I am a bass player at heart

Here are some functions of a bass player

  • Works comfortably behind the scenes
  • Keeps the groove together
  • Develops trust within the band that the chords and rhythm will be right and on time
  • Makes a place for the lead players to shine

Working comfortably behind the scenes

Not everybody should be up front. Some of us should stand in the back, helping the ones up front to shine. Bass players understand this. We stand near the kick drum, alert for cues from the drummer about tempo and dynamics. We keep our eyes open to read the body language of those up front.

Keeping the groove together

Groove. You either have it or you’re chasing it. Groove is about rhythm, dynamics, and tempo. The rhythm section (drums, bass, and any rhythm players) has to be together, solid, and in agreement. If the rhythm section wants to go faster than the bass player wants to go, a good player will just suck it up for the good of the groove.

Developing trust within the band

If the bass player plays the wrong note at the right time, or plays the right note at the wrong time, the groove falls apart. The bass player has to understand that his job is to play the right note, on the downbeat, before he can play any other notes of the chord on any other beat. Listeners will know that something is wrong in the song, even if they can’t name what it is. Dancers will lose their footing and maybe even sit back down. The other band members will lose their trust in the bass player.

Making a place for the leaders

Good bass players know their place. We are the canvas on which the best songs are painted. We are the dark soil from which good music is harvested. We are the groove from which the lead players can play the hot licks that allow them to shine.

Slide4

I’d appreciate your support in the election. But more importantly, I want you to say “Yes” to STC. We need you.

Read all the posts, beginning January 5th and posting every other day, in my blog at https://viquidill.wordpress.com/

See all the slides on my slideshare account, http://www.slideshare.net/viqui_dill

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At the Summit: The Agile Process of Bringing the Rough Drafts to Atlanta

I was so excited to be included as one of the bloggers for this year’s STC Summit in Atlanta. My blog posts are the story of bringing the Rough Drafts band to the Summit’s 60th Anniversary celebration party, comparing them to Agile sprints.

You can read them here:

Part 1 is about how it almost did not happen.
http://notebook.stc.org/at-the-summit-the-agile-process-of-bringing-the-rough-drafts-to-atlanta-part-1/

Part 2 is about overcoming a few obstacles.
http://notebook.stc.org/at-the-summit-the-agile-process-of-bringing-the-rough-drafts-to-atlanta-part-2/

Part 3 is the happy ending.
http://notebook.stc.org/at-the-summit-the-agile-process-of-bringing-the-rough-drafts-to-atlanta-part-3/

The Rough Drafts band at #STC13

Left to right: Stephen Adler, Rich Maggiani, Viqui Dill, and Robert Hershenow