Attention All Drummers! I have a question (or maybe a couple) that I would like
to hear some feedback on (well no, not that kind of feedback... the good kind).
What is something you would like to say to your bassplayer to make your
playing tighter? Or, what does your bassist do that bugs you the most?
Our drummer never complains about my playing but frequently tell me I am
not loud enough and to turn up, but, I kinda gotta watch that because then
the singers complain the bass is too loud. It's hard to please everybody I guess.
I'd just like to hear some comments from a drummers point of view regarding
the bass. Thanks and God Bless.

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Replies to This Discussion

How are you DIANA, my advice is that if you are playing through monitors, the drummer and the bass player should be able to hear each other, or either the monitoring system is not EQ at a level where their is clarity and one cant hear or define the music,the vocals should always be at a higher level than the music ,after all the words need to be heard as this is the reason we worship. On another note have you tried playing with earphones or ear piece monitors as this you can adjust to your preference.I find that the biggest problem is that the sound engineer also needs to have a good ear for sound and be able to know what he is actually listening to, both in the audience and on stage. I hope this will help .BLESSINGS LUIS
I personally don't have a lot to say to bassists. Most of the time I can't hear them, but that's because the keyboardists clutter the lower range with thick, muddy playing. So I'll complain more to the keyboardists than the bassists. :)
Have the sound dude EQ out the bass range of the keyboard and turn the bass guitar up.
Our church just bought a new 24 channel sound board and in a couple weeks
we are going to have a professional sound guy from the nearby university
music school come and adjust the settings. HOWEVER, I happen to be going
out-of-town that weekend! So, I'm asking a friend who plays bass to come
and stand in for me to represent my sonic frequency. I hope it works.
And I'm sure our drummer will speak up for the bottom end too.
@Junilie: Dittos!!!!
I am a long time bass player and now a drummer so I am from both worlds. The best thing I would say is that the bass player should pay close attention to the beat of the drummer. Don't necessarily play every time the bass drum is hit, but if there is some kind of syncopation or accents, etc, try to keep in sync with the bass drum. Especially on downbeats. When you see the resonant bass drum head pop out on count 1 or 1 and 3, play your note, etc. (it depends on the song though. sometimes you don't match the drums at all)

Most of all, be buddies with the drummer. It's almost like you and the drummer are on a team a playing against the rest of the band in a battle to control the rhythm and tempo. The good news is if you and the drummer are tight, the rest of the band happily follows.

good ? I never complain but do often ask him to turn it up,, but sometimes i do ask the lead guitarist to turn down,, hehe I hope that helps my bass player is my brother and we have been play together for yrs in all kinds of bands, this happens to be our 1st Christan rock ever, Ellen
Hello my partners in time!

I'm a bass player, but here goes anyway:

My main drummer (Hannah, small but a powerful influence on the whole team, bless her!) is really good. Never heard her do a solo but she doesn't need to; her skills speak. She keeps time, yet with "feel" for the song. She understands what bass players are there for and how we form a team within the team. We've been playing together now for two years or so so we have developed some chemistry. And this is critical to entire idea of the worship team. Once, I was away on vacation, and our worship leader managed to borrow another bass player. I've heard him play before and he could certainly hold his own. The week after that service when I came back, sister Hannah said, "Carl! I missed you so much! It was so hard to play with the other guy!" I'm sure they all did OK, but perhaps you all can see her point. Playing a bass, a drum kit, a guitar, a piano, or singing -- alone is one thing. Putting it all into a "team" effort is another. I grew up playing both classic rock and jazz. As a jazz bassist, one of the most important things I learned was that the bass keeps keeps time - the drums set the horns up with kicks and rhythmic leads. (In fact, many jazz drummers use a trumpet chart to help them see what the horns are doing and when.) While this doesn't hold completely true in a worship band setting, it is part of the reason Hannah and I were able to gel quickly and develop our ability to key off each other easily. Too many times have I been with a drummer who will get slightly out of tempo in transition and take the whole thing down a notch. Ouch!

The bass players role (in a generally accepted way) is to be the link between the melody and the tempo/rhythm. If the drummer and the bassist are tight and play together, no guitarist or keyboard player can break the tempo of the song.

I know that one thing that Hannah does demand from me as a bassist is that she can hear and see me clearly. We made certain of this by placing my Carvin 1000w Redline stack directly behind her! Noooo .... I do not turn it up enough to blow her out of the little stool she sits on!!!! But this certainly allows her to hear (and feel) me above all others. I also keep close to her Hi-hat/Snare/Bass Drum so hearing and seeing her is not a problem. My sound goes out to the board as well, so the sound guys can control my bass for the rest of the band and for the house/congregation.

As a bassist, the only thing I can say that irks me about drummers, is one who cannot maintain a tempo thru a transition. It just sticks out so bad.

BLUF: The bassist and the drummer must be a synchronized unit. Thats not to say we play the same thing at the same time all the time -- but synchronized -- together -- sounding as one unit. If your worship can accomplish this, then everything else will fall into place much easier -- including the praise and worship of our God!

My 2 cents worth ....

Drummers --- Let's hear from YOU!

Hey Diana,

Some of what i have found working with bass players over the years is not only are drums important for timing, but also the bass & drums are the anchor point for the band as well. What has worked for the bass player at our church is simply jamming together before practice during the week and on a sunday, helps us to get in a place with each other, where we can bounce the groove & feel between each other whilst drums hang onto the timing....... this i have found has created a great fusion between him and i, specially as we delve further in a culture of free flow worship, as there is unity between us, and provides more room for the rest of the team to explore as well.

The only thing I say is that (as a drummer) when there's no bassist playing, I ALWAYS feel just "off". I dunno, it's like having a bass sound gives my sound more "oomf" if that makes any sense.


Bass players help give drummers a "roof" of sound to hide under and drummers give bassists a "floor" to stand on. That's the best way I can describe it.


I like that description.  Not perfect, but helps describe the relationship. Thanks!



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