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Someone help me ! I suck !!

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by AEONmw, Jul 24, 2007.

  1. AEONmw


    Jun 24, 2007
    Chico California
    My sense of rhythm is really crappy. I always practice with a metronome, but I still have difficulty syncing up with a drum track, even something simple.

    Any pointers on practice techniques that target rhythm would be greatly appreciated !
  2. This is one method I developed on my own, and I taught it to our rhythm guitarist, who found it to be beneficial.

    In the context of a song, it's harder to take in the whole experience and still keep proper time. That being said, it's much easier to control your breathing than your hands, so I set a metronome of sorts with my breathing, with each breath (or half, or even quarter breath, in a staccato kind of breathing style) in or out being one click. Since breathing is involuntary, and much more natural, it'll be easier to base your rhythm around a solid cycle of breaths, chopping up your natural breathing rhythtm to work with the song. Try breathing to a metronome, and you'll see what I mean.
  3. TrevorOfDoom


    Jun 17, 2007
    Austin, TX
    when practicing, i always watch my drummer's right leg. just take the time to listen to the drummer without trying to play with him, get a sense of the rhythm. another great tip is to get behind the set yourself and give banging the skins a try. give you a different way of looking at things.
  4. koricancowboy

    koricancowboy Ausberto Acevedo Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2003
    I'm gonna have to go ahead and disagree with this. Reliance on any other musician is a huge no no. The number 1 rule of music is everyone is responsible for time! All the time. I am not sure what kind of music you play but it doesn't really matter. From rock to jazz to classical never ever ever rely on anyone else for time. If they are off then you are off and guess what you won't even notice it. In my experience drummers can actually be the worst time keepers in the band. Bassists play WITH the drummer not lean on the drummer. BIG DIFFERENCE!

    Learn to use your metronome correctly and it will work wonders. A metronome with subdivisions will be a huge asset. They are not very expensive anymore and I would recommend this http://www.korg.com/gear/info.asp?a_prod_no=MA30&category_id=5 Cheap, accurate and has all the rhythms you encounter often[FONT=Verdana,Helvetica,Geneva,sans-serif] duplets (i.e. eighth notes), triplets, triplets with inner beats omitted (i.e. swing eights, quadruplets(i.e sixteenth notes), and quadruplets with inner beats omitted.

    Learn these patterns inside and out. Then learn to feel them with only one click per beat, the one click for every two beats, the one for every four and however far you wanna go with it. Here is some awesome literature about using a metronome you can check out http://www.franzmfg.com/mt.htm In the end your time has to be solid or no one elses will be. Bass dictates time and not drums don't let anyone else tell you differently.

    Good luck,
  5. I actually think you should stop practicing with a metronome. Practice solo and learn to play a steady beat by how it feels. Also, find a drummer to play with... you could even pay a good drummer to play with you... a little like you would a bass teacher. Also, listen to a lot of music. don't try to analyze it, just listen for feel and enjoyment.
  6. Foamy


    Jun 26, 2006
    Sac Area
    Everyone sucks at some level!

    With practice, you continually climb the ladder and suck at a higher level.

    True enough. Keep practicing!
  7. +1 what Enchanter Tim said... everyone sucked at one point. And everyday practice make a huge difference!
  8. koricancowboy

    koricancowboy Ausberto Acevedo Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2003
    Practicing with a metronome is the single best way to gain speed and accuracy. Tell me a better way and I'll switch right now. Reliance on a drummer is just bad bad bad. A drummer plays with you and relies on you having good time as well.

    This reliance on the drummer is what you hear when you're out at a concert and you hear the whole band f%#$ up at the same time. If everyone else is on it with their time when the drummer messes up it feels like a little bump and is hardly noticed.

    All the best musicians in the world have used metronomes for hundreds of years. It wasn't really until the 20th century that this boom chick drumming started.

    Learn time independently of a drummer and you'll be better off.

  9. Of course, I agree that as a bass player, its your job to establish the time. But, by playing with a metronome, you learn to be relient on it... to follow it; because a metronome can't follow you. A good drummer can give you feedback about your time... will tell you when your speeding up or slowing down.
  10. this is not about time, the OP asks for help with his sense of rythm.
    In my sense of rythm that means which beats to accent and where to put in a little fill,etc...and for that there is no better way to learn this than to play along with a drummer or even better with a whole band where you can communicate and develop a chemistry with the other band members
  11. DocBop


    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Bad advise metronome is best tool for developing out internal metronome. Trouble is most don't understand how to use one. First clap time and make the click disappear. Many try to hear the click, if you hear it then your off.

    Next start counting out loud while playing. Start simple and then get into your syncopated bass lines. This will develop your sense of where each beat is. Again internal clock.

    Okay as you get good with the metronome clicking on all four beat, now set the metronome to click on 2 and 4. That lets you go on your own for a beat and then you can check in to see where you are. Also this more what you will hear from the drummer a 2 and 4 back beat.

    After that you can continue if you want and have metronome only click on one.

    You should not rely on another player for time you need to learn to keep steady time on your own. A lot of drummers have bad time so you following them just makes things worse. Use a metronome if you can groove to a metronome you can groove with anyone.
  12. Rufus


    Feb 6, 2007
    I agree, and here is an addage I once heard; "Anything worth doing is worth doing bad long enough to get good at it". Don't beat yourself up, just keep on keepin' on. :)
    Sounds like you have some support right here.:)
  13. I guess this is why I'm not a teacher... just a player.:meh:
  14. owensea777

    owensea777 Banned

    Jun 16, 2007
    sorry but bass is not the right instrument for you...unless you practice a LOT
  15. DocBop


    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'm not a teacher either, well not yet, just a devout musician.
  16. Relying on a drummer for ANYTHING is a mistake. They are not on time, they are not showered, they are generally not nice. They are simply necessary. Good ones, however, are indispensible - therein lies the rub.

    If your drummer is NOT a great one then it is up to you to establish the meter of the song and take over so to speak. Its much easier for a bass player to establish time than it is for a drummer who is not good.

    All the metronome ideas are great! Particularly the suggestion of reducing the number of clicks per measure you are practicing with. Great idea.

    As a side note....what did the drummer get on his IQ test.....DREWL!
  17. im gonna have to go ahead and disagree with this. i dont think the guy you were responding to with this was saying you should learn from and totally rely on your drummer, i just think he meant that there was something to be learned by watching him. Learning exactly how your drummer thinks and functions in the band is a critical step in his learning. it might not give you better rhythm or groove immediatley, but it will help you to understand what needs improving in yoyur own playing.

    i also agree with what he said about getting behind the kit and trying it out for your self. i would even take it one step further and see if u can get some cats together to play with u as a drummer, it doesnt have to be a regular band, just some friends so you can experience being a drummer in a live setting, versus playing alone or with recordings. this might be the single most important thing i have done for my bass playing.
  18. nice words or wisdom as far as practicing, but way to be encouraging.

    play on OP.
  19. peterpalmieri

    peterpalmieri Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Babylon, NY
    This might actually be the worst advice I've ever heard on TB, no joking!

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