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Groove/Timekeeping Exercises and Songs

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by 18reisd, Aug 18, 2012.

  1. 18reisd


    Aug 12, 2012
    Hey All,
    I was wondering if any of you could recommend me some songs or exercises that I can use to have a solid groove, good timekeeping, and overall just be a tighter bassist. I jam a lot, so my reaction and feel should also be good when I'm making basslines on the fly. (Not that I'm saying I'm very good at this;)). I practice with a metronome daily, and gig out 2-3 times a month, so I guess my groove is already decent and I can lock in, IMO. I just want some good exercises and songs to play along with so I can stay as tight as I am when improvising that I would be when playing a practiced bassline.

  2. Some great stuff right there.
  3. eddododo

    eddododo Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2010
    Use the metronome on larger values.
    Twice a bar, 1 and 3 or like a snare on 2 &.4. Lock that in and then you can try 1 per bar, every other bar.

    Seems simple, but youll find out real fast how good or bad your pulse is
  4. I don't know the type of music you play but practicing disco dance stuff can be really good, Chick ( Bernard Edwards ) Cher - Believe, I realise that I might be suggesting something completely not you style and mostly sequenced lines but they do require tight consistent feel, can be easy over a few bars but keeping a tight groove for a whole song can be difficult, be open to everything. As was said use metronome on alternate beats, also try playing against the metronome on up beats, take a scale over one octave set the metronome to click on quater notes but as you count in start on 4& playing quater notes so each one falls on the up beat, also try start on 1& so you half a beat behind on the up beat, same thing in a way but has a different feel as you not pushing towards the beat.
  5. XylemBassGuitar

    XylemBassGuitar Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 14, 2008
    Durango, CO
    Owner and Operator, Xylem Handmade Basses and Guitars
    Good timing is absolutely essential to the groove, but it's not the only thing you need to truly groove with a band.

    Make sure that you practice feeling the music, like in your viscera, especially if you are making up basslines on the fly. When you can really feel the music you'll do a much better job of playing what the song needs rather than what the amalgamation of your ego and habits want to play.

    Also listen, all the time, every time you play. Really hear yourself and the entire band (if present). Listen to how each instrument sounds in relation to the others and look for places that need to be thickened or thinned.

    The groove is about...well, grooving--fitting into that one perfect part of each song's structure melodically, rhythmically, stylistically, etc...
  6. Groove Master

    Groove Master

    Apr 22, 2011
    Author of Groove 101, Slap 101 and Technique 101
    Improving timing is a thing all musicians and especially us, should be work on with good and efficient exercises AND tools.

    This book is all about that and is unique in its genre.
  7. AndrewFord


    Aug 11, 2012
    Los Angeles area
    Endorsing Artist: Line 6, TC Electronics, Yamaha, Elixir Strings
    Grooving or improving ones groove requires studying the masters of that style of music. Listen to what they played and emulate it. In certain styles that will mean playing more sparse, or maybe busier, longer notes, more staccato, on top of the beat, laid back, swinging, straight, etc. And of course it is all relative to what the other musicians are playing. Record yourself and honestly evaluate it. Compare and contrast with the top bands in that genre. You will quickly hear if improvement is needed.
  8. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Go watch Victor Wooten's Groove Workshop DVD, Anthony Wellingtons yardstick method will help you immensely. The whole DVD probably will.
  9. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Try this framework, there are three exercises, each video has the link to the next part in the info supplied. They target many aspects of what you seek.


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