Playing with a Drummer
Bass and drums are jointly responsible for the groove and feel of music. In rock and pop, the groove is usually defined by backbeats on beats two and four. In jazz, groove usually translates to mean swing. In Latin, the groove can take the form of a samba, a rumba, a soca, a merengue, or another rhythmical dance style. No matter what type of groove you're playing, the bass and the drums share the role as groove doctors.
Obviously, playing well with a drummer is essential. If you're not in sync with the drummer, the entire band will sound lackluster or even sloppy. In worst-case scenarios, the band will fall apart completely.
Figures 6-1 and
Figure 6-1. Bass drum pattern
Drum and bass etude
In Figure 6-2 you will see the bass drum and bass guitar playing in tandem on the main ostinato (see
Does the bass guitar always have to sync up with the bass drum?
No. The two instruments simply have to be sensitive and aware of what the other is playing. In pop, and often in Latin music, the bass drum and bass guitar usually play ostinatos (repeated patterns) together. However, the bassist and drummer sometimes diverge rhythmically or play patterns that are similar and complementary but not exact. It all depends on the context and the songwriter's intentions.