How to Extract Grooves from Drum Parts With Your Ears

extracting bass grooveThe importance of the technical aspects of making music cannot be overlooked. Even more, I dare to say that it is a basis that every aspiring musician needs. A drummer needs to know a basic set of beats and probably a few rudiments at a decent speed. A guitarist needs to know his chords and enough music theory to be able to deliver a marvelous solo.

Also, there is the bass guitarist who needs to know how he can compose a good bass line, he needs to know how he can arpeggiate chords and how he can make his music sound really funky by developing a slap bass technique.

These are all basic things, really. Music begins when synergy between the musicians is present: when they feel what the other members of the band are going to play and they can adapt. Let us take a look at how such moments can develop.

Pay Attention to the Pulsation of the Drum Beat

Generally speaking, we can say that the core of modern music is the rhythm section. That is, the drummer and the bass guitarist have to be able to collaborate very closely. Cheesy melodic parts are very important as well, but nothing can beat the wholeness of the groove that the cooperation of a good drummer and an attentive bassist can yield.

In the example below, I have dissociated and broken down a rather complex, groovy drum beat until only the pulsation of the slightly accentuated snares and the bass drum remained. That can provide a backbone for our bass line.

pulsation of the drumbeat

 Download the .gtp file for the lesson ( Right click and Save As… )

As you can see in the example above, I have removed every spare item from the beat to get to a core. In the first step, I have removed the slight shuffle from the hi-hats and also the ghost note at the end of the beat. In the next step, I have also changed the rim shot of the snare to a standard snare stroke. Finally, I have removed hi-hats entirely from the beat. If you listen closely, you’ll find that the beat has not changed integrally, it has just become a lot simpler.

Creating an Accompanying Bass Groove

Following the logic presented in the previous paragraph, you can build a simple bass groove based on a major scale while sticking to the simplified version of the drum beat. In the following, I will show you how to create a great groove based on the E major scale.

accompanying bass groove

Download the .gtp file for the lesson ( Right click and Save As… )

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Since the last two measures of the drum beat’s simplification did not bring any changes to the core structure of the groove, the first two measures of the bass line are identical. B goes for the bass drum, G# goes for fast bass kicks in the first quarter and the root note of E goes for the snare drums.

The first step involving adding detail (see third measure) brought a change to the sound accompanying the rim shot in the third quarter; it was brought an octave lower. Finally, slap bass licks were added in the fourth measure to accompany the shuffle on the hi-hat and the ghost note at the end of the beat.

You can listen to the drum beat and the bass line together by downloading the attached Guitar Pro file containing both instruments.

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