The Drummer, Percussionist and Bassist is commonly regarded as the rhythm section of the band. The role of drummer and bassist are so close and synergistic that they play the same core rhythm for fast songs and tightly synchronised for slow songs.
The drummer sets the rhythmic DNA of the entire song. A band thinks 8 or 16 beat as a results of the drummer. The bassist’s single notes for every chord influences the entire harmonic structure and resonance of the band. Deep and great, are their combined influence over the worship team and congregation.
We see their combined, collective role as fundamental, foundational, setting the tempo, the mood, the intensity, the excitement level, the energy level, the dynamics, deciding how intense or reflective the music should start and vary.
A great locked-in rhythm section frees up the rest of the worship team to dream, create and worship freely with music.
Let’s understand however, the difficulties of this partnership.
THE COMMON STRUGGLES OF THE RHYTHM SECTION
1) Not operating under a Music Director: Very important role that is to be trained and practised. Because in many teams, this role may be absent, drummer and bassist may lose a clear voice of direction.
2) Irregular tempo: The absence of a metronome gives way to misunderstanding, misinterpretation. It starts with the Music Director setting the tempo.
3) Different energy level: An active drummer and a passive bassist sounds equally awkward as a passive drummer with an active bassist.
4) Poorly synchronised bass drum rhythm with bass line: This is clear evidence that both drummer and bassist are not willing to walk together intentionally. Commonly, both are so myopically focussed on their individual roles, they forgot their role is integrated.
5) Not discussing closely about the variation and dynamics: No active communication and camaraderie between bassist and drummer on the rhythm and energy journey they will embark together.
At Kingdom Music, we believe the Rhythm Section is the very musical foundational rock of the Band. For any team, it can be trained, experimented, balanced, talked out till synchronisation and genuine camaraderie takes over. Once the rhythm section is well synchronised and tight, it becomes easier to build with the other instruments.