help w/ syncopation and rhythms

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by FalsehoodBass, Aug 8, 2002.

  1. FalsehoodBass


    Jul 22, 2001
    Denver, CO
    ok so i find that when i'm noodling or creating my own riffs, everything is straight 4th or 16th notes. There's never any rhythmic variation. Are there any readily available exercises that help in this area?

    I'm talking about things like paradiddles (sp.) or whatever else. thanks for any information
  2. Brad Barker

    Brad Barker Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2001
    berkeley, ca
    um...can i ask you a question?

    is a paradiddle "straight" in the first place? a group of four sixteenth notes?

    RLRR LRLL...?

    and afaik, it's like a snare drum technique. but i suppose the rhythmic concept can be translated to any other instrument.

    anyway, as far as your problem...

    think in terms of notes in varying length. learn as many as you can (and i have a feeling that you know a few anyway...).

    triplets of all sorts, "pick-ups" (ie-lead in notes...there are other names, too, but that's the only one i hear regularly), and dotted notes followed by non-dotted notes are good rhythmic tools.

    in case i'm the first to tell you:

    triplet-group of three notes in the place of two.

    pick-up: note or group of notes that is played before the "one"

    grace note: note played JUST before a note actually given rhythmic value. think: "really fast." slurs and slides lend themselves to grace notes really well.

    hope i was able to help you.

    i'm sure that other people will be able to help (the both of us!).
  3. Brad Barker

    Brad Barker Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2001
    berkeley, ca

    can't believe i left out the obvious:


    feel free to use them. especially for syncopation, in which you expressed interest.
  4. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    listen to music that has syncopated bass lines, lots and lots of it, this will help you to get a better grasp on what to listen for and help you count it all out better. It will also help you to create you're own lines once you know what to listen for. Just MHO/IME
  5. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Yes, rests!

    Blood Sugar Sex Magic has some great syncompated lines and some brilliant examples of different rhythms in bass lines... plus it all completely locks with the drums. A really good example.
  6. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    You can think of the RLRR LRLL as your 2 plucking fingers 1211 2122(fingers act as the drum sticks).

    I find paradiddles translate pretty good to slap/pop:
    RLRR LRLL could become TPTT PTPP
    (T = THUMB; P= POP)

    For starters, I would attempt playing this very 'simple', basic 2-bar rhythm.
    The 1st bar is ON the beat-

    Bar 2 = all the UPbeats-

    So, play...
    l1_2_3_4_l_&_&_&_&l1_2_3_4_l_&_&_&_&l etc

    Eventually, you can translate that into a 1/16th note feel-

    Then, you begin adding RESTS(spaces) bassbrobrad mentioned.
    Here's 1 example to get you started.
    Say you're playing-

    Keep Beats 1 & 3 as is; for Beats 2 & 4, change the DOWNbeat to a REST and "enclose" the "& of 2/4" by playing the 1/16th note just prior and aft. That becomes-
    l1__a_e_a3__a_e_al etc
  7. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Jim is the rhythm guru.

    Anyway, I might pay special attention to this piece of advice from Ed. It sounds to me like you have incredibly unorganized practice time, as you express that you are usually just "noodling." When you don't have anything to help guide you, or to focus your practice time, you're always going to play to your own limitations.
  8. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Ed, you don't mind if I emphasize this point of yours, do you? ;) Internalization of these rhythms is very important especially if you didn't grow up in a syncopated world.
  9. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    1)That's exactly what I'll still be working on when I check outta here.

    2)I gotta find that book.

    3)I'm no rhythm guru...just passing on what others have graciously hammered into my head.
  10. FalsehoodBass


    Jul 22, 2001
    Denver, CO
    thanks for the replies guys... i'll have to look into that book.
    I didn't really know what paradiddles were, i just knew that a drumer friend had used the term, so i figured it was a rhythm thing.

    thanks again
  11. Funkateer


    Jul 5, 2002
    Los Gatos, CA
    Anybody find it mail-order via the web? My searches came up empty? Out of print?

  12. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...thanks, Ed.