Why the Bass Player is the Second Most Important Player in a Band

I was told many years ago by an orchestra leader in New York City that the most important part of any band or orchestra is the drummer.  “The drummer,” he said, “is the steam in the engine.  It is the drummer who sets the beat and everything else flows from that rhythm.  Without a good drummer, you have no direction, no impulse leading you forward.”

The lesson I took away from that conversation is that the beat the drummer sets is what forces everyone into the same context.  Without that anticipatory thump, everyone else makes their own time, and you end up with chaos.

A few years ago, I remember something Late Night with David Letterman Sadowsky bassist Will Lee said in an interview about how having a bad drummer can sink a session, and how he then has to step up as the bassist and take over the role of the drummer.

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Tommy Lee Does Lincoln

As a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln I am disgusted and disappointed UNL allowed felon/porn star Tommy Lee to “audit” classes for a fake reality television show that debuted on NBC last night in order to build a promotional bandwagon for the prairie school.

Five other universities turned down the Tommy Lee show before Nebraska bought into the idea. The phrase “whore for attention” immediately comes to mind as an entire university bends over. I am uncertain why UNL was eager to get in bed with convicted wife batterer Tommy Lee and let him pretend to be a “real” student at the university.

Did UNL want to example what school life is like? Is there no better choice to be found to demonstrate on a national scale the UNL experience than a 42-year-old washed-up rock star who kicked his wife and was sent to jail?

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