How to Play Bass with a Drummer (Foolproof Beginner Blueprint)

Here’s my most foolproof beginner blueprint for how to play bass with a drummer.

0:59 - Drum Kit Crash Course
2:51 - Foolproof Bassline / Drum Blueprint
4:21 - Train Your Ear to Common Drum Patterns
5:51 - Blueprint in Action - Rock Riff Play-Along
6:22 - Tip for Locking In With the Drums

If you’re doing the Beginner to Badass course, this lesson should be doable after Module 4, but you’ll be able to fully grasp the syncopated eighth notes once you get through Module 8.

Instruments Across the Frequency Spectrum

This is the suuppppeeeeerrrrr simplified chart from the video, of where different common instruments fall in the frequency spectrum.

It’s important to understand this because the lower sounds are what we feel the most, and the higher sounds are what we hear the most.

So the kick drum and bass are connected because they combine to create not only a groove but visceral impact that the audience feels. This allows people to more easily connect with the music.

Once you’ve trained yourself to listen to the kick, the next step is to find a good drummer to play with! Ideally somebody who is not accurately portrayed by this old joke…

Q: How can you tell if a drummer is at your door? (click to reveal)

A: The knocks start speeding up… :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

To those of you who are already gigging - what helps you groove with your drummer the most?


Haha, as a (former) drummer, I appreciate this video very much. In fact, looking back, I (the drummer) should probably have listened (and talked) to the bass player a bit more to better align what we were playing… back then, it was almost more of a competition than playing together :crazy_face:

And… nice nod to Terry Bozzio :rofl:

PS: a tip for DrumJosh - don’t worry, that bass drum won’t break - just give it a good whack!!

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