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why do we lock to the kick drum?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by jj.833, Sep 12, 2019.

  1. BurtMacklinFBI

    BurtMacklinFBI Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2018
  2. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    We should lock in with the cow bell

    foolforthecity likes this.
  3. 2F/2F


    May 26, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    I don't think I have heard many bass parts that are strictly locked to the kick drum. They would be pretty bizarre sounding bass parts.
  4. zubrycky


    Aug 22, 2011
    Because bass can be seen as drums with notes.
  5. aekisz


    Jul 4, 2006
    I hear no kick drum when I write my tunes (and I write most of the tunes in my band). The drummer is theoretically finding a way to lock to my bass line, though on occasion I find myself having to adjust my lines to make that easier or more effective. I suppose that's a luxury of creation. I don't dare tell a drummer how to drum (especially this one). At times, that leads to some unanticipated consequences (when I'm left hanging) but that is compensated for by unexpected serendipities (glorious fills).
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Aren't two very popular styles of music enough to make it be something you don't do across the board? And while we're at it, not all rock and roll or dance music emphasizes the one straight up and down every time, either. And no, we shouldn't disregard what Louis and Bird said...when playing trad jazz or bebop. But it's probably not always applicable to fusion, prog/jazz, or smooth jazz. And Duke Ellington once said, "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing," but I can name you countless songs that mean a lot that don't swing even a little.

    So I have to meet your sarcastic attempt to reject what I said with this:

  7. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    Bass players should know the drum part cold, to truly play along with it.

    "locking with the kick" = "know the drum part", level 1

    and, in some case that is what sounds best
  8. FrenchBassQC

    FrenchBassQC Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Gatineau QC CA
    Because locking with the hit-hats can be very taxing for the plucking hand and the result might not be what you and your band mate wants...
  9. Robscott


    Mar 20, 2017
    Tonbridge UK
    Stop thinking about it and play the music. That's when it sounds the best:bassist:
    KarateChris, mrm56 and JimmyM like this.
  10. laklandfan07

    laklandfan07 Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2014
    From a production and composition standpoint they simply suite each other. Kick drums have a relatively fast attack and release whereas a bass guitar's attack is not nearly as prominent, and it has a relatively moderate decay. Given their range is relative close, these two locking in just makes things fatter.
  11. Medicine Man

    Medicine Man

    Apr 10, 2015
    It's an oversimplification of describing rhythm.
  12. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Well, not exactly, depending. Seriously, this happened to me once. I was the original bassist with the party band I play with now. In the late 90's we parted ways, amicably, for family obligations, work relocations, and other projects. In 2012, they contacted me, their long-time bass player had died, and "exercised the reserve clause." I was the only other bass player in the area that knew the core of the repertoire, and could learn the rest of it quickly. I learned, or relearned, or reviewed, the entire 3-hour set in two days. No rehearsal. I got to the gig, glad to see the front guys, introduced myself to the new drummer, asked which side he wanted me to set up on, and prepped for the gig, including a sound check. Like my post above, I watched his right hand for tempo and style, coordinated with his bass drum since he knew what each song needed, and simplified a couple of lines here and there to keep everything going. The gig went well, and I have been back on board ever since.

    He looked surprised when I said I didn't listen to drummers. As his eyes got wide, I explained what I posted here: I watch them, especially the dominant hand, to learn how they set the tempo and style, and then match, and discuss points as they arise.

    After about six months back with the band, he complimented me that I was the best bassist he had ever played with. He has a 40+ career gig playing everything from the east coast to the Midwest, teaches, and we have frequent discussions on the finer points of what kind of rhythms and styles make up a particular genre, as we play a very wide repertoire and do our best to sound authentic to the songs of each genre we play during a gig.
    Bluesbob, foolforthecity and JimmyM like this.
  13. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Or results in the worst train wreck.
    equill likes this.
  14. Tim Craig

    Tim Craig Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    To me it sounds good.
  15. AcridSaint

    AcridSaint ベーシスト Supporting Member

    Jan 30, 2012
    I don't play well.
    Nashrakh, gjohnson441496 and JimmyM like this.
  16. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Bah...don't be a wuss! :D
  17. rollie 55

    rollie 55

    Oct 1, 2018
    lost in space
    It's simple lock in with kick drum and make the ground shake :bassist::bassist::bassist::bassist::bassist::bassist:
  18. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I can do that regardless. Everyone should be able to :D
    rollie 55 likes this.
  19. Ampslut


    May 15, 2017
    Because it sounds and feels right. However, there are plenty of examples of fine players who don't do this. Peter Cetera, when he played bass for Chicago, played very lyrically and created some pretty neat counterpoint (Beginnings). John Paul Jones of Led Zep often locked in with Jimmy Page (Black Dog) instead of John Bonham's fabulous kick.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
    LBS-bass likes this.
  20. moles


    Jan 24, 2007
    Winnipeg, MB
    As another example of bass and kick not playing the same part: Chuck Rainey and Bernard Purdie on Peg.

    My attitude is that the notes that line up with the kick should be bang on - the ones that don't should have good good feel anyway.
    Ampslut and JimmyM like this.

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