Counting Out Loud While Practicing

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by bluesbass99, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. bluesbass99


    Jun 14, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
    I've got a question regarding practicing. Do y'all use counting as practice tool? My bass teacher has introduced me to counting as a tool when I learn a song. In other words, counting out loud. As an example, if I were to play something with the first two bars being straight eights, and the third & forth bars being triplets, the counting would go like this: 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & | 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & | 1 e & 2 e & 3 e & 4 e & | 1 e & 2 e & 3 e & 4 e &

    Simple as it may seem, I find vocalizing the counting as I play to be very difficult. It becomes even more difficult when there are rests involved. I find myself thinking too much and it really feels unnatural. I have no problem playing to a metronome, but when I try to introduce the counting, I have a very difficult time. I find myself "thinking" too much instead of "feeling" the music.

    I'm not questioning my bass teacher. He's an accomplished bass player and very knowledgeable; but do y'all incorporate this technique in your practice routines?
  2. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    It is a great exercise, counting out loud, or even being aware of counting and the sub-divisions involved.... improve playing no end.
    Getting to feel what you play is the objective and the best way to feel your playing is to understand it.
    You may struggle with tempos at first, but playing slow still requires you to play in tempo, so play them slow then gradually speed them up.
    Break down sections and learn the syncopation, then piece it back together and put it in a tempo,it does not need to be the correct tempo, but a tempo you can handle and work yourself towards the correct tempo.

    Check out this link, it develops the same idea between tempo, technique, practice and playing.

    Bass Trilogy