Bass Guitar Lesson : Maintaining a Solid Groove
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
By Stephane Brault
While I mostly play guitar, I happen to play bass on occasion, particularly when I need to record a backing track. I thought that playing would be a lot easier than guitar at least for most rock songs I play. It wasn't the case. Playing bass is a lot about maintaining the rythmic section and being that tight isn't an easy task.
Instead of concentrating on "becoming one" with the bass and snare drums, we overindulge ourselves with excessive fills. Try to avoid the urge to throw in every lick you know. When it comes to playing bass, less is usually more (I didn't say they were none great technical bass players!).
When creating a bass line, set up a solid foundation using the bass drum pattern as your guide and build from there. Too much embellishment can take away from the groove, so stay in control of your territory. Shown below are some standard bass / drum grooves.
Practice playing with the drum only and memorize each pattern. After you've mastered these exercises, continue your groove studies by listening to your favorite records, focusing on the bass and rum patterns. Think of bass and bass drum as one instrument and watch for variations, accents and fills.