Bass guitar and drums relationship problems

bass guitar and drums relationship problems

You're probably familiar with that old bass and kick problem. The bass guitar and the kick drum has a symbiotic relationship and mixing them together is the. Here are 10 common bass player problems. relationship between instruments in a band is the relationship between the bass and the drums. I would like to discuss what I consider to be the three main relationships between the bass and drums and some of the problems that may arise in each.

bass guitar and drums relationship problems

Even slight ms changes can make the world of difference. There are tons of potential solutions to this issue, but one thing is for certain: Take for example Serum my favorite synth.

If I simply play an F0 in a patch that consists of a saw wave filtered pluck sound, and then convert that to audio using resampling or freezing, there are almost always discrepancies. Having slight variations and changes to a sound can be part of why it sounds interesting and even analogue. But when it comes to sub information and your low end, these kinds of variations can really put a damper on the intensity and consistency of your low end.

This is really evident in synthesized sub bass when playing different notes or a succession of quick notes. Again there are great ways to fix this issue, but it could be as simple as creating more of your bassline in audio. Build Up of Transient Information As mentioned before, transient build ups can cause major issues with your track aggressively pushing your limiter to the point of distortion.

The best solution for this issue is to isolate the problem transient and delete it. This pretty much has to be done in audio, but you can start with one element on at a time and as add each additional element through soloing.

Make sure to pay close attention to the metering tools in your DAW — if you start to clip when something is added, zoom in to the audio and see if you can put a fade on the transient that causes the issue.

Jazz Drummer’s Workshop: Getting It Together With the Bass Player

If you find yourself losing too much punch or attack, then try keeping that transient while removing others. This can take a little bit of time to get right, but in reality you should never need more than one transient dominating the mix even more so with low end sub information.

Masking Kick Fundamental with Repetitive Basslines If your bassline is playing a repetitive lick alternating around the fundamental of your key, having a kick drum with that same fundamental can cause masking issues and diminish the clarity and fullness of the low end.

There are tons of ways to address this issue… 1. I usually find myself trying to find or create a kick drum to match a bassline versus the other way around because basslines are more sound design intensive.

Try creating your kick with MIDI and hot swapping the sample until you find a kick that works or even hot swapping the audio itself. It might require just not having too much sub information in the kick itself.

bass guitar and drums relationship problems

Sidechain compression This is probably the most well-known and typical use of sidechain compression. Sidechain will effectively lower the volume of the bassline whenever the kick is played creating headroom and less masking. Setting up sidechain compression is fairly easy in most DAWs using their built in compressors. Tighter kick with fades A huge overlooked problem within the kick bass relationship is dealing with long kick decays.

There is no need to have a long kick sample that causes interference with a groovy bassline. Almost every kick sample I use has some sort of fade on it to tighten it up and leave more space for my subs and s.

Still, if you insist on using longer kicks, follow this rule of thumb: EQ reductions An extremely quick and effective method at clearing up kick-bass masking is by using reductive and additive EQ moves. I find that there are several troublesome areas in the spectrum with kicks and sub bass masking. Try hunting and removing somewhere around 80Hz on kick drums to help the bass come through. You can also look between Hz on basslines to see if removing frequency content there helps a kicks presence shine in your mix.

Often times with EQ cuts you can apply a slight boost to the same area on the other sound making the dynamic range between those two sounds at that particular frequency even more apparent. Composition As harsh as it might sound, sometimes your composition just does not lend well to a fat and powerful low end. With enough time and effort inside of sample selection and sound design, this rarely will be an issue.

That said, having a huge sub impact playing at the same time as a kick and bass will make low end management extremely difficult. It might be worth changing up bassline rhythms to clean up the mix, or have a kick happen less often. Thinking about your low end in the composition stage can really help avoid a lot of these issues.

Still stuck on composition? The time must be together and comfortable. The feel must be relaxed, though it may have the intensity of a blazing inferno.


When things are right the bass player and drummer set up the time together and immediately create a feeling of energy that is so secure and alive that one feels anything can happen freely in the music.

Drummers attempt to lock in on a tempo immediately, not letting it speed up or slow down, no matter what happens. Usually we get the tempo from the leader, who may count aloud, or snap his fingers, or play a few bars. Sometimes the bass player may hear it slightly faster or slower from the way we do, or may play a bit more on top or behind the beat, even though it may be the same tempo that we both hear.

Much depends on how you pick up the beat at the beginning of a tune.

How to Achieve the Ultimate Kick-Bass Relationship | Hyperbits

A keen awareness and an alert attitude in the beginning can get you off to a good start. During our years of playing we find ourselves working with many different bass players who all have a slightly different feel for the time. Too many times the music has been spoiled by the fact that the bass player and drummer were too stubborn and insistent on their own conception of time to cooperate with each other and bring it together. Usually, if you work with a bass player on a regular basis you can build up an empathy and rapport with him over a period of.

After you begin playing you see that there are time problems between the two of you. As you check him out you may discover that you need to nudge him up a little if he plays too far back on the beat, or is actually dragging the tempo down. He may be rushing or playing nervously on top of the beat and you will need to gently bring him back to a more relaxed time feel. The main thing is to keep your composure and not let it get you flustered, which is extremely difficult at times.

Then, hopefully being in control of yourself, put a little extra snap and intensity into your playing, without playing louder and without playing busier. The psychological element is very important. Try to project a positive attitude and bring him into your sphere of influence and energy.

  • How to Achieve the Ultimate Kick-Bass Relationship

The sledgehammer effect, where you pound the beat down his throat and play louder and busier to obliterate him as you cast menacing glances his way, never works. It usually only serves to alienate him from you and blows your chances of ever getting the music together. In addition to this, the rest of the band may also resent your attitude.

Your time may be right, but if you offend the other fellow with the way you confront him with it you may win the battle, but lose the war.

Sometimes even a diplomatic word with him in private on a break between the sets will help. Maybe we could work together a little closer on this and keep things together more. That is, even though you both may be playing the same tempo, your feeling may be a little more on top or behind where he feels it. Another way of handling a problem like this would be to try it his way for a while, or at least go halfway with him. Maybe getting into his groove is a good idea, especially if you are filling in with a band of which he is a regular member.

Another potentially dangerous area is when you go from a two feel into a four feel and the time gets to be a little more on top.

How Bass and Drums Work Together

There are also problems on tunes which have parts with different rhythmic feels, such as those which go back and forth between a Latin or rock and a swing feel.

Another is when the dynamic level shifts dramatically from loud to soft and back again.