good reason. Most music and bands won't work without it.
  18. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    Sonically it is the closest to the bass. However, I don't find locking on to the kick to be the case. Sometimes it is the power hand, sometimes the snare, and for fills it might be the toms. Each creates a different feeling.
    So one could lock in with the kick to create a specific vibe. It isn't a must or anything
  19. I almost never intentionally play only to the kick pattern. Our drummer doesn't play the same patterns all the time anyway so it wouldn't be much use to try. It falls out that I line up with the kick frequently in the overall groove, but the groove is what matters. I often wind up essentially playing "the riff", either along with the guitar or underneath it while it's doing something else.
  20. Jehos

    Jehos Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    DFW, TX
    I think there's two reasons.

    1. Your bass sounds better with a kick drum under it.

    2. The kick is typically kicking in places where you want to be playing notes. Not always though, and you can have fun by locking onto the kick for some beats and playing separate from it on other beats.

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