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By Timmer Blakely


f you’ve experienced it, you know exactly what the term means.  If you haven't experienced it, you may have heard other players talk about it but you aren't sure what all of the fuss is about.  If you aren't sure whether or not you have experienced it, then you haven't experienced it. Chemistry is when two or more players get together for the first time and sparks fly (the good kind).  Everyone plays beyond their normal capabilities.  The sum of the total is greater than the individual parts.  A form of telepathy takes place and all of the fills are totally in synch, the groove takes on a whole new depth, and you know where your band mate or mates are going two measures in advance.

         So how do you create it?  You don't.  It happens on it's own when two or more of the "right" players get together.  It's just a matter of finding the "right" players.  And "right" isn't used in this context to describe the overall abilities of a player.  Two outstanding players can get together and make good music, but the music doesn't exceed the abilities of either player if the chemistry isn't there.  When two outstanding players who have a great chemistry get together, the world opens up before them.  They can play things that they have never played before.  They can hear and apply ideas that have never occurred to them before.  And they play as one.  

         So if you can't create it, how do you find it?  It's a matter of finding the players that you have a great chemistry with.  And the only way to find anything is to look for it.  You have to play with as many musicians as possible, eliminate the ones with which you have no chemistry, and keep the ones with which you have good chemistry. 

         It's a lot like dating.  If you go out with someone and it's just not happening, you usually don't go out with them again (unless the sex is really good, but even that wears thin over time).  You keep dating other people until you find that person that you really click with.  And when you find that right person, you hold on to them with both hands (in-spite of the restraining orders and stalking laws). 

         The same goes with musicians.  If you click, you stick.  Now you have a list of people with which you have great chemistry.  How do you use this to your advantage?  Make every effort possible to work with these people.  If your band is looking for a new musician, pull a name off of your chemistry list.  If you are building a new band, pull a name off of your chemistry list.  When you are working with someone that you have a great chemistry with, you sound better, they sound better, and the band sounds better.  If you want to build a reputation as a great musician, play with the people that make you sound the best.  It increases your odds for success exponentially.

Timmer Blakely
The Jeff Healy Band

The ‘Bass Man’ TIMMER BLAKELY is a freelance bassist working out of the Pacific North West, USA. 

Some of the more notable artists that Timmer has performed with include

 Ry Cooder, Terry Evans, Jeff Healy and Geoff Achison.



Timmer's Bass World website.





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