#1
I'm quite passionate about my instrument (and I'm passionate about the bass, too!), and I can't help but feel that many bassists love to take orders. Sometimes, it works perfectly, but I can't help but feel that many bassists are accessories to either their guitar player (root note pounding, a la modern punk) or they make the kick drum tonal (only playing on the kick drum in they key of the guitar, a la modern metal). These are generalizations, of course, but I feel that many bass players don't stand on their own and support the band... they are just accessories of other instruments.

But, I do firmly believe that the rhythm section should work together as one cohesive unit. But, that doesn't mean you have to play what either the drummer or rhythm guitarist is playing; bass players can set up the rhythm, too.

In my band, I've been very fortunate to work with my drummer and guitar player. Both have open minds and don't have predistinctions of what they other instruments should do. But I have noticed that my drummer is much more of a listener than a speaker. Only on a handful of songs has he dictated the beat and pace. Typically, as soon as I have settled on a bass line, he is able to almost immediately play totally in the pocket with me. If I were to stop playing, you can almost still hear the bass line through his solo drumming. I think that's fantastic and I'm very fortunate to be able to play in a band with him.

That was a long story, but what I'm asking is: Who dictates the rhythm in your band? Are you one of those who sleeps inside a bass drum, or are you on the front line? Are you a rhythm section leader, or a follower?
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#2
I do most of the rhythm keeping due to the fact our drummer is on holiday and he sticks to me. The rhythm guitarist does find it difficult to sing and play triplets at the same time, he just needs practise!

I hate it when one of the rhythm section falls out, it can really throw the whole song off.

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#3
It goes both ways for me. Some songs I take the lead on and boss everyone else around, and sometimes I'm the session player. Tomorrow I'll be doing some session work for my rhythm guitarist's other band.
#4
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#5
i let my bassist do what he wants with the song. I'm the guitarist/lead singer and I write the songs. I let him put fills in wherever he wants. I just show him the chords I'm playing and at first he'll just do the root notes but once he knows the song he adds what he feels.
#6
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All of us, we're socialists.


+1

Everybody aren't just doing their part. We always comment on each other's playing and work as a team.

Although the drummer in my non-serious cover/jam band has got a great sense of rhythm, but he can't make up a half-decent beat to save his life. He's mostly just doing what ever I'm doing.
#7
I tend to keep my basslines rhythmically simple most of the time, and let the drums dictate the rhythms of songs (which, in a jazz/dixie band, are often pretty simple as backing for the lead instruments).

Roles do change in different styles of music: the type of music the band plays is a large part of dictating who does what.
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#8
Im not a bass player, but I've seen many and I definately can tell that there's "bassists" and "guys that play the bass", if you know what I mean.
#9
in my band i tend to have a lot of creative space for writing riffs that accompany the guitar, in some of our songs i follow the drums alot because they have a very strong feel that i want to accentuate, but for the most part my drummer lays down a beat and i riff over it with my guitarist
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#10
the song wears the pants, i do what i think it wants me to.
#11
Well I don't make make it sound as though I do nothing, but typically it's my drummer's eight years of experience to my year and a half. He does very well and I would say he wears the pants in the overall rhythm section but I wear the belt that holds him up. My rhythm guitarist on the other hand.......we'll just leave it at that he has a very god voice.
#12
I do a lot of the writing and brainstorming myself, along with the rhythm guitarist, so I suppose you could say I wear the pants. Especially considering that I'm probably the most technical player in my band and I write/modify a lot of guitar parts myself.

That being said however, I don't really think anyone "Wears the pants," good bands are fully symbiotic. The drummer does his thing in relation to everyone else, the guitarists do their thing in relation to everyone else, the vocalist does their thing in relation to everyone else, and I do my thing in relation to everything else. We all use our abilities to the advantage of the band, and that's how it should be.
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#13
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I do a lot of the writing and brainstorming myself, along with the rhythm guitarist, so I suppose you could say I wear the pants. Especially considering that I'm probably the most technical player in my band and I write/modify a lot of guitar parts myself.

That being said however, I don't really think anyone "Wears the pants," good bands are fully symbiotic. The drummer does his thing in relation to everyone else, the guitarists do their thing in relation to everyone else, the vocalist does their thing in relation to everyone else, and I do my thing in relation to everything else. We all use our abilities to the advantage of the band, and that's how it should be.


Yes, but I was thinking more along the lines of just the bass/drum relationship. A symbiote needs a host, you know.
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#14
I wear the pants in the overall band...I am the designated band nazi. Not by choice, its just no one else would take the role. Almost all the songs start with bass, and the song ideas are usually born in my brain.

But specifically in the rhythm section? Im not sure. Me and my drummer just click so well musically that we both stand out equally. Our guitar player doesnt click quite the same way, but we manage to work him in. I guess since we lack a rhythm guitar player, both the drums and bass do the job together.
#15
As was already said....we all work together on our parts. That said, my band doesn't have a rhythm guitarist at all, and I do most of the riff writing for my band. When we jam, The drummer usually starts, then I come up with a main riff based on the drum part, then our guitarist does his own thing based on what's already on the table.
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#16
Seeing as I am married to the drummer---OMG, just the title of this thread just made me laugh my ass off. Anyway I answer this question is going to be wrong on some level and get me into tons of trouble...

Ok, all kidding aside, its a case of give and take, and what the song requires. We tend to mesh together so well musically that really no one in the pair dominates. But for the basic "pulse" its my drummer husband who takes the lead, since he is a much better overall timekeeper than I am.

And I can't believe I got through this post with out a seriously obvious double entendre.
#17
I think I would be wearing the pants. For one thing, in the grand scheme of the band, I am slowly changing from co-pantwearer with my guitarist, to sole pant wearer. Also, my drummer is the most apAthetic individual in the world.
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#18
I dont wear pants.But besides that...We r a cover band and all the songs we play i have to POUND THE ROOTS out.Cuz we play like alot of ac/dc so ya...I sometimes improvise on some songs but other than that the songs we plays have ****ty basslines
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#19
Quote by anarkee
Seeing as I am married to the drummer---OMG, just the title of this thread just made me laugh my ass off. Anyway I answer this question is going to be wrong on some level and get me into tons of trouble...

Ok, all kidding aside, its a case of give and take, and what the song requires. We tend to mesh together so well musically that really no one in the pair dominates. But for the basic "pulse" its my drummer husband who takes the lead, since he is a much better overall timekeeper than I am.

And I can't believe I got through this post with out a seriously obvious double entendre.


Innuendos are the best kind of humor. Use them
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#20
In my jazz group I play with, we always commutate pretty well, and its a pretty vital skill. If one person plays a cool lick, chances are one person will respond to it. Eye contact is a very helpful thing, and learning what your band mates like to do and what they mean in nonverbal communication. This can be applied to the rhythm section of course, but also on the whole band.
#21
In my cover band we all really do the rhythm, except for the occasional guitar or bass solo. I do a lot of fills and improv in the songs since I'm not really sure what the bassists are doing in the actual songs. If anyone was wearing the pants, it would be me since I'm at a much higher level of musicianship than the rest of the band. Now my jazz fusion/funk/rock/blues band we all do our individual parts that make up the rhythm. No one is structured into one thing since 90 percent of it is improv. We all just play and it all fits together perfectly.
#23
Interesting thought fitz. cant say i have ever really thought about, but now i do i think me and my drummer work quite well toogether, but it usually me who will bust a groove and he will lock his drums into my groove. We dont have a rhythm guitar anymore, so just me and drums. we are very tight now, and practice on our own every two weeks without the others. Sometimes there he will come with a drum beat which we will work on together, but usually he will lock on with whatever groove i am playing.

As far as i am concerned, the bass sets the feeling, style and groove of the song. The drummer could play any beat he likes, but it's my bass that sets the feel.

Sometimes i wear shorts though.
#24
I play metal and make sure I'm heard- I hit the strings hard (not with a pick though) and try to lock in with the bass drum and rhythm guitar. But there's another side to my playing when I throw in some improvised fills to surprise people. I don't like being seen as simply the rhythm section- thats for the rhythm guitarist
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#25
Depends on who I'm playing with. Me and my friend Matt, we take turns kinda sharing the pants. I'll lead for something funky and he'll lead for something quiet until it builds up and then I'll take the lead again.

With this kid Willy I jam with, I've never jammed one on one, only one on one on one on one with 2 guitarists, and. No one's ever taken the lead. lol. Sometimes it works beautifully. The most recent time, it did not.
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#26
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With this kid Willy I jam with, I've never jammed one on one, only one on one on one on one with 2 guitarists, and. No one's ever taken the lead. lol. Sometimes it works beautifully. The most recent time, it did not.


It's alright Dan, 15million men in America suffer from impotence.

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#27
with my last band, we all worked together and would say "dude, try this" and we'd throw it in and if it didnt sound good, we didnt add it in. Hell, I had my singer helpin me with a couple of new ideas for my basslines. We all help each other out.
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#28
In Jazz band the Drummer wears the pants in setting the rhythm. I just play my walking bass line and look pretty. And whip out kick*ss solos when needed.

Now in my band I set the rhythm (Much to my drummers dismay) And make everyone play in accordance to what I'm doing. That mainly happens on the songs I write because thats how I "envisioned" them. And our drummer has a hard time telling what "playing in time" means. (I sent him a recording that I timed perfectly to a metronome and he was like it was pretty out of time. And when I came over I played it to a metronome. I didn't let him forget about it for a month!)
#29
I Play in a Hard-Core-Indie band and I am very fortunate. 3 of the 4 band members actually play bass so they all know what a bass can do and I am very free to make a good rhythm section.

Our drummer and I are the foundation of the music really nothing you can do to change that.
#30
My drummer has a fantastic sense of dynamics and groove, so I often find myself settling into the pocket and embellishing on his rhythm, because it just feels natural. It's not so much him leading as him and me knowing how we both approach it and giving each other space.

On the other hand, I write a large amount of the material for the band, and for better or worse, often play the "well I wrote it" trump card to push my ideas through.

Basically, there's several pairs of pants in the band, but I think mine are the Levi's.
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#31
haha im the bassist and i wear the pants in the whole band, im the one who usally lays down the chord-progressions and riffs which the rest of the band bulids on, but if you talking speicficly about rhythm section its usally even, but sometimes i may start playing on alternate beats to pull the band in a new direction
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#32
In my band the rhythm guitarist just plays chords most (not all) of the time to really highlight the progression. The drummer and I provide the foundation. Most of the time I set the groove and the drummer follows accordingly. I like to keep my basslines varied, so there are tons of fills thrown in there all the time with the occasional solo here and there. Another fun thing my drummer does is to play a sort of break beat over my fills, which sounds great and adds variation and complexity to our music. I'd say I wear the pants but the drummer makes the pants look good.
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#33
My and my drummer wear the same pants. We seem to to be more interested in whatever were doing than the guitarist. We kind of hang out alot more too, so I guess its true what they say about bassers and drummists.
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#34
Who wears the pants?
F***! I AM the pants!
I bassically propel with speed and write with drums parts in mind.
#35
My drummer dances, my guitarist picks individual notes, and i play the funky slap line. There is no rhythm section in my music, unless im playing constant slap lines and just poppin fancy like.
#36
since i normally play intricate lines, i let the drummer take me for a ride by imitating my beats with his bass drum - me and the guitarist discuss what the main rootnotes for each section are so he can improvise off of a chord

i dont by any means bash rootnotes, its just easier to form a riff off of a rootnote will puting other fills to help spice and splice things