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Help with specific song rhythm

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by twisty4678, Feb 25, 2014.

  1. Hey there- So i was listening to "Lights" by Ellie Goulding (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NKUpo_xKyQ), every once in a while I like to try and improvise to random songs that seem to be popular. The bass rhythm to this song does not seem to be standard, and it's confusing me. As far as I can tell, the bass line plays 7 eighth notes on the first chord, 9 on the second, 7 on the third, and 9 on the fourth. Is this correct? If so, why? I've never really seen this before, and I'm sure its a super easy answer. It's just one of those things that sounds so simple but I can't figure it out! Any help would be appreciated :)!
  2. I can't tell if this is a terrible question... or a GREAT question :smug: One bump before i give up :)
  3. Bingo

    Bingo Banned

    Mar 3, 2014
    South by Southwest
    You're thinking too hard about it. It's syncopated. It's pretty much four beats per chord but every other chord starts "early" for lack of a better term. Just start counting 1-2-3-4 from the first note (two notes per beat of course). You'll feel it before you know it. Some call it "off beat" and some simply say "coming in on the and of the previous beat".

    The first song that jumped into my head as another example (or what you're talking about and my age) is Jealous Again by the Black Crows. Syncopation all the way through. Just count to four or tap your foot while listening to the whole song. You'll find that nearly half the chords are syncopated.

    This whole song is littered with it. Some notes come in "early" (on the "and" of the previous beat).

    Although the style of music is very different, the concept is the same. Syncopation is found in many pieces. In some cases it presents itself more obviously than others.

    For once, Wiki actually does a pretty good job of explaining this (assuming you have some musical background).

    I guess my best advice would be to try counting notes less and just "feel" the bass line in the context of the drum beat.

    Hope that helps.
  4. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    ^ What Bingo said. The song is in 4/4 time, and regardless of the number of notes played each measure has four beats. The bass syncopation just works around those four beats. Don't overthink it. Hear and feel the groove.
  5. mrbell321


    Mar 26, 2012
    N. Colorado
  6. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Come on guys. Get it right! This is pretty simple stuff here, honestly. Bingo was pretty close.

    The change is an eighth note before "one" of bars two and four, and bang on the beat for bars 1 and 3 in the four bar sequence.
  7. Thanks for the help guys, the links really help Bingo. It's one of those things that I can play and feel fine, but I wanted to know more about the theory behind it. The link on syncopation clears that up. I had just watched a video on 7/8 timing before posting the question so I was getting caught up with that video. Thanks guys!
  8. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player Banned

    Nov 13, 2009
    Somewhere on the Alaska Panhandle (Juneau)
    Endorser: Plants vs. Zombies Pea Shooters
    67,000,000 views for that?!?!?!?


  9. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player Banned

    Nov 13, 2009
    Somewhere on the Alaska Panhandle (Juneau)
    Endorser: Plants vs. Zombies Pea Shooters
    At least they didn't pitch correct her vocal. Her melismas are... ouch! :eek:

    She's not doing anything good for me. But so what. ;)
  10. davidhilton

    davidhilton Supporting Member Commercial User

    Apr 13, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    YO Stick! Piss off Groove lately?! lol How u hangin man? Really digging my Xotic XJ-1T!! laterz, -d