The Drummer-Bassist Relation

k3ng

Silver Member
I think we can all agree that there are no 2 musicians more tied in tightly in a band than the drummer and the bassist.

I was just having a chat with a friend just now and I brought up the topic of learning from a bassist. I think that as a drummer, learning from another drummer can bring you so much. But we can also learn so much amazing stuff from a bassist. I just had this notion because quite some years ago, my brother (who's a really cool funk bassist btw) and I were jamming - just the drums and bass. And he was telling me what to do at some parts and I was also telling him what to do at some parts.

I guess drummers can really help you in the more technical side of your playing. But a bassist can help with that really difficult 'creativity' part of playing. Other musicians do that too, which is why the direction to 'listen listen listen' is given quite a lot around these forums, but more so a bassist.

So this really is more so an encouragement to everyone - get in touch with a bassist and expand your learning even more.

Anyone who's had similar experiences from your bassist in your band? Care to share?

*and i just had this thought.. why don't we drummers invade a little on the bass forums and encourage them to come here and make a little noise too? We could very well even end up setting up bands.. might be a crazy idea but it might just yield some kind of results hahaha
 

kingy102

Member
100% true, from the bands I listen to Flea and Chad from RHCP are the best of example of the connectivity between the bass and drums.
 

bojangleman

Platinum Member
when i picked up the bass.....playing drums helped me out alot!

and same the other way around...

to me, if the bassist and drummer in a band are good, and the others are decent'ish'...that'll be a good band..haha

just like RHCP! =P

Alex
 
I almost consider bass players to be percussion players in a sense. A lot time bass notes are hitting their own rhythmic notes that are either directly connecting with the drums with timing or accenting their own punches.

If you don't believe play with a bassist that has no rhythm at all, he/she will struggle to play any bassline well.
 

luxembourgdrummer

Junior Member
During the last 4 weeks I was jamming a lot.
I noticed when I'm playing with a good bassist I'm more creative. My Grooves and Fill-ins are much better as if I'm playing with a bad bassist.

Considering the good bassists I make 2 differences. There is the bassist who plays one bass line without changing tempo. He gives you the possibility to try new fills you've just learned, but never tried with a band. Even if the fill isn't in time, the bassist keeps the time.

The other bassist is a musician who changes the feel of time (double-time, half-time...), changes the style (from a Blues song in a rock song)...
While playingv with such a bassist you're learning to be responsive to the bassist.
P.s. Great idea to check some bass forums
 

rhythmjunkie

Senior Member
I don't like to throw out information that some people wouldn't care about, but, Nathan East (the most successful bass player probably ever to walk planet earth) has a video called the Business of Bass, where he goes into detail, along with Harvey mason , on the drummer/ bass player relationship. I highly recommend it!, the video.
 

Rimshot1

Member
During the last 4 weeks I was jamming a lot.
I noticed when I'm playing with a good bassist I'm more creative. My Grooves and Fill-ins are much better as if I'm playing with a bad bassist.

Considering the good bassists I make 2 differences. There is the bassist who plays one bass line without changing tempo. He gives you the possibility to try new fills you've just learned, but never tried with a band. Even if the fill isn't in time, the bassist keeps the time.

The other bassist is a musician who changes the feel of time (double-time, half-time...), changes the style (from a Blues song in a rock song)...
While playing with such a bassist you're learning to be responsive to the bassist.
P.s. Great idea to check some bass forums
Yes sir, I agree with you when you say playing with a good bass player leads to a better creativity (at least from the point of playing drums)
I have played with many bands who book me as a dep because their own drummer is busy. I am often confronted with, "kick it off", but when I do and I have to say here my timing is spot on, it seems to throw the rest of the band. I try to grab a relationship with the bass player but he does not seem to be gelling with me. I think that is because they have become used to their own drummer covering with extra fills to compensate an errors.
It is a wonderful experience when both bass and drums are working together, it seems to lift everything to another dimension. :)
 

basscase

Senior Member
I played bass in the last band that I was in and I always butted heads with the drummer because I had more experience on drums than him and he would get frustrated when I would sit behind his kit to show him how certain parts went. It was very hard to sit and watch him struggle. Maybe that is why I have gone back to drumming.......
 

TitanSound

Pioneer Member
I think the relationship is incredibly important.

To play with a good bass player, does not have to be technically incredible but just with a good feel, really brings out the best in me. I try to listen, especially when composing new tunes, to how he approaches the song. I try and match, but also, play against what he is playing to create good parts.

I always listen primarily to the drummer and bass player when I am at gigs or listening to music. I also find the easiest way to write music is on the bass (I had to take it up as a second instrument when I started my 2 year music course).
 

Jsk36

Senior Member
If I could play any other instrument than drums it would be bass.

I try to make friends with anyone who plays bass, they are just effin awesome.
 
J

jay norem

Guest
It's interesting that when I played rock or R&B or blues it was important to me that the bass player be able to lock in with my right foot. But in jazz it's much more important for the bass player to be able to give me something that I can lock into with my right hand on the ride, and that my right hand gives him something back. The chicken or the egg thing.
In all types of music I always know whether or not I can work well with the bass player. That always comes first for me. And when it's on there just isn't anything better. Good bass players work with the drums and good drummers work with the bass. Together it's a hell of a machine.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
As Jay mentioned Locking Together. I recently started showing a bass player that I play with drum techniques and he started showing me bass techniques. What prompted us to do this was a suggestion from a guitar player that we sometimes play with who attended Berklee. He plays guitar,keyboards and drums. We were having trouble locking and we are playing together much better now. Understanding each other is the key. We communicate much better now because we can speak to each other in terms that we each understand.
 

mrchattr

Gold Member
Being locked in with each other is essential, and there's no better feeling than a bass player and drummer together, united, pushing and pulling a band. It's what makes a great band great.

There is a book...Jazz Workshop for Bass and Drums, by Dave Weigert. (http://www.drumplace.com/pl028.html). It's a book that you can go through with your bass player. I've done it with two seperate players, now, and it really helped us grow. And I didn't even play jazz with either of those cats in our bands...we just were jazz guys on the side.
 

aydee

Platinum Member
Well locking is just another phrase for good musicianship IMO. For me it is imperative that musicians other than drummers understand the difference between quarter/8th/16th notes etc.

If they do, then they understand musical spaces better, and if everyone ( specially the drums/bass duo ) find their own spaces within the tune; where notes overlap and where they don't ; the music automatically starts to sound good.

Locking in is like being in a bearhug, but without treading on the others toes
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Being locked in with each other is essential, and there's no better feeling than a bass player and drummer together, united, pushing and pulling a band. It's what makes a great band great.

There is a book...Jazz Workshop for Bass and Drums, by Dave Weigert. (http://www.drumplace.com/pl028.html). It's a book that you can go through with your bass player. I've done it with two seperate players, now, and it really helped us grow. And I didn't even play jazz with either of those cats in our bands...we just were jazz guys on the side.
Thank you I'll look into it.
 

k3ng

Silver Member
Being locked in with each other is essential, and there's no better feeling than a bass player and drummer together, united, pushing and pulling a band. It's what makes a great band great.

There is a book...Jazz Workshop for Bass and Drums, by Dave Weigert. (http://www.drumplace.com/pl028.html). It's a book that you can go through with your bass player. I've done it with two seperate players, now, and it really helped us grow. And I didn't even play jazz with either of those cats in our bands...we just were jazz guys on the side.
That looks like one heck of a book. I'll have to check it out.
 

StringNavigator

Junior Member

Well locking is just another phrase for good musicianship IMO. For me it is imperative that musicians other than drummers understand the difference between quarter/8th/16th notes etc.
This is so true. Most musicians reading this, will not take it seriously enough. Not until we're ready for it, I guess. Unfortunately, too much time may pass before we realise its potential. Yet, it's so powerful.

I learned to play bass by ear and time was instinctive and I loved it, but once I tried to read (putting aside pitch) I came to appreciate counting notes and rhythm figures. Once you know in your mind what you are playing (footballs, crotchets, quavers, sixteenths, dots, ties, rests) and counting as you play (tapping your foot to the downbeats and upbeats of the meter) you are in full control of what you're doing, whether it's a cover, composition or improv.

Individual time will improve and so will ensemble time, not to mention ability in syncopation. As you said, good musicianship (paying attention to counting by rudiments) can make lock-in an everyday possibility. It sounds odd, but knowing the note's time value adds something to the character of the notes played. It adds to pitch and timbre. It becomes more than just a throw away note. It's important in pitch AND time.

Drummers and bass players who are starting out should seek each other out to practice this type of thing with standard riffs, grooves and tunes. Those rhythm sections with meter problems should read your post a few dozen times and know what notes they are playing. Perhaps drums and bass alone sound boring, but can be very constructive training if planned.
 

Drumolator

Platinum Member
At church on Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings we play praise and worship with me on drums and my son (24 years old) on bass. We lock in very easily. Peace and goodwill.
 
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