Would you change your basslines to accomodate a new band member?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Blackbird, Jun 11, 2003.

  1. Keep the basslines. The new bandmember needs to learn the old arrangements.

    11 vote(s)
  2. Change to arrangement to meet the new member halfway.

    9 vote(s)
  3. Shut up and pass the carrots.

    6 vote(s)
  1. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    My friend Earl, who plays in a pretty happenning band but hates computers asked me a pretty interesting question that I'd like to relay to y'all.

    Earl's band has a new(ish) drummer. Before the new drummer's arrival, an entire CD was recorded and released. Earl still plays the same bass parts he recorded, expecting the new drummer to play the other drummer's parts. After rehearsing a brand new song, the drummer said that's the best they ever locked in together.

    The previous drummer didn't do anything special, but gave Earl a lot of room. The new drummer plays slightly busier and can't quite pull all his ideas off yet. Should Earl:

    1)Play his parts exactly like the arrangement and expect the drummer to catch up (or on), or:

    2)Change his basslines to lock in with what the drummer is doing.

    Keep in mind that Earl spent considerable time writing the basslines and they work well with the vocal and guitar parts.
  2. Carrots? Who brought the carrots?? Mmmmmm...

    This is one of those subjective things where I don't think you could give one answer either way for all songs on the CD. I mean, on one song the drummer might be able to improve it a lot with his style, but maybe for this other song it works best the way it is. You just have to play around and see how it goes. Band dynamics play a big part too, it's probably not going to be just the bassist's and drummer's decision...at least it wouldn't be in our band if they didn't like it and it was already recorded another way. It depends how dramatic the changes are too, there are so many variables.

    Basically though, I'd say if it improves the song, then yeah! Let your ears (the band's collective ear really) decide ultimately...
  3. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Depends on how attached I was to the bassline. This could be an oppertunity to explore new ideas/basslines. I'd say sort of meet halfway, keep some basslines, regroove a few others. It might lead to interesting results. Or it might suck, I dunno.
  4. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    For me personally. It's about the music. I mean, even if I have lines and stuff I like and basslines that fit the song, if they are going to clash with a new player, than I'm going to adapt. Just because I was there first, doesn't mean I can sabotage the music ya know?

    I think Earl, in his situation should just do whatever he can to keep the music together. If you got a drummer that is still finding his ass-groove in a band, then you gotta give him a little room, but at the same time, you have to let him know where the band should be, of course , the music is paramount.

    of course, if this cat is way off, and totally coming from a different place, I don't know what I'd do, I'ven ever really been in that situation.

    haha. I'm usually the cat that people have to adjust to :D
  5. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    We had a similar situation last year. The album was out and here they were trying to make the songs sound different. That's crazy......
  6. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Here's the first part of this that's really relevant. If he can't pull of the technical stuff, he should keep time and lay for the tacets, learning the original parts first.

    And of course, here's the other part. They work with the other parts. Serve the music, not some hack drummer's ego.
  7. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    I didnt vote

    How did a drummer who was not as good as the previous one and does not work well with the existing bass player get the job?

    If Earl was in on the decision then IMHO he is partially culpable and should work with the drummer to get it together. IF Earl was not then IMHO then he should play his written lines and to hell with everyone else.

    Then we move onto another area. Earl wrote those lines, has he been credited for writing them? If the lines are integral to the song then the drummer should change his style to fit on the existing songs.
  8. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    I would do what is best for the song. If the new drum track sound better I would change my bass line. If it sound better with the old track, then I ask drummer to play it like it is on the cd and keep the bassline.

    Everything should be about the song and not drummer/bassist ego.
  9. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    I agree with Yvon and Pac. Do what works better for the song.
  10. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    The original drummer left in the early stages of the recording. With gigs lined up, the band quickly auditioned drummers for a replacement. The previous drummer wasn't necessarily better, he was just more metronomic and less adventurous with his parts. Classic "Less is more" scenario.

    Plus, I am told the guy they chose was the most pleasant of the bunch and he's recently gone back to taking lessons, which is encouraging.
  11. Well, from a drummer's perspective I have 2 comments.

    1) - Serve the song first, if they (and I mean both of them) don't work together to serve the song, it won't matter what they do.

    2) - A different dummer is going to have a different style and feel. The basslines may need to change to fit better (which gets back to point 1).

    If the drummer is trying stuff that he/she can't pull off, well then your friend's band has a problem on their hands. Nothing will screw up a band quicker than a drummer "breaking down". It's a mess. They may want to ask the drummer to pull back a bit.
  12. Teh way I see it, the guy should get up to speed on the songs as they are.....I mean if they're going to play them live to support a release...

    Once the guy is fully in the band, I'm guessing that the songs will evolve naturally, and providing it doesn't detract from the song and/or adds something to the song, it might be worth trying out!

    We recently had to bring a new guitarist and drummer in some of the songs have evolved already, some are pretty much the same. The ones that have eveolved have a good feel to them now - as the guys feel involved (well they are now), but just because they feel comfortable in the band now makes them feel good about the other songs too (although these may evolve over time to to encopmass their inputs)

    Ultimately, do the best for song I guess! (I'm probably just spouting what others have already said in a different and less eloquent way!)
  13. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    Drummer 'can't pull of his own ideas' is a big concern here. I had one like that, and eventually it was evident we made the wrong decision. But that is not always the case.

    If your bass player friend has to change EVERY tune to fit the drummer, it was a wrong choice to have that drummer most likely, since the guy theoretically is changing the feel of most everything. But if it is for like a third or less, yeah, go ahead and adapt and be done with it. Even if you feel like a mother to those lines, you are still there for the purpose of the band.

    But bottom line, without actually understanding and seeing the situation, it's really had to give a truly fair opinion.
  14. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    It seems to me it would be easier for the drummer to change what he's playing than it would be for the bassist to change what he's already written and recorded. Of course, I could be wrong.
  15. BassAxe


    Jul 22, 2002
    Culpeper, VA
    First: What best works for the song.

    Second: If it's already released on a CD, give your audience what they want to hear. That's what they pay for. If you want to give them more, do a reprise of the original, jazz it up a bit, in addition to or during the original style/feel.

    I like what they said in the movie, Drumline,

    "One band, one sound!"

    Round-file the egos and wanking off.
  16. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Without a doubt, I think the drummer is being selfish on this one. Those songs were done, recorded, and released on a CD, then it is his job to cover them as close as possible. You can't pull the existing foundation out from under a house, then slide a different one under it without if crumbling. When it comes time for new material, then he can put his input in.

    I too, joined an existing band with original material, only things I changed were unnescessary wanking that detracted from the song anyway.

    Sounds like it's time for a band meeting, that kind of stuff can be very frustrating!
  17. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    I can't believe you're in my town and never came to one of my gigs, 3CG.
  18. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    I personally feel that if we are talking about good bassist here, he should be able enough to change his basslines a bit to accomodate the new drummer and still serve the song.

    Then again, I'm young, what do I know ;)
  19. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    OTOH, a good drummer should be able to play the songs to the point where it still maintains the original integrity of the parts. I for one, have never been too bashful to point out when someone is ****ing up the game.

    When the new guy starts in with the writing processes, then he can add his own feel to it. But until then, I think he owes it to the band to play it as it was before, at least not forcing other members to adjust to make it work.

    Go into a hired session once, or a hired gun gig and ask them to change their parts to accomdate your liking on it, and see what happens.

    It's all about professionalism people. Maybe I take things too seriously........