Accenting 16th notes
I'm wondering you all go about learning to playing sixteenth notes with accents on different beats? As someone who is new to the bow I'm having difficulties emphasizing separate notes, rather than playing "flat". Any and all tips welcome!
16th notes are just a fact of life on the bass. all of us, in time, learn to accept them.
Haha whoops! Definitely meant accenting... These brain phones aren't so smart after all.
More or the less the most you can do is accent the first or last sixteenth of the grouping. At full tilt however, especially with accidental ridden passages; I think we all just play the down beats.
Alternatively, every other note if you're able to.
I'm a longtime guitar player learning bass. Playing 16th with fingers doesn't come naturally when you're used to using a pick, but I'm progressing.
It's just a matter of practice. Set up a bar of sixteenth notes against a drum machine or metronome, then practice emphasizing different beats by playing them louder. Start by emphasizing the notes on 1-2-3-4 while maintaining a steady 16th note pulse. Then experiment. Don't forget to practice playing some notes softer too.
My suggestion - as always - start SLOWLY. Use the same amount of bow as you would at the ultimate desired tempo. Eventually, building past a faster tempo, than marked.
This could take days, weeks, months... maybe years.
My basic conception for stroke work like this is to feel that there are two distinct motions happening simultaneously. Those motions are the constant pulse of the 16ths with the accents as a larger pulse laid on top of that.
In the attachment below, you can get a sense of what that's about. Once you have a steady 16th pulse going, try to feel the larger rhythm underlying the accented notes. You must be aware of whether the accent comes on a down bow or an up bow. The distance the bow travels will be slightly further on these accents, but if you think about such minutiae as you play then you're more likely to be confused than successful.
I hope that helps.
You can see a really beautiful demonstration of what this looks like in the first piece in this video. The stroke in questions starts around 4:30.
I didn't know Rabbath preferred 4x10s. I thought he'd be a 2x15 guy.
I like playing with more basic drum rudiments on my other instruments, particularly the string ones, tapping, plucking, bowing and picking, down only and up only.
ONE n two n three n four n (4x)
one N two n three n four n (4x)
one n TWO n three n four n (4x)
one n two N three n four n (4x)
one n two n THREE n four n (4x)
I forget what that one is called, but once you get it down, it's a great warm-up on any instrument.
Bowing paradiddles and such is nonsense, but I find it fun and it seems to trick people into thinking that I'm a legitimate string player when I lay them into chord progressions.;)
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