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Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by micjk, May 7, 2017.

  1. micjk


    Oct 16, 2016
    Hey everyone,

    I'm pretty much a beginner on the bass and my rhythm and timing is really off. Like really bad. Any suggestions or tips on how to fix that? lmao
  2. Rev J

    Rev J

    Jun 14, 2012
    Berkeley, Ca.
    Hard work. It just takes time, and practice. A metronome does help too.

    Here is a little about the science of it:

    Entrainment (biomusicology) - Wikipedia

    Here is an interesting video of the law of entrainment at work:

    So as you work with the metronome it will become beyond natural.

    Rev J
    Last edited: May 7, 2017
  3. Most pro players come from a school band environment, and it is playing with others that got us to develop good timing.

    My advice? Play with other musicians. As often as possible.
  4. micjk


    Oct 16, 2016
    I'll remember to get a metronome later, thanks.
  5. micjk


    Oct 16, 2016
    I see. I was thinking about that before but I was too scared of embarrassing myself cause I'm so bad. I'll see if I could join a band or something along those lines. Thanks for the advice!
    Ellery likes this.
  6. Rev J

    Rev J

    Jun 14, 2012
    Berkeley, Ca.
    Thanks. I amended my post while you were responding.

    Rev J
  7. Then don't join a band. Get together with a guitarist and drummer with similar experience and influences, and jam on your favorite songs. More fun, less pressure, and just as productive.
  8. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    There are tons of backing tracks on YouTube, look up styles you like and play along. Try and lock in to the bass drum figures. Its a nice, safe way to practice in a real playing scenario without getting self conscious or worrying about disappointing the other people your playing with.
  9. bass12

    bass12 And Grace, too

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Tapping your foot will give you a reference point independent of your bass and can help. Recording yourself can help you determine what your tendencies are in terms of rushing and dragging.
    LowActionHero and Badwater like this.
  10. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    Also dont put unrealistic expectations on yourself, good players did not get that way overnight
  11. micjk


    Oct 16, 2016
    Sounds good. Thanks again!
  12. micjk


    Oct 16, 2016
    I see. Thank you!
  13. micjk


    Oct 16, 2016
    Alright, thank you!
  14. Rhythm - When we start out we spend most of our time on the melody and harmony stuff and rhythm slips between the chairs. To get comfortable with rhythm, listen to a song with your bass on it's stand and clap the beat with your hands. Listen for the kick drum, now that is going to be hard as you really have to listen to pick out the kick drum. When I'm playing I stand right beside the drum kit, and look as well as listen - look at the drummer kick drum foot pedal. Match his kick pattern. with 4/4 time it probably will be kick on the 1 and 3 beat. Zero in on the 1 and 3 beat. Ignore his fills and match his 1 & 3.

    video, locking with the kick drum - Bing video

    Step one - lock with the kick drum. Do a Google on drum track patterns and counting the beat. Start out counting the beat - 1 and a 2 and a 3 and a 4 and a -- then after awhile your internal clock will kick in and you no longer need to count out loud. Like most music take it one step at a time... Google can help.
    Last edited: May 7, 2017
  15. Low84

    Low84 Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2014
    Save your pennies and put them toward gear! There's lots of good metronome cuts on YouTube as well. Such as...

    HolmeBass likes this.
  16. BurnOut

    BurnOut It's The Billy Baloney Show Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2015
    The Natti
    Get ya one of the many multi fx pedals out there that have drum beats on em. They're great for practice, you can change the beats to your needs. And you'll sound cool with your new fx toys.
  17. Sonicfrog

    Sonicfrog Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2008
    Fresno, CA
    I have to politely disagree with a previous comment. Don't "lock with the kick drum". Bass playing is so much more than that, and often, the best bass lines go in and out of what the drummer is doing with the kick. The bass is an instrument that translates the drums and the guitar... We play both rhythm and groove. I'm not saying DON"T listen to what the drummer is doing with the kick, but listen to everything! Yes, there are times when the kick will indeed dictate what your best playing options are.... But sometimes other instruments play a big part.

    My advice... Listen to the songs that you love, and try the best you can to play along. Throw on that favorite CD / youtube vid, and have at it!!!! Yes, at first you won't sound good. In fact, if you're like me, you'll sound like total crap!!!

    But... You'll find that you fall into the pocket / groove here and there. And then, as you practice, you'll find it happens more often.

    And yes, playing with others, and learning how to read them, is essential. But if you work on your own at timing, you'll be better prepared to work with others.
    BurnOut and HolmeBass like this.
  18. StatesideRambler


    Jul 1, 2015
    If you have a smart phone or tablet there are good, free metronome apps. Play slower than you think you ought to. Practice slow to play fast! If you can't nail the beat slowly you sure won't nail it fast. And don't overdo it, especially in the beginning. Do five minutes with the metronome, then do something else for twenty then do another five minutes with the metronome.

    Get with a teacher or an experienced musician and learn to clap a rhythm. i.e. Clap your hands to the beat of a song or to its melody line. At first you may feel silly but doing it will leapfrog you past people who've played a lot longer than you.
    Last edited: May 8, 2017
    eJake, tlc1976 and Mugre like this.
  19. interp

    interp Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2005
    Garmisch, Germany
    The best advice I ever got on rhythm and time was from an amazing drummer I worked with early in my playing career. He told me "You are trying to control your rhythm and tempo with your head. Rhythm comes from the spine and body, not the head."
    An eye opener for me, and definitely true.
    Leftka and Badwater like this.
  20. Krakmann


    Jan 6, 2009
    Madrid (Spain)
    Metronome, metronome, metronome. And DON'T rush. It's almost a motto, but start slow and speed up only when everything sounds ok. Otherwise, you're bound to get bad habits. And once you are more confident with your timing, start recording your playing to a drum beat, listen to your part in isolation to prove you're still not there... and keep on practicing. You don't have bad timing, you are still developing your good timing. Keep on!
    Leftka, eJake, And I and 1 other person like this.

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