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Senior Member
Username: groovelines

Post Number: 757
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 7:32 am:   Edit Post

John Judges's recent post about irresistible grooves started me thinking about the importance of solid drumming and what it means to me as a bassist. Our drummer from church, Jason Thomas, is a good friend of Robert Searight and sat in for "Sput" for about a month's worth of Snarky Puppy dates this past summer. JT has also performed with Marcus Miller at Montreux from time to time. He's also on Mark Lettieri's release, "Knows".

We often talk a lot about musical inspiration, but I've learned more about being a bassist and staying in the pocket and listening to the groove from JT than from listening to and emulating other bassists. He demands a healthy respect for tempo, time signatures and rhythm. Playing with JT is a treat - he's got the baddest back beat since Billy Cobham, can play any genre and enjoys it all.

I really enjoy players like Cobham, Bill Bruford, Phil Collins (his Brand X stuff with Percy Jones is sweet), Chad Wackerman, Steve Gadd, et al. Geez, go way back to Buddy Rich why don't you. Way out of my league, but they provide a tremendous foundation and a ton of rhythmic fun for me.

Count your blessings if your drummer can keep time, that's sometimes a rare gift in itself (come on, we all know a few like that like). Count your blessing AND say your thanks every day if you play with a drummer that can push and pull you out of your comfort zone and while making playing fun.

happy groovin',
Intermediate Member
Username: 5a_quilt_top

Post Number: 176
Registered: 6-2012
Posted on Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 11:45 am:   Edit Post

Re: pocket and groove - the importance of that was reaffirmed during my gig last Saturday night.

We played a large outdoor stage that was partially hollow near the front edge where I was standing. All of our monitors and my personal bass monitor were sitting on the cover over the hollow part.

Since it was a large area, we miked the drums and the kick drum and put them through the PA / monitors.

The combination of hearing (and feeling) that kick drum along with my bass in the monitors - further emphasized by the resonance of the hollow stage - made for a near-religious experience when the drummer and I were in sync.

It also made it blatantly obvious when we weren't.

Fortunately, the drummer and I were locked in 95% of the time. We drifted a bit when either of us tried to be a little too ambitious with our "embellishments" and the groove and the band suffered noticeably as a result.

But, because we could clearly hear (and, more importantly, feel) when this was happening because of the influence of the hollow stage on the monitors, we were able to get back on track quickly.
Senior Member
Username: rustyg61

Post Number: 940
Registered: 2-2011
Posted on Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 12:32 pm:   Edit Post

Mike if you are talking about the drummer that was playing with you the night we heard you during the Texas Gathering, I concur, that guy was amazing!
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 2034
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 11:39 pm:   Edit Post

I remember few hotshot guitarists or other instrumentalists from over the years.

I remember EVERY great drummer I was fortunate to share a stage with, because for me, without that, what's the point?

J o e y
Senior Member
Username: jacko

Post Number: 3421
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Friday, September 13, 2013 - 2:23 am:   Edit Post

Keep this under your hats but mediocre drumming was one of the factors that prompted me to leave Big Tuna after 9 years. The drummer in my new covers band is much better (and likes to hear the bass! a novelty for me). The drummer in my Grateful Dead tribute is amazing - very jazzy in a 'steve gadd' way. He's very good on the hi-hat and cymbals and his brush work sounds beautiful. At rehearsals I oftem find myself switching to autopilot, just so I can listen to his playing.

Senior Member
Username: dadabass2001

Post Number: 1767
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Friday, September 13, 2013 - 1:34 pm:   Edit Post

Isn't that a treat, Graeme?
I have had the extreme good fortune to play with several good drummers over the years (and a couple of Great Ones). It can be a life-changing experience.

Senior Member
Username: hieronymous

Post Number: 1317
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Friday, September 13, 2013 - 3:18 pm:   Edit Post

Graeme, I like that idea of "autopilot" - personally, I think that is the way to go! It's better to listen to the other players and enjoy the music - then whatever you play is that much more meaningful. When I'm concentrating on what I'm playing, I get stuck in my head and forget to listen...
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11173
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Friday, September 13, 2013 - 4:44 pm:   Edit Post

Graeme; I didn't know you had gone with the autopilot switch upgrade on your Alembic. Did they send you the parts and you installed it yourself; or did you send the bass back to Santa Rosa?
Senior Member
Username: jacko

Post Number: 3422
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Monday, September 16, 2013 - 5:06 am:   Edit Post

Always been a D.I.Y. kinda guy Dave :-)


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