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getting in the groove


swayingtree

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In response to the first question,

It is definitely better to practice with a metronome. It will instill a much more accurate sense of time so your times when you are "just feeling it" will be more accurate as you have perfected it with the metronome.

In response to the third question,

I see my job in the band as a bridge between the drummer and guitarist. In an ideal world I am exactly halfway between them. However, if one of them is lacking in their timing or musical choices it is my job to help fix that. I make sure they are working together and make the two of them sound better together.

And finally in response to the fourth question. It depends on the situation, song, and players. I have played with terrible drummers and terrible guitarists. I usually try to work off the lesser of the two evils. If they both suck then I am out of luck and it is my job to bring them up to my level. However, if they are both excellent, I don't even think about it. If you have both the drummer and guitarist grooving on the same page, I would have to make a conscious effort to lose the groove to get out of that one.

 

About the final question, I buy two left shoes for my feet. Nuff said.

Let your speech be better than silence, or be silent.

 

For those who believe, no explanation is necessary. For those who do not, none will suffice.

 

"Rindase!"

"Rendirme? Que se rinda su abuela, *#@!^$"

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You need to be able to practice with a metronome AND feel it.

 

I listen to everything...I feel my role is the role of a bass, not sometimes-guitar or sometimes-drums (unless I'm playing without a drummer). We provide the harmonic and rhythmic glue between those two.

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Yea, you're first Q kind of confused me :freak:

Because you are supposed to practice with a metronome at various speeds, and be able to feel a groove. So I went for feeling the groove but you should have a metronome handy at all times.

I play guitar also and I would probably be a guitar player if not a bass player. Not a flashy guitar player, juat a bluesy rhythm player with soulful licks and a nice warm tone.

Oops, I said the forbidden word. I'm gonna get flamed.

"The world will still be turning when you've gone." - Black Sabbath

 

Band site: www.finespunmusic.com

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I agree that the answers available were too limited. Especially the "drummer or guitarist" question. I play both roles - both are important to me and the music. The bass player is the link between rhythm and melody!

 

Same with the backbeat thing. I tend to be a downbeat guy, but would like to think I'll do whatever is required.

 

It did make me think about what I'm doing.....need a metronome...

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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Thanks guys for all of your great input. I asked the questions because I've had these breakthroughs before with bass playing, and I am at another crossroads right now. It has to do with always staying on the beat and not making mistakes. I guess mistakes are human, but I would like to know some tricks for staying on the beat. One thing I do is try to relax and pretend that I am a tree--like the roots of a tree and the music is the branches so I'm sort of swaying the branches (hence the name "swayingtree"). Anyway, I always listen to the drummer and I do try to play on the backbeat. My musical training was in orchestras, playing flute, and the downbeat was hammered into my mind, so when I tried to play rock&roll at first I was always ahead of the beat until someone told me about the backbeat, just a millisecond after the actual downbeat. Anyway, I wanted to know if anyone had any experience with that, and also just any other mind pictures like the tree. Sometimes I think of the roots of the tree coming out of my stomach, right where my bass rests, like I feel the vibrations. I know I sound like I'm up in outerspace! :) But any other helpful ideas would be much appreciated. You guys are great! :)
"Every act of love is a work of peace, no matter how small." -Mother Teresa
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I too was raised in the orchestral setting. I see my playing on the downbeat and the rhythm keeper. Goes back to orchestra and seeing how much power I had to change the tempo of the rest. I could easily overpower the conductor and speed up or slow down any piece I wanted.

 

Frequently entertained the rest of the orchestra with my dancing w/double bass. Still in the habit and I would love to go wireless to avoid tying myself up (will save that for later.)

 

ATM

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I've been playing primarily guitar lately and letting the bass suffer. Now I'm trying to get gig ready, and the groove/timing sure ain't what it should be.

 

What works for me is to hit the metronome. But, slow that puppy down to the 40-60 bpm range. When you practice with a slow click, you have no choice but to relax, and it makes you VERY aware of time.

 

I do this 1/2 hr per day, starting with whole notes, then half/quarter/triplets, etc. Then I move on to different grooves.

 

Back at it for only 3 days now, and it's already a night and day difference.

 

js

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Greetings swayingtree and welcome to the Lowdown! :wave:

 

I thought your poll was interesting. I answered thusly:

 

Which do you find is more helpful to keep good rhythm?

Just feeling it In my opinion, the sense of rhythm and groove come from the gut, it is something that you feel. TIME, on the other hand, is a skill that one must learn and you can use a metronome to improve that skill.

 

The Groove is the master and even Time is, to a certain degree, subservient to it. I am by no means implying that we should allow ourselves to be sloppy timekeepers, quite the contrary. Time and Groove are intimately related there is not one without the other.

 

For rock&roll which do you think is better?

Playing on the downbeat If you had asked about Blues or R&B I would have said the backbeat. But Rock music is all about the downbeat.

 

If you had to say your job in the band was one or the other, would you be:

More of a drummer I agree with the others who have described their role as a bridge between the rhythm and the melody. However, I feel more closely related to the Time than to the Melody.

 

I believe that it was our own dcr who stated that bass and drums are one instrument that takes two people to play. I think that is a very profound statement. :thu:

 

When playing, to keep in rhythm, do you listen more to:

The drums Nuff said

 

Does it help you to dance (or move around to the rhythm) while you play?

Yes, it helps me to stay in the groove I dont know that it helps me to stay in the groove, all I know is that I cant remain motionless in the presence of The Groove. :D

 

I would highly recommend the DVD Rising Low for further discussion about the nature of Groove from the perspective of several prominent bass players.

 

Cheers

Nothing is as it seems but everything is exactly what it is - B. Banzai

 

Life is what happens while you are busy playing in bands.

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Originally posted by swayingtree:

Anyway, I always listen to the drummer and I do try to play on the backbeat. My musical training was in orchestras, playing flute, and the downbeat was hammered into my mind, so when I tried to play rock&roll at first I was always ahead of the beat until someone told me about the backbeat, just a millisecond after the actual downbeat.

Please note - we talk about playing

  • ahead of the beat
  • on the beat
  • behind the beat

The term "backbeat" means something different. In standard 4/4, the backbeat is on the "2" and the "4".

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

(Redirected from Backbeat)

Back beat is a style of percussion in common time where a strong rhythmic accent is sounded on the second and fourth beats of the bar, the backbeats, often from striking a snare drum. This is a form of syncopation.

 

The style emerged in the late 1940s in rhythm and blues recordings, and is one of the defining characteristics of rock and roll and is used in virtually all contemporary popular music, bossa nova being a notable exception. Drummer Earl Palmer states the first record with nothing but back beat was "The Fat Man" by Fats Domino in 1949, which he played on. Palmer says he adopted it from the shout [last] chorus in Dixieland.

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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I can't answer your poll, even though I like the topic. IMO. You need all that and more. Pretty much like Ben and others said. I do dance when I play. My guitarist often says he knows when we're really groovin cause my ass gets about six inches from the floor. :D As a musician, I think you need to listen to everyone in the band equally. Don't be just a bass player, be a musician who plays bass.

Together all sing their different songs in union - the Uni-verse.

My Current Project

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Originally posted by Tom Capasso:

quote:

Originally posted by swayingtree:

Anyway, I always listen to the drummer and I do try to play on the backbeat. My musical training was in orchestras, playing flute, and the downbeat was hammered into my mind, so when I tried to play rock&roll at first I was always ahead of the beat until someone told me about the backbeat, just a millisecond after the actual downbeat.
Please note - we talk about playing

  • ahead of the beat

  • on the beat

  • behind the beat

The term "backbeat" means something different. In standard 4/4, the backbeat is on the "2" and the "4".

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

(Redirected from Backbeat)

Back beat is a style of percussion in common time where a strong rhythmic accent is sounded on the second and fourth beats of the bar, the backbeats, often from striking a snare drum. This is a form of syncopation.

The style emerged in the late 1940s in rhythm and blues recordings, and is one of the defining characteristics of rock and roll and is used in virtually all contemporary popular music, bossa nova being a notable exception. Drummer Earl Palmer states the first record with nothing but back beat was "The Fat Man" by Fats Domino in 1949, which he played on. Palmer says he adopted it from the shout [last] chorus in Dixieland.

Tom

Thanks, Tom, that's what I thought. Even if I'm playing on the down beat, I often accent the back beat to get that synchopation.

Bruiser

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Thank you guys! You are very helpful. And thank you for the info about the backbeat. Yes! I too find that if I'm in the groove that's when I start dancing! :) I'm going to try the 40-60 range on the metronome while practicing, I think that is a great idea and makes a lot of sense. I was practicing more around 126 because a lot of our songs are around that range, but I'm going to change it a bit. Right now I am spending half of my practice time with the metronome and half with a minidisc recording that my bandmates make for me about once a month to practice with. Do you guys run scales with the metronome? That's what I've been doing.

I have to say that I really am getting a lot of great ideas from all of you and I really appreciate your help! Thanks so much! :cool:

"Every act of love is a work of peace, no matter how small." -Mother Teresa
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