Yet another "behind the beat" question...

MrTheOne

Member
Ok, so I was recently playing with a bass player friend of mine at a blues jam here in KC and she was trying to instruct me in the concept of playing behind the beat, for HER point of view as the bass player, basically schooling me on what she wanted, and I thought I'd run this by everyone here to see what you said.

We were playing a slow blues in 12/8, and told me on the 4 she wanted it a little behind. I futzed around until what I ended up doing is playing the 4th count like a flam, with the grace note perfectly with the beat on the hi-hat but the stroke with my left hand on the snare drum just a hair after. She indicated that's what she was looking for, so I've been trying to keep that in mind at subsequent jams as well as my own band's rehearsal/gigs.

How does that square with everybody's experience/concept of "behind the beat" playing here? Am I way off base to visualize it as just playing flams between hats and snare?

Looking forward to feedback, thanks!
 

mrfingers

Senior Member
The slower the blues number, the easier it is to get lulled into this habit. Just be sure it doesn't happen for everything you play.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I just play normally, but wait a few extra microseconds to place each 2 and 4 on the snare. The idea obviously is playing the note slightly late, but never on the next beat, more like you're just displacing the snare notes by a 32nd or something like that. Once you hit a 16th of the beat I feel that's too late in most cases.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Confused. She told you she wanted you "behind the beat ....but only on 4"? That would mean all others on the beat.
In my unschooled way, behind the beat is a 'feel'. Not consciously counting to be off of a beat, just laying back. Seems strange to specify ONE beat to play behind on. To my mind drummer would/could play behind the beat (slightly late or laid back 'feel') through a whole piece, not just on the 4.
What do I know the experts will weigh in soon.
 

MrTheOne

Member
Louis,

Yeah I'm scratching my head a bit on that one too, but swear that's what she told me she wanted and was like "Yes! That's it!" When I did it.
Definitely going to work on playing all the beats behind as well, but she explained that doing it on the 4th gave it some kind of "slinky sexiness" that she liked.
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
This sounds like this exchange I had this past weekend:

guy: You know when you hit that reggae right, they call it the "bubble"

me: cool

guy: Yeah, its called the "bubble"

me: OK

guy: It's the "bubble"

me: I heard you the first time


It makes me laugh ;)
 

Merlin5

Gold Member
Louis,

Yeah I'm scratching my head a bit on that one too, but swear that's what she told me she wanted and was like "Yes! That's it!" When I did it.
Definitely going to work on playing all the beats behind as well, but she explained that doing it on the 4th gave it some kind of "slinky sexiness" that she liked.
Out of interest, what song was it (cover or original?) and approximately what tempo?
 

Ron_M

Senior Member
This sounds like this exchange I had this past weekend:

guy: You know when you hit that reggae right, they call it the "bubble"

me: cool

guy: Yeah, its called the "bubble"

me: OK

guy: It's the "bubble"

me: I heard you the first time


It makes me laugh ;)

Ha, that guy's off. Bubble is a dance in Jamaica. "She's Bubbling", or "She jus a Bubble" would be an example of how that term is used. No one calls anything "the Bubble" in Jamaica.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
After much past debate here about behind the beat, where I totally did not understand the concept, I finally settled on what you did, flam the snare slightly. I do this in some songs like Santana's "Smooth". It fattens the backbeat, and I'm playing rimclick. When the other 3 limbs are playing the "right" time, the slightly flammed snare/rimclick does something that wasn't there before.
 

MrTheOne

Member
After much past debate here about behind the beat, where I totally did not understand the concept, I finally settled on what you did, flam the snare slightly. I do this in some songs like Santana's "Smooth". It fattens the backbeat, and I'm playing rimclick. When the other 3 limbs are playing the "right" time, the slightly flammed snare/rimclick does something that wasn't there before.
Yeah, exactly. Flam with grace note on hats and primary stroke on snare. Like I said, not sure if what I did was "correct", but it's what the bass player wanted and approved of me doing. So, win?
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
Ha, that guy's off. Bubble is a dance in Jamaica. "She's Bubbling", or "She jus a Bubble" would be an example of how that term is used. No one calls anything "the Bubble" in Jamaica.
Cool. I had this exchange and I was wondering if the guy was on drugs. He might've been anyway, but I had never heard the term used, nor did I care ;)
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Merlin5

It was "Tennessee Whiskey", I think we were at about 60 bpm.
Yeah, You did good. Hi Hat on 4 and the snare slightly after (flam). That is the easy way to play "behind the beat". That way you won't cause the band to drag.
I'll bet it does sound good on Tennessee Whiskey. I count that song as a 6/8 song with the back beat on 4.

.
 
G

Ghostnote

Guest
The flam thing could work, but it would take a bit of reprogramming on my part if I were to attempt to go about it that way. It would take me a while to get the tap on the beat and the accent behind the beat instead of playing the accent on the beat with the tap slightly preceding it like a flam is normally played. This is something I just do by feel with both the snare and the hi hat hit happening just slightly behind the beat. Unless a groove really needs to pop, I tend to play most things behind the beat. That's just how my playing evolved over the years- I do it without trying to.
 

Merlin5

Gold Member
Merlin5

It was "Tennessee Whiskey", I think we were at about 60 bpm.
Ah cool. I've never heard the song before but I had a listen on youtube and it's by someone called Chris Stapleton with original tempo about 48bpm, so I'm guessing you guys do a brighter version of it.
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
Ok, so I was recently playing with a bass player friend of mine at a blues jam here in KC and she was trying to instruct me in the concept of playing behind the beat, for HER point of view as the bass player, basically schooling me on what she wanted, and I thought I'd run this by everyone here to see what you said.

We were playing a slow blues in 12/8, and told me on the 4 she wanted it a little behind. I futzed around until what I ended up doing is playing the 4th count like a flam, with the grace note perfectly with the beat on the hi-hat but the stroke with my left hand on the snare drum just a hair after. She indicated that's what she was looking for, so I've been trying to keep that in mind at subsequent jams as well as my own band's rehearsal/gigs.

How does that square with everybody's experience/concept of "behind the beat" playing here? Am I way off base to visualize it as just playing flams between hats and snare?

Looking forward to feedback, thanks!




Rule # 1. Women are smarter than men.

2. Women may not always be right, but they're never wrong.

3. Do not challenge, question, critique a/your women bass player.
 

MrTheOne

Member
Rule # 1. Women are smarter than men.

2. Women may not always be right, but they're never wrong.

3. Do not challenge, question, critique a/your women bass player.
Those are lessons I'm continuously reminded of, since it's the ladies who basically own the blues scene here in KC. I consider myself schooled.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Ah cool. I've never heard the song before but I had a listen on youtube and it's by someone called Chris Stapleton with original tempo about 48bpm, so I'm guessing you guys do a brighter version of it.
I listened to this tune and all I hear is a big fat low-tuned snare with very loose wires on the 4.
So .... is that behind the beat? The whole tune is just a laid back feel.
 

RLRR-LRLL

Junior Member
Those are lessons I'm continuously reminded of, since it's the ladies who basically own the blues scene here in KC. I consider myself schooled.
This 👉 2. :Women may not always be right, but they're never wrong."

Is funny, but oh so true! 😄😄😄
 
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